As the Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust, Paul has overseen numerous archaeological excavations both in this country and abroad. In addition to his main interest in the archaeology of Kent, he is an expert in classical Libyan civilisation, having worked in the country over several decades. More recently, he has expanded his overseas interests to northern Iraq, investigating the region’s prehistory. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge regarding Canterbury’s archaeology and history, and his passion for the subject has inspired professionals and amateurs alike, which was recognised in 2017 when he was awarded an MBE.
The tour will explore St Mildred’s Church in Canterbury which is located by the city wall and next to Canterbury Castle. This gem of a medieval parish church has its roots in the eleventh century, and it may have housed some of the relics of St Mildred at the time of King Canute, after the monks at St Augustine’s Abbey brought her relics from Minster in Thanet to their abbey church in Canterbury. In addition to fabric from this Anglo-Saxon period, the building contains materials and features from throughout the Middle Ages, including a newly-exposed crown post nave roof. Paul Bennett will guide visitors around the outside and inside of the church to demonstrate what to look for and how to reconstruct the development of medieval church building.