Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Army Veterans visit Hampton First Steps
Next Thursday, 19th January, Andrew Richardson will talk to the Friends on ‘Archaeology as therapy for military veterans’ and how some of our recent community archaeology projects have supported this initiative.

A group of army veterans joined the ‘A Town Unearthed’ dig at East Wear Bay in 2011, as part of Operation Nightingale. That scheme was set up to help rehabilitate injured soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan by getting them involved in field archaeology. Having made a connection, the Trust has continued to work locally with military veterans.

Andrew’s talk begins at 7pm at Canterbury Christ Church University (Newton NS06).  This is a Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust event, but guests are welcome. Donations at the door.

Keith Parfitt, Andrew Richardson (Canterbury Archaeological Trust) and Lesley Hardy (Canterbury Christ Church University) will outline some the most important findings of the ‘A Town Unearthed’ project at a special event at Folkestone Book Festival on Sunday 24th November.

The three year community project is now complete. Folkestone to 1500: A Town Unearthed provides an illustrated summary of the history of the town from earliest times to the 1500s and beyond.

The talk, at Folkestone Library (2 Grace Street, CT20 1HD), starts at 2.30 pm.

Tickets £6.50 (£3.00 concessions) from or Quarterhouse Box Office, Quarterhouse, Mill bay, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1BN.

Telephone 01303 858500

Copies of the book (£14.99) will be on sale.
Folkestone to 1500: A Town Unearthed

We are pleased to announce that Keith Parfitt won Current Archaeology’s Rescue Dig of the Year award for the A Town Unearthed excavation at Folkestone Roman villa.  ‘Folkestone: Roman Villa or Iron Age oppidum?’ published in Current Archaeology 262, was up against some worthy competition. Well done Keith and everyone who worked at the dig and thank you to everyone who took part in the vote!
Keith Parfitt with the award
See Canterbury’s Archaeology 2010-2011 to read about the first season of excavation and activites at the villa.

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

Free Day Conference and Public Forum: 3rd November 2012
University Centre, Folkestone
Speakers: Lesley Hardy, Lorraine Flisher and Iain Neilson

Kent, with its rich and diverse history, has for hundreds of years been at the forefront of the study and understanding of the ancient past in Britain.

This day conference and forum opens up the work of early pioneers in archaeology and history, antiquarians such as John Leland who identified ‘Briton Brykes’ at Folkestone, the Rev Bryan Faussett who saved Anglo Saxon archaeology from destruction and Charles Roach Smith, rescuer of Roman London and founder in 1844 of the British Archaeological Association in Canterbury.

Join us for some fascinating talks and forum discussion and learn more about Kent, its history, archaeology and the men and women who have discovered it, fought for it and preserved it.

This day conference is free to all and is part of the A Town Unearthed: Folkestone Before 1500, project.

To book your place on-line go to:
or phone 01227 863451 (Mon-Friday 9.30 – 2.30pm). Further details.

A Town Unearthed: Folkestone Before 1500‘ has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Community Archaeology Project’ at the British Archaeological Awards 2012.

The winner will be announced at this year’s award ceremony at the British Museum on 9th July.

May the best team win!

Folkestone before 1500 presents ‘Earth and Vision’
Images of the Archaeology and Landscape of Folkestone 1538–2012

Curated by Bryan Hawkins, Senior Lecturer, Media, Art and Design, Canterbury Christ Church University, this is the first in a series of exhibitions for ‘A Town Unearthed: Folkestone Before 1500’.

The exhibition brings together images and artefacts from the archaeological and historical record of Folkestone including the archaeological excavations in 2010 and 2011 as well as material from S.E. Winbolt’s 1924 villa excavation. It also features archive material from the Folkestone Library collection, Canterbury Archaeological Trust and the work of local artists and volunteers.

Stukeley print: 'View of Folkfton'Modern Interpretation of the Hare Brooch by Emma Richardson

“A rare and exciting opportunity to see in action how we learn about the past”

In July over 400 local schoolchildren and teachers visited the excavation taking place on the site of the Roman Villa at East Cliff, Folkestone. The excavation forms part of the ‘A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500’ community project. Visits to the site were organised and supervised by CAT Education Officer Marion Green, who was ably assisted by ATU volunteers Yvonne Hutchcraft, Pat Cocks, Roma Mortimer, David Paton, Daniel Harris and Iain Neilson.

Before coming to the site, the children had introductory talks in school which prepared them for their visit.
A Roman coin of ConstantiusRoma Mortimer, project volunteer, with Pent Valley Technical College studentsVisitors portakabin
This year’s visits, which allowed the children to see discoveries made early in the second season of digging, followed the highly successful programme of school visits to the site that took place in September 2010.  They were able to view the remains of the villa, see a display of finds from the site, see some of these being washed, and talk to volunteers and professional archaeologists working on the site.
A Roman key - the key to the villa?Enjoying the villaYvonne Hutchcraft, project volunteer, with young visitors
Teachers said about the visits:

“A rare and exciting opportunity to see in action how we learn about the past”

“Excellent and informative, very friendly and interesting staff”


Children said that they had learned:

“That we are walking on history”

“About how people lived”

“Archaeology isn’t just about finding big things”
Bread made by project volunteer Pat Cocks from quern-ground flourLearning fieldwork skills on Work Experience

In addition to the school visits, a number of older school students from various parts of Kent were able to dig on the site and help with finds processing as part of their work experience placements.

Excavation takes place seven days a week and the site will be open daily to visitors until the end of August, between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. A small display of finds and information boards can be seen in the visitors portakabin.

A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500, is a three-year project of community archaeology organised by Canterbury Christ Church University, the Folkestone People’s History Centre and Canterbury Archaeological Trust. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, Folkestone Town Council, Kent Archaeological Society, Kent County Council, Shepway District Council and the Tory Family Foundation.