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Salon: Issue 352
2 November 2015

Next issue: 16 November 2015

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of 18th- and 19th-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.

Send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor (if you are reading this in an email, please do not reply directly as we will not receive your message). 

Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Introducing Public Tours of Burlington House

We're very pleased to announce the introduction of public tours of Burlington House, beginning in January 2016. With the help of Fellow Anthony Davis (Council member), who will be leading the tours, we hope to provide public audiences with a unique opportunity to visit our historic apartments, learn about our history and discover some of the remarkable objects in our collections. These tours (lasting 1.5 hours) will take place on mornings coinciding with our monthly public lectures. Visitors wishing to attend both a tour and a public lecture on the same day are asked to please book each separately (tours are £10.00 per person, but public lectures are free). We hope you will help us spread the word!

These tours are being offered to help us engage with new public audiences and increase public access to the building and our collections. Fellows interested in learning more about the Society, building and collections are encouraged to book a place on one of our Introductory Tours of Burlington House for Fellows (more information on dates for those occurs later in this newsletter). The Introductory Tours for Fellows are free (although Fellows have the option of paying £5.00 for lunch).
Picture of a tour at Burlington House

Time is Running Out! Order a William Morris Fruitcake for Christmas by 16 November — Kelmscott Manor Will Receive £5.50 From Each Purchase

Award-winning artisan baker Ursula Evans follows Morris’s fruitcake recipe almost to the letter, soaking the vine fruits in brandy, baking slowly in her AGA. ‘The luxury glace fruits used in the original William Morris fruitcake mixture are used as a topping now’, she says, ‘but otherwise, these are the cakes that the Morris family enjoyed for tea in the 1880s.’
Each order supports the future care and development of Kelmscott Manor, Morris's 'heaven on earth'. To enjoy a William Morris fruitcake with family and friends this Christmas, please place your order no later than 16 November via the My Cottage Kitchen website.

Picture of a William Morris Cake

Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings

Unless stated otherwise, tea is served from 16.15 and meetings start at 17.00. Guests are welcome if accompanied by a Fellow. Details of forthcoming meetings and events can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

5 November 2015: ‘Sacred Landscape and National Identity: New Work at Strata Florida Abbey, Wales’, by David Austin, FSA.

12 November 2015: ‘Why is Celtic Art 'Celtic'?’, by John Collis, FSA.* **
*Please note: A ballot is scheduled for this meeting (login required for online voting).
**Please note: This is a change from the meeting and events card previously posted to Fellows. The lecture by Matthew Grenby has been postponed to our spring 2016 programme.

19 November 2015: ‘Disaster Recovery: New Evidence for the Impact of the Black Death’, by Carenza Lewis, FSA.*
*Please note: A ballot is scheduled for this meeting (login required for online voting).

Forthcoming Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

24 November 2015: ‘Folk Carols of England’, by Yvette Staelens, FSA
Unfortunately, this lecture is now fully booked. But we hope to post a recording after the event!

19 January 2016: ‘The Waddeson Bequest at the British Museum, A New Look’, by Dora Thornton, FSA, and Tom Fotheringham. A few places are still available! Book now!
There will also be a public tour of Burlington House on this day (booking required).

23 February 2016: 'The Camera and the King: Photographing the Excavation of Tutankhamun's Tomb', by Christina Riggs, FSA. A few places are still available! Book now!
There will also be a public tour of Burlington House on this day (booking required).

Click here for the full programme of public lectures 2015-2016.

Society Dates to Remember: Mark Your Calendars


Forthcoming Closures

The Society's apartments (including the Library and Fellows' Room) will be closed to Fellows and visitors on Friday, 18 December for a staff training and development day.

The Society will be completely closed for the Christmas holidays from 24 December 2015 to 1 January 2016 (inclusive).

Introductory Tours of Burlington House for Fellows

The next in the Society’s regular series of introductory tours will take place on 28 January 2016. Additional tour dates include 24 March and 23 June.

Tours are free, but limited to 25 people, so places should be booked in advance. Please contact the Society’s Executive Assistant (call 020 7479 7080 or email Tours start at 11.00, and coffee is served from 10.45. Lunch is available at the end of the tour for £5, but must be ordered in advance. There will be further tours scheduled in the autumn.

Kelmscott Closes for the Winter

As I write Kelmscott Manor, the Oxfordshire retreat of William Morris and his entourage, is open to the public for the last day of another successful season. Among recent visitors, says Sandy Nairne FSA, was Ben Pentreath, a London-based architectural and interior designer. Pentreath describes his tour in his elegant weekly blog (Inspiration) with words and photos, characteristically finding Kelmscott ‘a dream building’, and enjoying the rooms and their furnishings after ‘a lovely 10 minute walk down a quiet lane … [when] the hustle and worries of the world slip away’.
Nairne described his own ‘first proper visit’ to Kelmscott in The William Morris Society Newsletter in 2014. It was, he says, in 1981, after punting up the river from Oxford to Cricklade with his girlfriend (now wife). He notes other visitors, including the painter George Leslie in 1889, who spotted ‘Morris’s head leaning out of an upper window’, and ‘never saw an old house so lovingly and tenderly fitted up and cared for as this one; the perfect taste and keeping of the furniture and hangings, and the way in which the original beauties of the house had been preserved was indeed a lesson to be remembered.’
I visited Kelmscott with my family on the penultimate open day. We were blessed with a beautiful, bright autumn afternoon at a very special place, as you can see in this selection of photos. The Society, as residuary legatee of May Morris's will, became owner of the Manor in 1962. It re-opens in 2016.

Rossetti at Kelmscott 


Jeremy Warren FSA
, Hon Secretary of the Society’s committees and thus responsible for those that oversee the Library and Collections, and Kelmscott, sends Salon an article by Julia Dudkiewicz in the Autumn edition of The British Art Journal (vol. XVI.2). In ‘Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s collection of Old Masters at Kelmscott Manor’, Dudkiewicz considers the collection of Old Masters of Rossetti (1828–82), with particular reference to Views of Rua Nova dos Mercadores I & II by an unknown Netherlandish or Portuguese artist (1570–90). She argues that the Rua Nova paintings (shown originally to have been a single canvas, cut by Rossetti) encapsulated his key antiquarian and artistic preoccupations, comprising a microcosm of his collecting interests. They were originally purchased for Rossetti’s London residence at Tudor House (16 Cheyne Walk) in 1866, but by the 1870s they were part of his possessions at Kelmscott, where they have remained, together with three further survivals of his mostly untraced Old Master collection.

Mystery Anglo-Saxon Brooch

‘This beautiful object has intriguing stories to tell,’ says Leslie Webster FSA of an Anglo-Saxon gilt-bronze brooch whose export from the UK has been barred by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey until 26 January 2016. The brooch was made in the late eighth–early ninth century AD. Twelve similar ones are known, but this example ‘stands out amongst them for its high skill and creativity’.
‘At first sight,’ says Webster, a member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, ‘its decoration baffles the eye with a seemingly abstract tangle of swirls and corrugations; but if you take time to unravel the pattern, it reveals itself as an elegant interplay of twining plants, whose pointed leaves and interlacing stems identify it as a version of the Christian “Tree of Life” design, which was widespread in the art of this period.’
The recommended price to keep it in Britain is £8,460 (net of VAT). The owner’s identity, how they came to possess it and exactly where it came from, have not been published.

Blood, Iron and Sacrifice 

The BBC’s TV series on ancient Celts – full title, The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver [left] – was broadcast in October, and for a little while can be seen on iPlayer (the first programme for a few days, the others for longer). It’s worth watching for the location shots in museums and at archaeological sites across Europe. Dramatic sequences are unusually effective for archaeological programmes, and look well funded. The uncredited script, however (apparently the work of the films’ makers and not Roberts or Oliver), did not go down well on social media. Rachel Pope FSA wrote a blog for History Today (after viewing the first of three films) which caught the mood. What happened, she wrote, to ‘the last two and a half of decades of scholarly work’?
‘I suddenly seemed to be finding myself in the 1960s,’ said Pope, noting out-dated reliance on Classical texts in seeking to understand complex prehistoric events; heavy promotion of a mythical unified Celtic people sweeping back and forth across Europe; and (contrasting with the rich and varied archaeological record) an obsession with war and male power.
Women featured in the final film, but on the back of Classical texts and Boudica rather than an integral part of the story. Beautiful as it was to watch, it was tired and very out of date. If the series was timed to coincide with Celts: Art and Identity, a major, pioneering exhibition now at the British Museum (and later National Museums Scotland), there can have been no useful dialogue between programme makers and museums.

(On the exhibition, Waldemar Januszczak has reviewed it ecstatically for The Sunday Times [subscription needed], vowing that were he ‘ever to succumb to this popular urge [for a tattoo] I now know what I would wish it to say. In florid Celtic tendrils, flanked by dragons, with interlacings, crosses, decorated capitals, the works, my tattoo would declare: I love [Fellow] Neil MacGregor.’)
In an earlier Salon I praised the BBC’s Building The Ancient City: Athens And Rome, presented by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill FSA. With the latter described as both presenter, and script and historical consultant, and the director, Paul Elston, as writer, it was a triumphant success. Wallace-Hadrill, said the critics, is no mere celebrity reader, but someone who knows what he’s talking about. ‘Commissioning editors will have noticed’, I said. ‘Perhaps they will have learnt.’ Not yet, they haven’t.

Carriages of Britain 

Julian Munby FSA, Head of Buildings Archaeology at Oxford Archaeology (and, he says, ‘a Fellow who has written about Queen Elizabeth's carriages, and studied the English coach in the Kremlin’), writes about a new venture to record historic carriages.
'Historic carriages are a curiously neglected part of our heritage, while they include some of the most superbly designed and decorated examples of furniture on wheels, whether in museums or private collections. The newly launched Carriages of Britain (COB) project aims to create an online database of all historic horse-drawn carriages in collections throughout the UK. On Friday 30 October, in a truly glittering event at the Royal Mews, standing beside the Gold State Coach (1762), Colin Henderson, lately the Queen’s Head Coachman, announced that the Carriage Foundation, founded by enthusiasts for horse-drawn vehicles in 1991, has become a registered charity to promote interest and expertise in carriages through educational resources, publications and study days. In addition to developing historical information through the COB database, the foundation will also explore the foundation of a national carriage museum. Those interested in supporting through membership and donation can contact the Carriage Foundation.'
Photo shows James Pollard’s The London-Faringdon Coach Passing Buckland House, Berkshire (1835), at the Yale Center for British Art.

The Church Monuments Essay Prize

Here is welcome news of a writing prize, which Fellows may like to circulate:
‘The Council of the Church Monuments Society (CMS) has launched a biennial prize of £250 called the Church Monuments Essay Prize, to be awarded with a certificate for the best essay submitted in the relevant year. The aim of the competition is to stimulate more people, particularly those who are perhaps aiming to write on church monuments for the first time or who are not regular contributors, to submit material for the CMS journal Church Monuments. The competition is therefore open only to those who have not previously published an article in Church Monuments.
‘The subject of the essay must be an aspect of church monuments of any period in Britain or abroad. The length (including endnotes) shall not exceed 10,000 words and a maximum of 10 illustrations, preferably in colour. The prize will only be awarded if the essay is considered by the judges to be of sufficiently high standard to merit publication in the Society’s journal.
‘The closing date for entries is 31 December 2015. Please contact the Hon. Journal Co-Editors for more details and/or advice on the suitability of a particular topic, or see the Society’s website for a copy of the rules and for the guidelines to contributors.'
Addresses for details and for submission of articles (before 31 December 2015):
Rhianydd Biebrach FSA Email:
Paul Cockerham FSA Email:

Cockerham’s photo shows the tomb chest of Kenelm Digby (1590) at Stoke Dry, Rutland.

Westminster Palace: Inspiring Creativity

‘The future of the Houses of Parliament concerns us all’, wrote Loyd Grossman FSA (Chairman, Heritage Alliance), Sir Laurie Magnus (Chairman, Historic England), Sir Peter Luff (Chairman, National Heritage Memorial Fund) and Tim Parker (Chairman, National Trust) to The Times on 20 October.
‘Repairing and restoring this Grade I listed centrepiece of the Westminster World Heritage Site to its true glory’, they continued, ‘will be an international story. This project, besides creating jobs and apprenticeships, could drive a resurgence in many craft and traditional building skills. We need urgently to commission the training to supply this expertise, as well as the associated management and scholarship that will be so vital for its successful delivery. It is vital that parliamentarians and the public ensure that this work highlights the quality of our heritage, the excellence of our management and conservation skills, and shows the extent to which heritage contributes to our economic recovery. As such it will inspire national creativity and champion the beauty and value of our historic environment to a global audience.‘
The issue had come to Parliament’s attention after a report it commissioned was highlighted in the House of Commons by the Speaker John Bercow in March. Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster, published only three years before, catalogued a shocking history of poor property management, and dilapidation so severe that major, urgent restoration was essential if it was not all to fall down (indeed, but for its unique heritage value, said the report, it should be demolished as beyond hope).

A significant insight was that huge sums of money and many years could be saved if the Palace’s occupants moved out while the work occurred, and that doing so was a perfectly realistic proposition. Despite Bercow’s speech, however, Parliament has yet to show it values its iconic, world-famous home (as featured in Spectre, the new James Bond film) more than its members’ fleeting opportunity to enjoy its hallowed, antiquated rooms without having the builders in. In an apparently unrelated leader on 24 October, The Times pleaded with Parliament to continue printing its acts on vellum rather than ‘better, cheaper, kinder’ archival paper, a more pressing matter, it seems, than the Palace's impending collapse.
As well as the heritage benefits listed by Grossman and his co-writers, and the necessary ones of making the buildings safe, efficient and sustainable, as I wrote in a letter published by The Times on 26 October, the required works offer the chance to learn a significant amount about the site’s history and architecture. If ever there was a project that could highlight the UK’s heritage and archaeology skills, one of the country’s great intellectual and industrial successes, restoring the Palace of Westminster must be it.

Icon Conservation Awards

The Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Programme:
Stage 1, led by Pieta Greaves and Deborah Cane, Birmingham Museums Trust, has won The Pilgrim Trust Award for Conservation. Judges were impressed by the project’s ‘grand vision of making the public say “wow” about conservation. Bringing together science, partnership work and community engagement, it was described … as the poster project of the sector.’
The prize was one of the Institute of Conservation’s 2015 Icon Conservation Awards, announced on 22 October by Tim Marlow, broadcaster, art historian and Director of Artistic Programmes at the Royal Academy of Arts. Other winners were:
Resurrecting the Coffin Works: Sharing Skills, Building a Legacy, led by Deborah Magnoler, Sarah Hayes and Dawn Holland, Birmingham Conservation Trust: Icon Award for Conservation in the Community.
Gemma McBader, Cardiff University, for the investigation and conservation of a 19th-century Ethiopian emperor’s shield: Pilgrim Trust Student Conservator of the Year Award.
Grand Fountain Restoration, Paisley, Renfrewshire Council, Historic Scotland, Lost Art and Industrial Heritage Consulting Ltd: Institution of Mechanical Engineers Award for the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact.
Steam Pinnace 199, Group 199 (volunteers at the National Museum of the Royal Navy): Institution of Mechanical Engineers Award for Volunteering in the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact.
The Rothko Conservation Project, Tate: Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation.

Photo shows a garden thorn being used to clean dirt from a piece of Anglo-Saxon gold from the Staffordshire Hoard.

Will Road Tunnel Threaten Mesolithic Site? 

‘This is a key site for where Britain began,’ said David Jacques FSA in a press release from the University of Buckingham dated October 29, referring to his excavations at Blick Mead, Wiltshire. Jacques has been excavating the site with colleagues and local volunteers since 2005, uncovering significant quantities of Mesolithic flintwork and contemporary animal bones from alluvial deposits close to the River Avon. Published radiocarbon dates range intermittently from around 7500 BC to 4300 BC.
Blick Mead joins other comparable Mesolithic (hunter-gatherer) sites in the county, at Cherhill (excavated by late Fellows John Evans and Isobel Smith) and Downton, at both of which larger assemblages were recovered and, at Downton, remains of nationally rare house structures. Blick Mead’s propinquity to Stonehenge, however, and Jacques’ clever engagement with the media, mean the latter is much the better known outside specialist archaeological circles.
On this occasion, the release was timed to coincide with a visit to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site by representatives from UNESO and ICOMOS, considering proposals for a tunnel to conceal much of the present A303 road. John Lewis FSA, General Secretary, represented the Society of Antiquaries at a meeting about the tunnel with UNESCO.
The roadworks were promised by the Government in its election manifesto. Jacques seems to disapprove, judging from the University of Buckingham’s opening sentence:
‘The ground-breaking discovery of a Stone Age “eco” home – the oldest sign of settlement yet found in the Stonehenge landscape – could be under threat if controversial Government-backed plans for a tunnel go through the ancient site.’
Details have not been published, but the ‘eco-home’ appears to be a tree throw (or as a Daily Mail caption writer put it, a ‘bowel-shaped hollow left by a fallen tree’). Clearly if the tunnel went through the ancient site it would indeed destroy it. On present evidence that seems unlikely. In QinetiQ’s drone photo reproduced here (published by the BBC), the Blick Mead excavation can be seen at the bottom to the left (south) of the A303. The suggested start of the tunnel (detailed plans have yet to be agreed) is to the west at the top of the photo. Phil McMahon, Inspector of Ancient Monuments at Historic England, said, 'We understand that any tunnel scheme is likely to be well away from the Blick Mead site.'

Lives Remembered 

Ronald Brunskill FSA, one-time Reader in Architecture at the University of Manchester, Member of the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales and an authority on British vernacular architecture, died on 9 October. David Woodcock FSA, Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Director Emeritus, Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M University, writes a ‘very personal tribute’:
‘Ronald Brunskill was my First Year design teacher at the University of Manchester sixty years ago, chaired my thesis committee for my professional degree in Architecture, and remained a lifelong mentor and friend. Married to the delightful Mimi, whom he met when on a fellowship in Florida, he maintained a regular correspondence across the Atlantic, and did me the honor of lecturing at Texas A&M University at a symposium on building documentation (a skill he taught me) celebrating my own 25th anniversary of directing Historic American Buildings Survey projects with my students. He was a scholar whose rigor was hard to match, a daunting critic who taught me the art of helpful criticism, and an extraordinary human being with a passion for architecture and a compassion for people. I will miss the exchange of words, and will never forget how much he shaped and guided my career. My thoughts are with Mimi and with his family, together with my thanks for their willingness to share him with us for so many years.’

Paul Latcham FSA adds to Fellow Richard Barber’s news of the death of John Blatchly FSA:
‘John Blatchly was a long-standing stalwart member of The Bookplate Society and its president since 2012. His contributions to the Society’s publications were numerous, including several annual members’ books as well as important articles and interesting notes for the Bookplate Journal. He made many happy conjunctions in his work between bookplates of East Anglian folk and his extensive knowledge of the history of that region. John was a generous scholar who shared his knowledge freely. He will be greatly missed by the Society in a practical way for the cessation of his writings, but not least for his good fellowship. John was one of the few Fellows to regularly consult the fine Hall Crouch collection of bookplates at Burlington House, a much neglected resource. It should also be recorded that he was a substantial contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB).’

News of Fellows

Mary Beard FSA has a new book out. The world took note. Thanks to her hardworking scholarship, communication skills and media savvy, Beard’s S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome (Profile) was an instant ‘#1 Best Seller’ on Amazon. Mere scribbling academics could only sit back in awe as critics competed for attention. More prominent reviews include those in The Observer (‘vastly engaging … as scholarly as it is hugely readable’), The Scotsman (‘will make even the biggest devotees of the Empire’s history think again’), The Guardian (‘wonderfully lucid analysis’), The Financial Times (‘Beard sometimes strains the relevance of her Roman examples in her effort to sneak the ancient Romans into the present … On the other hand, sometimes the mirror that Rome provides us with is not only apt but actually disturbing’), The Economist (‘masterful’), The Independent (‘pacy, weighty, relevant and iconoclastic’), The Sunday Times (‘a colossal task … [at which] Beard succeeds triumphantly’), The Times (‘deliverance of rights and freedoms to the people is more important than the military triumphs and achievements of the rulers’) and The Spectator (‘ground-breaking’) (the last three are behind paywalls).

Beard was interviewed by The Independent (‘I’d be rubbish at it,’ she says in response to the suggestion that she might have succeeded Neil MacGregor FSA as Director of the British Museum) and talked about Rome on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week. She joined Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2. She answered readers’ questions in a live webchat for The Guardian, and herself wrote an article (‘Why ancient Rome matters to the modern world’) for the same paper. Across the pond, S.P.Q.R. was given a coveted starred review by Kirkus (‘clever, thoroughly enjoyable style of writing’). Beard will address the Boston Athenaeum on 11 November.

Deb Klemperer FSA, Principal Curator at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, writes about her brother Adam Ford FSA. Ford is an archaeologist in Melbourne, Australia, with his own ABC TV series: under the perfect title of Who’s Been Sleeping in My House? Ford investigates the history of people who lived in homes before their current owners. He has also written a book, published in Australia back in January and out in the UK on November 5, My Life in Ruins: From Petra to Glenrowan, My Adventures and Misadventures in Archaeology (Harper360). ‘From Cold War bunkers in England to Bronze Age cities on the Euphrates, remotes caves in the Jordan Valley, shipwrecks in Western Australia and burials in Barbados, Adam has dug, dived, abseiled and trekked his way into history. Part memoir, part potted history of civilisation, My Life in Ruins is the story of a life lived in uncovering the past.’

Geoffrey Bond FSA, a former Sherriff of the City of London, has made a short film about the Lord Mayor of the City of London Cultural Scholarship Scheme, which he set up five years ago. The scheme helps young people to gain two weeks work experience in cultural institutions, galleries and museums – to see heritage at work. ‘This year’, writes Bond, ‘has seen us having 17 placements at a variety of cultural locations, the National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Royal Opera House, V&A etc and it is proving very successful. The thrust of the Scheme is to get more young people to appreciate the cultural economy and to consider careers in conservation, curation, archives etc.’

Gothic for the Steam Age: An Illustrated Biography of George Gilbert Scott (Aurum Press), by Gavin Stamp FSA, naturally features London’s restored St. Pancras Station on its front cover. It has been well reviewed in the press, with pieces by Rowan Moore in The GuardianJacqueline Banerjee in Victorian WebSimon Bradley in The Spectator, and Richard Griffiths in the RIBA Journal (‘This excellent book gives us a Scott for our age’). In Country Life, John Goodall wrote: â€˜â€¦ the whole book feels like a brilliant deposition of evidence in which a wide spectrum of opinions about Scott and his work are rehearsed. We hear the voice of his detractors and apologists (including Scott himself, who wrote vigorously in his own self-defence), glossed with incisive comments and correctives from the author. The result is that Dr Stamp has not just informed me of the fact that Scott was a great architect; he has me fully persuaded.’

The National Trust has published The Wonder of the North: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal (Boydell Press) by Mark Newman FSA, the Trust's archaeological adviser for Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal estate since 1988. Dubbed ‘the Wonder of the North’ in 1732, the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Estate (now a World Heritage Site) encompasses one of the largest, most magnificent and beautiful designed landscapes ever created. The illustrated book charts the landscape's history from prehistoric hunters, via medieval monasticism, the Dissolution, 18th-century aestheticism and scandal and the first ages of mass tourism to the present day. At the heart of the story lies the rise and fall of England's largest Cistercian monastery and how that shaped the origins of the Aislabie family's breathtaking gardens. Claire Forbes, Editor, Specialist Publishing at the National Trust, is offering Fellows copies of the book at a discounted price of £25 (R.R.P. £35) [cheaper than Amazon], payment by cheque only. Write to Claire Forbes, The National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2NA.

Mary C. Beaudry FSA has co-edited with Karen Bescherer Metheny Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia (Rowman & Littlefield). The two illustrated volumes offer more than 250 entries featuring recent discoveries alongside results of decades of research, and are designed as a reference for scholars and students in archaeology, food studies, and related disciplines, as well as reading for culinary historians, foodwriters, and food and archaeology enthusiasts. Beaudry has also co-edited (with Kevin R. Fogle and James A. Nyman) Beyond the Walls: New Perspectives on the Archaeology of Historical Households (University Press of Florida). Essays examine historical home sites in North America and the Caribbean and their wider landscapes to more fully address past social issues.

David Cox FSA has written The Church and Vale of Evesham 700–1215: Lordship, Landscape and Prayer (Boydell Press). Cox uses archaeology, maps and documents to consider one of the most important Benedictine abbeys and its landscape. The church, founded c. 701, turned the Vale of Evesham into a federation of Christian communities, and a land of scattered farms into one of open fields and villages, manor houses and chapels. Evesham itself developed into a town and the abbots played a role in the affairs of the kingdom and were generous patrons of the arts. But as the abbey waxed ever grander it found less time for ‘the monasticism of the soul’. The story ends badly in the prolonged scandal of Abbot Norreis, a libertine whose appetites caused religion to collapse at Evesham before his own sudden downfall.

Lawrence Keppie FSA has revised and edited late Fellow Anne S. Robertson’s The Antonine Wall (Glasgow Archaeological Society), an illustrated handbook to Scotland’s Roman frontier. The Antonine Wall, constructed between the Forth and the Clyde in AD 142, was held by the Roman Army for about 20 years as the northern frontier of the province of Britannia. A continuous barrier of turf on a stone foundation, it ran for 60 kilometres, equipped with a regular series of forts. The Antonine Wall was made a world Heritage Site in 2008.
Simon Roffey FSA, Reader in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Winchester, has co-edited Danes in Wessex: The Scandinavian Impact on Southern England, c. 800–c. 1100, with Ryan Lavelle (Oxbow Books). The first collection of essays to be devoted solely to Scandinavian engagement with Wessex, the book includes papers by Roffey and Martin Biddle FSA, the late Birthe Kjølbye-Biddle FSA, Stuart Brookes FSA and Ann Williams FSA. Two major topics, the Viking wars – Wessex was a major theatre of war in the reigns of Alfred and Æthelred Unræd – and the Danish landowning elite, figure strongly but are shown not to be the sole reasons for the presence of Danes, or items associated with them, in the region. Multi-disciplinary approaches evoke Vikings and Danes not just through the written record, but through their impact on real and imaginary landscapes and via the objects they owned or produced.
Edward Chaney FSA, Professor of Fine and Decorative Arts at Southampton Solent University, has written G.B. Edwards and The Book of Ebenezer Le Page (Blue Ormer), a biography. Chaney befriended Gerald Edwards, the reclusive author of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page (1981), and encouraged him to complete the novel and had it published after he bequeathed him the manuscript. The book reconstructs Gerald’s Guernsey origins and his status as the ‘genius friend’ of a group of writers who contributed to Middleton Murry’s Adelphi in the 1920s. It then documents his descent into obscurity in the 1940s. The second part relates how Chaney met Edwards in Dorset in 1972 and how the novel eventually came to be published and was enthusiastically received in Britain and beyond.

Christine Finn FSA writes: â€˜Thanks for mentioning the show at Timespan. Tromholt's images were actually made in Norway, rather than Finland... I did see his work for the first time at the Sami cultural centre in Inari, Finland, but his aurora observatory was situated in Koutokeino, Norway, during 1882/83.’ Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis, featuring Sophus Tromholt’s aurora drawings, can be seen at Timespan, Helmsdale, until 15 November.

‘I'm getting fed up’, writes Alan Saville FSA, ‘with reading about these “earliest” Scottish discoveries on Islay’ (Salon 351, quoting The Guardian). He continues:
‘The recent discoveries on Islay by Steven Mithen FSA and Karen Wicks have been presented in more detail in a recent paper (Journal of Quaternary Science 30 (2015) 396–416) [and less technically in British Archaeology 145 (November/December 2015)]. Whether or not the stone tools found prove to represent Lateglacial human activity of Ahrensburgian facies as suggested, they would not be the earliest evidence for human activity in Scotland. The Islay discoveries clearly post-date the coldest phase of the Loch Lomond Stadial (Younger Dryas) and are significantly more recent than the Havelte phase late Hamburgian tanged-point assemblage found at Howburn in Lanarkshire, which must date to the previous Windermere Interstadial, most probably prior to the Older Dryas (see Oxford Journal of Archaeology 29 (2010) 323–60). In approximate chronological terms, therefore, human activity occurred at Howburn around 14,000 years ago, some 2,000 years before that claimed from the Islay evidence.’

Fellows' Bookplates

Robert Merrillees FSA responds to a note in the last Salon by Anthony Davis FSA about a simple bookplate used by George Jeffery FSA.
‘Boring or not,’ writes Merrillees, ‘the bookplate of George Jeffery belies the exceptional role he played in the preservation of Cyprus' architectural heritage, long before it was fashionable to do so, as Curator of Ancient Monuments from 1903 to 1935. No archaeologist but an architect by training, Jeffery had no need for “clinging onto civilisation” before the Second World War, as by all accounts life, at least for expatriates, was largely idyllic, but he certainly required all the fortitude and determination he possessed to save the Classical, Mediaeval and ecclesiastical buildings in the island from the neglect and worse of the local authorities. His membership of the Society was less a personal source of comfort than a professional means for promoting his goal to safeguard the monuments in his care, and the publication of his diaries, edited with great care by Despina Pilides FSA, was reviewed by me in The Antiquaries Journal 90 (2010), 510–11.’

Memorials to Fellows

Jenny Freeman FSA sends photos of two memorials.
First (left) a substantial monument to Tubby Clayton FSA (formally the Reverend Philip Clayton, 1885–1972), in All Hallows-by-the-Tower church, City of London. Clayton, the founder of Toc H, a Christian faith-based service originally for soldiers, was honoured by the Society for his study of encaustic floor tiles at Westminster Abbey.

Second (right) is a wall tablet to James Mingay FSA (1752–1812), a Kings Counsel famous in his day and commemorated in St Mary the Less Church, Thetford, Norfolk. ‘This is the best shot I could manage’, writes Freeman, ‘using a head torch as the church is derelict and has no electricity.’
Freeman’s photo is timely, as
last month Mingay’s father, a Thetford surgeon, was the subject of a remarkable story. Reported by the Eastern Daily Press (EDP), it ended well – as much as that could be said of the events that occurred. In 2013 intruders broke into the church and then the vault, and removed Mingay’s skull from his coffin. After playing football with it, they left it ‘on the picturesque Spring Walk’. The skull was later foundand handed into Thetford Police station, where it was kept â€˜in a sealed box’.
‘But earlier this year,’ says the EDP, ‘the building was bought by restoration specialist, Dr Jenny Freeman, and an arrangement was made to return Mr Mingay’s skull.’ On September 18 it was reinstated to prayers, with a lead plaque. Mingay senior died in 1801,
aged 83.

Forthcoming Heritage Events

2–8 November: Winter Olympia Art & Antiques Fair (London)
The Winter Olympia Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia National, Kensington, is offering Fellows complimentary entrance tickets. Contact Victoria Smart at 020 7384 or Photo shows a watercolour of Neidpath Castle, Peebles, by Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (1821–1906), for sale from Babbington Fine Art.

5 November: Pepys meets his Match (London)
Peter Barber FSA, Head of Map Collections, The British Library, talks in a Maritime Lecture Series on Samuel Pepys at the National Maritime Museum. In ‘Pepys, Narbrough and the Culture and Aesthetics of Chart-Making’, Barber explains how Pepys was involved in the foundation of the Mathematical School at Christ’s Hospital, that proposed a school of English chart makers, highlighting the late 17th century struggle to improve the quality and originality of English chart and mapmaking.

12 November: Pepys and Beauty Spots (London)
In the same Lecture Series at the National Maritime Museum, Karen Hearn FSA, historian of British art and culture c. 1500–1710, reveals how Pepys expressed various views on the 17th-century fashion for wearing 'beauty spots' – sometimes he approved, and sometimes he didn't. After considering Pepys's diary and other evidence of attitudes, depictions in English and Dutch portraits of the period will also be examined.
20 November 2015–28 March 2016: Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire and Revolution (London)
Using Pepys’ voice and personality, this exhibition at the National Maritime Museum will explore and interpret the period from the execution of Charles I in 1649 to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. On view will be 200 paintings and objects from museums, galleries and private collections across Britain and beyond, split into seven sections – Execution and Commonwealth; Restoration; King and Court; Plague and Fire; Control of the Seas; Science and Society and concluding with ‘Glorious’ Revolution.
Until 29 January 2016: Exhibition on the life of John Evelyn (Leicester)
Leicester University’s Special Collections in the David Wilson Library is hosting an exhibition of ‘exceptional’ rare books and prints, including engraved portraits, illustrations and pamphlets, from the life of 17th-century diarist and writer John Evelyn. Entry is free.

23 November: PASt Explorers: Finds Recording in the Local Community (London)
Michael Lewis FSA, Head of Portable Antiquities & Treasure, will introduce The Portable Antiquities Scheme’s day conference at the British Museum, which this year celebrates the launch of PASt Explorers, the Scheme’s five-year Heritage Lottery Funded project to recruit and train volunteers from local communities, increasing the scheme’s capacity to record archaeological objects found by members of the public. Helen Geake FSA, PASt Explorers Project Officer, will lead a discussion, and Sam Moorhead FSA, National Finds Adviser, will talk on ‘Recording for Research: How PAS finds help us to rewrite history.’ See Eventbrite for details.
30 November: Sixth James Beck Memorial Lecture (London)
Elizabeth Simpson of the Bard Graduate School, New York, will deliver the sixth annual ArtWatch International James Beck Memorial Lecture at the Society of Antiquaries, on ‘King Midas’s Furniture: A Tale of Archaeological Conservation.’ Simpson will discuss the remarkable but problematic excavation of the huge ‘Midas Mound’ (Tumulus MM) at Gordion, Turkey, by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in 1957. A presentation will be made to the winner of the 2015 Frank Mason Award for services to art. For more details and to obtain tickets, see the ArtWatch website.
1 December: Art, Law and Crises of Connoisseurship (London)
For details on this one-day international conference at the Society of Antiquaries, jointly organised by ArtWatch UK, the Center for Art Law (USA) and LSE Law, see the ArtWatch website.

14–15 December: Parish Church Interiors in Changing Times (Leicester)
Registration is open for a conference dedicated to the exploration of the significance, protection and management of 19th and 20th century Church of England parish church interiors, hosted by Historic England and the School of Archaeology & Ancient History at the University of Leicester. For details see the conference webpage.
3–28 February 2016: In the Beginning was the Word (Ely)
An exhibition at Ely Cathedral of Letters: Cut, Written, Printed, celebrates the art of contemporary calligraphy, letter carving and fine printing. In addition to exhibits in stone, wood and ink by some of today’s leading craftsmen, a unique collection will include printing and lettering works of William Morris and David Kindersley, and a copy of Eric Gill’s The Four Gospels. A 12th-century manuscript, Liber Eliensis, and a Royal Charter of Henry VIII will also be on rare display from the Cathedral’s collection.

31 March–4 April, 2016: Inheriting the City: Advancing Understandings of Urban Heritage (Taipei, Taiwan)
Call for papers deadline 20 November 2015. This conference invites academics, policy makers and practitioners to consider the ways that heritage is being protected, managed and mobilised in rapidly changing and pressurised urban contexts. A multidisciplinary event in the magnificent Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City, it will explore the type of heritage, both tangible and intangible, that cities and towns will pass to future generations, and the processes through which the heritage of cities is being re-made, re-presented and re-used. The Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham, welcomes papers from all disciplines and fields. To submit, please email a 300-word abstract to For full details see website.


Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committees
ChurchCare, the buildings division of the Church of England, would like to hear from experienced professionals with an interest in cathedrals and the time and specialist skills to serve in a variety of fields on their voluntary Fabric Advisory Committees (FACs). For details see the ChurchCare website.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). When proposing a lecture, it is helpful to provide a working title, a few sentences about the topic and its significance, and how you will make it relevant and accessible to the entirety of the diverse Fellowship. We welcome papers based on new research on themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.

Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.


Follow the Society of Antiquaries on Twitter for news and event updates: @SocAntiquaries

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