Chi Rho fragment

This fragment of a Chi- Rho symbol, the first two Greek letters of Christos was found during excavations on the earliest part of the Archbishop’s Palace. It suggests that Otford was one of the earliest sites of Christian worship in the Roman province of Britain.
Excavations in the gardens of Bubblestone Road found a levelled stone wall, thought to be of the Norman Privy Lodging, alongside which was a deep drain paved with Roman tiles. A mixture of Roman building material and thirteenth century decorated pottery jug sherds are broadly contemporary with the enlargement of the Manor in the early-1300s by Archbishop Winchelsea. It appears that this drain had been constructed before the manufacture of brick and tile was re-established in England, and was redundant by about 1200. So it may well date from the time of Lanfranc.
During the excavations, a fragment of a Chi Rho monogram painted on Roman wall-plaster, was recovered from the fill of a Norman drain taken out of use during the enlargement of the Manor early in the fourteenth century. The ground level was raised using Roman building material ‘robbed’ from the nearby villa site.

Item Features

Object Number T-120521-01
Place of Discovery Moated Manor, Archbishops Palace, Otford
Significance to the collection Highly significant. Relates to the Roman history of the site
Marks None
Completeness Fragment
Place of Manufacture Otford
Significance to the Collection Highly significant. Relates to the Roman history of the site
Condition of Holding Loan
Object Owner Cliff Ward