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Thanet Parkway - first months

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Our excavation at Thanet Parkway (#thanetparkway on Instagram and Facebook) is well underway at Cliffsend, Ramsgate. Thanet Parkway is to be a new railway station on the Ashford International-Ramsgate line. Details on the proposed station can be found on the Kent County Council website here. The archaeological work at Thanet Parkway is being managed by the WSP Cultural Heritage and Archaeology team.

Previous work has been done in the area, notably the East Kent Access work, a joint venture Oxford Wessex Archaeology (resulting in the publication 'Digging at the Gateway'); the Margate Pipeline by Wessex Archaeology; and Thanet Earth by CAT. Other smaller mitigation works have happened in the area and can be explored using the Kent County Council Historical Environment Record. Previous excavations had built up a picture of a complex landscape packed with prehistoric settlements, monuments, and burials dating from the Neolithic to the Anglo-Saxon period into the Second World War.

Armed with a good idea of what we might find we started excavation in October 2020 and were almost immediately met with challenging winter conditions.

Despite the awful weather and flooding on site, good progress has been made on the archaeology. To date the finds and features indicate a small settlement or farmstead dating to the late Iron Age, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon periods. We have excavated a complex network of ditches, likely to be field boundaries, and refuse pits containing broken material culture relating to agriculture and domestic life.

In among the ditches and pits we have discovered the remains of a number of structures, with hearths and mettled floors, dating to the Roman period or possibly even the Anglo-Saxon period. One of the floors shows signs of slumping into an earlier feature so watch this space for further updates.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing more information about our excavation on this blog and on our social media channels using #thanetparkway. If you would like to ask a question about the excavation please email us using the contact form on our main page. Questions about the station and project can be raised with KCC from their website here.

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