Work on an engineering site comes in many different forms, as highlighted by the activities of Ravelin Archaeological Services, who are contracted to fulfil a watching brief for the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project.
Project Archaeologist David Britchfield is on site at Rochester Esplanade, where he is monitoring excavation works in order to identify, examine and record any finds or features of archaeological interest.
Locally-based in Wouldham, a few miles along the river Medway, David is ideally suited for the role having been a professional archaeologist for approximately 25 years following initial training as a civil engineer.
Ravelin Archaeological Services has been involved in many archaeological sites, covering all periods, including a Bronze Age timber monument, Roman villas, Anglo-Saxon burials and medieval manor houses, as well as industrial sites such as those associated with the Medway lime kilns and Chatham Historic Dockyard.
David is personally fascinated in prehistory but admits his favourite period is medieval, in particular the 13th century (Magna Carta) and 15th century (War of the Roses). Being Medway born and raised, local archaeology of all ages is also of interest.
He explains: “Rochester, and Medway in fact, has such a varied and interesting history and it’s great to be involved with works that run directly alongside one of my favourite sites – Rochester Castle.
“A few years ago archaeological investigations recorded the presence of the Castle Water Gate, it would be wonderful if we could add to that during these works, creating an association with the gate, the castle and maybe even the medieval bridge.
“Part of my work as an archaeologist is to record what is exposed and to report upon the findings. The preparation of the report can be as interesting as the fieldwork, particularly when there is a nice story to tell.”