Maritime Archaeology

This year we will be running our first course at Chatham Historic Dockyard, a maritime museum on the site of the former royal/naval dockyard at Chatham in Kent, and one of Historic England’s Heritage Angels winners in 2018 in the category of major regeneration project.

The Royal Dockyard at Chatham on the Medway River is a unique site with a rich history in the production of naval ships, including Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory. Its closure in the 1980s made a significant impact on the local community, and on Chatham’s long history of building, repairing and supplying ships, which had spanned nearly four centuries. The site has been regenerated and retains more than 90 buildings and structures, of which 47 are listed, with three historical warships in dry docks - HMS Cavalier (1944), HM Submarine Ocelot (1962), and HMS Gannet (1878).

This course will comprise of three morning talks from expert speakers, covering a range of issues in maritime heritage/archaeology. The speakers will cover themes on the history and work of the dockyard at Chatham, the built heritage and conservation of maritime architecture at Portsmouth dockyard, and marine archaeology across east Kent.

Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the dockyard with a guided tour of the site, introduced by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and led by expert speaker Peter Kendall of Historic England.

Talks include:

Chatham Dockyard: Constructive Conservation

Peter Kendall, Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments at Historic England, will discuss overall approach to adaptive re-use under the ethos of Constructive Conservation on the site, and will also lead a tour of the site after lunch.

Peter Kendall is an archaeologist working as an Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments at Historic England. He has been responsible for the work of this organisation at Chatham dockyard and its associated fortifications for more than 25 years during which time he has worked closely with the owners of heritage assets and with the local authority to help deliver solutions for the conservation and re-use of the many military sites that are no longer required for national defence and which must hence find alternative futures. His published research is on the Royal Engineers whose regimental home is at Chatham.

The Conservation of the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Constructed in 1776, Storehouse 10 of the NMRN is a Grade I listed building which, in its materials, design and construction, exemplifies naval and dockyard structures of its time. As part of plans to develop the Hear My Story project, Purcell were commissioned as architects and heritage consultants. The first stage of the process was to provide a Conservation Management Plan for the building and its wider context, the purpose of which was to both support a Heritage Lottery Fund application and to inform its redevelopment to a more innovative, interactive museum space. Careful conservation, collaboration with the exhibition designers and sensitive design of interventions have created a more dynamic and viable museum offering.
Key topics that will be explored in this talk include:
• Using historic research and buildings analysis to determine where change was possible
• Creating sensitive interventions
• The positive elements of a collaborative project team approach
• Interesting finds and elements within the building and works
• Responding to conservation issues and repair

This talk will be provided by Heather Jermy. Heather is a Partner and Head of Heritage at Purcell. With training and experience in architecture, buildings archaeology and heritage consultancy, Heather brings a balanced and informed approach to developing our historic built environment. She believes in the importance of understanding places to inform creative solutions: designs which unlock the potential of heritage sites – economically, functionally and experientially – which also enhance their significance in the process. In addition to leading the Heritage Consultancy service of Purcell, Heather is a guest lecturing at Cambridge University and Norwich University of the Arts, the Chair of the Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation East Anglia Branch and a Trustee of the Heritage Alliance.

CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network)

Lara Band, lead archaeologist for the CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) East Kent Coast Discovery Programme has had a long career in archaeology, museums and built heritage. Formerly Acting Head of Standing Buildings at MOLA she was previously a curator at Åland Maritime Museum, a project officer at the Weald and Downland Living Museum and an archaeologist in Finland and the UK. Lara will speak about CITiZAN, an England wide community archaeology project raising awareness of the threat of climate change to coastal and intertidal archaeological sites. CITiZAN has established a framework for ongoing recording and monitoring of these sites, most of which have no statutory protection, and by doing so also uses archaeology as a tool to understand coastal change.

CITiZAN promotes the ongoing recording and monitoring of these sites, most of which have no statutory protection, and by doing so also uses archaeology as a tool to understand coastal change.




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Maritime archaeology at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Images courtesy of Chatham Historic Dockyard

Maritime History: HMS Cavalier

Images courtesy of Chatham Historic Dockyard

Maritime heritage at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Images courtesy of Chatham Historic Dockyard