Kent County Council’s Heritage Conservation team has been awarded a grant of £148,000 by Historic England to research and reveal Thanet’s archaeological significance.
The team, working with Thanet District Council, will undertake the Thanet Archaeological Landscapes Mapping Project which will reflect the exceptional significance and visibility of archaeological remains across Thanet.
The archaeological heritage of Thanet has a distinct character and, due to the district’s role throughout history as a gateway region, is central to an understanding of the historic relationship between England and continental Europe.
Thanet is an area subject to development pressures that could result in significant impacts on the landscape, particularly in the rural areas of the district, in which so many well-preserved archaeological sites lie.
The project will include:
- A data gathering phase in which a range of archaeological information will be added to the Kent Historic Environment Record (HER); the Historic England Aerial Investigation and Mapping (AIM) team will upgrade the HER with all features visible in aerial photographs and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) surveys; historic maps will be examined to identify the district’s Post-Medieval heritage and Thanet’s HER records will be enhanced to enable heritage assets to be clearly delineated and maps of different archaeological periods developed;
- Using ‘Archaeological Characterisation’ to tell the story of the development of Thanet and identify what is particularly significant and where there are gaps in knowledge;
- A strategy document that will help developers anticipate the impact of their proposals on Thanet’s archaeology;
- A public engagement programme involving a newsletter, talks and archaeological trails.
The project will complete at the end of February 2027.
Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Susan Carey said: “I’m delighted that KCC’s Heritage Conservation team has secured funding for this important work which will not only identify historic features and shape future development but also deepen our understanding of Kent’s heritage and make that knowledge available through the Kent Historic Environment Record.”
Thanet District Council’s Leader, Cllr Rick Everitt said: “We welcome this exciting project that will give us a greater understanding of Thanet’s history and landscape.
“There is potentially so much to discover, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of this work.”