Inscription from Lympne © David Gill
This altar was discovered in April 1852, subsequent to the 1850 excavations of the east gate of the Roman fort at Lympne in Kent (RIB 66). The inscription shows that it was a dedication to the god Neptune, set up by L. Aufidius Pant(h)era who was serving as the praefectus of the British fleet, clas(sis) Brit(annicae).
Pant(h)era, from Umbria, served as prefect in a cavalry unit in Upper Pannonia and is named in a diploma dated to 2 July 133. He probably moved to Britannia subsequent to this date.
It appears that the altar was reused in the later Saxon Shore fort, probably dating to the second half of the third century. The altar was purchased by the British Museum from Charles Roach Smith in 1856 (inv. 1856.07-01.5026).
Reculver © David Gill
The Saxon Shore fort of Reculver in Kent is in the care of English Heritage. Parts of the Roman fort has been eroded into the sea. In the 7th century the fort became the site for the foundation of an Anglo-Saxon minster. The site was placed in Site Guardianship in 1950.
Stuart E. Rigold wrote a short guide to the site in 1971. This followed the format of the DOE concertina card guides (see also Hardknott Roman fort; Hetty Pegler’s Tump). There are 6 columns of text (the fort, the minster) on one side (with a small plan of the fort and church), a series of images including a plan of the 7th-15th century ecclesiastical structures.
The present English Heritage guide by Tony Wilmott covers the two Saxon Shore forts in Kent, Reculver and Richborough.
1958 (3rd impress. with amendments 1967)
The hospital of Maison Dieu was built in the 13th century at Ospringe in Kent and stood on the line of the main road from Dover to London. The earliest records date back to the reign of Henry III. The building was placed in State guardianship in 1947.
S.E. Rigold wrote the official guidebook (1958) consisting of a history and a description. There are a number of black and white images. G.C. Dunning added a section on the museum; there is a plan showing the layout of the display cases. Dunning includes a review of Roman finds in the area of Ospringe. He also includes a note on the Ospringe finds now in the British Museum.
1962 (5th impress. 1970)
Temple Manor at Strood near Rochester in Kent was founded in the 13th century by the Knights Templar (though the manor was given to them in the reign of King Henry II). It stood on the main route between Dover and London, close to the Medway crossing.
Temple Manor was placed in State Guardianship in 1950, and the guide was prepared by S.E. Rigold (1962). The guidebook consists of a history followed by a description. A foldout plan inside the back cover has plans of the ground and first floors. There are black and white photographs and a double spread of an engraving of the manor by Catherine Thorpe (1767). The cover shows a 13th seal of the Templars.
Rigold’s guidebook continues to be in print as an English Heritage guide (repr. 2010).
1964 (3rd impress. with amendments 1965)
Eynford Castle in Kent was placed in State Guardianship in 1948. The ruins were consolidated and Stuart Rigold prepared a guidebook (1964). This consisted of the standard format of History followed by Description. There were black and white photographs with a fold-out plan in the back.
The design is based on the seal of William de Eynsford III in Christ Church, Canterbury.
1964 (7th impress. 1974)
This guidebook was amended in 1974, and appeared as the English Heritage guide for the site in 1984. One of the changes made was the layout with bold sub-headings for different parts of the castle.
Reculver, Late Roman walls © David Gill
One of the Late Roman Saxon Shore forts in Kent was located at Reculver. Although the northern parts of the fort have eroded into the sea, the line of the walls can be traced on the landward side, especially to the east.
Pendennis Castle © David Gill
The 2016 list of Leaving Visitor Attractions in the UK has been published. The top English Heritage site continues to be Stonehenge (at no. 23) with 1,381,855 visitors, with a modest 1.1 % increase on 2015 figures.
The remaining English Heritage properties are (with overall ranking):
- Dover Castle (no. 98): 333,289
- Osborne House (no. 116): 265,011
- Tintagel Castle (no. 125): 229,809
- Audley End House and Gardens (no. 149): 165,799
- Whitby Abbey (no. 151): 151,810
- Clifford’s Tower (no. 154): 146,703
- Battle Abbey (no. 160): 137,771
- Kenwood (no. 161): 134,416
- Carisbrooke Castle (no. 164): 127,012
- Wrest Park (no. 166): 124,305
- Kenilworth Castle (no. 169): 107,993
- Housesteads Roman Fort (no. 172): 102,004
- Eltham Palace and Gardens (no. 176): 94,635
- Bolsover Castle (no. 179): 91,880
- Walmer Castle and Gardens (no. 180): 91,752
- Pendennis Castle (no. 191): 73,907
The major increase in visitors were seen at Osborne House, Tintagel Castle, Audley End House and Gardens, Battle Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle, Wrest Park, Walmer Castle and Gardens. There was a significant downturn in visitors for Kenwood.
Walmer Castle and Gardens © David Gill