As part of the A Town Unearthed Project I will be conducting, with the help of some of my volunteers and the pupil's which make up the Year 3 class, a series of test pits on the playing field of St Mary's Primary School, Folkestone.
The school was originally part of a Sanatorium built in the late Victorian period (1880s maybe?) and is in quite close proximity to the Villa, just to the North, and the grounds have potential for once being part of the local Iron Age quern stone industry as there is plenty of green sand stone on the beach to the East. To the West of the school further along Warren Road Roman foundations and hypocaust systems were found on the North side during the construction of the railway, a reservoir and the houses along it's length; these were interpreted as a Roman Villa at the time and dated to the 2nd century AD. On the opposite side of the road there was an Early Medieval Chapel which had 7th-8th century burials and had been apparently constructed using material from the Roman ruins which were found in the fabric of the building. These were both discovered in 1869 and 1875 excavations and have now been built over by roads and houses.
The pupils have had some introductory classes on archaeology, and Marion and myself are heading in today to give them a brief introduction to the archaeology of the East Cliff area and telling them a little bit about the proposed excavation which should be starting up tomorrow (!).
If anyone has any information on the Sanatorium I would be very grateful to receive it. It was built somewhere in the 1870-1890s and was called the Mary Magdalene Home for Children and appears as a hospital for infectious diseases, and later as a Sanatorium, from the 1890s. If anyone has any photos or knows anyone who spent time there that would be fabulous!
...to be continued...