Denis Anstey

Imaging facilities courtesy of Maidstone Museum and Bentliff Art Gallery (lead coffin and Chair)
Imaging facilities courtesy of Guildhall Museum Rochester (bronze ibis)

This article has been prepared on the basis of new information.

In the 1950s a number of excavations were undertaken on Holborough Hill (a.k.a. the nob) at Snodland prior to quarrying and the destruction of the sites.  The dig of interest so far as this article is concerned is that of the Roman tumulus. 

A child's lead coffin was discovered as spoil was being cleared from the site.  The local newspapers should be consulted as to the circumstances.

The Chair Burial

The Eccles Roman Villa was excavated in the 1960s and 70s.  The Tumulus would have been clearly visible from Eccles and prominent in the landscape. 

The Tumulus was also  just across the river from the Roman building at Burham (01) and to its west.  Much closer and very prominent in the landscape.

A copy of the chair.

reproduction of chair

The Lead Coffin

Images of the lead coffin


Lid scallop shell decoration

Maenad & Satyr decoration

stamped maenad and satyr decoration

Bronze Ibis

Hollow cast
                  bronze ibis

During the installation of the new washmill plant at Holborough Cement works in the early '50s', the civil contractors had workshops and huts on site in the quarry below the tumulus on 'The Knob' Hill.

In one hut a workman lived and acted as watchman.

When the civil work was completed this watchman gave the witness the ibis before he left the site.

Realising its obvious antiquity he contacted the watchman to establish where he had found it.   The tumulus was being excavated by initially bulldozing the top over the edge of the quarry.  It was at that point below the tumulus that the watchman picked the ibis up.

The witness asked a relative, who worked near the Guildhall museum, to deliver it.

(lodged with Snodland Historical Society)