Background to the project
The cliff and beach at East Wear Bay is known as The Warren and was a popular tourist destination in the Victorian period through to the Second World War. Roman remains had first been discovered eroding from the cliff-top at East Cliff, above East Wear Bay in about 1919, sparking the first archaeological excavation in 1923.
The main process of erosion is called 'rotational slip' although landslides are also common in this area. The geology is Gault Clay and the base of the cliff is easily eaten away by the sea during winter storms when the tide is especially high. Understanding the erosion process is critical to understanding how much of the cliff has already been lost and estimating how long the site has before it is completely destroyed.
The Villa sits on top of the cliff at East Wear Bay. The wooded area below the site is part of The Warren and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The excavations at East Wear Bay can be divided into the following seasons:
- 1923-4 by S.E. Winbolt on behalf of Folkestone Town Council
- 1989 by the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit (KARU)
- 2010-2013 A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500
- 2015-2017 East Wear Bay Archaeological Field School
Further information about these excavations can be found under the relevant tabs or in the Conservation Management Plan here.