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In 2016, the KAS and Lees Court Estate Project was established. Since then, KAS has conducted field walks, geophysical and magnotrometry surveys, desk top surveying using LiDOR surveys, surface evaluation of the Bronze Age burial mound and archaeological recording at the 2017 Metal Detecting Rally.

In 2018 KAS undertook the first extensive archaeological excavation activity on the Estate. Exploratory trenches were excavated across a 20m ring ditch in the south western corner of Stringman’s Park field, which had been identified following previous GeoPhysical surveys which took place in 2017. A trench was placed across the centre of the ring ditch and at the southernmost end a possible causewayed enclosure entrance was found. In each quadrant of the ring ditch additional trenches were opened up. These trenches established the chalk ditch that had been cut to surround the burial mound. Some pottery was found within a dating range of Late Neolithic to Late Iron Age. Preliminary results suggest that this feature might be a Late Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure with later Bronze Age ditches which in turn have recut during the Iron Age.

The Geophysical survey also identified a second possible ring ditch which was then excavated by students from The School of Classical & Archaeological Studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

August 2019 saw the excavation of a 20m x 30m trench over the site of two Late Bronze Age Hoards that had been discovered during a metal detecting rally in 2017. During the seven weeks of excavation over 253 people turned up to take part in the project. A large number of Post Holes and burning pits were excavated together with a very significant amount of burnt flint establishing this area as a settlement site. Pottery was discovered across the site this material was spot dated with a date range of 950 – 1150BCE (Late Bronze Age) which is consistent with the dating of the hoards. The site had a substantial amount of worked flint of the Bronze Age. Two of the post holes contained Mesolithic flint blades. In the centre of the trench a large (5m x 1m) “pond” like feature was discovered, however due to time constraints this was not fully excavated.

As the result of a previous Magnetometry survey a 9m x 2m test pit was excavation across a rectangular feature located in the centre of the field. This trench established the existence of a flint wall.

Also in 2019 the area surrounding Badlesmere Church has been gridded into 20m x 20m grids in preparation for a Magnetometry survey to be conducted in 2019 as part of the hunt for “Badlesmere Castle”.

In 2023, both of the above sites have been further excavated over a 14 week period. We are still awaiting the final conclusions, but for 2024, further work will be undertaken have identified what could possible be roman feature.

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Lees Court Estate Office
Stringman’s Farm
Kent, ME13 0LA