Travel back in time with medieval story tellers. Unearth the Cathedral’s hidden history in an archaeological dig. Create your very own gruesome gargoyle. There is a wide array of exciting activities at the Cathedral, and at outreach events at festivals across East Kent, this summer. From arts and crafts to archaeology and conservation, there’s something for everyone.
Staring on 23 July, you can take a trip to Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey to take part in some free fun family creative activities inspired by the Cathedral’s gargoyles, dragons and birds. The Canterbury Journey team will be there to encourage children young and old to design their own Gargoyle as part of the Sheppey Promenade Arts Festival.
Ever wanted to try your hand at Archaeology? We’ll be joining hundreds of other organisations across the UK on 25 and 26 July as our specialists begin a series of archaeological excavations – giving you an opportunity to see and learn more about the Cathedral as we begin essential conservation work to the Cathedral’s built heritage. But you’ll have the opportunity to get your hands dirty too as you take part in a mini dig, coin bash, and finds’ investigation. Free activities will be running throughout both days between 10.00-16.00 hrs for visiting families.
Back to the Whitstable Oyster Festival on 28 July for the chance to take part in building an illuminated Cathedral shell grotter complete with the iconic Bell Harry Tower and stained glass windows. This free event is suitable for all ages and will take place on Horsebridge Beach from 16.00 hrs onwards.
8 to 12 August is Cathedral Discovery Week with a host of free family activities inspired by circles, spheres and discs in architecture, stained glass, monuments, collections and gardens. Young Explorer Backpacks will be available all week including investigative tools and activity sheets for children aged 3-12 to explore the Cathedral. These activities tie in with the ‘Seeing Round Corners’ exhibition at the Turner Contemporary where we currently have our 15th and 16th century Book of Hours and the Nuremberg Chronicle on display. If you would like to learn more about these books, you can visit the Turner Contemporary website to book a place on one of their specialist talks.
Want to know more about the Nuremburg Chronicle and Book of Hours on display at The Turner Contemporary? Why not head over to the gallery on Tuesday 9 August at 15.00 hrs when you can join Cathedral Librarian, Karen Brayshaw, as she reveals more about these fascinating books. Book your free place here.
Should that whet your appetite, you may wish to book tickets for An Evening in Conversation with Revd Canon Christopher Irvine and exhibition curator and artist David Ward on Friday 19 August down in the Eastern Crypt of the Cathedral. Their talk begins at 19.00 hrs and tickets can be purchased through the Eventbrite website.
If all of that hasn’t worn you out, there are still opportunities to get involved with Make a Gargoyle family fun activities at the Dymchurch Day of Syn Festival, celebrating the life and works of the Kentish born actor and author of the Dr Syn of Romney Marsh novels, Russell Thorndike. This will take place on 29 August but should you miss that one, there is a final chance to get involved at the Faversham Hop Festival which will celebrate Kent’s cultural heritage on 3 September.
In early September, we will be running a series of Heritage Open Days. These kick off with two Hidden Heritage Revealed events running from 18.30-20.30 hrs on 8 and 9 September. This is your chance to meet The Canterbury Journey’s Volunteer Interpretation Researchers and Collections Care Volunteers who will present and discuss their exciting projects – be sure to book your free place via Eventbrite to avoid disappointment.
Capping off our summer of activities is the final event of the Heritage Open Days series – the Medieval Tales of Canterbury Cathedral which will run from 14.00-17.00 hrs on 11 September. Come and meet some of the Cathedral’s colourful historic characters in some of the Cathedral’s hidden and forgotten spaces as they share their extraordinary stories with you.
Please check the relevant websites for updates and further information prior to your visit. Free events at the Cathedral are open to all but please note normal Precincts charges still apply between 09.00-17.30 hrs.
If you would like to find out more about any of these events or activities you can email email@example.com or telephone +44 (0) 1227 862798 or +44 (0) 1227 862796.