"Archaeological Association. The first annual meeting of the British Archaeological Association is fixed for the second week in September, and will be held at Canterbury, under the presidency of Lord Albert Conyngham, who proposes to open at that time several of the Saxon barrows near his seat at Bourne Park*. Mr. Pettigrew proposes to unfold an Egyptian mummy, and explain whatever points of interest may occur in its developement. The ancient monuments of the city, its museum and public establishments, will be freely thrown open."

The Gentlemen's Magazine 1844 *Matthew Bell, Bourne Park, Canterbury 3573 0 17 (acres) 4444 18 (rent) - return of owners of land 1873 Kent

1891/92 Mr. Matthew BELL, Bourne Park, Canterbury (Member of the East Kent Natural History Society)


"The city within the walls extends about 1/2 a mile from east to west, and somewhat more from north to south; and has an oval outline. "No city," remarks Mr. Walcott, "can shew a greater number of churches, monuments, and sites of interest; and no city has done less to preserve them. Till within a hundred years, town walls, gates, towers, and old buildings stood as in centuries since; but happily, a better feeling is now prevalent, and the good work of restoration and repair has begun."

The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, Vol. I. 1872


John Yonge Akerman, Esq., F.S.A., exhibited the drawing of a brooch recently found at Canterbury in digging a deep drain at a depth of about twelve feet below the surface. The brooch was of bronze, and consisted of four members meeting in a centre. Each member had a triangular portion of its surface inlaid in silver.

The Gentlemen's Magazine and Historical Review M DCCC LXI, January to June


"Mr. Brent communicated notices of the discovery of Roman remains at Canterbury, found in excavations which are still in progress in the main street, and consist of columns, ornamented cornices, thick walls, pavements, tiles, flue-pipes, pottery (some Samian), glass, &c. There are also some medieval relics and a cross of Anglo Saxon character."

"John Brent, jun., Esq., F.S.A., communicated some highly interesting remarks on antiquities discovered at or near Canterbury. The antiquities consisted of the following objects, which we arrange according to the localities where they were found. 1. (Drainage Works): nine fragments of pottery, some charred wheat, a pick, a sandstone spear-head, a patera, a tusk; drawings of some keys which were found in the same place. 2. (St. Sepulchre's, Roman cemetery); a patera, two vases. 3. (ST. Dunstan's): a statuette in white clay. 4. (Whitehall marshes): coloured Anglo-Saxon bead. 5. (The Dane John): a celt. 6. (Little Barton): a skinning-knife. 7. (Railway-station, Dane John): nails, hollow from the point to the head, an ivory pin, a twisted bronze armilla, two ditto plain, circular pieces of bone incised, horses' teeth. The whole of these came form one grave. Mr. Brent also exhibited a drawing of a cruciform fibula, already mentioned in our summary of the ordinary meeting of this Society, Jan. 10, and one of a gold torque found at Little Barton. The statuette here mentioned bore, as Mr. Brent remarked, a great resemblance to one figured in the Gentlemen's Magazine for December, in a notice of M. Tudot's work on Gaulo-Roman pottery. We do not believe they have anything to do with the "Roman goddess" Fecunditas, simply because such a goddess never existed. The attribute of fecundity is assigned by way of compliment to Faustina, and is often symbolised on her coins by a figure holding two children in her arms. The only goddess who answered to such attributes in the Roman mythology was Matuta. We suspect, however, that these figures have little to do with anything Roman whatsoever. They belong to a period when Christianity was casting a backward glance at paganism, when the transition to new modes of thought and faith was only partially effected, and when pagan symbolism lay ready at hand to give shape and substance to ideas which as yet were but in embryo in Christian Society. How fatal and how dangerous an ally she ultimately proved is written in broad characters in the history of Christendom."

The Gentlemen's Magazine and Historical Review M DCCC LXI, January to June


"Society of Antiquaries - May 10th, Mr. Brent, jun. exhibited a small figure of Latona, found with Roman urns, at St. Dunstan's Canterbury." The Gentlemen's Magazine 1855


Local Committee

George Neame, esq. Mayor of Canterbury, John Brent esq. Alderman, Henry Cooper esq. Alderman, William Masters, esq. Alderman, Edward Plulmmer, esq. Alderman, George Austin esq. Town Councillor, John Brent, jun. esq. Town Councillor, William Plummer esq. Town Councillor, Henry Kingsford esq.

Saturday, September 7th

The General Committee having met for their preliminary arrangements at 2 o'clock, the first General Meeting of the Association was opened at the Town Hall at three. Lord Albert Conyngham, the President of the Meeting, took the chair, and delivered an Address upon the objects of the Association, and the advantages it is calculated to realize; and upon the claims which Canterbury offered to the attention of the antiquary. The Secretary, Mr. C.R. Smith, also explained the objects and operations of the Association.

Sir William Betham, Ulster King of Arms, after some preliminary remarks, then developed his views on the Irish language, stating that he deemed it to be the language which in Caesar's day, was spoken in Gaul and Britain, and in Italy before the Romans prevailed there. This language had convinced him that the Celts were colonists of the merchants of Syro-Phoenicia, and had enabled him to identify Syro-Phoenician with Chaldaean history. Sir William then proceeded to read a paper on the origin of Idolatry, chiefly founded on the writings of the Saneoniathan.

At six o'clock an ordinary was provided at the Fountain Tavern, where eighty-one persons sat down to dinner in the great room. Others were, from want of seats, driven into a smaller room, whilst some went away.

At eight o'clock the Town Hall was re-opened for the purpose of hearing a paper by the Rev. John Bathurst Deane, F.S.A. on Sepulchral Barrows. .....

Mr. Wm. Henry Hatcher of Salisbury, exhibited a model of Old Sarum, constructed upon a scale of two chains to an inch.

The Rev. J.H. Spry, Prebendary of Canterbury, rose to explain a drawing made by Mr. E. Pretty, from a painting recently found on the walls of Lenham church, Kent.

etc. etc.

Among the votes of thanks was an acknowledgment of the sense entertained by the Association of the liberality of A. J. Beresford Hope, esq. M.P. who has recently purchased, for 2,020l. the ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, with the view of preserving them from destruction.

It is believed that about two hundred tickets were purchased for the meeting, though about ninety persons only inscribed their autographs in the book placed in the anteroom of the Museum. On the subject of contributions, some liberal donations to the general funds of the Association were announced. The place of the next year's meeting was left for the arrangement of the General Committee.


"Society of Antiquaries - May 10th, Mr. Brent, jun. exhibited a small figure of Latona, found with Roman urns, at St. Dunstan's Canterbury. Mr. Cecil Brent produced drawings of two Roman vessels, of terra cotta, found in digging the foundation of a stable, in Orchard Place, St. Dunstan's, Canterbury. One of these gave the name of a potter new to the lsit VIDVL FE." The Gentlemen's Magazine 1855

Mr. J. B. Shephard of Canterbury communicated to the Society, through Mr. Akerman, an interesting account of the recovery and indentification of the two ancient columns of Reculver, which have been missing ever since 1810, when different portions of the dilapidated church were dispersed. Repairs and restoration were not considered expedient in consequence of the mouldering condition of the cliff on which the building stood, and on which a remant still stands. Mr. Shephard's recognition of these two columns in the orchard of Mr. Frances was entirely owing to a woodcut in Mr. Roach Smith's "Reculver," copied form a drawing by Mr. R. Gandy, A.R.A., made on the spot before the demolition of the church. They stood at the west end of the chancel, supporting the rood-beam, and are remarkable as being of Roman architecture in a church of the fourteenth century. No doubt was left on this point by the drawings exhibited by Mr. Shephard. As it appeared that the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury had acted on the occasion with great liberality and promptitude, the thanks of the Meeting were voted to that body generally, and especially to the Rev. Canon Robertson.

The Gentlemen's Magazine 1861


In 1891, John Acton (52) from Grundisbug, Suffolk was staying at the "Temperance Hotel" in St. George's street, he is noted as Antiquarian (Scientist)


© T. Machado 2007