As Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh reminded me (Dr Diane Heath), it has been a year since our participation in the first Medieval Education Day for primary schools in the East Kent area, a scheme launched by Lyndsay Ridley at The Canterbury Tales visitor attraction (see Sheila’s blog from last year https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/kenthistory/young-medievalists-and-medieval-animals-in-canterbury/).
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.
Before I come to the Medieval Education Day report, I thought I would just mention one or two other events staff from the Centre have been doing this week. Firstly, Professor Louise Wilkinson went to give a lecture on Eleanor de Montfort and the Second Barons’ War to a group at Folkestone. Then I walked over to the International Study Centre at Canterbury Cathedral to give members of the Cathedral Guides a talk on civic institutions and civic ceremonies at the Kentish Cinque Ports in the Middle Age, and, finally, Dr Diane Heath gave a paper at a conference on magic at Oxford in which she focused on the phoenix.
Before I come to the Centre’s involvement in this year’s Medieval Pageant in Canterbury which took place today, I thought I would just mention a couple of other events that have involved Centre and Canterbury Christ Church medievalists over the last week. Firstly, before the King’s School broke up for the summer, I met up with Janet Taylor who runs Classics there to broach the idea of running a sixth form workshop again next academic year for Classics students. Janet was enthusiastic, and I’m also hoping to keep the same link going with Claire Anderson concerning her lower and upper form historians.
After another very successful History Weekend, I would first like to thank all the great speakers (see below), but equally the brilliant audiences we had at all 27 events from ‘Saturn’s Fury’ puppet show in Waterstones on Friday morning to Dr Michael Jones’ talk on the Black Prince and Professor Carenza Lewis’ lecture on new discoveries about the impact of the Black Death that were the last parallel events on Sunday afternoon. Without YOU the audience the Weekend would be meaningless, and your enthusiasm, engagement and searching questions covering the wide range of topics on offer was wonderful from the organisers’ perspective – THANK YOU!
It has been another busy week with several lectures, meetings, a workshop and planning for future events. Of the lectures, I’ll give a short report on Professor David Carpenter’s talk for the local Historical Association because it was chaired by Professor Louise Wilkinson, and her fellow director of the Centre, Professor Jackie Eales, gave the vote of thanks. To note, among his recent publications is Magna Carta (in the Penguin Classics series – an excellent buy).
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.
Keeping with the theme from last week of activities of those involved directly or indirectly with the Centre in ‘history in the community’, this week I’ll focus on the Kent History Federation’s one-day conference at Sandwich, before mentioning Dr Diane Heath and medieval animals.