Exhibitions and tours

Find out about our exhibitions and tours at the Kent History and Library Centre.


Join a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the archives and meet the Heritage Services team.

Book a tour or group visit


Join in on one of our talks at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone. Call us on 03000 42 06 73 or email archives@kent.gov.uk for more information or to register your interest.

21 October 2019

James Lloyd: The White Horse of Kent

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm to 2pm

Price: free

The White Horse is the ubiquitous symbol of the county but what exactly does it mean and for how long has it been used?

James Lloyd gained a Cambridge doctorate for research into local government in Anglo-Saxon England. He currently combines roles as an archivist at the Kent History and Library Centre and Librarian at Aylesford Priory.

28 October 2019

Paul Cullen: Kent Inn Names

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm to 2pm

Price: free

Paul considers fresh research in this follow-up to an earlier talk on how Kent alehouses, inns and pubs got their names.

Paul Cullen is the English Place-Name Society’s editor for the Survey of Kent. His academic background is in historical linguistics, especially Old English, Old Scandinavian, and Old French. He is known to dozens as the folk troubadour, Paul Carbuncle.

4 November 2019

Writing Family History: The Sidneys of Penshurst

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 10am to 5pm

Price: free

How does quill power, the process of writing by hand, forge connections across time and space? Join Professor Alison Findlay (Lancaster University) and expert calligrapher Els Van Den Steen (Cinque Ports Scribes) to find out how Shakespeare’s contemporaries, the men and women of Penshurst Place, used letters, plays, adventure stories and poems to make their mark and shape the history of their family.

Learn how to read the unique documents on display and how to write as the Sidneys did with quills and ink. Find out what watermarks, binding and decoration of manuscripts can tell us; watch extracts from performances to discover how female-authored plays cast new light on work by Shakespeare that you study at school or college or enjoy on stage. The day of workshops and informal talks at Kent History and Library Centre uncovers a fascinating family history of writers from the region, whose home Penshurst Place, you can still visit to discover more.

Find out more about the Sidney family via the Future Learning website.