Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Let Them Speak for Themselves

March 5th, 2013

Up on the Downs is looking for volunteers to help with a survey of twentieth-century military and civil defence structures on the Downs around Dover and Folkestone. A large number of these sites are recorded, but many are incorrectly located. Volunteers are needed to help accurately locate as many as possible, and identify any that have not been previously recorded. In addition, we want to survey the current condition of these important remains. Based on the results of this survey, volunteers will then be able to carry out remedial works on some of them in the next stage of the project.

Up on the Downs projectUp on the Downs projectUp on the Downs project

From the archive

February 21st, 2013

This photograph, which recently came to light in our library, was taken in 1989 when the three archaeologists who pioneered post-war excavations in the city were joined by Tim Tatton-Brown, our first director, and his successor, Paul Bennett, at the 15th International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies held in September at the University of Kent.  From left to right is Tim Tatton-Brown, Professor John Wacher, Paul Bennett, Professor Sheppard Frere and Dr Frank Jenkins.  Sadly both John Wacher and Frank Jenkins are no longer with us, but their work and that of Professor Sheppard Frere and the Canterbury Excavations Committee still informs much of what we do today.

Archive photo

Volunteer at Lyminge Archaeological Project

February 21st, 2013

Plans are now well underway for Lyminge Archaeological Project’s 2013 summer season and anyone interested in volunteering can now book a place for an induction. Inductions are compulsory if you want excavate, and anyone over the age of 16 can work on the dig. Go to: for more information on how to sign up for an induction. Volunteers from last year who have already attended an induction don’t need to do another one.

Applications for student bursaries are now being accepted. If you are a current university student (at any level) in archaeology or a related discipline then you are eligible to apply for a bursary. Go to

If you are a student who doesn’t want to apply for a bursary and simply wants to attend the dig on an ad hoc basis you are welcome to join the team, especially if you live locally, though you must sign up for an induction.

Find out all about the project at

New Year Honours

January 7th, 2013

Lawrence Lyle, one of the founders of the Trust back in 1976, has been honoured by the Queen.  He has been appointed an MBE for his services to archaeology and local history and we are all very proud.

Back in the mid 1970s, Lawrence joined with other local enthusiasts to lobby for a professional archaeological unit to be set up in Canterbury, and after campaigning, which gained both national and local support, the Trust came into existence in April 1976.  Lawrence acted as Company Secretary and remained in post until 2008. He has been chairman of the Friends, continues to serve on their committee and also the publications committee of the Trust. But his support has always extended far beyond any official post. His presence, with his wife, Marjorie, is woven into the fabric of the Trust.

Typical of Lawrence’s quiet generosity is his comment on his MBE quoted in the local press this week.  ”I am particularly delighted as I regard it as a tribute to the work of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust”.  All at the Trust would like to say that we are ABSOLUTELY delighted that his long and dedicated support and service has been so wonderfully honoured.
Lawrence and Marjorie Lyle

Beyond the Horizon

December 18th, 2012

The travelling exhibition ‘Beyond the Horizon: Societies of the Channel and North Sea 3,500 years ago’ opened at Ename, Belgium on Saturday, 15th December.  Here are some photos taken at the opening.
replica boat replica boatreplica boat
arm ringcupgold hoard
experimental mouldopening day

The exhibition continues at Ename until 26th May 2013 and then all the treasures and the replica boat will cross the Channel to Dover.  The exhibition will open at Dover Museum later in the summer.

Until then, those on this side of the Channel can see the actual Bronze Age boat in its prizewinning gallery at Dover Museum.

Anglo-Saxons at St Margaret’s at Cliffe

December 10th, 2012

On Tuesday 18th December at 7.30pm Keith Parfitt will be giving a talk on his recent excavation of 6th-7th century Anglo-Saxon graves at St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe. Venue is St Margaret’s village hall. Tickets on the door are £3.00.

Rescue Dig of the Year?

December 10th, 2012

The excavation at Folkestone Roman Villa has been nominated within the Rescue Dig of the Year category in the Current Archaeology Awards 2013.  Nominations are based on articles and books featured in Current Archaeology over the last 12 months. Folkestone: Roman villa or Iron Age oppidum featured in issue 262 last December.

Our work at Folkestone Roman Villa is part of the ‘A Town Unearthed’ community project.

Voting for the awards is now open, so vote for us here

Iron Age helmet hits the news

December 5th, 2012

The finding of the rare Iron Age helmet by a local metal detectorist has caught the interest of the media. See video clips and related stories on the BBC News website and also on Facebook.

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