14 MayChance to visit archaeological sites on Thanet’s new road

Over the weekend of the 22-23rd May, road builders VolkerFitzpatrick HOCHTIEF will be opening their site to local people for a unique opportunity to see the exciting archaeological discoveries being made on the route of Kent County Council‘s new East Kent Access Road.

Visitors will be given guided tours around two of the archaeological excavations. At Tothill Street, in Minster, there is the site of the Community Excavation. Here volunteers are helping the archaeologists to dig a medieval enclosure and the site of a Bronze Age burial mound, one of three on the site. On the second site, visitors will be able to see the remains of another Bronze Age monument and a spectacular Iron Age enclosure with ditches up to two metres deep and a unique Iron Age building within. Finds from the excavations will also be on display.

There will be free guided tours of both excavations and a regular shuttle bus will run between the two sites.

At the Community Excavation there will also be a range of family fun activities. These include pottery-making, digging for finds, the chance to handle ancient finds, and a display of some of the finds unearthed so far.

David Crawford-White, the Archaeology Outreach Officer for the new road said ‘These two days will be a rare opportunity for families and friends to visit the excavations. People will see at first hand what is being discovered. And there will be lots of activities for families can join in.’

The Trust for Thanet Archaeology, The Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society, Kent Archaeological Society and the Cotton-Powell Museum will also be on hand with advice and information.

The two days of tours start and finish at the Holiday Inn Express (Ramsgate-Minster, Tothill Street, Ramsgate in Thanet  CT12  4AU) in Tothill Street, Minster. They begin at 10am and finish at 4pm, and there is free parking at the Inn. Visitors are advised to wear stout shoes as the ground is uneven.

If the the car park at the Holiday Inn is full, additional parking will be available at the VolkerFitzpatrick Hochtief compound at Port Richborough Business Park, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich CT13 9PQ. A regular shuttle bus will run from here to the Tothill Street site.

There is an hourly train service between Ramsgate and Canterbury which stops at Minster Station (www.southeasternrailway.co.uk). From Minster Station, it is a 25 minute walk to the site. There is also a local bus service (no. 42) from King Street, Ramsgate to Minster on Saturday but not on Sunday (www.eastonways.co.uk).

The Community Excavation runs from May 10th to June 4th and is open to everyone over the age of 8 years. Download forms to volunteer. There are still a few places left for budding archaeologists of all ages.

One week of the Community Excavation is over half term so that families can come along and excavate together for one or more days.