Gosmere Farm Denehole

Gosmere Farm is located some 1.6km (1 mile) from Lees Court, near Faversham. The geology of the area is upper chalk, formed between 84 and 89 million years ago in the mid Cretaceous period in shallow seas. Above this chalk is a further layer of clay sediments that were laid down some 3 million years ago.

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The vertical shaft is 1.4m (4 feet 6 inches) in diameter and 11.3m (37 feet) from the surface to the floor level. There are two chalk chambers leading off in opposite directions (north and south) at its base which run at a height of 3.8m (12 feet 5 inches) and 2.9m (9 feet 6 inches) wide. The southern chamber has two further side chambers leading from it which are 2.4 m (7 feet 8 inches) high.

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Following the first recording of the denehole in 1990 the site was consequently covered. It was uncovered again in 2013 by KURG members for further surveying of the site, following which it was again sealed up.

Given the chalk geology and the mining techniques used, it is likely that the denehole at Gosmere Farm dates back to the medieval period, when chalk was very commonly used in agriculture in soils which were very acidic as a way of balancing the acidity. It is thought that the amount of chalk that was excavated from the denehole could have been used as a top soil dressing in an area of 5 to 6 acres. The side chambers were dug later and this may suggest that the miners needing further chalk for their soil dressing.

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