This site is most well known for it’s Roman mausoleum / tombs, villa and other buildings. The mausoleum / tombs are all that now survive above ground and were open today as part of the ‘London Open House’. It’s in the private grounds of a rather posh house (complete with Tennis Court) and is not normally open to the public.
However, what is less well known is that the site, on the lower slopes of the now dry valley of the Ravensbourne, was first settled in the Iron Age circa 600-200 BCE, when a small farm was established. This later expanded with enclosed animal compounds and wooden huts indicating a reasonably affluent family living and farming at Keston. Links are also assumed to the nearby important hill fort at Caesars Camp.
‘The Archaeology of the Bromley Area’ (Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit – 1985) reports that “…..at Warbank, Keston, a large unenclosed Iron Age settlement was excavated by the West Kent group in 1969-75 and this must have related to the hill fort in some way. This work revealed many pits and four-post structures as well as pottery and quernstones for grinding corn”.
The publication later seems to contradict itself by writing that the site was enclosed (not unenclosed)…. “Part of the [Roman villa] building cut across an earlier (Iron Age) enclosure, though it is interesting that the centre of the villa appears to line up with the enclosure entrance!”