Many thanks to Dr Diane Heath for her blog last week about Professor Sandy Heslop’s lecture on St Anselm’s crypt in Canterbury Cathedral and the torchlight exploration of the crypt after his lecture. As a follow-up event, the Centre held an ‘Envisioning Workshop’ the next day with the intention of thinking how the ‘crypt creatures’ might be used to engage with a wide range of audiences.
As I expect you have gathered, June has been a very busy month full of very exciting lectures, conferences and workshops, and last week was no exception.
Having discussed one event in the whole blog last week, I thought this week I would begin with news of three Centre events next month before turning briefly to one event that occurred yesterday and then even more briefly to one that took place last week.
Apologies to those, if there are any, who wondered what had happened this week but I wanted to wait until after the London Medieval Society conference that took place yesterday.
Being back in Canterbury this week, I am now turning my attention to future Centre events, especially those due to take place in the next couple of months.
This time next week the Tudors and Stuarts Weekend will be just about to start, which means there will be quite a lot to do next week – all those things that can only be done just beforehand – consequently this may be the last post until after it is all over.
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.
In many ways, I want to pick up the same theme as last week. This is because I discovered this week that among the elements within the new GCSE syllabus is the role of medieval or early modern historical sites; and that in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 a local study using primary sources is one of the criterion. In my opinion, such an emphasis on a student’s own locality in the past seems a good idea because just as microhistory can be used to understand the ‘bigger picture’, so a local history study, provided it is set within its regional and national context, can be both rewarding and enlightening.
This week saw two events that were to a greater or lesser extent linked to the Centre. The first, and the one organised by the Centre through Professor Louise Wilkinson as co-director, was the Eleventh Annual Becket Lecture. Readers of the blog will know that Dr Paul Webster, from Cardiff University, was due to give his talk on royal responses to the martyrdom and cult of St Thomas of Canterbury last night.