Dates: Various from 10th June-30th August. See website for further details.
Cost: Excavation and recording: £100 per day (£450 per week) Surveying: £45 per day Recording: £35 per day Finds processing: £30 per day
Training / Experience: No experience needed.
Accommodation: No but there is plenty of campsites, hotels & b&b’s nearby
Since 2016 Aldington & Romney Archaeology have been engaging in excavations to uncover the story behind Thomas Becket’s palace at Aldington.
Around 800 CE the records at Canterbury state that the original church has been replaced by the first stone church dedicated to St. Martin. By 1086, the Domesday Book tells us that the church has been amalgamated into a large archiepiscopal estate that includes a large stone construction that most likely would become the Archbishop’s lodge.
When Becket was appointed Archbishop in 1162, all the lands in and around Romney Marsh, including Aldington, became the property of the church. Thomas established his palace at Aldington in order to facilitate the collection of revenue from the income generated around the area.
An inventory of the estate, listed possibly shortly after Thomas’ murder, mentions that the estate includes a stone lodge (palace), a kiln, blacksmiths, lodgings for around three hundred servants, three stables, six kitchens, all enclosed within a perimeter wall and included a gatehouse. The lands under the control of the Archbishop adjacent to the palace boundary included three fish ponds and a chase.