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CAT BOX loans collection


Canterbury Archaeological Trust has a collection of original archaeological and historical objects, high quality replicas and models for loan to Kent schools, colleges and universities. The entire collection ranges in date from prehistory to the 20th century and illustrates many diverse themes from local and world culture. Got a topic in mind? Contact us to discuss how we can help. The Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust support this project by giving funds for materials to enhance the collection. 

Using the CAT BOX loans 


You may want period specific material to support a History project or you may want to look at how certain things have changed/developed over time in which case you could browse across the period groups to find different examples. Think about how the loans could also enhance teaching across the curriculum, in Art projects for example, or as inspiration for discussion and creative writing. It is well established that handling sessions can be beneficial to the learning of all ages and abilities. 

Taking care of the loans items

The CAT BOXES are a unique collection of material and some of it is fragile. Please treat the items with care.

If any loss or damage to an item should occur, let us know immediately and do not attempt a repair. You may be asked to pay for any repairs or replacements due to loss or damage while items are in your care.

How to borrow a CAT BOX 

Select boxes from the catalogue and contact us with your request, quoting the CAT BOX number and contents description for each loan you are interested in. Please tell us what you want the loan for (year group and topic) as it is useful to know how they are being used so we may develop the collection for the future. We welcome any feedback you can give us on the loans so we know how to improve the service.

You will then be told whether your choice is available, offered an alternative if appropriate, and a date/time for collection from Canterbury will be arranged. Our collection point is at Wincheap, Canterbury and must be made by appointment.


Please do not turn up without making an appointment as we cannot guarantee someone will be available to assist you.

Note that the CAT BOXES are sturdy to protect the loans and some are heavy. Also note box size to make sure your vehicle is big enough. Dimensions of each box are entered in the catalogue and you will be alerted to any unusually large or heavy boxes during the booking process.

Loans should be returned at a date/time agreed in advance.  The normal loan period is usually by term, but longer and shorter periods can be arranged. 


You can reserve loans up to 1 year in advance. 

Loans charges

Canterbury Archaeological Trust is a charity and there is an administration charge to this service. The charge is £20 per loan, for one term or part of a term. If you have as many as three boxes at one time, you get a ‘3 for 2’ deal and pay total £40. This can be spread across year groups and throughout the academic year. 


Payment can be done through cash, or a cheque payable to ‘Canterbury Archaeological Trust’ when you collect your loans. Receipts are available on request. We can invoice your school but this incurs an extra VAT charge.

We occasionally have requests for a weekend loans, for which the charge will be discussed during booking.

St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School

“We were studying the Vikings and I needed some artefacts that would bring the topic to life. The Trust loaned us ‘Cat Boxes’ that contained amazing replicas including Viking and Anglo-Saxon helmets as well as a model Viking long boat and Viking shoes and glasses. The class was enthralled and we used the Cat Boxes to inspire our archaeological investigations as well as other cross-curricular writing and art. The artefacts were on display during our recent successful Ofsted inspection and the children were able to talk knowledgeably about what they had learned. It is easy to collect the Cat Boxes from the Kingsmead Store off Kingsmead Road. I cannot praise the Trust enough for what they do for schools.”


James Blomfield, Deputy Headteacher,
St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School,


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