Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Exciting news from Slatters

May 23rd, 2018

We have finally reached the Roman levels! So far finds wise we have had a (nearly) intact pot and these lovely pieces of Samian pottery (if you look closely you can see a hare on the biggest piece). The remains of a townhouse are currently under excavation, and we’ll be keeping a sharp eye out for any signs of a mosaic.
Slatters Hotel, CanterburyRoman Samian pottery from Slatters Hotel, Canterbury
If you want to see what a Roman townhouse in Canterbury looked like in this period then pop along to the Canterbury Roman Museum, where there is a preserved example of one in the basement!

Finding Eanswythe this spring

April 26th, 2018

Finding_Eanswythe_Spring_Events Finding_Eanswythe_Spring_Events_sheet

Saturday 28th April: Folkestone Museum

First Steps in Archaeology

Thursday 3rd May: SS Mary and Eanswythe Church, Folkestone

“Where Lie Your Ancestors?” Inherited Landscapes and the Power of the Dead in the Anglo-Saxon Age of Conversion

Thursday 17th May: History Resource Centre, Folkestone Library

Respect your Elders: Old Swords in Early Anglo-Saxon England

Click on the image above for full details.

Good news!

March 19th, 2018

We are very pleased to announce that late last week, officers from Kent Police, accompanied by members of staff from Canterbury Archaeological Trust, recovered a large quantity of stolen artefacts and other items from a derelict property on Military Road, Canterbury. Most, if not all, of the estimated 2000 archaeological finds stolen from our Kingsmead store in January were recovered. Thankfully, most, including over 800 Anglo-Saxon glass beads, were recovered in their labelled bags, meaning they can be easily re-archived.

The Trustees, staff and volunteers of Canterbury Archaeological Trust would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Kent Police for taking the necessary action to recover these irreplaceable pieces of the city and county’s heritage.
Recovered goods
A small number of items from our educational loans collection were also recovered, but the majority of the valuable replica items taken from this collection were not found at the property and remain missing. These include a number of replica Bronze Axe axe-heads and replica Beaker pots. If anyone does have any information about the people responsible for these thefts, or about any of the missing items, please contact Kent Police or Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

A face from the past

February 27th, 2018

Slatters Caen stone corbel
Before the snows came, this beautifully carved corbel was found in the fill of a medieval oven or furnace – hence its dusting of orange!

It possibly came from one of the early St Mary Bredin churches which were located nearby. The first church was built in timber in the late eleventh century. This was rebuilt in stone in the late twelfth/thirteenth century and then later in the thirteenth century the church was relocated eastwards to stand at the junction of Rose Lane and Gravel Walk. It will be interesting to hear what the experts have to say about this particular carving and whether it did indeed come from one of the early churches.

Bursary applications open soon

February 14th, 2018

Ian Coulson, A Town Unearthed 2011
It’s chilly now, but spring IS coming and with it the opening of applications for the Ian Coulson Annual Bursary for Local History and Archaeology in Kent Schools.

Teachers at St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Gravesend, winners of the 2017 bursary, are currently developing a local history project with their pupils based on the First World War. Using as a starting point the names on their local war memorial, they are carrying out research to produce biographies of soldiers from their local area. With the help of local historians and surviving family members, pupils are using a variety of sources including local newspapers, census returns and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. A visit to the First World War battlefields and cemeteries is an integral part of the project.

Applications for the 2018 bursary will be accepted April 1st – June 30th. More details and application forms can be found here.

Theft and vandalism

February 5th, 2018

Sadly we have to report a series of break-ins and thefts from our main archive at Kingsmead in Canterbury. Apart from causing considerable damage and chaos, the thieves took over 850 Anglo-Saxon glass beads, large quantities of coins and metal artefacts, and an assortment of bone objects. They ransacked our educational loans collection, disturbing 90% of the 200 loan boxes, and stealing replica metal axes, pins, coins and other items, including a plaster bust of Queen Victoria – not valuable, but very identifiable. They also stole tools and equipment. Please spread the word, and look out for any of these items being offered for sale. Andrew Richardson will be happy to hear from anyone with any information.
Burglary_storeBurglary_Anglo_Saxon_bead Burglary_Anglo_Saxon_beads
Ransacked Education Store Replica Bronze Age axe Replica Roman glass flagon
Since news of the thefts hit the media last week we have been overwhelmed with messages of support. One supporter has set up a fundraising page to help to at least replace some of the tools lost in the raid. We are very grateful to her and, of course, to all those who have donated so far. Thank you.

Medieval Canterbury Weekend – book now!

January 16th, 2018

Medieval Canterbury Weekend
Medieval Canterbury Weekend brings eminent scholars and popular historians to Canterbury, a place of international significance in the medieval world. In 2016, this series of talks and guided visits brought over a thousand people together to share their love of all things medieval. The weekend is hosted by Canterbury Christ Church University and organised by the Centre for Kent History and Heritage in support of the Ian Coulson Memorial Postgraduate Award fund.

Trust Director, Dr Paul Bennett, is guiding visits at St Mildred’s Church and then the Poor Priests’ Hospital in Stour Street on Saturday Saturday 7 April. The church visit is already fully booked, but there are still a few places left on the visit to the Poor Priests’ Hospital. Book now to avoid disappointment!

St Albans Cathedral – update

January 16th, 2018

The excavation of the ‘Monks Graveyard’ on the east side of the cathedral has now revealed nine burials probably dating to the twelfth century. The burials are characterised by graves which are anthropomorphic (shaped in the silhouette of a human body) and the buried individuals would have been tightly wrapped in a shroud, as was the custom of the time. Later burials which have been excavated have almost always been within a coffin.

At least two of the burials lay in tombs lined with Roman tile and brick, and one individual lay in a tomb of chalk blocks. The burials within the tombs are so far clustered outside the demolished Norman apse. The foundations of this are still visible and remain to be excavated. The proximity of the graves to this part of the cathedral suggests that the people buried within were important to the cathedral in some way, although further research might confirm this. We do not think at this time that these people were monks as area was given the name ‘Monks Graveyard’ in the Victorian period and may not be accurate.

The photos show:
An early burial in a tile-lined tomb.
An excavated grave with tile and chalk lining. The grey tile at the top acted as a ‘pillow’.
Planning one of the tile-lined tomb burials.

Further burials of this date are expected as the excavation continues.
St Albans Cathedral, Monks GraveyardSt Albans Cathedral, Monks GraveyardSt Albans Cathedral, Monks Graveyard
You can read more about the excavation here.

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