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Saltwood Archaeology Information

During the CTRL (Channel Tunnel Rail Link) excavations at Saltwood, many significant archaeological items were found. Most of these items were removed to Lincoln for conservation, some were then sent to Oxford for the report finding stage, some to Canterbury.  Many remained in storage at Lincoln until September 2013. The academic research is now completed and the Coroner has declared some finds as 'Treasure' and therefore a valuation process will take place during the Autumn of 2013. The final destination of the items will then be considered.


I have spent some time in tracking down the current whereabouts of the seemingly scattered finds. The find reports are on the internet but not at all obvious, therefore I include some here for your reading. (see drop down list in menu) I include these initial few details of what is a huge and comprehensive academic report on the Saltwood dig, as I believe very few people are aware of what was found on the outskirts of our village, or their historic significance to Saltwood.


I am in communication with those in charge of the finds' future and their final destination, which will be decided in the coming months. I will update this site when I know more. I believe strongly that, for those of Saltwood who would wish to view these items of local heritage, they should be securely displayed within a reasonable distance of their original resting place in Saltwood.


Some academics believe these finds may give evidence to indicate the site of the 'Hundred Meeting Place' known as 'Heane'. Heane Wood is adjacent to where the items were found. (See Hundred Meeting Place)

'The most spectacular single object discovered during the High Speed 1 archaelogical investigations'

Silver disk overlaid with gold foil and filigree decoration with garnets and blue glass enclosed in in gold cloisonne cells.


A glass intaglio from a pendant necklace in a 7th-century grave at Saltwood, Kent. Any pendant necklace is an indicator of wealth and/or status, but this intaglio has particularly significant imagery. It was probably carved in Constantinople in the late 5th or early 6th century and it depicts a woman, almost certainly the Virgin Mary, with arms raised in prayer (orans) and flanked by crosses. It is one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon symbols of Christianity.

Photo courtesy of Oxford-Wessex Archaeology Joint Venture and CTRL (UK) Ltd

A pair of 6th-century brooches from the cemetery at Saltwood, Kent. They belong to Haseloff’s jütländisch Group C and demonstrate the mingling of influences seen in Kent at this time. Although their design is originally Scandinavian and they have been made using Scandinavian technology, their small size, pairing and proportions indicate that they were made to be worn with a Frankish coat. These brooches were meant to trick the eye: how many faces can you see?

Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian bird brooches. These were worn by women, often in pairs one above the other, to fasten the vertical front-opening on a gown. Each region produced its own variants of the bird brooch: note the sleek lines of the Anglo-Saxon birds . Continental birds always face to their left (the viewer's right), but Anglo-Saxon ones can face in either direction. These birds have an animal motif worked into their wings – another example of the Anglo-Saxon love of visual riddles and hidden messages.

Saltwood cemetery, Kent, courtesy of Oxford-Wessex Archaeology Joint Venture and CTRL (UK) Ltd

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