Regarding the work of the Centre, firstly I want to congratulate Dr Diane Heath on the submission of the Gender and Medieval Studies volume on Gender: Places, Spaces and Thresholds to the publisher last weekend. Diane and her fellow editors have done a truly splendid job in record time and they deserve much applause and the deep-felt thanks of the various contributors, including two from Canterbury Christ Church: Dr Leonie Hicks has written the Afterword and I have contributed an article, as has Diane. If all goes well, it will be out in the autumn this year.
Now that the Easter holidays have arrived, I thought I would ask local readers if they have spotted the two posters in Waterstones advertising ‘Saturn’s Fury’ – the puppet show that will be taking place in the children’s area on the first floor of the book shop on Friday 6 April starting at 11am. Saturn, the green dragon, is making a guest appearance from The Canterbury Tales and would like as many young children and their parents, grandparents and others as possible to come along to help him find his roar which he has lost. This event is FREE and booking is not required. It forms the opening event of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend, and for slightly older ‘young medievalists’ and adults there is the chance that afternoon at 3pm to hear ‘Campfire Tales – with a Canterbury Twist’ in the garden of The Canterbury Tales. To book this and other events at the Medieval Canterbury Weekend, please visit: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury or after the Easter weekend phone 01227 782994.
I thought I would start with some very exciting news, Michael Wood has agreed to come to Canterbury to give an evening lecture on Tuesday 30 October 2018. The title is not yet confirmed but he will be speaking primarily about Theodore and Hadrian, thereby coinciding with a major new Anglo-Saxon exhibition that will be opening late October in London. More details will be available soon, and proceeds from the lecture will go towards the fund for Canterbury Archaeological Trust that was set up after the three disastrous break-ins this month at the Trust’s store at Kingsmead. These have resulted in considerable damage and the theft of finds, including Anglo-Saxon artefacts, which the Trust had excavated and archived in over forty years of work in Canterbury and Kent.
This week I want to bring you a report on the first Faversham History Fair that I attended last Saturday, which was organised by the Faversham Society, because it gave me a chance to meet old friends and make new acquaintances, as well as sharing some ideas about medieval religion and the painted pillar in the town’s parish church. However, before I get to that this is just to let know that both the “Campfire Tales with a Canterbury Twist” and Saturn’s guest appearance at Canterbury Waterstones have been finalised: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/school-of-humanities/medieval-canterbury-weekend/medieval-canterbury-weekend-2018/chaucers-tales.aspx while Saturn’s event is free (see below).
This week seems to have comprised numerous meetings, including a committee meeting of the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust [FCAT], one of the Centre’s frequent partner organisations, and the chance to give a lecture to the Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society on civic ceremonies in the Cinque Ports during the Middle Ages.
As in 2016, probably the high point this year for the Centre was the History Weekend in early April, which in 2017 featured the Tudors and Stuarts and was a joint venture with the Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library.
Before I give a brief report on Professor Paul Bennett’s fascinating ‘Part Two’ of his inaugural professorial lecture, I thought I would mention a few events the Centre is running in early 2018 and also the ‘Picture this …’ Advent entry for today: www.canterbury-cathedral.org/heritage/archives/picture-this/summer-blooms-a-wonderful-transformation/ and what could be better than flowers in summer?
‘Picture This’ is a web-based project run jointly by Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library, the University of Kent, and the Centre for Kent History and Heritage (CKHH) at Canterbury Christ Church University, available on the Cathedral’s website https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/heritage/collections/picture-this/ . The aim of the project is for researchers at the two universities to write short and accessible pieces about medieval and early modern items in the Cathedral’s collections for everyone to enjoy. The co-ordinators of the project are Cressida Williams, Head of Archives and Library, Stuart Palmer from University of Kent, and Diane Heath from CKHH.
Even though it is a couple of weeks away, I thought I would draw your attention to the Centre’s next joint evening lecture with the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust (FCAT) on Thursday 16 November at 7.00pm in Newton, Ng07 when Clive Bowley, who was for a long time Canterbury City Council’s conservation officer, will be discussing a selection of Canterbury’s many timber-framed buildings. I am sure this will be a fascinating talk, so do please come along if this interests you.
This has been a busy week that has included a fascinating double-bill on Thursday about funerary archaeology and leading a Canterbury Festival walk around St John’s hospital yesterday, a medieval gem which is ‘hidden’ behind its Tudor gateway. I mention the latter because it will also feature in the Medieval Canterbury Weekend in 2018 – see details at www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury