In January 2007 planning permission was granted to the Quex Park estate to convert an overgrown brick building and attached barn, a former tractor shed and farm workshop, into an office and storage space for use by the Trust for Thanet Archaeology. The Trust relocated from Broadstairs, to take on the lease of the newly named Antoinette Centre from the Quex Estate in the summer of 2007.

The Old Tractor shed before conversion

The refurbishment of the Antoinette Centre was funded by the Quex Estate and the building work was carried out by a local firm, Sandstone Builders. The layout of the interior space in former garage workshop was developed in consultation with the Trust for Thanet Archaeology to form large open meeting rooms, demonstration areas and stores, which house the Trust’s archaeological archives.

In its location at the Antoinette Centre, the Trust has a synergy with the Powell-Cotton Museum, one of the major players in Thanet’s Heritage Community. Collaboration with the museum has allowed us to programme a series of events such as Archaeology for You and Link to the Past over several years.

Over time the centre has developed as a space for research, teaching and learning and has given many opportunities for volunteers and visitors to experience how the past is explored by archaeologists and historians. In the open spaces around the building the staff have created outdoor activity spaces in a garden that provides a break from the wider world, a quiet space for thinking and learning.

There is room within the centre to expand the facilities that are offered in the future and the Antoinette Centre has a long future ahead.