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Holwood Estate, Bromley: A Review of the Archaeological Interest in the Holwood Estate.



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Dickens, Alison 


A proposal has been made to redevelop land around Holwood House and Holwood Park in the London Borough of Bromley, site centre c. TQ421 6366. An archaeological review has been commissioned to examine the impact of the proposed development on the archaeological record. Archaeological remains of several past periods are recorded from the site and other such remains should be anticipated. The potential of the site is high for the Mesolithic, Iron Age and Roman periods, moderate for the Medieval and early Post- medieval and low for the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Saxon periods. The site includes a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the Iron Age hillfort known as Caesar's or Holwood Camp (LO101). The camp has been considered an important one from the earliest references, although this did not prevent extensive damage to the parts of ramparts during extensive landscaping work in the eighteenth century. Intermittent campaigns of archaeological investigation on the camp, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, have confirmed some details of date and form and suggest that it is only one element, if the major one, of a much more extensive Iron Age system of land division and control. There is evidence for Roman activity and occupation in and around the hillfort, including a cemetery and possible farmstead. Extensive Roman remains are known from the general Holwood and Keston area. Later activity on the site includes a well preserved medieval tile kiln, largely excavated in the 1970s, still on view south of the Redwood Building. Recent survey has suggested the presence of possible structures and field systems on the eastern side of the hillfort (beyond the application area) which may be of a similar period to the kiln. Landscaping by successive owners in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries means that the hillfort no longer has a complete circuit visible on the ground, though modern archaeological techniques may be able to trace it. The site of the earlier house, demolished to construct the standing building, may also be identifiable using similar techniques. In summary, Holwood lies within a rich archaeological and historically important landscape with known surviving evidence of several periods.



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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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