Press Release

14 January 2013

A three year community archaeology project organised by Canterbury Christ Church University, the Folkestone People's History Centre and Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) has been nominated for an award by Current Archaeology magazine.

A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500, which has revealed the secrets that lay beneath a Roman Villa on East Cliff, received the nomination for Rescue Dig of the Year, as a result of an article written by Keith Parfitt of CAT.

Over the years parts of the Roman villa had been lost to the sea and this latest archaeology project faced a race against time to rescue as much of the site as possible. However, in the process the team discovered evidence that for about 100 years before the Romans arrives in AD 43, the site was occupied by a much larger settlement.

Keith  explained: "The area occupied during the late Iron Age clearly extends well beyond the Roman villa and probably covers about two or three acres, in addition to what has already been lost to the sea.

“On the basis of the quantity of coins and range of imported pottery, we believe that East Wear Bay must have functioned as a late Iron Age trading port, located at the shortest sea crossing of the English Channel. The site has all the ingredients needed for such a facility, that is occupying a sheltered bay at the end of a long distance prehistoric track-way, at the closest point to the Continent.”

The awards are only voted for by the public and to show your support for the project visit the voting page.

Voting closes on February 15, and the winners will be announced at special awards ceremony on March 1 at Current Archaeology Live! 2013.

To find out more about A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500 visit: .

Notes to Editor

  • Keith’s article is called Folkestone: Roman villa or Iron Age oppidum?

A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500

  • A Town Unearthed is a three year project of community archaeology in Folkestone, organised by Canterbury Christ Church University, the Folkestone People's History Centre and Canterbury Archaeological Trust. It is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust with additional contributions by Folkestone Town Council, Kent Archaeological Society and Shepway District Council.


Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).

*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:16:00