Jan 31 2019

Amazing Autumnal Archaeology: an update!

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow… so let’s think back to a time where we didn’t have to wear so many layers while busy in the woods…


Back in the Autumn, we had a dramatic excavation in the Trust’s Packing Wood near Ashford, Kent, to uncover the secrets of a German missile shot down in World War Two 75 years ago.


Archaeologists, with the help of WT staff and volunteers, dug out the crater of the missile, which had laid there since being shot from the sky on August 06, 1944 by a Polish RAF pilot. Colin Welch, who coordinated the dig said: “The major target for these missiles was most probably London. Kent was never a target and the bombs that fell were either brought down by fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft gun-fire, the balloon barrage or malfunction of the device.


“Packing Wood is remarkable. The dig allowed us identify in what direction the impact occurred. The remains we uncovered will be used in future displays and exhibits. The V1, or ‘doodlebug’, was the world’s first cruise missile, weighing in at over 2 tonnes, a length of 8.32 metres and a wing span of 5.37 metres! These beasts of the skies caused devastation during WW2”.


Clive Steward, our Site Manager for Packing Wood said: “The remains of this missile have been a bit of a secret to us until now. This discovery just goes to show what secrets can be hidden in our woodlands – from ancient buildings, war time bunkers to a gem such as this missile. This was a very interesting project, delving into secrets of World War Two.”



Many thanks to Clive, Jim Smith-Wright, Claire Inglis and our fabulous heritage volunteers, Hilary Hinks and Keith Lelliott, for their support to this project. We wonder what discoveries will be made in 2019 in the SE’s woodlands!


Words – Grace Davis

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