Projects

The Sittingbourne War Memorial Project would like to remember the local fallen men from December 1917.

WW1 Project partners

Sittingbourne War Memorials Project

Memorial project logo

The First World War (4th August 1914 – 11th November 1918) was a significant point in world history. It claimed the lives of over 16 million people worldwide and had an impact on the lives of everyone who remained.  One hundred years on, we are all connected to the First World War in one way or another.  Either through our own family history, the heritage of our local communities or because of its long term impact on society and the world we live in today.

What's Happening in the Heritage Hub?

A digital Roll of Honour of local men who fought in the First World War, funded by the HLF’sThen & Nowprogramme stands proudly in the Heritage Hub.

WW1 touchscreen

The hi-tech touch screen contains hundreds of names and images. It is situated alongside a life-size replica of a First World War trench, created by students at the University for the Creative Arts. Visitors are able to view, share, and preserve their family’s memories and heritage of the First World War, and the people who lived through it. If you have family or local photos, or you think your family name might be on the touch screen, please pop in and see us.

Project partners

Free to download

Bredhurst Archaeology

HRGS have been excavating at Bredhurst since 2011. We have recently uncovered new flint walls, defined the depth and width of a ditch, found a sherd of Roman pottery, sherd of Roman Tegula (roof tile) and sherds of Medieval pottery. We are slowly making sense of our structures and history the site. Thank you to all those you have taken part and continue to be involved.

Why do we dig?

Archaeology is how we learn about ancient people, how they lived, what they looked like, what tools they used and also about their culture.

The word ‘archaeology’ comes from the Greeks - meaning the study of what is ancient.

Archaeologists are the scientists who study the remains of past civilisations or groups of people.

The life of an archaeologist is far from adventure and danger as portrayed in films…but it still can be pretty exciting when we piece together the puzzle and discover something new.

What do we hope to achieve?

Archaeology is a bit like putting a puzzle together that has lots of the pieces missing. It is a cross between a treasure hunter and a detective. 

Whilst we have a scientific process that we like to follow, we believe that Archaeology should be fun.

Understanding our past, helps us to decide our future. History is the glue that holds communities together.

 

How do we go about it?

Research plays an important part in deciding where to excavate. 

Archaeologists also look at buildings, ruins, mounds or sunken features in the natural landscape. Using modern technology or aerial photography can help provide archaeologists with clues to where old roads or walls once stood. 

Additionally clues may be available in books or maps.

 Various resources help archaeologists to determine where to start digging. We then use modern technologies to help us understand what we have found

Archaeologists look at the things people have left behind such as their dwellings, clothes, bones, cooking utensils, weapons, money and even their rubbish. In fact rubbish pits can be one of the best places to find artefacts of the past.

The Work on site: Is it just digging?

Although a great deal of effort goes into digging or excavating an archaeological site… there are plenty of additional activities that are part of the process to appropriately record, understand and make sense of the site.

These activities include...

  • Metal detecting
  • Geophysical surveying
  • Photography
  • Plan Drawing
  • Dowsing
  • Site surveying
  • Cleaning finds
  • Recording finds
  • Research

So there are plenty of activities to participate in when recording a site!

Who can get involved?

  • Anyone who is keen to be involved...
  • If under 18, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Typically free for HRGS members (£20 for all year which includes talks). Day members welcomed - £5, refunded if you join as an annual member.
  • On-site training is available.

Rose Hill House

HRGS, has been investigating the area of land, just behind Gore Court Cricket Club on London Road. It was here that once stood the site of Rose Hill House, which was demolished in the 1970s.

The first excavations started in 2015 to discover more about its rich history. Rose Hill House, originally known as ‘Gore Hill’, was built by the wealthy Gore family of Ireland in about 1770. Arthur and Sir Booth Gore were tenants of the Tyndale family of Bobbing Court, who sold Bobbing Manor to Valentine Simpson of Sittingbourne in 1796. The Gore tenancy continued until 1800, when Mrs Frances Montrésor took over – her portrait was painted by the noted artist John Singleton Copley in 1778 and still hangs in the diplomatic reception rooms at the Harry S Truman building in the US Department of State, Washington DC. Her husband John, who died in 1799, had been a military engineer for the British Army in America during the War of Independence. She was a tenant at Gore Hill from 1801 until her death in 1826. In her time the house became known as Rose Hill. It is very likely she had the house clad in yellow mathematical tiles, as had been done at her former home, Belmont House in Throwley.  The last owner occupier of the house was Mrs Catherine Stocker.  The house was demolished in 1976.

 

The  work included a project to involve young people aged 11 – 25 explore their own local heritage and share it with the community.  Watch the video to see how they got on:

"This is a project that we have been interested in for quite some time as there are still many people around Sittingbourne that remember the house at Rose Hill and have fond memories of it. 

It also gives us the chance to look out for other glimpses into Sittingbourne’s past, and who knows what else we will find, as Rose Hill is close to the Roman road, Watling Street and the Anglo-Saxon site at The Meads.”

Richard Emmett

Rose Hill House Partners