‘The people before us’ project: exploring heritage and well-being in a rapidly changing seaside town
Hardy, L. and Williams, E. 2019. ‘The people before us’ project: exploring heritage and well-being in a rapidly changing seaside town. in: Darvill, T., Heaslip, V. and Staelens, Y. (ed.) Historic Landscape and Mental Well-being Oxford Archaeopress.
|Authors||Hardy, L. and Williams, E.|
|Editors||Darvill, T., Heaslip, V. and Staelens, Y.|
Illuminated in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter stands the text-sculpture ‘heaven is a place where nothing ever happens’, encapsulating, some commentators note, the ennui of seaside towns. The words are, however, deceptive – Folkestone is evolving rapidly, partly fuelled by funding to regenerate through the arts. Whilst many are embracing this surge of creative development, such change can inevitably lead to anxiety and feelings of alienation for others.
In June 2017 a small team from Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, led a ten-day community graveyard survey at the Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe in the heart of historic Folkestone. The experience and outcomes were revealing - at times unexpected - offering insight into the significance of this ‘hidden’ place, but also the importance of small-scale heritage projects such as this for communities in transition. Immersing - not imposing - ourselves in the daily life of the site also provided a platform for communication with the many individuals and groups who have taken ownership over it, some of whom face significant social challenges.
This paper will discuss some of our experiences and project outcomes, and reflect on the possible importance of historical sites such as these – and our uses of them - for well-being.
|Keywords||Place; Archaeology; Heritage; Folkestone|
|Book title||Historic Landscape and Mental Well-being|
|Place of publication||Oxford|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||07 Feb 2019|
|Accepted||06 Jan 2019|
Open access book.
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