Saltwood Tunnel

  • Construction of the CTRL (Section 1) required excavation of two deep, approximately parallel railway cuttings north of Saltwood village, immediately south of the M20 motorway, and directly above the London to Folkestone railway as it passes through the Saltwood tunnel between Sandling and Dolland's Moor (NGR TR 615345 136940 to TR 616157 136925, Fig. 1). Recording of the archaeological remains that would be destroyed by this work was undertaken between 1997 and 2001, as part of a wider programme of archaeological mitigation along the CTRL route.In 1979, salvage recording during construction of the M20 motorway provided the first indication that archaeological remains survived near the Saltwood Tunnel (Willson 1985). Following an environmental assessment of the proposed CTRL route (URL 1994), Oxford Archaeological Unit (now Oxford Archaeology) undertook fieldwalking and evaluation trenching immediately south of these remains (URS 1997) and full excavation was then carried out by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) under the RLE site code ARC SLT98. A second phase of evaluation trenching revealed early Anglo-Saxon inhumation burials immediately west of the Stone Farm bridleway, and an area around these was also fully excavated (ARC SLT98C). In 1999 Wessex Archaeology (WA) was commissioned to maintain a rolling 'strip-map-sample' excavation programme on land east of the bridleway (ARC SFB99), whilst CAT concurrently excavated the remaining ground between their previous sites, and beneath the western portion of the Saltwood tunnel bund (ARC SLT99). In the final phase of fieldwork WA recorded remains preserved in three separate areas: under the eastern tunnel-bund, within the footprint of a temporary soil storage area, and beneath the former Stone Farm bridleway (ARC SFB01).
  • Saltwood Tunnel
  • Saltwood Tunnel
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