Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

The Annual Lecture

January 27th, 2015

Frank Jenkins Memorial LecturePaul Bennett will deliver his annual round up of the Trust’s year next Saturday, 31st January.  ‘The Frank Jenkins Memorial Lecture’ will begin at 6.00pm in the Michael Berry Lecture Theatre, Old Sessions House, Longport.  Another eventful year, not only in the field and unseen corners of ancient buildings, but also on the high seas!

To help support our work, the Friends of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust request a donation of £2.00 from members, £3.00 non-members and £1.00 from students.



Back to the ‘Old Stone Age’ in Westgate Parks

January 20th, 2015

Stour Basin Palaeolithic ProjectOn Tuesday, February 10th Dr Francis Wenban-Smith is coming to Canterbury’s Guildhall to talk about the Stour Basin Palaeolithic Project.  The evening is hosted by the Westgate Parks Project. Jake Weekes will talk about how the Stour Basin project fits into the ’Landscapes and Ecologies, Past and Present’ theme at Westgate Parks.  It is hoped that this will be the first in a series of talks about the hidden heritage of the park and its wider relevance to our understanding of the past. What better place to start than the very earliest Stone Age, the Palaeolithic?

The talk is free and begins at 6.00 pm. To help with ‘housekeeping’, please email either Jake (jake.weekes@canterburytrust.co.uk) or Anna (Anna.Bell@kent.gov.uk) if you would like to attend.



First Steps in Archaeology

January 15th, 2015

If you want to delve a bit deeper into archaeology, why not try one of our day courses?

The next one is this Saturday 17th January, an entry level course entitled ‘First Steps in Archaeology’. Our programme of courses up until March can be found here. There are still a few places available for Saturday’s course.

As well as the chance to learn from members of our highly experienced professional team and to handle genuine finds, you will receive a course booklet and be awarded a certificate. A new programme of courses will commence in September, and we will be running a training excavation at East Wear Bay, Folkestone, in July and August…more details in due course so watch this space!

First steps



Peter’s travelling north

January 8th, 2015

BOAT 1550BC

Peter Clark is travelling north to speak to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He and Anne Lehoerff will present By Way of the Sea: Exploring a Bronze Age maritory in NW Europe,  first in Edinburgh and then in Aberdeen.  Friends in Scotland will find them at:

Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-28 George Street, Edinburgh on Monday, 12th January at 6.00 pm
Regent Building Lecture Theatre, Regent Walk, Aberdeen, AB24 3FX on Tuesday 13th January at 7.30 pm

Full details can be found here.

Both events are free and open to all.



Recent work on Prehistoric Kent

December 9th, 2014

The KAS Fieldwork Committee’s conference ‘Recent work on Prehistoric Kent’ takes place at Rutherford College, University of Kent on Saturday (13th December).  Our Keith Parfitt, Paul Bennett and John Hammond are amongst the speakers.  Further details here.



Great River Race

September 30th, 2014

Peter Clark writes …

On Saturday we took part in ‘The Great River Race’, London’s annual river marathon in the replica Bronze Age Boat, the ‘Ole Crumlin-Pedersen’; we covered around 19 Nautical Miles (22 Statute Miles) in an official time of 4 hours 28 minutes and 09 seconds, travelling from the Isle of Dogs in East London to Ham, near Twickenham in South-West London. Our average speed was 4.04 knots. The day was overcast and warm, with river conditions generally good apart from the wake from passing ships, though the water got very choppy when passing through the bridges of central London (the route took us under 28 bridges, from Tower Bridge in the east to Richmond Bridge in the west. The boat itself coped with the rough conditions easily, in what has been its most challenging test so far.

The crew was: Paul Armour, Paul Bennett, Terry Buchan, Peter Clark, James Holman, Ross Lane, Hazel Mosley and Jess Twyman.

The route

Lowering into South DockThe crew
Bronze Age crewThrough DocklandsTowards the Pool of London
The boat and its team received great support from hundreds of spectators along the route, applauding and urging us on; the heavy oak boat was in marked contrast to the lightweight, rowed vessels that formed the majority of the competitors in the race, but out of 332 participating boats we did not finish last. but were 327th! It was a very positive event, and great publicity for the Dover Bronze Age Boat and the ‘BOAT 1550 BC’ project that created the replica itself. The other boat crews and the race organisers were fascinated by the boat and many described her as a beautiful craft; as a most unexpected surprise, we were awarded a special prize for ‘Sporting Endeavour’ at the finish line!
Approaching Tower BridgeTowards London BridgeCrowds on the Millennium Bridge

Towards Houses of ParliamentOarsmanJob done
This was probably the last voyage of the boat before the winter months close in and the long-term future of the replica has to be decided later this year. It was a hard physical challenge for the crew, all of whom can now say they have completed a marathon, but a hugely worthwhile exercise in publicity, education and public engagement.



Folkestone to Dover in 1 hour 50 mins

September 9th, 2014

Sunday 7th September, a beautiful late summer’s day and the crew sets off to paddle from Folkestone to Dover at last (the planned first attempt last month having been cancelled due to stormy weather).  But the extra weekends spent rowing in the interim meant that the crew (Terry, Peter, Ross, Hazel, Jess, Anne, Thierry, Paul B, Paul A and Andrew) was better prepared for the challenge and the voyage was completed in 1 hour and 50 minutes – harbour mouth to harbour mouth!
Folkestone to Dover sea voyageFolkestone to Dover sea voyageFolkestone to Dover sea voyage
The voyage was filmed by Meridian and featured on the evening news. Then later the boat featured in a Time Team special on Channel 4. A big weekend for the Bronze Age boat!

Bring on the Great River Race on September 27th!



Westgate Parks Community Dig

August 27th, 2014

Here are some photos of the community excavation in Westgate Gardens over the August Bank Holiday weekend.  The weather was good for three days, but work had to be called off on Monday in the face of some extreme Bank Holiday conditions!

The dig was still extremely successful with over 600 people stopping to watch over the three days. The team was made up of over 60 volunteers who between them uncovered the flint surface of Roman Watling Street just outside the site of London Gate in the Roman town wall. Coins found in soils that built up over the road suggest that the road and gate might have gone out of use in the fourth century.  Lots of Roman tile and pottery was recovered; some was washed and displayed on site, more remains to be cleaned and dated. The 30 Roman coins will be cleaned and dated by the Trust’s coin expert.

The community dig, which will continue next summer, is part of Canterbury City Council’s HLF and Big Lottery funded Westgate Parks project.
Westgate Community DigWestgate Community DigWestgate03_2378
Westgate04_2406Westgate06_2419
Westgate Community DigWestgate Community DigWestgate Community Dig
Westgate Community DigWestgate Community DigWestgate Community Dig



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Useful links:

Boat 1550 BC
Ename Heritage Centre
The Historical Association
The Festival of British Archaeology
Maidstone Museum
Canterbury Heritage Museum
Centre for Research in Kent History and Archaeology
A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500
Kent Archaeological Society
White Cliffs Countryside Partnership
Wye Rural Museum Trust