Date: 30 April 2022
Location: Royal Engineers Museum, Prince Arthur Road, Gillingham, ME7 1UR

Kent is the gateway to Britain. Over the centuries it has linked Britain to the continent and the wider world making the county a place of encounter driven by trade, travel and settlement. People have arrived from across the world. Some came to visit, such as the vast numbers of pilgrims heading to Canterbury and the tomb of St. Thomas Becket. Some came as refugees and then made Kent their permanent home, among them the many thousands of Belgians who fled the invading German armies in the autumn of 1914. By the eighteenth century, when Britain's global reach was increasing, the naval dockyard at Chatham was one of the largest industrial complexes in the world, which in turn encouraged new trade, travel and settlement patterns. At times of national peril, Kent found itself in the frontline, and as it was fortified and prepared for defence, became home to new, diverse communities of soldiers, sailors and later aircrew and personnel. From Bronze Age communities plying the Channel in their small boats to Eurostar trains speeding through a tunnel dreamt about for centuries, Kent is a place of exchange and engagement.

Do come and help us explore this amazingly rich and diverse heritage on Saturday 23 April (Canterbury) and Saturday 30 April (Medway) . Join academics, archivists, museum and gallery staff, teachers, students and community groups in talks, displays, exhibitions, discussions, and walks. 

For more details contact Mark Connelly (

The School of History at the University of Kent, working in close partnership with Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library and the Royal Engineers Museum, will shape events to be held in Canterbury and Gillingham. 


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