Folkestone Villa Excavation ‘A Town Unearthed’: Winner of National Archaeological Award as Rescue Dig of the Year

Published on January 23rd, 2013

The rescue excavations that took place at the site of the Roman Villa on Folkestone’s East Cliff in 2010 and 2011 as part of the community archaeology project A Town Unearthed; Folkestone before 1500, won Current Archaeology magazine’s award as the 2013 rescue dig of the year.

The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, with further contributions from Folkestone Town Council, Kent Archaeological Society and Shepway District Council.

Struggling against time, and the inevitable erosion of the site, ATU worked against the odds with a team of local people to reveal a site that contains evidence of Iron Age industry and examples of trade with the Roman world. There are two Roman villas that are yet to be fully excavated. ATU Project Director Dr Lesley Hardy (Canterbury Christ Church University) comments: ‘These excavations have helped change our understanding of the early history of Kent and its place in the Roman world ’. Dig leader Keith Parfitt (Canterbury Archaeological Trust) describes the East Wear Bay site as ‘the Kentish equivalent of the famous Hengistbury Head Iron Age trading port in Dorset’.