Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

CAT Education Service at Folkestone Roman Villa 2011

“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.

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