As a starting point, I thought I would mention that Professor Louise Wilkinson and I are putting together a series of evening talks for the first week in September 2020 ie beginning Monday 31 August on ‘Kentish Saints’ as part of Becket 2020.
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.
We are now gearing up for the Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April. I have recruited a great group of postgraduates and undergraduates who will be the Welcome Team, and several staff members – both full-time and associates have volunteered to chair various events or ‘back-stop’ the tours. It looks as though it is going to be a busy and exciting time! There are still some tickets available, so if you are interested do check out the website at www.canterbury.ac.uk/tudors-stuarts we shall be delighted to see you.
I thought I would begin where in a sense I left off, and now that the programme for Women’s International Day and Women’s History Month is now up on the CCCU website, I thought I would give you the link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/equality-and-diversity/edi-events/international-womens-day-and-womens-history-month.aspx so please feel free to check out what will be going on next month, including the two events involving the Centre.
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.
Apologies about the short notice, because the Anglo-Saxon Candlemas concert is taking place on Saturday 2 February at 7pm in SS Mary and Eanswythe church, Folkstone. This is part of the HLF-funded ‘Finding Eanswythe’ project and will feature plainchant, poetry, songs and readings by candlelight in this 12th-century church. This Marian feast celebrates the presentation of Christ at the temple, bringing light to the world and sending winter on its way. Those taking part are Margaret Cameron as singer and choir leader, Dr Mike Bintley who will read passages in Old English, James Lloyd who will provide an account of the life of St Eanswythe, and the concert will also feature the Eanswythe choir. Do feel free to join them in Folkestone.
Firstly some news about what will be taking place next week. Next Tuesday Abby Armstrong, who successfully defended her doctoral thesis just before Christmas, will be giving a paper on the daughters of Henry III, the first in the History seminar series at CCCU for this term. I expect to see lots of staff and postgraduates there, and if this sounds interesting, please do come along and join us in Newton, Ng01 at 5pm. Then two days later, the Centre with the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust [FCAT] will be holding their January lecture in Newton, Ng07 at 7pm, when Dr Steve Willis (University of Kent) will speak on ‘Roman Lympne: context, new research and new questions’. Again, all welcome and we would be delighted to see you.
At a time when everyone is busy, I’ll make this a short report and solely tell you about Dr Neil Murphy’s research seminar talk last Thursday to a packed room at Canterbury Christ Church. I have heard Neil discuss royal progresses before, but this time he turned his attention to cartography.
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.
Next week looks very exciting. We have the Becket Lecture on Tuesday when Dr Rachel Koopmans will tell us about her fascinating new findings about the Becket stained glass windows in Canterbury Cathedral. Among her exciting discoveries with Leonie Seliger are the earliest images of these pilgrims that had been thought to be a 19th-century creation. This is ground-breaking research, and everyone is welcome to come to hear her in Powell Lecture Theatre at 6.30pm (following a wine reception).