Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Roman And Romanesque

Yesterday- after lunching and going through the Perry exhibition- we went to Richborough. The Romans built a fort there that became a seaport town- Rutupiae Portus- the gateway to Britannia and famous for its oysters. Once upon a time there was a 80 foot triumphal arch in the centre of the settlement, but a later generation of Romano-Brits took it down and used the bits to plug up the city walls. The walls still stand in part- great cliffs of cobble and brick- more impressive than anything along Hadrian's Wall. The gouges in them were made by quarrymen.

The sea- as is customary in those parts has retreated-  leaving Rutupiae as high and dry as Rye and Winchelsea and Sandwich. Where the boats tied up is where the railway runs- and whatever archaeology there may have been got taken away in barrows by Victorian navvies.

On the way home I mandated a brief diversion to Patrixbourne- where they have the third best Romanesque doorway in Kent. It might have ranked higher only IS Cromwell's men bashed it up a bit in passing.


St Mary, Patrixbourne- the west door 
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