CCCU staff worked alongside historians and the Canterbury Archeology Trust (CAT) to excavate Folkestone for a historical project.
The team uncovered an ancient aqueduct at their dig site at Morehall Recreation Ground, near Cheriton, and was the earliest means of supplying to the population of Folkestone with water.
The community project ‘Finding Eanswythe’ involved hundreds of local people to learn more about Eanswythe, a Kentish royal saint, and granddaughter of Ethelbert, the first English king to convert to Christianity under Augustine. Princess Eanswythe was said to make water ‘run up-hill’ from the Downs to the Bayle in the centre of the town.
The dig began on October 6 and was led by Dr Lesley Hardy, Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Dr Andrew Richardson and Annie Partridge of CAT.
“The watercourse was maintained over many centuries”
Dr Hardy said: “The watercourse, alongside mystery of Eanswythe’s relics which appear to have survived, hidden in the walls of the Parish Church are of national heritage significance, and we will be working to raise funding and seek permissions so that they can be fully understood and protected.”
Nineteen volunteers from Folkestone and surrounding areas assisted in the excavation, including the Canterbury Young Archaeologists Club.
Dr Andrew Richardson, of Canterbury Archaeological Trust also commented on the find. He said: “The hard work of volunteers has certainly paid off and we have located what appears to be a series of clay lined ditches which demonstrate that the watercourse was maintained over many centuries.”