Dr Gabor Thomas, from the University of Reading's Department of Archaeology said: "This hall is remarkably well preserved. With a ground-plan in excess of 160m square, the hall is comparable in scale and importance to some of the largest Saxon timber halls previously excavated in England at sites such as Yeavering and Cowdery's Down.
"The Hall provides an exceedingly rare glimpse of royal accommodation of a type otherwise evoked in the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. Such structures were manifestly not 'houses'; they were prestigious buildings used at specific times for a specific purpose such as periodic gatherings involving feasting and gift-giving that reinforced the social bonds between the king and his loyal retainers."Artefacts recovered from the foundations of the hall provide definitive evidence for high-status activities, most notable being fragments of luxury glass vessels and a rare bridle fitting of a type that has only previously been found in graves belonging to the Anglo-Saxon warrior elite.
Dr Thomas continued: "Nearly all the archaeological information shedding light on Kent around the time of the conversion to Christianity is based upon cemetery finds. The site at Lyminge is the first to provide a detailed picture of life at an aristocratic estate centre in Anglo-Saxon Kent during the height of the kingdom's political power at the end of the 6th century. Further excavations, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will be carried out next summer and in the summer of 2014. This exciting project looks set to continue transforming our understanding of how Christianity impacted daily life in Anglo-Saxon England."