South East Water employed the archaeologists to survey the 850m route of a new water pipe, which is part of a £321,000 scheme near Bearsted in Kent, as part of the company’s ongoing investment in its water supply infrastructure across the south east.
South East Water is renewing the pipe so it is able to transfer more water. This will help to secure drinking water supplies and meet the growing demand for water from existing and future customers in the area, especially at times of peak demand such as in summer months.
Paul Clifford, South East Water Project Manager, said “This exciting find, on private land near Bearsted, has emerged during careful archaeological surveys carried out during the excavation work before we lay the pipe.
“On schemes such as this we take the extra precaution of having archaeologists working alongside our contractors to ensure that if we do find anything of historical significance, then we can halt work for further investigations. That ensures we can continue to protect and record our ancient heritage.”
Archaeologist Tim Allen, from Kent Archaeological Projects, said: “We are very excited as we have found evidence not only of a manor house dating back to early medieval times, but also as we investigated further we discovered a Roman road which was not known about before.
“We are grateful to South East Water for their consistently responsible and serious approach towards our archaeological heritage and their efforts to advance our knowledge of the history of the county.”
South East Water’s contractor, Clancy Docwra, started work on the scheme on 31 August 2010. The overall scheme is due to complete in October 2010 with the land being fully reinstated this autumn.
Source: South East Water