Shorne Woods Country Park
Helping local people to discover their local heritage and archaeology at Shorne Woods Country Park
National Highways’ Lower Thames Crossing project is helping local people to discover their local heritage and archaeology at Shorne Woods Country Park in Kent, through a range of engagement activities and training.
Shorne Woods Country Park is a Kent County Council 300-acre country park near Gravesend, Kent and was historically part of the Cobham Hall Estate, comprising woodland and heathlands. The foundations of the 13th century Randall Manor, home of Sir Henry de Cobham and his descendants, still survive below ground and this is one of the areas of focus for ongoing community archaeological digs.
Over the past 17 years, the team of volunteer archaeologists have unearthed many items of interest, including Mesolithic flints, the stone and chalk foundations of medieval buildings, medieval roof and floor tiles and evidence for the clayworkers and RAF personnel who used the site in the twentieth century. These and many more finds are now displayed in Shorne Woods visitor centre.
The investment from the Lower Thames Crossing project has enabled the Kent community archaeology team, part of Kent County Council, to extend the work they started in 2006.
What’s been funded?
- A series of engagement events for schools and the public
- Training for volunteers
- Cabinets displaying interesting finds in the Shorne Woods visitor centre
- Heritage information boards
- A booklet telling the story of the park and what has been discovered since 2006.
The funding at Shorne Woods is part of a wider community archaeology programme we’re delivering for Kent and Essex. The programme will run over the next two years, comprising workshops, training, community digs, guided walks, talks and heritage site visits. The key purpose is to empower local people along the route of the Lower Thames Crossing, to take an interest in recording, visiting and appreciating archaeological sites to increase wellbeing and enjoyment of their local area.
Lower Thames Crossing staff recently volunteered on an archaeological dig with the Shorne Woods Archaeology Group, on a newly discovered medieval site near Randall Manor. During the dig, volunteers discovered the remains of a chalk wall and medieval roof tiles. One of the volunteers was excited to find a fossil, which could be 70 to 90 million years old!