I was born in Dover and have now been excavating in Kent for almost 50 years, starting as a schoolboy volunteer in 1972. I obtained an honours degree in British Archaeology at University College, Cardiff, in 1978. Upon leaving university I was employed with the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit between 1978 and 1990, working on a variety of sites across Kent and South-east London but mostly in Dover. I also spent several years assisting write-up the Roman villa at Keston, near Bromley.
In 1990 I moved to Canterbury Archaeological Trust and shortly afterwards began the Dover A20 project, which culminated in the discovery of the Bronze Age Boat in 1992. I subsequently went on to lead teams working on the Buckland Anglo-Saxon cemetery in 1994 and the Townwall Street medieval site in Dover during 1996. Between 2002 and 2006 I co-directed a joint project between the Canterbury Trust and the British Museum excavating the complex Bronze Age barrow site at Ringlemere, near Sandwich. I was engaged in overseeing major excavations in the centre of medieval Dover between 2015 and 2017 and I am presently preparing a detailed assessment of this work.
Running parallel with full-time career, I have been Director of Excavations for amateur Dover Archaeological Group, since 1978. The Group has done extensive work in the Dover District, notably on Mill Hill at Deal, Sholden Roman villa and at the Dickson’s Corner Romano-British settlement near Worth.
I joined the Kent Archaeological Society in 1981 and have served on the KAS Fieldwork Committee since 1992, becoming Chairman in 2012. I acted as Director for the KAS excavations at Minster Roman villa between 2002 and 2004 and have organised much of the reporting on this site. I undertook fieldwork for the KAS Lees Court Estate project in 2018 and 2019, mostly working on the Late Bronze Age settlement site in Woods Court Field.
My research interests are largely concerned with prehistoric and Romano-British settlement in Kent and I have a particular interest in settlement evolution across the east Kent downlands. I have been a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists since 1984 and I was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2000. Over the years, I have been responsible for producing or assisting in the production of ten major research reports and monographs on various sites in Kent.
Lees Court Estate post-excavation interview
Mon, 04 Feb 2019
Archaeologists Steve Willis, Keith Parfitt and Richard Taylor discuss the initial findings from the May 2018 excavation of the ring ditch in Stringman's Field on Lees Court Estate. Listen→