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 free lunchtime talks at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, which are held between 1pm and 2pm. Call us on 03000 42 06 73 or email archives@kent.gov.uk for more information or to register your interest.

Date Name of talk About the talk
10 June 2019

Claire Bartram

'Bookishness': Writing, Sharing and Collecting Books in Early Modern Kent

Claire examines famous and not-so-famous writers, readers and bibliophiles living in Kent and considers the social circumstances that underpins what Peter Laslett famously termed the 'bookish' reputation of the Kentish in Tudor times.

Claire Bartram teaches early modern literature at Canterbury Christ Church University and is especially interested in writers and readers living in Kent in the sixteenth century. She is editor of a book of essays forthcoming with Peter Lang on Kentish Book Culture 1400-1660.

24 June 2019

Deborah Collins

The History of Workhouses and How They Reflected Changes in Society

The editor of a website on Kent workhouses looks at how the workhouse, both the physical buildings and the running of them, changed with social and cultural developments.

Deborah Collins is a local historian specialising in the study of Kent Poor Law Unions and their interaction with the local community. She has a website on Kent Poor Law Unions and related topics.

15 July 2019

Mark Connelly

Ypres: transforming a Belgian city into an outpost of the British Empire, 1919-1939

As soon as the war ended, visitors began to arrive. Some wanted to find out where loved ones had fought and died while others wanted to see something of the reality of the battlefields for themselves.

Mark Connelly is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kent. He works closely with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and has assisted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport with its activities during the First World War centenary.

29 July 2019

Liz Finn

The Orchard Family: Loss, Heartbreak and Remembrance

More than 740,000 British servicemen were killed or died in the First World War. The story of the Orchard family from Folkestone illustrates the human cost of the war.

Liz Finn is an archivist with the Kent Archives Service, based at the Kent History and Library Centre. She currently combines her post of Community History Officer with a role as Manorial Documents Register Project Officer for Kent.

9 September 2019

Peter Clarke

Clergy and Criminal Violence in later medieval Kent

A presentation of the speaker’s current research on clergy and criminal violence in later medieval England and Wales, with special reference to pre-1500 church court records in the Rochester and Canterbury diocese archives.

Peter D. Clarke is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Southampton and specialises in later medieval religious history, especially the papacy and canon law.

21 October 2019

James Lloyd

The White Horse of Kent

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

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.