Home Kent News The beautiful Deal village so old ancient humans have been named after...

The beautiful Deal village so old ancient humans have been named after it

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Original article from Kent Live

Finglesham near Deal has to be one of our most ancient villages of all.

It's so ancient in fact that when it was under threat from chalk quarrying a century ago, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery was discovered.

It was believed to date back to the 6th century, around 1,500 years ago.

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The discovery in the 1920s was so remarkable in fact that the UK Government financed further excavation in the 1960s.

This was led by some of the country's top archaeologists, who ended up writing a book about what they had learnt about how humans from that period used to live.

They called it "The Finglesham Man".

One of the most striking discoveries made during the excavation was a metal buckle.

It's believed that several buckles in a similar shape have been discovered.

Others were plain however, whereas the Finglesham buckle intricately depicts what is believed to be the naked pagan God Woden with spears, horned helmet, and their own belt buckle.

World class archaeology isn't the only remarkable feature of this quaint village, though.

The Street, Finglesham

It's also gained a bit of notoriety for signage.

First there is the famous road sign pointing to the nearby places of Ham and Sandwich, thus reading as "ham sandwich".

The famous "Ham Sandwich" sign

Sandwich itself is of course said to be where the concept of the food item originated.

The story goes that John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, was an avid gambler who often didn't have time to consume full meals.

He therefore asked his servants to bring him meat between two slices of bread.

The Street, Finglesham

Those around him liked the idea, according to folklore, and asked to have "the same as Sandwich!" until the name caught on.

Then there is the village sign itself, which has to be one of the most impressive in the entire country.

Like most village signs, it hangs from a wooden post.

But this one is made of real gold.

It's essentially a sculpture of the famous Finglesham buckle, which gleams thanks to being gilded.

It was made by village residents for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 2002.

The gold leaf was funded by enthusiastic villagers, boosted by a donation from Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company which at the time owned the huge industrial site in Sandwich now called Discovery Park.

Aside from these rather quirky features, the village itself is a beautiful one.

West Street, Finglesham

Quaint brick cottages line the quiet country tracks, the most ancient ones to be found at the top of Marley Lane.

There's also a highly rated pub dating from the 17th century, The Crown Inn at Finglesham.

The Crown Inn is a popular pub

But there can be little doubt that the cemetery discovery that really put Finglesham on the map.

The Dover area is full of history, going back to the Romans and beyond.

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It's probably best known for features of modern history – smuggling, embarkation points, hideouts and lookouts during the World Wars, major fortifications like Dover Castle and the Western Heights.

But it turns out it has made a pretty major contribution to our understanding of ancient history too.

And as Stephen Fry would probably say if he heard it, that really is quite interesting.

Original Article