I’m going to start this week with some news. Many of you will know Paul Bennett or have read about him in various blogs over the last couple of years, and will know, therefore, that he is the Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust and also a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Kent History and Heritage, Canterbury Christ Church University.
Before I come to the Tudors and Stuarts Weekend, I thought I would mention the ‘Family and Power in the Middle Ages’ conference that will be taking place on Friday and Saturday this week.
We are now just a fortnight away from the Tudors and Stuarts Weekend and excitement is growing as we look forward to welcoming speakers such as Alison Weir, David Starkey, Janina Ramirez, Glenn Richardson and Anna Keay to Canterbury Christ Church.
It is often said, that in terms of Canterbury’s historic built environment the City Council in the post WWII years was far more effective in finishing off what the Luftwaffe had started during the Baedeker raids on the city in 1942. In some respects this story continues, and with regard to development and redevelopment both inside and outside the city wall the pace of such activities is and will in the next decade gather increasing momentum.
Due to it being half-term last week, I took the opportunity to visit the Canterbury Heritage Museum because now it is shut again for another month until the Easter holidays. Consequently, several of the photos this week are of the museum and link in some way to the twin themes I want to mention this week: travelling and communities.
This week I have been to two meetings among other things, and, although they may seem very different, they actually have common themes such as the value of bringing archaeology and documentary research together, as well as the importance of studying the lives of people in the past who were not royalty or aristocrats, but who made up the bulk of society.
This week has brought to the fore some different issues, albeit underpinning many of the lectures and discussions has again been the value to society of knowing and understanding the past, whether this is locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.
Next week is the ‘Gender, Places, Spaces, and Thresholds’ conference that Dr Diane Heath is running for the Centre at Canterbury Christ Church – for details see: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/research-kent-history-and-archaeology/crkha-latest-projects/place-space-and-liminalities.aspx but I thought I would also draw your attention to the Eleventh Annual Thomas Becket Lecture. Details of Dr Paul Webster’s lecture are now available at: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/events/arts-and-humanities/ckhh/eleventh-annual-thomas-becket-lecture.aspx and it promises to be a very special occasion because Paul is a well-known expert in the early cult of Becket studies.
So what is there to look forward to from the Centre in the first half of 2017? The flagship event will be the ‘Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend’ between Friday 31 March and Sunday 2 April, which primarily will take place in Old Sessions House, part of the University’s Canterbury campus.
I thought that this week and next would follow the example of the Roman god Janus and look back this week and forward next week into 2017. Consequently, the blog today will offer a brief summary of events organised or involving the Centre during 2016 to provide a flavour of the types of activities various members undertook under the Centre’s head, Professor Jackie Eales.