Sunday, December 23, 2012

Buried Past

I've been looking back on the Christmas entries on this blog over the last couple of year's and I'm reminded that in 2010 we were almost buried under the snow. This year, it's unceasing rain and we're very lucky not to be close to any rivers of any size.

In twelve month's time, I will have been writing this particular weblog diary of mine for ten years and you can find the archive, as well as links and photo libraries, along the right-hand margin. That's  if you fancy a stroll down memory lane to see what might have been happening here which caught my interest.

Back in 2006 I stumbled across 'Elf Yourself" which allows you to created a dancing Xmas card elf from your own photo. I've embedded the link again if you want to give it a try.

Also, this time in 2006, police charged two local men connection with the theft of a jet engine worth £60,000 from African International Airways at Manston. Whether they planned to try and sell it for the scrap metal value or pass it on via eBay, I never found out but 'Only in Thanet' was my remark at the time. I rather imagined the pilot of the cargo aircraft arriving on the Monday morning and discovering that one of the engines had been stolen during the night.

Map of Westgate on Sea - Survey 1872
In 2004, I wrote: "Will we discover that Osama Bin Laden isn’t really living in the mountains of Pakistan but in a council flat in Tower Hamlets."  I was close. We still have Abu Qatada, but Bin Laden wasn't in Afghanistan, as we subsequently learned but Abbotobad, which is actually twinned with Blackburn in Lancashire; as remarkable as Margate being twinned with Yalta.

A note of thanks to Lorraine Hambidge, who popped-in yesterday with copies of two old maps. The earliest, (1872 survey) shows what could be the remains of a sizeable Roman structure, which occupies the space between Beach Road and Sussex Gardens in Westgate, on the grounds of the old St Mildred's hotel. Just as interesting is reference to a Roman cemetery on the north-eastern side of Norman Road, (marked 44) which may explain the occasional lumps of white marble that appear. There's another unknown structure at note 16 with a series of walls, in the area of Saxon Road.

Roman Remain Map St Mildreds Bay
When I was flying down to Dorset  and Old Sarum, last Monday in a very bright and low morning Sun across Kent, after all the rain, the archaeology showed up remarkably well. If you are familiar with the Shell service station on the Thanet Way, the hill behind it is an ancient fort, (enter "Denstroude" into Google maps) complete with a buried wall structure, visible from the air. Further on towards Rochester, there are several lost ancient villages with the round hut markings and pathways still easily seen. One for Time Team perhaps. I could go on for hours but my dog is insisting I do something useful, like take her for a morning walk!


Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by your mention of a hill fort near the Shell garage. I have read of Bigbury Camp off the A2 at Harbledown, but never of this one. Is it in the wooded Blean Forest or on open land to the east? Enormous amounts of clay were dug from the latter to construct the sea defences after the 1953 flood. More recently, the area was earmarked for what would have been the largest landfill site in northern Europe, but fortunately and remarkably the plan was rejected.

Simon Moores said...

The area sits on top of the hill almost directly behind the Shell garage. To me, it looks like a famiiar iron age fortress enclosure, much like the ones I see regularly in Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire.

Enter "denstroude" into Google maps and it's almost on the spot although what I could see clearly from the low sun angle isn't visible in the photo