Cold plunge and part of cold room of bath building. The sides and ledge of the plunge are plastered. The floor is paved with sandstone slabs.
iron-stone rammed hard into the natural soil.
Apart from the "spacers", portable finds included substantial quantities of Roman pottery (including 2nd century samian) and local wares, a bronze harness fitting (1st century A.D.), pieces of iron slag, and fragments of Roman window-glass, and glass vessels.
These encouraging discoveries suggested that further work at Garden Hill could throw light on a number of aspects of Wealden ironworking. What iron-working, if any, was there in this area before the Roman occupation? How were ironworking sites worked and managed during the Roman period, when the Wealden industry is known to have expanded enormously? How did the workers live? Was Garden Hill used for industrial as well as residential purposes? Did the earthworks enclosing the settlement belong to the pre-Roman Iron Age or to the Roman period?
however, some of the pilae were of stone (perhaps indicating that there were not enough tiles to finish the job). The construction as a whole was rough and ready, and looked like a British attempt at copying a smarter Roman original.
Under the north and south walls of the bath building were traces of an earlier occupation. To judge from samian pottery found in the area around the bath building it can tentatively be placed in the period 120-200 A.D. The bath building eventually fell into disuse and its superstructure collapsed. In the debris of the hot room there were a number of clay "spacers" which had been used for keeping open the air passages through the flues; one was still threaded on the iron bar which originally held it in position. After its abandonment the hot room was used for some process of burning unconnected with bathing.
South of the bath building, stone foundations, partially excavated in 1972, were shown in 1973 to be the base of a substantial timber-framed building.
In 1972 work also began on the inturned entrance of the settlement, which was revetted on its inner sides with sandstone blocks. Running through the entrance were the remains of a well-preserved roadway, consisting mainly of small pieces of
It was decided, therefore, to form the Garden Hill Excavation Group and to dig for a number of seasons, with the aim of answering these questions. In 1973, with a larger force of diggers and considerably increased financial support, including a grant from the British Academy,
Garden Hill. General plan of settlement.
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