Dartford District Archaeological Group celebrate 40th anniversary

News Shopper: DDAG members unearth part of Henry VIII's royal manor house at a 1976 dig. DDAG members unearth part of Henry VIII's royal manor house at a 1976 dig.

DARTFORD’s very own Time Team has celebrated its 40th anniversary.

The Dartford District Archaeological Group (DDAG) was founded by enthusiast Roger Walsh in December 1972 as a spin-off from an adult education course.

Highlights of the group’s work include the discovery of a complete glass bowl at an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Darenth.

The find was dated 450AD by the British Museum and is now on permanent display at Dartford Borough Museum.

Evidence of a royal manor house built for Henry VIII at Manor Gatehouse in Dartford between 1541 and 1544 was also found on a dig in 1976.

Group director Chris Baker, 63, joined in 1973 and says the town owes the DDAG’s founder a great debt.

The retired engineer said: "If it wasn’t for Roger Walsh great chunks of Dartford’s history would have been lost."

Around 20 of the group’s more than 60 members attended a get together in early December two days before the anniversary of its founding on December 5, 1972.

Mr Baker added: "We had a drink and a toast to the next 40 years."

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