Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

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!

The Ian Coulson Annual Bursary

July 13th, 2017

Ian Coulson, A Town Unearthed 2011
Congratulations to St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Gravesend for being awarded the first Ian Coulson Bursary for Local History/Archaeology in Kent schools (July 2017).

Full details and how to apply for this bursary can be found here.

Herne Bay golf course

July 4th, 2017

Drone photo: Nathan Ellis
Here is a drone photo of Herne Bay Area C, showing a wide hollow way flanked by boundary ditches.

The hollow way is ancient, perhaps dating from the late Iron Age into the Roman period. The route way may have continued in use into the medieval period, the date of the flanking boundary ditches.

We have been working at Herne Bay on and off since June last year. There have been some very interesting findings which we will bring to you soon.

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