Rebuilding Folkestone’s Roman Villa – The Folkestone Miniaturist, A Talk

‘Rebuilding’ Folkestone’s Roman Villa in miniature

Folkestone’s East Wear Bay Roman Villa was originally excavated in 1924 by Christ’s Hospital (Horsham) teacher & noted amateur archaeologist Samuel E. Winbolt, working alongside employees of Folkestone Borough Council. Subsequent digs have taken place, including a rescue dig in 1989, necessitated by coastal erosion and the more recent excavations led by Canterbury Archaeological Trust [CAT] as part of the ‘A Town Unearthed’ project (2010-2011) and their 2022 autumn dig to assess the villa’s condition, the first time its interior had been seen since its post war reburial.

As part of Folkestone Museum’s redisplay of its Roman themed display case it commissioned ‘The Folkestone Miniaturist’ Mike Perry to produce a scale model of the villa in its Roman heyday. Using artefacts from Winbolt’s 1924 excavation held in the Museum’s collection, conversation with local archaeologists Dr Andrew Richardson and Keith Parfitt MCIfA, FSA and a lot of research in Roman architecture Mike has now produced a scale model, including some of its interior rooms. This talk is about how it all happened and is a chance to see the model up close before it goes in the display case.

archaeologists and Mike Perry discussing details of Folkestone's Roman Villa
Keith Parfitt, Andrew Richardson and Mike Perry discussing details of the Roman Villa using S.E. Winbolt’s book about the 1924 excavation.

About Mike Perry

Also known as ‘The Folkestone Miniaturist,’ Mike’s career started with a course in theatre design at the Birmingham College of Art and went on to have a prolific career working on set design for major films, TV shows and theatrical plays. Some of the more well known productions Mike has worked on include The Italian Job’ (1969) and ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’ (1983-2004) as well as working for local television company TVS before going freelance and subsequently moving to Folkestone and carving out, quite literally, another career as The Folkestone Miniaturist.  To learn more about Mike and his work CLICK HERE to read a Folk Life article about him.


The talk is £5.00 per person, as with all our talks, they tend to fill up quickly. For further details  CLICK HERE to go to our contact form, call 01303 257946 and select option 0 (office hours only) or call into Folkestone Museum & Town Hall to buy your ticket and reserve a seat. If you are a subscriber to the Museum e-newsletter don’t forget to quote the discount code at the till!

Refreshments will be available after the talk, donations appreciated

June 10 @ 14:00
14:00 — 15:30 (1h 30′)