The Kent History Project
In 1989 the Kent History Project was launched, to celebrate the centenary of Kent County Council.
Kent County Council commissioned a history of Kent in ten volumes, under the general editorship of Dr Nigel Yates, the then County Archivist and editor of four of the publications. The series is comprised of eight core publications covering the whole of Kent from its earliest age to the present day, with a further two special volumes on the histories of Rochester Bridge and Rochester Cathedral. The complete series has been written by experts in their field and provides the first authoritative history of the County since Edward Hasted published his History and Topographical Survey of Kent in 1796.
‘Traffic and Politics: The Construction and Management of Rochester Bridge AD 43 – 1993’, was the first volume in the series to be published in 1994. It was funded entirely by the Rochester Bridge Trust. The Rochester Cathedral volume, ‘Faith and Fabric: A History of Rochester Cathedral 604-1994’, was jointly funded by the County Council and the Friends of Rochester Cathedral, with a grant from the Kent Archaeological Society. The remaining volumes have been funded by Kent County Council and the Rochester Bridge Trust with one-off grants for specific volumes from appropriate bodies. A large number of academics have been involved in the project so far, including 10 volume editors and over seventy contributors.
The final volume in the Kent History Project series, published in June 2016 and edited by Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, is entitled ‘Early Medieval Kent, 800-1220’. The essays collected in this publication provide insights into a range of topics of importance in the history of Kent during this seminal period. To provide a context for these the opening essay presents an assessment of the kingdom of Kent. Subsequent chapters consider the development of first rural and then urban society, the impact of the Vikings, pilgrimage and the landscape, literacy and learning, the developing monastic way of life, placements, and parish church architecture and Norman patronage. The final three chapters develop a multidisciplinary approach to discuss Canterbury as a case study.
This publication signifies the conclusion of the Kent History Project. Kent County Council would like to thank all those who have been involved in the Project, including editors, contributors, staff at Boydell & Brewer, and our subscribers. Kent County Council would like to recognise the contribution of Mr Ian Coulson, who was the general editor from 2001 and instrumental in the completion of the Kent History Project. His dedication, enthusiasm for history and delight in sharing this with others will be sadly missed.
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