Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Westgate Gardens

July 16th, 2015

Jake has just returned to the office after a busy week in the Westgate Gardens. He reports:

‘We had another fantastic community dig, based around Watling  Street as it runs through Westgate Gardens. More than 25 volunteers helped a small team from the Trust over the weekend, including our friends from Texas State University, as well as our metal-detecting colleagues. On Saturday morning we had a “Little Dig”, with 45 children taking part (with ages ranging from 2 to 10!) accompanied by 30 assorted parents, grandparents and carers.

Over the five days, which included the Westgate Parks Open Day on Saturday, we managed to talk to over 500 interested visitors to the dig.

Many more Roman coins, potsherds, tiles and other finds were recovered during this year’s excavation, and we now have a far clearer understanding of this late Iron Age fording point, early Romano-British occupation along Watling Street, and late Roman activity just outside the wall (built c 270–290). We have high hopes that post-excavation work in the coming months will bring this story to life in ever greater detail.’
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Westgate Gardens Community DigWestgate Gardens Community DigWestgate Gardens Community Dig
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Westgate Gardens Community DigWestgate Gardens Community DigWestgate Gardens Community Dig

Westgate Gardens Community Dig

July 1st, 2015

The community dig begun last year is set to continue over the weekend 11-12 July.  If you, or someone you know, is interested you can book a place by contacting Jake Weekes (
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Public sessions will take place as follows:

Saturday : 10am to 12.30pm (reserved for accompanied children)
Saturday : 1pm to 4pm
Sunday : 10am to 12.30pm
Sunday : 1pm to 4pm.

Friends of the Westgate Parks and Westgate Parks volunteers will be helping out throughout with people on site from Thursday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon.  It is hoped that more of the Roman road will be uncovered and we’ll report back next week!

Summer sailings

June 22nd, 2015

The replica Bronze Age boat is making three appearances in July. If you are in Faversham on the 4th you’ll find the boat at Town Quay as part of the Faversham Nautical Festival.  The following week the boat will cross the channel (by ferry!) to join in celebrations at Boulogne’s Fete de la Mer on July 11th. Then on Saturday 25th July ‘Ole Crumlin Pedersen’ will be back on home waters at Dover Regatta.  Come down and speak to the team, or have a paddle yourself!


Dover news

June 18th, 2015

The largest archaeological dig to take place in Dover for 20 years has just begun. The excavation, at Woolcomber Street, is the first in a series that will take place in advance of redevelopment of the St James’s area of the town. Keith Parfitt is leading the team in Dover and is going to keep us informed of progress as work progresses. Over to you Keith!

Digging at Kearsney Abbey – this weekend!

June 3rd, 2015

From the 5th to 7th June Canterbury Archaeological Trust along with the Dover Archaeological Group and Folkestone Archaeological Group will be carrying out a small archaeological dig in the car park of Kearsney Abbey to help uncover the hidden heritage of the parks.

The current cafe is all that remains of a large country house that used to be the focal point of Kearsney Abbey and the current parkland formed the private garden for the house. Most of the house was demolished in the 1950s and although there are a few pictures, as yet no plans or details about the inside are known.

The archaeological dig should provide an insight into the internal layout and will help to inform plans for a new extension to the cafe.

Preparatory work will begin on Friday 5th June and the archaeological work will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

For more details about the park and the Abbey, visit the Kearsney Parks website.

Old buildings in Old Folkestone

May 20th, 2015

Andy Linklater is giving a talk about the historic architecture of old Folkestone, tomorrow evening, Thursday 21st May, from 6.30-8.30pm.  The venue is Woodward Hall, on the Bayle and the event is free. All welcome!

Boating anyone?

May 11th, 2015

Come and have a paddle of our Bronze Age replica boat at the Dover Marina Open Day next Saturday (16th May).  The event is taking place on the Crosswall Quay from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm  with water displays, exhibitions, local food stalls and trips round the harbour.

This is our crew on a sea voyage between Folkestone and Dover, but you’ll find us on Saturday in the safe waters of Wellington Dock!
Folkestone to Dover sea voyage

Westgate Parks Remembered

May 7th, 2015

Tomorrow! Friday 8th May 7.15pm-8.30pm

Watch old footage of the Westgate Parks and surrounding area in the comfort of the Powell Lecture Theatre, Canterbury Christ Church University.

Introductory talk by our own Jake Weekes followed by footage compiled by Tim Jones from Canterbury Christ Church University featuring material shot in the 1930s by Sydney Bligh and John Vissenga.

Free event – No need to book.  Donations to the Friends of Westgate Parks.

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