Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Margate sea defence dig - animal bones a mystery solved

A few days ago I found an old butchered jaw bone of a pig in Margate Habour, even though it was old and had been in the harbour for many years, it was a find that really did not come as a surprise. This is because finding old animal bones and teeth in Margate Harbour is something I have always done since my bait digging days from the early 1970's. It was only a few months back that I was talking to someone on facebook who remembered finding animal teeth around the slipway area of Margate Harbour.
Putting on my historical cap I was able to tell him that the vicinity around the slipway was once where the old town drain spilled its contents into the harbour and that is most likely the origin of the animal bones and teeth in Margate Harbour.
This afternoon I have been reading up on articles on Horn Corner and Hazardous Row when I can across an article by Mick Twyman. It was one of the last he published before he died and it was a write up he did on Harzardous Row. In a paragraph about the Parade and the bridge that went over the town drain he mentions a wooden hut beside the bridge that can be seen in the copied print on the right of the bridge as you look at it. This wooden hut was in fact a butchers shop and it belonged to a George Penn who was reckoned to have thrown animal remains into the town drain from his shop.
I suppose the evidence is conclusive as in a vicinity where old animal bones and remains are found it just happens to be the outlet of where the old town drain spilled its contents into the harbour and there just happens to be an old butchers shop by that outlet (circa 1790's). Somehow I do not think we will need time team to work that one out.

Anyway I reckon with full confidence that more butchered animal remains will be found when the north wall fronting the Parade is dug and in the Harbour in general.

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