As promised, I’m bringing news of ongoing projects involving Centre staff and without putting any pressure on Dr Diane Heath, I believe her HLF application for her ‘Medieval Animals Heritage’ project will be submitted this week. This is brilliant news because this project on dragons, mermaids, lions and pelicans (and other animals) has the potential to bring wellbeing and spiritual uplift to east Kent, much as these animals did around 800 to 900 years ago.
This week’s blog contains several items of good news, somewhat in contrast to the national situation. Firstly, it gives me great pleasure to record that Tracey Dessoy and Jane Richardson have been awarded grants from the Ian Coulson Postgraduate Award fund.
Last week the blog was exceptionally long so this week it will be shorter and will comprise a brief report on the lecture given by Jon Iveson (head of Dover Museum) on Dover’s 16th and 17th-century defences, which is a joint event organised by the Centre and the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust.
Now that it is just a week away, I thought I would highlight Paul Bennett’s annual Frank Jenkins Memorial Lecture on Saturday 23 February at 6pm in Old Sessions House. As Visiting Professor in the Centre and Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust, it is always excellent to hear about the work of the Trust, and this year I expect two of the key sites will be in Canterbury: Slatters Hotel and Canterbury Cathedral. This event is another joint enterprise involving the Centre, the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust and the Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society. All welcome to attend, so please come along.
Next week will be more meetings than events, but it is great to know that preparations for Becket 2020 are continuing to develop on a wide range of fronts. Among these will be the conference at Canterbury Cathedral in November 2020, for which the plenary speakers are already in place and the call for papers will go out fairly soon. Other events planned include an even bigger Medieval Pageant than usual, a light show and events linked to several other medieval saints up and down the country – a truly national celebration of cathedral cities in England and Wales.
Before I come to ‘Maritime Kent though the Ages’ this weekend and the great array of speakers, I thought I would very briefly mention that I attended two of the sessions last Saturday of the University of Kent’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival that featured six speakers from Canterbury Christ Church University.
In some ways a great deal has happened this week and in other ways very little, a sort of treading water time before various decisions are made and implemented. On a positive note it is now two weeks to the Maritime Kent through the Ages conference and some of the final arrangements are being put in place for Richard Holdsworth’s keynote lecture on Friday 22 June: ‘Kent, the Royal Navy and the Defence of Britain’ at 7pm [wine reception from 6.30pm]. All welcome, booking not required.
I thought I would begin by mentioning a very productive meeting Dr Diane Heath and I had on Monday with Lyndsay Ridley, the General Manager at The Canterbury Tales, regarding arrangements for our first joint venture as part of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018: www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury
The 68th International Sachsenymposion is drawing to a close today after four and a half days of guided tours, workshops, poster displays, a public lecture, and academic debate following a plethora of high-quality academic papers on a wide range of early medieval ‘Saxon’ topics.
This week has brought another round of meetings. However, on Wednesday I also managed to attend a fascinating lecture given by Professor Christopher Scull, organised by Dr Andy Seaman and Dr Darrell Rohl, as part of the staff-student archaeology seminar series at Canterbury Christ Church.