A new Kent endeavour brings a fresh insight into World War One history but, as Ellie Evans discovers, that is only the first step in a much bigger plan

Uncovering the more mundane side of life in the past is just one outcome of a more immersive approach to history being led by the new Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology (CEMA). With Andy Robertshaw, Steven Spielberg’s historical advisor, at the helm, the new multi-period history site in Kent is the first of its kind for the UK.

Over the summer, replica World War One trenches have been built at the site for filming purposes, but the Great War is only the first of many historical periods to be researched and brought to life as part of CEMA’s varied studies.

Working in conjunction with Kent Showground, Detling, where it’s sited, CEMA aims to draw upon the wealth of local history and uncover long-forgotten secrets of the past with university-backed research, cutting-edge technology and the arts. The site will serve as a film set for both major studios and local filmmakers, as well as being open to schools, universities and tour groups.

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