'Exceptional' discovery of
Roman small town at Newington

Archaeologists uncovered major late Iron Age and Roman settlements in the village in 2018/2019, saying that it was one of the 'most important discoveries of a Roman small town'. Among the exciting highlights were a Romano-Celtic temple and a seven-metre highway that appeared to pre-date and take an alternative route to Watling Street - traditionally considered to be the main Roman transport route between the Kent coast and London. 

Artefacts found indicate that the settlements were being used by people of high rank, with the manufacture of iron and pottery on the site.

SWAT Archaeology had a team of 30 archaeologists at the Persimmon Homes Watling Place estate for eight months.

They arranged an open day when visitors could talk with some of the archaeologists on site. Internationally known specialists in Roman pottery and iron age manufacturing described and explained the importance of the finds.

Roman remains

Two villas, a temple, a pottery and burial grounds - all evidence of the position this area held in the Roman Empire. 

Subsequent occupation and centuries of agricultural work means that any remains of archaeological value are rare and highly prized. 

The temple and villas have been covered for safe-keeping. Visible evidence of the period can be seen in the use of Roman tiles in the building of Lower Halstow church. 

Repeated digs led by KCC Community Archaeologist, Andrew Mayfield, over the last decade have unearthed more than 5,000 pottery sherds and 20 coins on a property just outside the current village boundary. Some have been found in trenches of archaeological value. These finds have been recorded and NHG is investigating appropriate storage that could also enable community access.