Bob Geldof’s Garden Being Searched for Iron Age Treasures

Anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof has done his bit to help preserve the heritage of Kent by allowing local archaeologists to carry out a geophysical survey on his land.

The Faversham Society Archaeological Research Group is undertaking the survey and a series of mini digs this year in search of Iron Age and medieval remains thought to have been lost in the 1950s and 1960s when Dark Hill, a road near Geldofs Davington Priory home, was widened.

Dig leader Dr Pat Reid told the Kent News the project had already turned up late Iron Age flint-tempered pottery. There is also evidence the (road) widening affected standing remains or other ruins right on the edge to the south, and there is a good chance some of these have survived underground, she said.

We would love to know if anyone remembers seeing them. We just need to know more about what happened when the Dark Hill cutting was doubled in size. In those days, of course, no-one gave a thought to archaeology. Everything was just swept aside and destroyed.

She said the group had obtained permission to survey many private gardens in the vicinity of the road works, including Geldofs. We already have permission to survey many gardens … but would like to examine as many as possible, she said.

Rich Local History

Lawrence Young, manager of the Faversham Enterprise Partnership, said Favershams history stretched back to the Stone Age but that this particular area in Davington has never been examined before.

Faversham and the countryside that surrounds it is rich in archaeology, much of it untouched by redevelopment, according to the research group. The town has nearly 500 listed buildings, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Two of the towns most famous archaeological finds have been the Graveney Boat, an Anglo-Saxon clinker-built boat, and Faversham Abbey.

It is hoped the findings of the current survey and dig will be ready for the Davington History Conference at Davington Primary School on October 9. The conference will also feature tours of important local historical sites.