Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Lost abbot is found

December 11th, 2017

St Albans papal bulla
A week or so back one of the burials being excavated at St Albans yielded an exciting find – a papal bulla, then a second and then a third! Since then, research by experts at the cathedral has revealed the identity of the occupant of the grave. Read the story on the project blog of Alban Britain’s First Saint, or more about the excavation here.

St Albans Cathedral

November 29th, 2017

St Albans Cathedral

We will soon have an exciting update for you all from our ongoing site at St Albans Cathedral. In the meantime did you know that the original cathedral was built in 1077 and finished in just 12 years? It was constructed from material taken from the nearby ruined Roman town of Verulamium which is why the tower looks red – it’s built from Roman tile and brick!

A glimpse of things to come

November 20th, 2017

Slatters machining
Machine work began last week on the Slatters site and has already uncovered a Roman wall seen in the 1980s excavation in Slatters Hotel Yard. Unfortunately that trench was backfilled with solid concrete, but thanks to our excellent machine driver the wall has been exposed once again. We will be temporarily backfilling the hole to make the site safe but it’s a sign of the archaeology this site will contain.

Watch the excavation  Camera 1  Camera 2  Camera 3

Work begins at Slatters Hotel

November 15th, 2017

At last we are on site at Slatters Hotel in St Margaret’s Street - the beginning of a 6-month excavation in a part of Canterbury known to be packed with archaeology.

Back in 1982, during the excavation beneath the present Marlowe Arcade, a small trench was excavated in the adjacent Slatters Hotel yard. Traces of the Iron Age, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval town were revealed. Part of the Roman theatre used to be visible in one of the cellars of the hotel – described by Professor Frere who discovered the theatre as a ‘magnificent portion of wall’ – so we have high hopes for what might be revealed in the coming months.

Watch the excavation  Camera 1  |  Camera 3

Canterbury in the Domesday Book

October 5th, 2017

Tim Tatton-Brown (Director of CAT, 1976-1985) will return to Canterbury on 27th October to give a lecture in memory of Alf Smyth, Professor of History at the University of Kent and early friend and supporter of the Trust.

‘Canterbury in the Domesday Book’ will take place in the Grimond Lecture Theatre 1 at the University of Kent at 6.00 pm. The event is hosted by the Canterbury branch of the Historical Association.

Put on your walking shoes

August 16th, 2017

Festival brochure
Members of the Friends will be leading walks every day of this year’s festival except for the first and last Saturdays. The walks not only offer fascinating insights into Canterbury’s past (for instance ‘Nooks and Crannies’ on the 25th October), but also range further afield to Faversham, the villages and the Channel coast. See the full list of FCAT walks here or in the Festival programme. Do book early to avoid disappointment – they almost always sell out!

Hippos at Herne Bay

July 25th, 2017

It’s true! What was at first thought to possibly be from a rhinoceros - which was exciting enough – has now been identified as hippopotamus. A shoulder blade and other fragments were found in gravel deposits on the former golf course site. The excavation there was visited recently by specialists from Royal Holloway, University of London.  Read the full story here.

Open Day: East Wear Bay

July 24th, 2017

As part of the Festival of Archaeology 2017, our field school and excavation at East Wear Bay will be open to visitors next Saturday (29 July) from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.  For more events in the Council for British Archaeology’s festival see here. More about the East Wear Bay field school can be found here, where you will see that on a fine day (as Saturday will surely be) the site is spectacular. There might even be ice cream!

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