As mentioned in our previous update about the Esplanade investigations, work on the site is continuing but progress is slow.
It had been thought the investigations were almost complete, however before the area can be sealed and the footway rebuilt a new foundation needs to be constructed. During the excavations for this foundation, another unexpected find of some steps further delayed work and an archaeologist was again required to step in with their brush and hand trowel.
Unlike the suspected former water gate, this find is not connected with Rochester Castle and is instead much more recent. The steps are under the Esplanade and appear to have been installed around 150 years ago, at the time the area was remodelled into the road we have today. It is believed they were put there simply to allow ease of access as the roadway was being built.
While this is a much less significant find than that under the castle, it still has to be treated with care while we work with other agencies to calculate whether to remove the steps or to rebuild the roadway with them in situ. The location of the site near an historic landmark, busy road and a tidal river also needs to be taken into consideration.
This does unfortunately mean there will be a further delay in the reinstatement of the Esplanade and we appreciate your patience.