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Flavian and later buildings at Snodland Roman villa: excavations at Cantium Way, Snodland, Kent

Following the discovery of a hoard of 3600 Roman coins, a large-scale excavation was undertaken to the west of the main Snodland villa, at the interface between outer buildings and agricultural land. A series of field systems and pits, as well as a distinctive concentric building with masonry foundations, timber buildings, and a small cemetery were uncovered. The large assemblages of material culture and ecofacts are presented including significant Neronian building material from an unlocated bath house.


In the summer of 2006, during the digging of geotechnical test pits on the site of a former sports field, workmen heard a sound ‘like breaking glass’ as hundreds of copper-alloy coins fell out of the JCB bucket. This dramatic discovery of a hoard of almost 3600 Roman coins was the precursor to an archaeological investigation of the western edge of the scheduled ancient monument of Snodland Roman villa.

The excavation, located not in the main villa residences, but some 80m to the west at the interface between the outer buildings and the agricultural land, uncovered a series of ditched field systems and pits, as well as a concentric building with masonry foundations. This building was constructed in the late 1st century AD and survived until the 3rd century AD, when it was at least partially demolished and replaced by a larger structure. Two possible timber buildings, one possibly associated with crop-processing, were also constructed set within the surrounding field system.

The 4th century AD saw significant decline and a change in the nature of the activity, as buildings fell out of use and a small enclosed inhumation cemetery was established.  A second 4th century coin hoard was uncovered,  buried in the demolition of a building.

Large assemblages of material culture and ecofacts were recovered including a significant assemblage of residual Neronian ceramic building material, from an unlocated bath house.


Acquisition date
Donated by
Ray Sturgeon