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Bronze Age 2000 - 700 BC

Return to Causewayed ring-ditches and roundbarrows excavated on Thanet

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Causewayed ring-ditches and roundbarrows excavated on Thanet

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Lord of the Manor I

Phases 1 and 2
Phases 3 and 4
The carved chalk objects
The Urn and arrowhead
Spindle whorls

Lord of the Manor I, 1976

Aerial photograph of the excavations at LOM I in 1976
Photographer unknown

Set out below are some plans (taken from the report written by Nigel Macpherson Grant) which illustrate the four separate Phases of activity which combined to create the Triple ring-ditch monument of Lord of the Manor I (described briefly in the previous Display on Thanet's Causewayed ring-ditches and roundbarrows).

The Lord of the Manor ring-ditch complex
The LOM ring-ditch complex
By Perkins, from Fisk 2003

LOM I is one of only two Triple ring-ditch monuments known to exist on Thanet and forms a very special part of Thanet's archaeological heritage.

The excavation of this site (led by Nigel Macpherson Grant of the Thanet Archaeological Unit in 1976) produced a variety of rare and important finds, some of which are shown below.

It is hoped to add much more information, illustrations and photographs to this Display on one of Thanet's most important and interesting monuments when time permits.

Phases 1 and 2 at LOM I
Illustrated by
Nigel Macpherson Grant

Phases 1 and 2 at LOM I

Phase 1 (Later Neolithic?)

The large outer ditch was dug first and allowed to infill, perhaps after a period of abandonment. There was no evidence for a causeway.

Phase 2 (Beaker, circa 1950-1850 BC)

The infilled outer ditch was subsequently re-cut during the Beaker Period. Pit F1 was also dug. A single inhumation burial (1A) beyond the outer ditch, contained within a chalk 'cocoon' likely belongs to this phase.

Phases 3 and 4 at LOM I
Illustrated by
Nigel Macpherson Grant

Phases 3 and 4 at LOM I

Phase 3 (possibly circa 1800-1750 BC)

The re-cut outer ditch began to infill again and then
a rectangular grave (G5) and the inner ditch (a roundbarrow) was dug. The grave contained the crouched inhumation burials of a 'father and daughter'. No clearly dateable finds.

Phase 4 (possibly circa 1700-1500 BC)

Once the inner ditch became half-infilled the middle ditch was constructed with a causeway to the south-east. Six burials comprising one cremation (G6, a cord-decorated pot, possibly a Food Vessel, containing the ashes of a baby and accompanied with a barbed and tanged flint arrowhead) and five single crouched inhumations (G1-4 and 7) were deposited. Finally the  causeway was 'blocked' by the digging of a trench across it.


Disarticulated human bone

Disarticulated human bone was recovered from both the lower and upper fills of all three ditches with the exception of the upper fill of the final, middle ditch.

Carved chalk objects

Carved chalk objects were recovered from the primary silts of the inner ditch (a 'cup/lamp'), the middle ditch (a 'cup/lamp' and two blocks with criss-cross carvings) and the outer ditch (a 'cup/lamp').

Scales in centimetre divisions
The carved chalk objects
Carved chalk 'cup' or 'lamp' recovered from the primary silt of the Inner ditch of LOM I

Carved chalk block recovered from the Middle ditch at LOM I

Carved chalk 'cup' or 'lamp' recovered from the Middle ditch at LOM I

These carved chalk objects were recovered from all three ditches of Lord of the Manor I.

The carved chalk objects recovered from the ditches

Illustrated by
Nigel Macpherson Grant

Carved chalk object recovered from the Outer ditch at LOM I
A fourth object not featured in the above drawing was recovered from the Outer ditch and is pictured left.

Their purpose and function are a mystery. Could they be small ceremonial cups? Animal fat lamps perhaps (similar objects have been found in flint mines). What inspired the creation of the criss-cross carved blocks?

Or are they all just doodles (surely not!).


The Urn and the arrowhead

These objects were part of an Early Bronze Age cremation burial (Grave 6 on the plan shown further above) interred during Phase 4 of the monument's life. The pot is a Food Vessel and is one of only two known to have been found on Thanet (the other being from a Beaker barrow at South Dumpton Down). These vessels are very rare in this part of the Country and Thanet's examples comprised 2/3 of Kent's recorded total as of 2004 (Gibson in Perkins 2004).

It is cord-decorated, having the impression of a twisted piece of cord which had been wound around the vessel when the clay was still soft. In one place the angle of the decoration turns through ninety degrees and forms what looks like a patch on the side of the pot.

Illustrated by
Nigel Macpherson Grant

The Early Bronze Age Urn and barbed and tanged flint arrowhead

The barbed and tanged flint arrowhead is of Green's Conygar Hill type. This form is found throughout Britain, frequently with Early Bronze Age Food Vessels and are most frequently associated with cremation burials (Green 1980).
Pottery spindle whorls

Scale in centimetre divisions

Spindle whorls

Aside from the many finds discovered at LOM I which might be considered as prestigious and more likely to be associated with ceremonial or ritual deposition, more domestic items such as these Early Bronze Age pottery spindle whorls were also recovered.

These coarse-looking and fragile pieces are actually a very rare find and their presence at this non-domestic site might equally have been the result of purposeful deposition. They are the oldest known examples from Thanet.



TAU - Thanet Archaeological Unit.


Fisk P.M. 2003. An examination of the excavated ring ditch enclosures on The Isle of Thanet. Unpublished Degree thesis.

Green S.H. 1980. The flint arrowheads of the British Isles. BAR British Series 75.

Macpherson Grant N. 1977. Excavation of a Neolithic/Bronze Age Site at Lord of the Manor, Haine Road, Ramsgate. Isle of Thanet Archaeological Unit, Publication No. 1.

Perkins D.R.J. 2004. Oval barrows in Thanet, in Cotton J. and Field D. Towards a New Stone Age. CBS Research Report 137.


Much thanks go to Nigel Macpherson Grant and Dave Perkins for their exploration of this fascinating monument.

The text is the responsibility of the author; the photographs are by the author unless otherwise stated. The site and feature plans are by the Thanet Archaeological Unit.

Paul Hart

Version 1 - Posted 21.10.06

All content © Trust for Thanet Archaeology