ArtHist: A Festival of Medieval Folkestone

Friday 17 July to Sunday 19 July.

From 17 to 19 July the first of what it is hoped will become an annual ArtHist Festival will take place in and around the University Centre Folkestone (off Tontine Street), with the aim of portraying some aspects of life in the town during the Middle Ages. One of the organiser’s of the Festival Yvonne Hutchcraft from the Folkestone People’s History Centre said “Historians and artists have got together and worked really hard to put on an event which we are sure will appeal to people of all ages. The aim has been to create something that is both educational and entertaining”.

On Friday evening from 6.00 pm Dr. Paul Dalton of Canterbury Christ Church University will tell the story of Castle Hill, while Andy Linklater and Andrew Richardson of Canterbury Archaeological Trust will talk about Roman and Anglo-Saxon Folkestone concentrating on the Bayle and the Medieval Harbour

Saturday and Sunday will be given over to workshops, demonstrations and craft stalls. The centre piece will be a half size replica of an Anglo Saxon boat brought along by Regia Anglorum, one of the best re-enactment societies in the world, who will also set up a camp site in the car park of the University Centre. A stonemason, wood carver, silver smith, calligrapher and stained glass window maker, spinner and weaver will all be demonstrating their crafts.

For those who want to try their hand at something, there will be workshops on medieval tile making, chain mail, shield and helmet mask making and bead work. While some of these activities may be suitable for younger people, there will be, especially for children, a puppet theatre portraying historical scenes, a story teller and face painter. In preparation for the ArtHist Festival pupils from a number of schools have been completing panels which will go towards making a Folkestone tapestry.

Visitors are welcome to bring along any archaeological finds or other objects for identification by experts from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, which will also have on display a wide range of objects, documents and models. Two metal detecting groups will be showing their finds and providing details about their clubs and activities.

Finally Local Historian Eamonn Rooney will be leading two walks around The Bayle starting at 11.00 am on both Saturday and Sunday, showing points of interest and explaining its history from ancient to modern times.

For sustenance the University Centre Café will be open and for those with heartier appetites there will be a Hog roast on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Friday night talks will be from 6.30 – 8.30.  The events on Saturday and Sunday will be between 10.00 am – 5.00 pm. Admission to all events is free apart from the walks for which there is a charge of £2 though for children it will be free.

For Further Information Contact Yvonne Hutchcraft: Tel: 01303-245216.

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