The Prehistoric Folk dig, on Coxhill Mount in April 2018, established the presence of a prehistoric barrow with a surrounding ditch. It’s about 20 metres in diameter. If you walk up to Coxhill Mount, will you be able to spot it?! The barrow is most probably early Bronze Age but we also found part of a Neolithic flint axe head, which is at least 4,500 years old. This shows that people have been active in the area for many thousands of years. You can read more about the Bronze Age Barrow in Canterbury Archaeological Trust's report.
In October 2018, Canterbury Archaeological Trust led another dig, Great Mansions of the Past, to find out more about the old mansion house that stood in Kearsney Abbey until the 1950s. Today, the old billiard room is all that remains of the house. Almost 50 volunteers, including students from Astor College, helped out. The White Cliffs Metal Detecting Club and Saxon Shore Metal Detecting Club came along to check the spoil heap for finds.
We uncovered the brick foundations of the old mansion house and an older flint building underneath. The flint was probably the remains of a smaller house (Little Kesney Court) that was here before the large mansion was built in the 1820s.
We also uncovered some inverted brick arches along the south side of the mansion house. These may have supported the weight of structural elements within the walls above, such as the window openings. In addition we found steps down to the cellar and the remnants of an old toilet, which would have been fitted sometime after the mid-nineteenth century.
Our finds included bits of marble that may have come from the house’s fireplaces, old electrical wiring and a military button cleaner that dates back to the Second World War. This may have been left behind by one of the soldiers from Number 2 Searchlight Regiment that was stationed here during the war.
We’ve also found out more about the Ancient Dour and the landscape history of the area. In April 2018, a geoarchaeologist from the University of Wales took sediment samples from a pit dug into the old mill pond. The gravels at the base of the pit probably date back to the end of the last ice age around 10,000 years ago. After this the area became a boggy, vegetated hollow and then a shallow, weedy, spring-fed pool developed.