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the wood wearing. In a note at the end of his remarks he says, "Notwithstanding this, however, specimens I have since seen in the Museum at Mayence are of a form to prove that they had been fitted to a horse's hoof. It has been suggested that they were used not for ordinary shoeing but as a kind of splint for broken hoofs, and the foot may have been tied up by means of the iron rings. The various forms of broken hoofs may perhaps account for the peculiar shape of some of them."
As far as could be judged from the fragments of plaster discovered the scheme of colouring adopted consisted of a plainly painted wall bordered with a combination of stripes of various colours and widths. After the stripes were laid on the decorator occasionally further embellished the borderings with fanciful blotches and touches, and in some instances floral designs. Yellow, brick-red, grey, white, or purple plum were the colours mainly used upon the greater part of the walls, while the bordering stripes were of black, white, umber, green, purple, yellow, red, and all shades of grey, drab, and brown.
The objects in lead are few but interesting; they include a bowl 2 in. high, 6 in. in diameter at the rim, diminishing to 4 in. at the base. Round the rim is a fluted octagonal flange projecting nearly an inch.
Another diminutive bowl-shaped cup is 1 in. in height and 3 in. in diameter, having a plain flange overlapping the rim a quarter of an inch.
The leaden casing of a wooden drain-box already referred to.
A fragment of pipe, similar to the modern water-tank pipe, is an example of the kind of drain-pipe used in the tanks described under Section E.
A leaden weight is 3 in. high and 4 in. in diameter at the bottom. It appears to have been made thus :-The molten lead was first poured into a mould, then a flint was dropped into the metal, probably for the sake of economy. On the under side of the weight the stone is visible, cracked with the heat to which it was subjected during the process of casting.
A few fragments of mill-stones were found, also portions of querns of Andernach lava.
One piece of white marble was discovered 3 in. by 2 in. and in. thick, its edges having been rubbed smooth as
well as both sides. It may have been used for a painter's palette.
A flat piece of jet, 2 in. by 14 in., polished and slightly ornamented with incised lines at the edges, also portions of armlets of Kimmeridge shale were met with. Both these substances were used by the Romans in the manufacture of personal ornaments.
Having brought to a close our description of the villa and the antiquities discovered during the excavations, we will now proceed to make a few general remarks. It is obvious that we have at Darenth an establishment which must have been owned by a person of considerable wealth and position, whose influence extended throughout the entire district both socially and commercially.
The house lacked those gorgeous mosaics and other embellishments of which some of our provincial Roman villas can boast, but it possessed to the fullest extent all things conducive to comfort, health, and enjoyment, as understood in Roman times.
From the extensive alterations to the villa, already alluded to, we infer that it may have changed hands, possibly at a period when herring-bone masonry was in vogue, as instanced in the blocking up of the doorways to Nos. 2 and 6, for it must be noted that this peculiar kind of masonry was not present in any other part of the building.
The walls of the villa throughout were of flint laid in courses, and in Section A, where they are highest, a double bonding course of tiles was inserted about 2 ft. from the ground. Here and there the angles were built of tiles, and the face of the front wall, passing Nos. 30, 31, and 34, had been pointed in the same manner as at the present day, and finished off with the aid of a straight-edge. The extra treatment of the joints was probably rendered necessary by the drain running along the outside, thus preventing the water from percolating through the wall.
Throughout the whole building only twenty pieces of tufa were introduced into the masonry. As this calcareous sub
stance was liberally used by the Romans in Kent, it is remarkable that so little was met with at Darenth.
When working out Seetion D an attempt was made to discover the drain which carried off the waste water from the baths. Between Nos. 37 and 38 we found a V-shaped trench, 2 ft. wide and about 3 ft. deep, filled with large flint stones, still bearing the appearance of having been perpetually soddened with moisture, as if the water had gradually soaked away between them.
From the fragments of window-glass found during the excavations it may be safely stated that the principal rooms were lighted by means of glazed sashes. The fragments were not numerous but generally distributed, and we may presume that many panes of glass and even entire sashes were appropriated by unscrupulous hands after the villa became tenantless.
Section E, as before observed, consisted of workshops, but the presence of the tanks and the elaborate system of drainage through the chambers adjoining indicate that something more important existed here. What that was it is very difficult to determine, but the insignificant size of the tanks, and indeed of the whole section, seems to the writer to prove that they were employed for private rather than for trading purposes. Had the tanks been used for dyeing or tanning some trace of stain would surely have been left upon their interior, but nothing of the kind was present.
The great building between the court-yards faced the centre of the house, and was probably used as a reception room on special occasions. If so, the cistern at its southern end may have been exposed to view, and was perhaps fitted with a fountain to which the jet in the form of a lioness's head, found as before stated at the opposite end, belonged. As the walls of this apartment had been razed to the ground level it was impossible to determine if any entrances existed originally in the sides. The straight wall forming the south side of the cistern, together with its buttresses, was of more massive construction even than the rest of this building, which when complete must have presented a very imposing
The curious little detached building beyond was possibly the domestic chapel or Lararium, and the minute projecting structure the place where the images of the gods were kept. While upon this subject it may be mentioned that when water-cress beds were made some years since on the western side of the villa the workmen found a bronze statuette, which came into the possession of Mr. John Young of South Darenth, who acted as caretaker at the villa from first to last; he gave the relic to his brother, who consigned it to the mantel-piece, the very worst place he could have selected. It is needless to say that it has disappeared.
We will now consider the extreme western wall of the villa, by the river, which seems to have served both as a boundary wall and as a protection against inundation when the river was swollen. The soil had accumulated from natural causes to so great an extent towards the river that a trench had to be excavated to a depth of 5 ft. before the foundations of this wall were reached. As the work proceeded the workmen found it difficult to remove the stiff wet earth which adhered to the spade almost like alluvium. The wall dipped considerably towards the centre, shewing that its foundations had sunk from the boggy nature of the subsoil; they were in fact on a level with the bed of the river.
The River Darenth certainly presented a very different appearance in Roman times from that of to-day. Its natural course is now impeded by the numerous mill-dams and other obstructions which may be met with at intervals, extending for several miles. If all these were swept away we should find, especially in rainy seasons, the unchecked waters playing sad havoc with property which has for a lengthened period been rendered secure by the commercial requirements of modern times. The influence of the tide must also be taken into consideration. The river falls into the Thames opposite Purfleet in Essex, but how far southwards the Darenth was affected by the flow of the tide in ancient days it is impossible to say. We can, however, safely assert that this formidable agent on the one hand, combined with the unimpeded flow of the Darenth on the other, increased the volume of the latter