Initially the discovery of a thick curved wall signalled the possible foundations of a religious building; however further research shows that it most likely was the gaol of the local government of Faversham.
Archaeologist Tim Allen, from Kent Archaeological Projects, said:,“In my entire career I’ve never found a dungeon before, so this is a really rare discovery which we estimate dates back to the 14th century.
“The site is beneath where the town’s second Guildhall stood that was built during the mid-16th century. However, use of this Guildhall was short lived, as you can imagine the noise and smell coming from the dungeon meant this wouldn’t have been a pleasant place to work.
“It was then, in the early 17th century, that local dignitaries turned the existing and iconic market hall building within Market Place into the current Guildhall.”
The find was made by the South East Water company as they were installing a new £37,000 water main in Middle Row following a number of recent bursts.
James Smith, South East Water Delivery Manager, said “This exciting piece of history emerged during careful archaeological surveys carried out during the excavation work prior to laying the pipe.
“As there is a lot of heritage in Faversham we took the extra precaution of having archaeologists working alongside our contractor so when they spotted this curved wall they were able to halt work and carry out further investigations. This has meant we’ve been able to protect and record this piece of local history.”
Source: South East Water