Salon: Issue 390
18 July 2017
Next issue: 1 August 2017
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. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor.
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.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
This Week: Private View for Blood Royal Exhibition
There are just a few tickets left for the private view
of our free summer exhibition, Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy
, which will showcase our collection of medieval and Tudor royal portraits alongside material from the Library and Museum collections, including our postmortem inventory of Henry VIII and an Elizabethan map of an the area near Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for supporting this project. We are delighted that a number of Fellows have given generously of their time to help write interpretation, film video highlights for objects on display and participate in special programming such as gallery talks (Tuesdays, 14.00-14.30) and museum lates (11 August and 25 August). We would particularly like to thank Fellows Mr Peter M Barber
, Dr John PD Cooper
and Prof Glenn J Richardson
, who have worked closely with Society staff to undertake research into the collections and produce the exhibition.
The exhibition officially opens to the public next week, Monday (24 July)
, and we hope Fellows will bring family and friends to explore our collections. Tickets are still available for the private view and can be purchased via our website.
Kelmscott Manor, As William Morris Would Have Known It
Watch the video
below to hear Fellow Paul Drury
describe the way our conservation plans will be based on detailed assessments to reinstate some of the original (pre-Morris) arrangements of the manor house.
The Society is grateful for any donations towards this project. If you can support our plans as a Companion (£500), Benefactor (£5000) or Major Benefactor (£15,000) of Kelmscott Manor, your gift will be recorded in perpetuity. Find out more on our website
Don't forget Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Manor: 28 July. Tickets are still available through the Society website
(login required) or by contacting Kelmscott Manor directly (call 01367 252486, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hut that St Columba Built
On 11 July archaeologists made the surprising announcement that they had identified a wooden hut on the island of Iona as the place where St Columba, traditionally known as the monk who brought Christianity to Scotland from Ireland in AD 563, lived and worked. The site on the small island in the Inner Hebrides – all that remains of the hut itself is its stone foundation – had first been investigated in 1957. The proven case for its association with St Columba results from a fortunate archive survival, and the application of modern radiocarbon-dating technology – and a string of projects featuring prominent Fellows.
The story begins in the summer of 1932, when O G S Crawford FSA went to Iona and subsequently wrote an article for Antiquity, which he described as ‘the outcome of a few days’ field-work’. He looked for Columba’s tuguriolum (little hut), which had been described by Adamnan in 697, in his Life of the saint: Columba sits in the hut, variously transcribing the Psalter, hearing a shout from across the Sound of Iona (when the unwelcome guest finally arrives, in his eager haste to kiss the saint, he upsets an inkhorn), and receiving two men who stand outside the door. The hut ‘was built on the higher ground’, and ‘made of planks’.
Iona Abbey is near the eastern shore of the island, facing the Isle of Mull. Crawford identified an earthwork enclosing a space around it, which he matched to Adamnan’s vallum monasterii. He thought a round enclosure on Cnoc nan Carnan was the site of the hut. ‘It is the only object now remaining on the hill’, he wrote, ‘that fits Adamnan’s description, but it fits it remarkably well. Here indeed is a site that should be excavated – but by a super-expert, and with a pen-knife! So far as I know it has never even been noticed by anyone before.’
In 1956 the late Charles Thomas FSA (left) assembled a team of archaeologists to join him on a search for the Columban monastery. Among them were Peter Fowler FSA, Vincent Megaw FSA and Bernard Wailes. Several cuttings were opened around the abbey, and they returned the following summer to open more. Fowler and a recently graduated Elizabeth Burley supervised excavations at Tòrr an Aba, a narrow granitic gneiss outcrop close to the abbey (Crawford had dismissed it as too small for the hut). In 1956 they found a cross-base there (a heavy slab with a rectangular slot cut into it, foreground in top photo) and in 1957 they investigated a nearby stone structure.
Other archaeological projects came to Iona, continuing from Thomas. Richard Reece FSA excavated between 1964 and 1974. In 1976 Mark Redknap FSA excavated outside the west corner of the abbey, establishing a sequence of activity in the area of 'St Columba's Shrine'. John Barber FSA excavated an area south-west of the abbey ahead of graveyard extension in 1979. The Scottish Royal Commission’s Inventory of the Monuments of Argyll for Iona, written overall by Ian Fisher FSA, with Kenneth Steer FSA describing over a hundred early carved stones (the largest group in Scotland), and JG Dunbar FSA other medieval monuments, was published in 1982. They noted that ‘the function and relative chronology of individual buildings remain uncertain’.
Meanwhile, Thomas had been busy with other projects, and he never published his excavations. The Fowlers, however (Elizabeth and Peter had married), felt it important that their work on Tòrr an Aba ('the mound of the abbot') should be recorded, and wrote it up for the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1988). Their key, and controversial conclusion, was that they had excavated St Columba’s cell. At the time of the dig, they had felt that a small rectangular stone structure was indeed the base of the cell who walls would have risen above in turf and wood. The hut had burned down, and been deliberately buried under a mass of beach pebbles, before being commemorated with a cross. The one thing lacking for their case, was any indication of date. Not everyone was convinced.
And so it remained until Historic Scotland (HS), following major works to the buildings and a presentation project, opened a new museum in 2013. During the research, the potential of Thomas’ unpublished excavations became clear. Peter Yeoman and Adrián Maldonado drove down to Cornwall to see Charles Thomas. Thomas was pleased to hand over his very carefully curated Iona archive, later writing to Yeoman to say, ‘my garage and my conscience are much alleviated.’
Back in Scotland, they found the archive contained important unpublished early Christian artefacts, including what Susan Youngs FSA considers to be a bronze lion from a reliquary. HS (now Historic Environment Scotland) had commissioned Ewan Campbell FSA, Kate Forsyth and Maldonado of Glasgow University to conduct research for the new displays, and now asked the university to publish Thomas’ excavations. Their work, led by Campbell and assisted by Maldonado, includes the re-excavation of some of his trenches earlier this year, and producing the radiocarbon dates just announced.
Campbell and Maldonado organised the records into a modern excavation archive as best they could. They found chunks of charcoal, carefully stored in little boxes, from critical contexts in Cutting 10 – the Tòrr an Aba walls. ‘It will be possible to date these’, Campbell and Maldonado wrote in 2016, ‘and test the Fowlers’ hypothesis.’ Two samples of hazel charcoal from the hut have now been analysed by the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, giving a result at some time around AD 540–650, matching almost perfectly Columba’s life on the island between 563 and 597. ‘The hut was almost certainly his,’ concludes Maldonado.
This ‘is a great vindication of the archaeological instincts of Thomas and his team,’ said Maldonado in a press release. ‘It is a remarkable lesson in the value of curating excavation archives for as long as it takes, to make sure the material is ready for the next wave of technology.’
Thomas Clancy, Professor of Celtic and Gaelic history at the University of Glasgow, found the results ‘nothing short of exhilarating’. ‘The remains on top of Tòrr an Aba had been dismissed as from a much later date,’ he said. ‘Now we know … that this was St Columba’s day or writing house. From here, he oversaw the day-to-day activities of his monastery.’
‘We never doubted but that what we had excavated was Columba's cell’, Peter Fowler tells Salon. ‘Personally I was swayed by the fact that Adomnan's description of Columba in his cell, looking out through the doorway across the Sound towards Mull, fitted exactly my experience when I sat on the bench facing the “book-rest” and then turned my head to look over my left shoulder and out through the doorway.’
• The photo of Thomas shows him reviewing Historic Scotland’s site reconstruction of Iona, at his home in Truro in 2012 (Peter Yeoman). Photo at top is by Adrián Maldonado.
The many Fellows who work in the V&A, London, have a new way of reaching their offices. Amanda Levete’s scheme for the recreated Exhibition Road entrance, opened on 30 June, involved a deep excavation which now houses the enormous open space of the Sainsbury Gallery, spread out beneath a new porcelain-tiled courtyard (Museum of London Archaeology did a watching brief in 2015, but found little, Sadie Watson FSA tells Salon). Reactions to the new project have been enthusiastic.
Meanwhile next door to the Society’s offices in Burlington House, the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is preparing to unveil is own new works timed for its 250th anniversary in 2018. Their architect is David Chipperfield, who has designed a scheme that will link Burlington House on Piccadilly (formerly occupied by a British Museum department) and Burlington Gardens for the first time. New features will include a double-height lecture theatre with over 260 seats. The photo below shows construction of the link bridge, which traces the line of the original garden path between Burlington House and 6 Burlington Gardens
Helping the RA into a new future, a ‘generous’ gift from the Dorfman Foundation, announced on 6 July, will enable it to launch two new international architecture awards, and restore the Senate Rooms in Burlington Gardens to house a new architecture space and cafe. Charles Saumarez Smith FSA, Secretary and Chief Executive of the RA, said in a release that the Dorfman Foundation’s support ‘will enable us to renew and significantly increase our commitment to architecture, realising our ambition to deepen the public’s understanding of architecture and to inspire the profession.’
In the Art Newspaper (5 July) Martin Bailey revealed the RA’s celebratory show for next year, The Great Spectacle: the Royal Academy and its Summer Exhibitions 1769–2018 (June–August 2018). Historical exhibitions about institutions can become ‘a bit narcissistic’, Saumarez Smith told Bailey, so the RA invited Mark Hallett and Sarah Turner from the Paul Mellon Centre to organise The Great Spectacle. The show is accompanied by a major research project which will lead to an online year-by-year account of the summer exhibition's 250-year history. Catalogues for every exhibition will also be placed online.
On 12 May 1602, Queen Elizabeth I was in London, where she was entertained by an Italian conjuror. He ‘doth wonderful strange tricks upon the cards,’ reported the court afterwards, ‘as telling of any card that is thought, or changing of one card from another though it be held by any man never so hard under his hand.’ The Queen was impressed. She gave the trickster 200 crowns for his efforts, and she was not alone: ‘divers gentlemen make divers meetings for him, where he gets sometimes 20 sometimes 40 crowns.’ And yet, concludes the writer, ‘they say he spends it so strangely as he cannot keep a penny in his purse.’
This vivid picture is one detail in a cornucopia of events, incidents and commentary listed in Marion Colthorpe’s The Elizabethan Court Day by Day, published online in May and hosted by Folgerpedia. It does exactly what it says. On 1 January 1559 (New Year’s day, albeit unofficially so), the Queen received 221 gifts, including ‘Two round globes of Asia and Europa’ (from George Comy, musician), ‘One fair lion of the age of two years’ (Robert Kingston and George Rotheridge, a Portuguese), and ‘Josephus, in Greek’ (John Cawood, printer). On 1 June 1582 the Queen went to Deptford to see the Golden Lion launched (birch for a bower in which she could rest, 10 shillings). On 1 January 1600 Francis Bacon gave her a ‘petticoat of white satin embroidered all over like feathers and billets, with three broad borders fair embroidered with snakes and fruitage.’ And so on.
Marion Colthorpe is a Barrister-at-Law. Her remarkable document, says Jean Wilson FSA, took over 40 years to compile. Drawing on Colthorpe’s research into unpublished manuscripts, it shows, she says, ‘the Queen at work as well as at play’, revealing relationships with courtiers, and dealings with ambassadors, monarchs, Councillors, Parliaments and other people. Events away from court, some overseas, are included. Plays, tournaments and other court entertainments are covered in detail.
Colthorpe adds commentary and background. Dinner on 5 August 1559, we read, was at Beddington manor-house, Surrey, which, 'by the advantage of the water,’ according to Thomas Fuller, ‘is a paradise of pleasure’. The house was owned, adds Colthorpe, by Francis Carew, son of Sir Nicholas Carew, ‘Master of the Horse and Privy Councillor to King Henry VIII (who had him executed for high treason in 1539)’.
She has also compiled indexes. One lists proverbs: ‘Empty tubs do ever make the greatest sound’ (19 February 1578); ‘no smoke without fire’ (19 January 1596); ‘From mine enemy let me defend myself, but from a pretended friend, good Lord deliver me’ (the Queen on 27 February 1585). Another, prisoners, another events at the Tower (September 8 1563: Lady Catherine Grey had dogs and monkeys in the Tower; September 21–22 1586, 14 of the Babington plotters executed), another references to alchemy, another to piracy. There are lists of places the Queen visits by county. One wonders who will delight more in all this: historians or novelists?
Spelling is modernised, foreign languages are translated. The information is presented as in impeccably typed pages. Each year, and the several lists and indexes, are separate files, which can be read online or downloaded as PDFs. In her acknowledgements, Colthorpe thanks first the late Marie Axton FSA, and then Jean Wilson. ‘A marvellous thing’ (the Duke of Bracciano telling his wife about the court, 6 January 1601).
• On December 16 1590, John Dee ‘received from the Queen’s Majesty warrant by word of mouth to assure me to do what I would in philosophy and alchemy, and none should check, control, or molest me.’ The painting by Henry Gillard Glindoni (1852–1913) shows John Dee Performing an Experiment before Queen Elizabeth I (Wellcome Library).
Stylish Living at Nash Mills
Now we’ve got the memorial to Sir John Evans FSA sorted out (see Memorials to Fellows, below), it’s time to consider his house. In 2009 the Sir John Evans Centenary Project noted that Nash Mills, built in 1790, continued in use as offices until 2006, when the mill ceased making paper. The site was awaiting redevelopment. ‘The developers, Crest Nicholson, are sympathetic to the history of the house’, said the project, ‘and are working with the Apsley Paper Trail and local interests to develop a modern site with respect to its past. Waterways will be integral to the design reflecting its former use.’ The Paper Trail was said to have expressed an interest in acquiring the house to make a museum about the company, John Dickinson, and Evans. The colour photos above are by Michael Stanyon.
So how’s it going? Crest Nicholson have been on the job. They are marketing new apartments. ‘Nash Mills Wharf’, says a brochure, ‘has been carefully designed to … bring life back into the original site of the old mill. Our planners, architects and developers have lovingly created a development and environment that revives this part of the canal and creates superbly designed contemporary living. Taking full advantage of this historic canalside setting near Hemel Hempstead, Nash Mills Wharf is perfectly placed to offer the best of waterside living … only 30 minutes from central London.’
In a page of history (‘1955: The Endless Web written by Joan Evans FSA*, John Dickinson’s great-niece, is published telling the story of Dickinson's; ‘1999: After a series of mergers and takeovers, John Dickinson’s Stationery Ltd relocated to Sawston, Cambridgeshire and ceased trading in 2006’; ‘2007: Linden Homes & Crest Nicholson acquired the site’), there is an old photo of the house (top left). There is no modern photo, however. That may be because it was demolished.
Peter Clayton FSA has forwarded to Salon a piece by Michael Stanyon, of the Hemel Hempstead Local History and Museum Society, with a photo taken, he says, in December 2005 (above left). ‘Since then’, writes Stanyon, 'construction in the foreground has taken place, but apart from the removal of scaffolding the structure remains unchanged. An announcement that the mill was to close prompted a request to English Heritage to list the building, which was refused, and again on appeal in January 2007.’ Stanyon continues:
‘Dacorum Borough Council approved a design for new residential housing which retained the house as a central feature. But, as has only recently been discovered, it failed to include restoration of the house in the planning details. In spite of the whole mill site being secured and under 24-hour security, during the demolition of surrounding buildings, vandals entered doing considerable damage. At some point the roof was removed, leaving the house unprotected during a very wet winter. This must have led to structural damage as the building was then demolished down to ground floor level. Subsequently it has been rebuilt in brick to the original profile, as seen in the photo.’
‘We learn that the house has now been sold to another company, possibly for conversion to residential use, not the expected part community and part residential use.’
This story appears to be confirmed by messages on the Canalworld discussion forum in 2011, when contributors discussed the wharf development. ‘Today's dog walking’, wrote Alan Fincher, ‘was Hemel Hempstead, Apsley & Nash Mills. … As an aside, for anybody who remembers Nash Mills, other than the shell of the “house” part in the middle, it is now no more than lots of heaps of rubble, which the demolition people are steadily working their way through with the big crushing machine. Like Apsley before it, Nash is going to look remarkably different in a couple of years time.’ The photo above right is from the page.
I’d be interested to hear from any Fellow who can throw more light on this. Perhaps someone lives nearby who can photograph the house?
* To clarify, it doesn’t actually say FSA, I added that.
Fellows (and Friends)
Cecil Western FSA
, archaeological scientist and museum conservator, died in May.
Bridget Allchin FSA
, South Asian archaeologist, died in June.
Jo Draper FSA
, archaeologist, local historian and writer, died in June.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below, along with a new obituary of Collin Carpenter FSA
, who died in 2015. The section also contains a further notice on the late Martin Aitken FSA
Stanley R Jones FSA
, draftsman and vernacular building recorder, died on 9 July. A tribute will appear in a future Salon
My attempts to list Fellows
celebrated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017 has again gone awry (I’m afraid long lists are not my forte). Apologies to Helen Dorey FSA
and Tom Mayberry FSA
, who received MBEs, not the other things.
Just shy of his 90th birthday, writes Matthew Spriggs FSA
, Jack Golson FSA
, Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University (ANU), has produced his long-promised master work on Kuk Swamp. Kuk, says Spriggs, is ‘the least known independent centre of agriculture, in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and now a World Heritage Site as a result of Golson’s excavations and findings.’ European outsiders first explored the upper Wahgi Valley in the early 1930s. After the Second World War, the area, with others, was developed for coffee and tea plantations, of which the establishment of Kuk Research Station was a result. Large-scale swamp drainage produced abundant evidence for early cultivation in the form of stone axes and wooden digging sticks and spades. Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea
, edited by Golson, Tim Denham FSA
, Philip Hughes, Pamela Swadling and John Muke, is for sale in print and available as a free download. ‘Congratulations to all involved,’ says Spriggs.
Charlotte Gere FSA
has contributed to the profusely illustrated catalogue for Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity
, an exhibition at Leighton House Museum, London until 29 October. The exhibition shows Alma-Tadema’s works in chronological succession, hung in the opulent rooms of Frederic, Lord Leighton’s house. A transformative visit to Pompeii on his honeymoon in 1863 inspired Alma-Tadema to depict carefully researched scenes of Roman life, often with a focus on the minutiae of day-to-day activity. Photographs, artefacts, drawings and paintings accompany a selection of panels, painted by Alma-Tadema’s friends and contemporaries, which have been reunited for the exhibition. Gere writes about the Alma-Tademas’ own London homes.
Susan Oosthuizen FSA
has written The Anglo-Saxon Fenland
. Archaeologies and histories of the fens of eastern England, says the blurb, continue to suggest that the early Medieval fenland featured north-west European colonists in an empty landscape. Using existing and new evidence and arguments, Oosthuizen
offers a different view. The fen islands and the silt fens show a degree of occupation unexpected a few decades ago. Dense Romano-British settlement appears to have been followed by consistent early Medieval occupation on every island in the peat fens and across the silt fens, despite the impact of climatic change. This was a society with origins in prehistoric Britain.
Javier Pes, writing in the Art Newspaper
(1 July), asked Thomas Campbell FSA
why he decided to step down as Director and Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Was it a New Year’s resolution? Is he moving on to a major broadcasting role? What about criticism that the board has been taken over with people with a vested interest in modern and contemporary art? Was the planned modern and contemporary wing a project too far? Did he feel harshly treated over exaggerated reporting of a budget deficit? Was speculation about his relationships with staff difficult to deal with? Is the Met ready for a female Director? ‘There is no ideal time,’ says Campbell, ‘but I think it is a moment when I can step away feeling that the museum is in a very strong place.’ Read the interview here
Students attending the University of Reading’s Archaeology Field School in Wiltshire have been excavating the remains of a Neolithic long barrow, under the direction of Jim Leary FSA
and Amanda Clarke FSA
. The burial mound at Cat's Brain, a low rise in the chalk in the Vale of Pewsey, had long been flattened, but suggestive below-ground features had been identified in air photos and confirmed by a geophysics survey. Removing ploughsoil revealed the marks of timber foundations in the shape of a trapezium, within an arc of ditches thought to be quarries for the mound. Dave Field FSA
, author of Earthen Long Barrows
(2006), told Salon
that the significance of Cat’s Brain ‘is that it’s in the Pewsey Vale, an area once considered a marshy morass and devoid of prehistoric archaeology.’ The annual Vale of Pewsey Project has been focused on nearby Marden henge, a large Neolithic earthwork (2800–2000 BC) whose identity was proven in the 1960s by Geoff Wanwright FSA
. Leary talks about the find in a video
BBC Radio 4’s Front Row
has been running a series of short presentations on the theme of Queer Icons. ‘LGBTQ guests’, it says, ‘champion queer artworks which are special to them, to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.’ On 14 July Neil MacGregor FSA
chose the Warren Cup, a Roman silver goblet decorated with images of men making love. The object is evidence, says MacGregor, that that there have frequently been societies where homosexual love is acceptable. And its display in the British Museum, where visitors happily enjoy looking at it, is evidence of a change in attitude in our country in his lifetime. The Museum itself is offering a guide to ‘Same-sex desire and gender identity.’
‘The evidence for same-sex desire and fluid ideas of gender,’ it says, ‘has often been overlooked in the past, but museums and their collections can allow us to look back and see diversity throughout history,’ adding, ‘now we realise the past is much “queerer” than we have often thought.’
The inaugural Christopher Stell Memorial Lecture took place at the annual meeting of the Chapels Society in Wesley Memorial Church, Oxford on 8 July. Christopher Stell FSA
, who died in 2014
, was a seminal figure in the work of the Historic Chapels Trust, the Chapels Society, and the study of Nonconformist buildings. Kate Tiller FSA
took the theme of ‘How to Read a Chapel’, proposing that a full understanding of chapels can best be achieved by a combined study of buildings, people and place. This approach interweaves insights and evidence from several histories – architectural, religious and denominational, social and local – too often treated separately. The lecture was illustrated by a case study of Cote Baptist chapel, west Oxfordshire, now in the care of the Trust.
In Britain’s Global Future: Harnessing the Soft Power Capital of UK Institutions
, independent think tank ResPublica reminds us that not only is Brexit a challenge to the UK, but that the world is watching. A new approach is needed, they say. ‘Costly military interventions or fragmented formal diplomacy’ will no longer work. A ‘diplomatic mindset that can integrate our national interest with enhanced public diplomacy and cultural relations,’ will. Culture, arts, museums and galleries, the BBC, universities, the British Council, loom large. They could convene at an ‘annual gathering’; government should be supportive but distant (see how China gets it wrong). In the promotion, Ian Blatchford FSA
, Director of the Science Museum Group, says, ‘Culture is a powerful bridge between nations and an area where Britain is fantastically placed to create global impact … [the Science Museum Group], and Britain’s wider museum sector [the report namechecks the British Museum and the V&A], are rightly celebrated as unique and powerful players in cultural diplomacy.’ Read it here
The British Museum has published its first annual review
under its new Director, Hartwig Fischer FSA
(right) and its panel of Trustees who include Clive Gamble FSA
and Sir Paul Ruddock FSA
. Research and activities of many Fellows feature in the report – in the museum, across the UK and around the world. Fischer himself reflects on the year in the museum blog
. ‘It has been an extraordinary year,’ he says. ‘With substantial changes in the world around us, public institutions such as ours need to think and reflect on what they mean, and respond.’ Three major new or refurbished permanent galleries will open soon. ‘Our vision is to create a museum which tells more coherent and compelling stories of the cultures and artefacts we display, and to allow comparisons to be made across cultures and timeframes. … This will involve a new narrative for the collections, an emphasis on the interconnectedness of cultures, the renovation of the building and improvement of facilities for our millions of visitors, and, of course, digital.’ The Round Reading Room will be at the heart of this Museum. ‘We are at the very early stages of our thinking,’ he adds, ‘this will be a major project over many years. But it is a project that fills me with excitement.’
Arts Minister John Glen has placed a temporary export bar on a drawing of a waterfall by Joseph Anton Koch. UK buyers have until 27 December to express a serious intention to raise the asking price of £68,750 + VAT. The drawing is a preparatory study for Koch’s best known composition, The Schmadribach Waterfall in the Lauterbrunnen Valley
, Switzerland (1811), and was in the collection of the late art critic, Brian Sewell. Koch, said Reviewing Committee member Lowell Libson FSA
in a statement, ‘is a pivotal figure in the European Romantic movement at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries and enjoyed a significant relationship with British patrons and collectors who particularly appreciated his “heroic” Alpine landscapes. Very few of Koch’s many important works originally in British collections now remain in the UK. The retention in this country of this beautiful and important drawing would greatly add to the way in which British institutions can tell the story of European Romanticism and of the development of British taste and patronage.’
The National Museum of the Royal Navy, with help from the Art Fund and an anonymous charitable trust, has acquired a rare portrait of a midshipman who survived the Battle of Trafalgar. Painted by a young George Henry Harlow (1787–1819), who trained under Sir Thomas Lawrence, the work shows John Windham Dalling (1789–1853) as a 16-year-old in the Royal Navy. This is only the second portrait of a midshipman in the museum’s collections. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1806, and bought by the museum from Dalling’s descendants in 2011. Dominic Tweddle FSA
, Director General of the National Museum, said in a release, ‘We are thrilled to acquire this portrait. Our collection is incredibly rich in Nelson, Admirals and other high-ranking naval officers. But we have very few depictions of youth and sacrifice.’
Buckfast Abbey, Devon, will celebrate its millennium in 2018. The present Benedictine community has planned a range of celebrations to mark the occasion, among them a book launch. Peter Beacham FSA
has edited Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture,
which will be published in the autumn. The book chronicles the abbey’s history. The first monastery was absorbed into the Cistercian Order in 1147, and dissolved during the Reformation. In the early 19th century a Gothic-style mansion was built on the abbey ruins. A group of exiled French Benedictine monks settled at Buckfast in 1882 and rebuilt the medieval abbey church: the foundation stone was laid in 1907, and consecration took place in 1932. Beacham tells Salon
that the book's various chapters are almost all written by Fellows. On 7 October several of them, including Marian Campbell FSA, Bridget Cherry FSA, Roderick O’Donnell FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA
and David Robinson FSA
, will speak about the abbey, at the abbey, at a conference to launch it. See Other Forthcoming Heritage Events, below.
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has launched a £500,000 scheme to train Syrian refugees in and around the Zaatari camp on the Jordanian border in traditional stone masonry. The aim, reports the Art Newspaper
, is to develop skills so that cultural heritage sites damaged or destroyed in conflict can be rebuilt when peace returns to Syria. ‘There has been enormous destruction in Palmyra, Nimrud and Aleppo,’ says John Darlington FSA
, Executive Director of the WMF Britain. ‘When the dust settles, one of the things that will stop restoration is that we will see money going into places like Palmyra but the skills on the ground won’t be there. … The idea is to train people who will become trainers themselves.’ The British Museum has a comparable scheme training Iraqi citizens in the UK and Iraq, backed by £3 million from the UK government.
Up to 90% of antiquities sold may have illicit origins. Traded illegal antiquities and art have an annual value of €2.5–5 billion, an area of international crime exceeded in value only by arms and narcotics. With such references, on 13 July the European Commission announced proposals
to cut down the illegal import of cultural goods used to finance terrorism. The plans apply to objects older than 250 years. ‘It is not expected,’ says a statement, that ‘art dealers, museums and traders who import cultural goods from third countries … will be unduly impacted’: they should ‘already be aware and complying with those countries' laws and regulations on the export of cultural property.’ The new law, which will ban the import into the EU of cultural goods exported illegally from their home countries, enters into force in 2019. As the UK is expected to leave the EU in March of that year, it seems likely the law will not be imported into British law.
The Heritage Alliance reports
positive response in government to its Heritage Manifesto. Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor, agreed ‘that investing in heritage can create places where people want to live, work and visit as well as boosting jobs growth and well-being'. Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, noted ‘the magnificent representation of our country that [our heritage] offers overseas’, adding that he was struck by ‘the truly collaborative approach your organisation has taken as it strives to work across Government’. Lizzie Glithero-West, the Alliance’s Chief Executive, and Loyd Grossman FSA
, Chairman, met John Glenn, the new Heritage Minister, at a sector breakfast brief. Grossman discussed heritage tourism.
Dora Thornton FSA
, Curator of Renaissance Europe and of the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum, has co-edited with Pippa Shirley of Waddesdon Manor A Rothschild Renaissance: A New Look
. The book collects papers given at a British Museum conference in 2015, at the opening of a new gallery for the Waddesdon Bequest, an extraordinary collection of Renaissance treasures left to the museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild MP in 1898. The gift, nearly 300 objects, emptied Waddesdon Manor’s New Smoking Room, and now fills the museum’s only gallery dedicated to a single collection. Subjects in the book include new attributions for sculptures, a detailed discussion of the making and marketing of forgeries by Salomon Weininger, Frederic Spitzer and Alfred Andre, and new research on jewellery and its presentation.
Cecilia Western FSA
died on 4 May aged 99. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1972. Kay Prag FSA
has written this tribute:
‘A C (Cecil) Western FSA
died just months short of her 100th birthday. Her career reflected the progress of archaeology in the 20th century. The photo on the right, taken at Hazor in the 1980s, shows (from right), Cecil Western, Claire Epstein, Kathleen Kenyon FSA
and Yigael Yadin (Ancient Jerusalem Archive, Council for British Research in the Levant).
‘From 1936 to 1938 she trained for a Royal Horticultural Society Diploma at the Studley Agricultural Centre in Warwickshire. Early in 1940 she responded to an appeal for women to assist in war work, and after some training in radar maintenance was sent to Plymouth, then to Dorchester (Dorset) and Grimsby.
‘After she was demobbed, she decided that she would be interested in a career as a museum conservator, particularly of antiquities. There were no courses at the time, so she wrote to several museums asking whether there was an opening for a volunteer trainee. She was accepted by Manchester Museum, and worked there in all departments from 1946 to 1948. She followed this by going to the V&A, where conservation work led her to the Institute of Archaeology in Regent’s Park, as an assistant to Ione Gedye.
‘At the Institute she met Nancy Lord, then working as a secretary for Gordon Childe FSA
, and also practising photographic work with Maurice Cookson (“Cookie”) and Marjorie Conlon. This is also where Cecil and Nancy first encountered Kathleen Kenyon and began a life-long friendship, and, as with so many others, under Kenyon’s influence their work moved into new directions. Cecil and Nancy were at Jericho with Kenyon in 1952–53, Cecil working as conservator, where, with Peter Parr, she excavated the first of the Neolithic plaster skulls.
‘The discovery of preserved wooden furniture and artefacts in the Middle Bronze Age tombs at Jericho (c 1600 B.C.) led to her interest in wood, especially its identification and conservation. In 1956 she moved to the Forestry Institute at Oxford. Her contribution to the study and identification of ancient wood and charcoals was well described by Eleni Asouti
‘Encouraged by Kenyon, Cecil was a pioneer in the field of charcoal macro-remain studies. She travelled and excavated widely, collecting samples, and was awarded a BSc at Oxford for a thesis on this work in 1969, partly published as ‘The ecological interpretation of ancient charcoals from Jericho,’ Levant
3, 3140 (1971). At the instigation of Gordon Hillman she donated her significant collection, which included (besides seeds) wood, charcoal, archaeological specimens of wood, and pressed herbarium specimens, to the Institute of Archaeology at UCL in 1984.
‘All this was in addition to her career from 1957 as Head Conservator at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, up to her retirement. She was a happy gardener, a staunch friend, with strong views and dry humour, and part of Kenyon’s inner circle of good friends.’
• In her blog
, Eleni Asouti notes that Western obtained a degree in history from Birkbeck College in 1950, and in 1955 took a year out to travel with friends. They entered Greece via Belgrade and Skopje, on to Turkey via Sparta and Mycenae, through Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and south through India to Madurai in the southernmost state of Tamil Nadu, finally taking a boat to Australia.
Western’s work, says Asouti, ‘contributed to opening the road for wood, and particularly charcoal macro-remain studies, to become a truly integrated part of bioarchaeological science and specialist fieldwork. She belonged to a pioneer generation of archaeological science specialists who chose (when circumstances permitted) to work in the field instead of being confined in their laboratories.’ The photo above (2004) is by Asouti.
Bridget Allchin FSA
died on 27 June aged 90. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1984. Danika Parikh recently wrote a tribute
on Allchin’s 90th birthday in February for the Ancient India and Iran Trust’s blog. Much of what follows is taken from that and an obituary
of her late husband, Raymond Allchin FSA
, by Robin Coningham FSA
Bridget Allchin FSA
(née Gordon) was inspired as a child to study prehistory. She began a course of history and ancient history at UCL, from where she was able to join other students excavating Neolithic sites at Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. After a year, however, she moved to South Africa with her parents, where she took a degree in African Studies at Cape Town under A J H Goodwin, a pioneering Cambridge archaeology graduate.
She returned to London in 1950 to study for a PhD. Having been told her ‘colonial degree’ was inadequate, she ‘stormed to UCL' and demanded to see Gordon Childe FSA
. She started at the Institute of Archaeology that autumn, planning to research later African prehistory and ethnoarchaeology. That changed when she met Raymond Allchin. They married in March 1951, and she joined her husband on a research trip to South Asia. She was eight months pregnant with the first of their two children when they reached south India.
Her subsequent doctoral thesis was published as The Stone-Tipped Arrow: Late Stone Age Hunters of the Tropical Old World
(1966), foreshadowing a distinguished career as a South Asian prehistoric archaeologist and lithic specialist. She and Ray studied Indian archaeology together, co-authoring The Birth of Indian Civilization
(1968), The Rise of Civilization in India and Pakistan
(1982), and Origins of a Civilization: The Prehistory and Early Archaeology of South Asia
Her husband, who died in 2010, had an exceptional career as a South Asian archaeologist based at Cambridge University. They worked together closely, describing their early adventures in From the Oxus to Mysore in 1951: The Start of a Great Partnership in Indian Scholarship
(2012). However, notwithstanding the Times
obituary’s description of Ray as ‘for many years the only archaeologist and cultural historian of Ancient India working in Britain,’ Bridget also researched and published extensively on her own, on Indian and South Asian prehistory and ethnoarchaeology.
She co-directed fieldwork in the Great Thar Desert (1969–76), published as The Prehistory and Palaeography of the Great Indian Desert
(with Andrew Goudie and K T M Hegde, 1978); a reviewer commended their success in completing eight seasons’ fieldwork on a total budget of £12,000. Bridget and Ray were joint Directors of the Cambridge University Archaeological Mission to Pakistan, which became the British Archaeological Mission to Pakistan and ran a Palaeolithic project. In 1987 she gave the Sir George Birdwood Memorial Lecture at the Royal Society, on South Asian Rock Art; she speculated that recent Indian sacred folk art could help understand prehistoric art. She edited the pioneering Living Traditions: Studies in the Ethnoarchaeology of South Asia
Bridget Allchin was a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge; a founding member of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists (1971); a founding Trustee (1987), and later Secretary and then Chair, of the Ancient India and Iran Trust; the founding Editor of the journal South Asian Studies
and Editor of the journal Afghan Studies.
In 2014 she was awarded the Royal Asiatic Society Gold Medal, as a ‘pioneering female field-archaeologist in South Asia’. The Annual Allchin Symposium of South Asian Archaeology was established to commemorate Ray and Bridget’s work.
• The funeral will be at the West Chapel in Cambridge Crematorium at 1.30 pm on 20 July, followed by a reception at Wolfson College, Cambridge at 3 pm. Her family have asked that no flowers should be sent, but donations for Alzheimer’s Research can be made c/o Gordon Barber Funeral Director, 2 St Williams Way, Norwich NR7 0AW.
Jo Draper FSA
died on 24 June aged 68. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1987. A celebration of her life and burial of ashes will be held at Higher Ground Meadow, Corscombe, Dorset, DT2 0QN, on 24 July at 11.30 am. All welcome. Dress code: colourful and casual. Further details from email@example.com
Jo Draper FSA
(Josephine Chaplin) worked in archaeology and museums in Dorset for more than 40 years. Between 1980 and 1995 she edited the Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society
, to which she was also a frequent contributor, on subjects including excavations in Dorchester, medieval and more recent pottery, and the history of Dorset County Museum.
She researched and led the cataloguing of the collection at the Philpot Museum, Lyme Regis, during major repairs and the preparation of new displays designed by Robin Wade. After it re-opened in 1999 (at a ceremony fronted by Sir David Attenborough FSA
), the museum won the first Museum of the Year Special Design Award (now known as Lyme Regis Museum, it opened a new £1.5 million Mary Anning Wing extension this 17 July). Championing the achievements of the 19th-century palaeontologist, she wrote Mary Anning's Town: Lyme Regis
(2004), and Lyme Regis Past and Present
Earlier books include Thomas Hardy's England
(with John Fowles, 1984) and Thomas Hardy: A Life in Pictures
(1989). The Dovecote Press describes her as one of its best-known authors. Her Dorset: The Complete Guide
(1986), it says, has sold nearly 20,000 copies, and remains in print. It took three years to research and compile, during which time she visited every text entry – repeating the journeys for a second edition (2003). She also wrote Hampshire: The Complete Guide
(1990), along with, among other books, Post-mediaeval Pottery, 1650–1800
(2001), Dorset Country Pottery: The Kilns of the Verwood District
(with Penny Copland-Griffiths, 2002), and Dorset Barns
(with David Bailey, 2010).
Her husband, Christopher Chaplin, archaeologist and land surveyor, died in 2015.
Jonathan Coad FSA
, Edward Harris FSA
and Peter White FSA
recently learnt of the death of Collin Carpenter FSA
, on 23 June 2015 aged 92. ‘Collin was a remarkable person,’ says Coad, ‘who made very significant contributions to the field of historic ordnance, and deserves his place in history.’ They have written the following obituary. Their photo shows Carpenter (left) at Crownhill Fort, Plymouth, in 1997, ‘in characteristic pose’ talking to Harris.
‘The redoubtable Austin Collin Carpenter FSA
was one of the country’s leading experts in the field of historic weaponry, and did more than anyone else to research, conserve and accurately display historic heavy ordnance in appropriate original locations. These were mostly on what are now English Heritage properties such as Dover, Hurst and Pendennis castles and Fort Brockhurst, but he also “re-armed” other fortifications throughout Britain, as well as carrying out notable work on the rich legacy of artillery fortifications on Bermuda.
‘During the Second World War, Collin served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) developing his skills as an engineer. Afterwards he served his apprenticeship as a carpenter on the Dunster Castle Estate, before moving to work for Ancient Monuments Branch of the Ministry of Works at Cleeve Abbey. By the 1960s he was based at Devonport as Superintendent of Works for guardianship properties in Devon, Cornwall and the Scillies,
‘From an early age Collin developed an interest in arms and armour, and he built up a personal collection which included some rare and unusual firearms. He was also a skilled model-maker and collector, amassing a remarkable collection of models of heavy ordnance, some of which was donated to the National Museum of Bermuda. He was consulted by the local police on ballistics matters, and by Sotheby’s on antique firearms, visiting the United States on their behalf. He developed a very strong relationship with colleagues at both the Tower Armouries and the V&A Museum.
‘From the mid-60s he made a most unusual and highly regarded contribution to the work of the (then) Ancient Monuments branch. Many guardianship properties had artillery pieces, often mounted inappropriately or not at all. With the support of Andrew Saunders FSA
, then Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments for England, and T A Bailey FSA
, Senior Architect, a programme was devised to conserve, repair and accurately display in their correct locations this collection for visitors. An essential prerequisite was sufficient knowledge to recognise the type and date of the artillery, then to research the design of carriages appropriate for it. Only then could the highly skilled business of designing and fabricating replica carriages go forward. Collin was able to take on all these tasks, and an early and very challenging tour de force
was the carriage for the 16th-century Pevensey Castle gun.
‘Initially the carpenters based at Dartmouth Castle took on the work. Soon, however, with increasing demand as more gun barrels were retrieved from harbour quaysides and civic spaces where they had been buried muzzle-down as bollards, the cramped workshop with its poor access was replaced by a purpose-designed facility at Totnes.
‘Collin’s background as a craftsman was essential for the project, but his real personal achievement was his research. Self-taught, he acquired an encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject. For example, the casting and proofing details which identify many gun barrels were stamped on the face of a trunnion, a feature which was often damaged or broken off. Invariably Collin could instantly date and place a gun barrel from its shape and decorative details, knowledge that was critical if the correct carriage was to be constructed and the piece relocated on an appropriate monument. He did not waste the opportunities provided by contact with Ministry of Defence colleagues in adjoining offices at Devonport. Among the last pieces to be completed at Dartmouth were examples destined for Pendennis and the Scillies. Their transport? Slung beneath the newly commissioned Sea King helicopters as a “training exercise”!
‘The Totnes workshop specialised in the construction and repair of wooden gun-carriages for smooth-bore weapons with outside foundries supplying metal parts. But Collin’s expertise also included working with foundries to produce replicas of the more durable cast-iron garrison carriages. From there he moved on to supervising construction of massive and complicated all-metal traversing carriages for the two 38 ton RML gun barrels at Hurst Castle, and later worked with the Landmark Trust on the even more complex task of building a Moncrieff Counterweight Disappearing Carriage for an emplacement at Crownhill Fort at Plymouth. His work included not just the conservation of the weapons and construction of their mountings, but also the accurate replication of appropriate ammunition and the rammers, mops and sponges used by the guns' crews.
‘Collin was elected a Fellow in February 1991, an honour he always held dear. The Totnes workshop was closed in 1994 when English Heritage disbanded its in-house craftsmen, but Collin’s expertise in the wider world remained much in demand and he enjoyed a busy and active retirement, ably supported by his wife Jenny who accompanied him as his skilled assistant.
‘In 1984, Edward Harris invited Collin and Jenny to Bermuda by to carry out an inventory of the remarkable collection there of British artillery, dating back to the earliest decades of the second English overseas colony (settled in 1612). That led to the making of various gun carriages, culminating in the possibly unique carriage and assemblage for an Armstrong 40-pounder of 35 cwt Rifled Breech Loader, now on permanent display at the restored Commissioner’s House (part of the National Museum) within the 16-acre fortifications of the old Royal Naval Dockyard at Bermuda. Naturally, as was his wont, Collin returned to Bermuda in 1990 to “prove” his work by firing that RBL. Bermuda was also writ large in his seminal work, Cannon: The Conservation, Reconstruction and Presentation of Historic Artillery
‘Collin was an extrovert with a taste for fast cars. When he replaced his Cortina GT with the newly launched Capri in gold, comment from colleagues came thick and fast. But however rapid, his cars all had one feature in common – a capacious boot. Frequently to be seen tail-heavy, their proud owner would reveal the reason – yet another gun barrel retrieved, on its way to the workshop to be refurbished and measured up for its carriage. Those who had the pleasure of visiting the Irons Brothers smithery in Cornwall with Collin in later years will perhaps remember with excitement (and no little trepidation) the journey from Devon in his BMW, with the cannon-master at the helm!’
Martin Aitken FSA
, who died in June
, has received an obituary in the Telegraph
(10 July). He went up to Wadham College, Oxford, says the paper, to read Physics, but his studies were interrupted by the Second World War, in which he served as a technical radar officer in Ceylon and Burma. He became a Fellow of Linacre College in 1965 and Professor of Archaeometry in 1985, retiring in 1989. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983.
He undertook the first archaeological proton magnetometer survey in 1958, says the paper, at the invitation of the archaeologist Graham Webster FSA
, on the Roman city of Durobrivae. In 1962 he established a series of conferences in Oxford, which became the bi-annual International Symposia on Archaeometry and Archaeological Prospection. As well as proton magnetometers, he also developed the use of fluxgate magnetic gradiometers and was involved (with Derek Walton) in the development of the first SQUID cryogenic magnetometer to be used in Britain.
‘From the 1960s he developed thermoluminescence dating (TL). … He further developed the method by using blue/green light or infrared radiation instead of heat. This optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating has become one of the most powerful methods for the dating of sediments in both archaeological and environmental contexts.’
‘As well as his books on archaeometry, Aitken published more than 150 scientific papers. An affable, approachable man, he won the Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics, and the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology of the Archaeological Institute of America.’ In retirement he and his wife, Joan Killick, moved to a small stone house near Clermont Ferrand, France.
Memorials to Fellows
David Sherlock FSA sends a transcription of a memorial in his local church, All Saints, Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, to the Revd George Ashby FSA. ‘Rather small beer’, he says, ‘compared with Julian Litten's masterly record of Sir John Evans' monument’, although on the positive side this copy will hopefully not require later corrections. John Pickles FSA has written about Ashby in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Church photo by Bob Jones (Geograph).
Near this Place is Interred the Body of
the Revd. GEORGE ASHBY. B.D. & F.S.A.
Rector of this Parish
Son of EDMUND ASHBY (by ELIZABETH JUDITH, Daughter
of ROBERT LOCK of Dinton in Wiltshire)
of an ancient Leicestershire Family
Who was born 5th. Decr. 1724
And died 12th. June 1808.
He was for many years President of St. John’s College Cambridge
by which Society he was presented to this Living in 1774
and in 1780 obtained by the friendship of Dr. ROSS Bp. of Exeter
the Rectory of Stansfield in Suffolk.
For some years previous to his death he had the misfortune
to become blind, but as a Critical Scholar and an Antiquary
he left many lasting testimonials of superior Abilities.
Mrs. HANNAH ASHBY
Sister of the Revd. G Ashby
died 1st. May 1805, Aged 79.
Thomas Lyus of Barrow the constant Companion and Amanuensis of the
Revd. G. Ashby for the space of 28 Years and at last his Testamentary Heir
with all respect and gratitude, inscribes this marble to his memory.
The Wisdom of Fellows
Paul Stamper FSA, like me, had a father who flew in bombers in the Second World War. We heard stories of the dangers brought by young, inexperienced pilots at home, as much as by flying in action. Stamper recently visited the Wisbech area in Cambridgeshire, and, he tells Salon, ‘stumbled across a telling group of ten or so headstones in the corner of Narborough churchyard’:
‘They remember – as almost all record in their inscription – members of the Royal Flying Corps killed in training and in flying accidents at the nearby (and now lost) RAF Narborough, which opened in 1915. Training, in these early days of flying, was hazardous in the extreme, and it is recorded that of the 14,166 allied pilots who died in the First World War, 8,000 died while training in the UK. In a letter home Billy Bishop VC, one of the war’s leading aces, wrote (probably from Netheravon where he trained), “Yesterday I had three forced landings, two of which I managed to get into the aerodrome, but the last one I crashed on the side of a hill.” He adds: “Last night we had a boy killed here and another this morning. I saw them both, perfectly ghastly sights.”
‘There is something especially poignant about these memorials,’ continues Stamper, ‘and it was pleasing to see both how well tended the graves are, and that alongside there are two plaques with details about the aerodrome giving context to the men’s sacrifice. My former colleague Roger Bowdler FSA has inevitably been able to tell me of a second group of RFC headstones, at East Boldre in the New Forest, these being to men killed while training at RAF Beaulieu Heath.’
Robert Merrillees FSA writes from France about an exceptional iron age grave discovered in late 2014. It has been compared to a burial found at Hochdorf in the 1970s in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, but is said to be better preserved.
‘In all the furore over Brexit,’ says Merrillees, ‘to say nothing of its futility, the discovery of another spectacular Celtic burial of the fifth century BC at Lavau (Aube) near Troyes seems to have gone largely unnoticed. I first became aware of this richly furnished funerary deposit when I saw a documentary on L’énigme de la tombe celte on the French/German TV channel Arte on 17 July, and was immediately struck by its resemblance to the famous Treasure of Vix, finely displayed in the Musée du Pays Châtillonnais at Châtillon-sur-Seine.
‘The new burial, excavated in 2015 by INRAP (l’Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives), contains, amongst other exceptional items, a large bronze cauldron of Greek or Etruscan workmanship, with four handles decorated with the head of the Greek river god, Achelous, and a solid gold torc of similar shape to the one on the “Princess“ of Vix. My interest in the finials on these remarkable objects has been their resemblance to opium poppy capsules.
‘Thinking it odd that the torc from Vix had been fitted on to a female, while the person interred at Lavau has been identified through osteological analysis as a male, I checked the original 1954 report on Vix, where it was stated on anatomical grounds that the deceased was a woman. I sent a message to Bastien Dubuis, the archaeologist in charge of the clearance of the tomb at Lavau, about this apparent inconsistency. He promptly and helpfully replied that the skeletal remains from the burial at Vix had been re-examined using DNA analysis and confirmed as those of a female, at which he expressed no surprise, arguing that in Celtic society at this time in France women occupied a place on a par with that of men and at this level of affluence distinctions between their funerary offerings were no longer applied. With half of the new French cabinet of 28 ministers women, I suggested to Dubuis that President Macron must have been following a Celtic tradition.
‘The “Prince’s” treasure from Lavau is now being conserved and studied and will not be on public view until a temporary exhibition is held in Troyes in 2018 on L’archéologie dans l’Aube. It is intended that the deposit be put on permanent show in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Troyes when the museum’s restoration is completed in 2020 or 2021.’
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Our programme of Ordinary Meetings will resume in October.
20 July: Private View of Blood Royal
Fellows are invited to join us on Thursday, 20 July, for a private view of the Society's summer exhibition Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy, which will open to the public on 25 July. Details (and booking information) is available at on the website.
28 July: Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Manor
Details for Fellows' Day are available on the website, and you can now book your ticket(s) online. Fellows (and family!) are invited to join us at Kelmscott Manor for a special opportunity to hear about our future plans, explore the Manor and its collections, and enjoy family-friendly activities.
1 September: Private View at Salisbury Museum
Fellows are invited to join us for an private view at Salisbury Museum for British Art: Ancient Landscapes (open until 3 September), which features paintings on loan from the Society’s collections. Beginning at 17.30, this is an 'after-hours' event (the Museum closes to the public at 17.00), which will include a welcome from the Society, a short introduction from curator Prof Sam Smiles, and a wine reception in addition to the exhibition. Tickets are available on our website and must be booked before 31 July.
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that lecture programmes are planned between 6 and 12 months in advance.
Forthcoming Public Events
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.
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.
24 July - 25 August (Mon - Fri, 10.00 - 17.00): 'Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy', a free exhibition at Burlington House exploring the Tudor Dynasty. The exhibition has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Until 28 October: 'Mary Lobb – From Cornwall to Kelmscott: A Life Revealed', a free exhibition (admission is included in entry ticket for the Manor) in partnership with the National Library of Wales and supported by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.Visit the Manor every Wednesday and Saturday through the end of October.
Society Dates to Remember
Burlington House Closures
The Library and Fellows' Room will be closed for annual conservation, cleaning and maintenance from Monday, 31 July, to Friday, 1 September (inclusive). The ground floor apartments will be open for the Blood Royal exhibition (24 July - 25 August), but visits to the Library will be by appointment only during this time.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
22 October: Weekend Meeting in Criccieth. Save the date; details will be distributed soon!
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at email@example.com.
19 September: Lecture by Prof David Neave, FSA, 'Hull and its Architectural Heritage', at Bar Convent. Save the date; details will be distributed soon (join the email list below to make sure you don't miss out).
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
Until 3 September: Battles and Dynasties (Lincoln)
To commemorate the Battle of Lincoln (1217), the Collection Museum is exhibiting some remarkable documents and paintings relating to royalty (through to the 20th century) never before seen in the city, sourced from various collections including the Society of Antiquaries as well as the Royal Collection, the National Archives and the British Library. Artefacts include Medieval swords from the River Witham. At Lincoln Castle, which hosts the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta in the new vault created in 2015, the Domesday Book is on show for the first time outside London. The mastermind behind the exhibitions is Lord Patrick Cormack FSA, Chair of the Historic Lincoln Trust, and the accompanying book is written by Nicholas Bennett FSA.
17–20 July: Church and City in the Middle Ages: In Honour of Clive Burgess (Harlaxton)
The 2017 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, convened by David Harry and Christian Steer FSA, will be in honour of Clive Burgess FSA, whose work on the Church as community and institution has shaped perceptions of late Medieval religious culture. The meeting will explore the urban presence of the late Medieval Church; the relationship between lay devotion and urban regulars; clerical provision and the administration of urban parishes; distinctive patterns of worship in large towns and cities; and the material culture and music of urban spaces of worship. Speakers include Julian Luxford FSA, Elizabeth New FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Robert Swanson FSA, Jon Cannon FSA, John Goodall FSA, David Lepine FSA, Vincent Gillespie FSA, Julia Boffey FSA and Caroline Barron FSA. Details online.
17–20 July: Understanding Historic Buildings (Oxford)
A number of Fellows will be teaching at this Historic England training course at St Anne’s College, notably Adam Menuge FSA and Allan T Adams FSA. The aim is to communicate investigation and measured survey skills to the next generation. Details online.
25 August: The Contribution of Contract Archaeology to Industrial Archaeology (Northamptonshire)
A seminar organised by David Ingham FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA as a prelude to the annual conference of the Association for Industrial Archaeology at Moulton College, Northampton. Developer-funded projects in cities have greatly added to knowledge of the recent industrial past. Seven speakers include Norman Redhead FSA (Heritage Management Director (Archaeology), Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service) and Michael Nevell FSA (Head of Archaeology, University of Salford). Details online.
September: Heritage Practice Training programme (Leicester)
In partnership with Historic England the University of Leicester has developed a programme of practical, technical and specialist skills for heritage professionals. This autumn’s courses include:
4–5 September: Understanding & Creating Statements of Significance
7–8 September: Digital Data & Archaeology
12 September: Writing for Publication
15 September: Curating the Palaeolithic: desk-based assessment and field evaluation (at Birkbeck, University of London)
18–19 September: Understanding Industrial Assets: Conservation & Management
22 September: Archaeological report writing and writing for ‘grey’ literature
25 September: Specifying work on historic buildings (at the Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln)
27–28 September: Architecture for Archaeologists
16 September: The Deer of Deerhurst: Landscape, Lordship, Custom and Ritual (Deerhurst)
The 2017 Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm at St Mary's Church, Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, given by Graham Jones FSA. Details online.
16 September: Suffolk Textiles through Time (Lavenham)
A day conference exploring the production of textiles in Suffolk, looking at pre-Medieval archaeological evidence; the Medieval woollen cloth industry; and the production of silk in early modern times. Speakers include Joanna Caruth FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA. There will be spinning demonstrations with Jean Rogers, and visits to Lavenham Guildhall and a walking tour of the town and church. Details online.
20–23 September: Late Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology in Germany, Britain and Ireland (Bremerhaven, Germany)
A joint conference of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Archäologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (DGAMN) will be held at the German Maritime Museum – Leibniz-Institute for German Maritime History. SPMA and DGAMN pursue similar goals, in promoting and supporting the study of historical archaeology of the last 500 years. The main objective of this conference is to bring the two organisations and their members closer together, to facilitate future collaborations and projects. Details online.
22–24 September: Monuments in Ruins – Ruins as Monuments (Elefsina, Greece)
The fourth Heritage Management Organisation International Conference on Heritage Management's aim is to discuss and develop best practices in heritage management through case studies from around the world. Of particular concern are key fields such as heritage conservation and digitisation, public engagement, education and legal protection. The core concern for 2017 is the notion of ruins in culture. Details online.
22–24 September: Charter of the Forest (Lincoln)
A conference organised by the Lincoln Record Society to commemorate the issue of the Charter of the Forest in 1217. Of the two surviving copies of the original Charter, one is in Lincoln Castle, where it is on display with the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta. There will be an opportunity to view the Charters, followed by a day of papers on the origins, background and history of the Forest Charter. Speakers will include Nicholas Vincent FSA, David Crook FSA and Paul Everson FSA. The final session will be held in association with the Woodland Trust, and will be addressed by the distinguished American environmental lawyer, Nicholas Robinson. A guided excursion to Sherwood Forest will be available on the final day. Details online.
25 September: Canaletto & the Art of Venice (London)
In a spectacular show at the Queen’s Gallery (19 May–12 November), Canaletto’s work is exhibited alongside the Royal Collection’s other Venetian paintings from the 18th century by Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Lucy Whitaker FSA, Senior Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection, and Rosie Razzall, Curator of Prints of Drawings, give the first Venice in Peril Fund Autumn Lectures at the Society of Antiquaries. Details online.
28 September: Remembering the Reformation (London)
Launch of a major digital exhibition linked with an Arts and Humanities Research Project, at Lambeth Palace Library. Based at the Universities of Cambridge and York, the project explores how the Reformation in Britain and Europe was remembered, forgotten, contested and reinvented. The exhibition incorporates some of the treasures of the Cambridge University Library, York Minster Library and Lambeth Palace Library. The launch will include a display and demonstration of the exhibition website, and will be accompanied by short talks by the project team, Brian Cummings FSA, Ceri Law, Bronwyn Wallace and Alexandra Walsham. All are welcome, please register with firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 22 September.
1 October: Why Is There Only One Species Of Human? (London)
Chris Stringer FSA talks at the Natural History Museum. Both the human lineage and our own species originated in Africa, but recent discoveries are revealing the complexity of our origins. Homo sapiens evolved alongside other kinds of humans, and those other species have left their mark on us in terms of our DNA, and perhaps also our behaviour. Why we are the only surviving species of human is still an unanswered question. With recent discoveries challenging so many preconceptions about our evolution, this is an exciting time to study our origins. Details online.
5 October: Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (London)
A talk at Lambeth Palace Library by Lyndal Roper (University of Oxford) will be accompanied by a small exhibition of material relating to Martin Luther and the Reformation, and will be followed by a drinks reception. A joint event with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. All are welcome, but please register with email@example.com not later than 29 September.
7 October: Finding the Past: Twenty Years of EMC (Cambridge)
Since 1997 the Fitzwilliam Museum has hosted the online Corpus of Early Medieval Coin Finds (EMC), which has recorded nearly 12,000 finds of coins dated between AD 410 and 1180. This conference at the Fitzwilliam will explore discoveries that have been made using EMC, and prospects for future work on coin finds. Speakers include Martin Allen FSA and William MacKay FSA. Details online or contact Richard Kelleher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 October: Buckfast Abbey - History, Art and Architecture (Buckfast)
Buckfast Abbey celebrates its millennium in 2018. This conference, chaired by Peter Beacham FSA, marks the launch of a book he has edited about the abbey’s history. Eight speakers, including Marian Campbell FSA, Bridget Cherry FSA, Roderick O’Donnell FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA and David Robinson FSA, will review the abbey's history ahead of tours of the abbey and its buildings, after which Delegates will be welcome to attend Vespers. Details online.
7 October: Recent Discoveries in Lincolnshire Archaeology (Lincoln)
A day conference organised by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. Speakers will include Stuart Harrison FSA on Lincoln monasteries, and Mark Knight on the Bronze Age Village at Must Farm, Cambridgeshire. Contact 01522 521337 or email@example.com.
7 October: Ledgerstones: A Workshop (York)
Discover how to record valuable archives in our churches in a workshop in St Martin-cum-Gregory run by the Ledgerstone Survey of England and Wales. Speakers include Julian Litten FSA, Chair of the LSEW, and the day features a tour of the church and demonstrations of recording and uploading data onto the web. Email Jane Hedley for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8 October (provisional): Concert in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace Library (London)
Pre-Reformation polyphonic music from the Peterhouse partbooks (originally intended for use at Canterbury Cathedral), performed by Blue Heron. Details and ticket price to be confirmed, see the Library website and www.blueheron.org. Please register your interest with email@example.com.
19 October: Clarendon, Salisbury and Medieval Floor Tiles in Wessex (Salisbury)
Christopher Norton will present the Annual Clarendon Lecture in Sarum College, Salisbury Cathedral Close. Norton's research centres on seventh–16th-century French and English art and architecture. He is the foremost expert on the Wessex decorated floor tile industry, which commenced in the mid 13th century and whose traditions spread to the West Midlands, Wales and beyond by the early 1300s. The Wessex Industry’s distinguishing characteristics can be traced directly to a pavement made for Henry III’s queen, Eleanor of Provence, at Clarendon Palace 1250–52. Details online.
20–21 October: New Research on Finds from South and South-Western Roman Britain (Salisbury)
The Roman Finds Group is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special conference at the Salisbury Museum, with five sessions (one of which is dedicated to brooches, in memory of the late Sarnia Butcher FSA) and 20 speakers. The price includes a special 30th Anniversary reception in Sarum College, museum entrance, and a private viewing of the Wessex galleries and Terry Pratchett: HisWorld. There is an optional pre-conference guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral. Details online, or contact Stephen Greep (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jörn Schuster (email@example.com).
21 October: From the Cotswolds to the Chilterns: The Historic Landscapes of Oxfordshire (Oxford)
A joint conference hosted by the Society for Landscape Studies and the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Speakers include Helena Hamerow FSA, David Clark FSA and Trevor Rowley FSA. For details email Brian Rich: firstname.lastname@example.org.
21 October: The Long Sunset: the Country House c 1840–1940 (Lewes)
Sue Berry FSA introduces this conference on the theme of how the country house and its setting changed in design and function between 1840 and 1939, comparing the grand houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with their formal gardens and large staff, with the more intimate houses and gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent developments. Speakers include Michael Hall FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA. Visits related to the conference are planned throughout 2017. See online for details.
28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
31 October: Pitt Rivers: Pioneer (Bournemouth)
The first Annual Pitt River Lecture will be given by Richard Bradley FSA in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University at 7 pm. Pitt Rivers, widely known as ‘The General’, was a distinguished British soldier, anthropologist and archaeologist who is often considered to be the ‘father of scientific archaeology’. The lecture launches the celebration of 50 years of archaeological and anthropological teaching and research at Bournemouth University and its predecessor intuitions, and has been organised by staff and students connected to the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology. Details online.
17–19 November: Arras 200 – Celebrating the Iron Age (York)
This year’s Royal Archaeological Institute conference is in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Museum. The conference will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first excavations on the Middle Iron Age cemetery at Arras in East Yorkshire, and will coincide with a special exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum displaying artefacts from those excavations. Twelve speakers will discuss recent excavations and other current research. There will be an optional field visit to the site of the Arras cemetery and Hull and East Riding Museum, which holds finds from other important Middle Iron Age ‘square barrow’ cemeteries. Details online.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.
Call for Papers
The Georgian Group Journal
The Georgian Group Journal is a refereed academic journal appearing once a year and containing articles based on original research on all aspects of British architecture and design from c 1660–1840. Submission of illustrated articles of not more than 7,500 words is invited for Volume 26 (2018). Shorter articles are also welcomed. Please send proposals or drafts to the Editor, Geoffrey Tyack FSA (email@example.com). The Journal is distributed automatically to members of the Georgian Group, and is also available for purchase through the Group’s website; it is hoped that from 2018 copies of individual articles will be available to download through the same website.
2–3 November: It’s Not Just About the Archaeology – or is it? (Sheffield)
The Society for Museum Archaeology’s Annual Conference will this year be in the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield. The conference offers an opportunity to network with colleagues, hear exciting papers and take part in discussions around museum archaeology. When you work with archaeology in museums, you can end up doing a huge range of activities. Whether it be the delivery of exhibitions, engagement and events, or good old-fashioned collections management, what is the role of the modern museum archaeologist? This year’s conference is an opportunity to celebrate all things good… or bad… about what we do and how we do it! Please send proposals or queries to the society’s Secretary by 31 July at firstname.lastname@example.org.
18–19 December: Citizen Cathedrals in the Middle Ages: Image, institutions, networks (Girona)
With the aim of bringing together young researchers and exchanging ideas and hypotheses regarding new trends in medieval art history, TEMPLA is organizing a scientific training session in Girona (Spain). This winter school will discuss the concept and expression of the ‘citizen cathedral’ as it has developed in European bishoprics from medieval to modern times. The school is aimed at junior pre- and post-doctoral researchers in the field of art history, history and liturgical studies. Expenses of all researchers whose papers have been accepted will be covered. Proposals before 30 July, and requests for further details to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
18–20 December: 2017 Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference (Cardiff)
The theme of the 2017 TAG conference is Time. The call for papers is now open and will close on 25 August. A wide range of sessions are accepting submissions covering topics ranging from the archaeology of early medieval Wales to the relationship between archaeology and poetry. Registration will open soon. Details online.
January 20 2018: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-century British Architecture (London)
The 8th conference in this series, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, will be held at The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for papers 30 minutes long. While the emphasis remains on new developments in architecture, we welcome proposals on related themes, such as decorative arts, gardens, sculpture and monuments. The proposals should be submitted by mid August 2017, and the final programme will be announced in September. We are grateful to the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain for sponsoring bursaries for postgraduate students and we encourage the participation of new scholars. For further information please contact us at Claire.email@example.com and Henderson.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Society of Antiquaries of London
We are currently recruiting for the post of Head of Finance and Operations. The post holder will be responsible for the sound financial management of the Society and for managing the key operational, support services and activities of the Society at Burlington House, Piccadilly. The post-holder will be a member of the Society’s senior management team at a time when the Society is going through an exciting period of change and evolution. Full details are available on our website: www.sal.org.uk/about-us/vacancies. Closing date for applications 23 July.
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is seeking a new Chair of Trustees from November 2017. Closing date for nominations 21 July.
The CBA, based in York, is a UK-wide educational charity working to involve people in archaeology and promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment. Working with the Trustee Board and Executive, the new Chair will ensure that the CBA develops and delivers a new ambitious strategy for change in accordance with its charitable aims and to secure its long-term sustainability. The new Chair will champion the educational objectives of the Council, and lead the organisation in the next phase of its development to build the role that a progressive archaeological organisation can play in the 21st century, growing its impact, profile and financial sustainability. Details online.
The Royal Archaeological Institute is seeking a new Reviews Editor for the Archaeological Journal, to take over from Kate Waddington FSA in 2018. Closing date for applications 31 July.
The Reviews Editor is responsible for seeing book reviews and review articles through to publication. We aim to review 40–50 books for each volume, covering, primarily, titles concerned with the British Isles and northern Europe. One review article is also published each year. Although essentially voluntary, there is a small honorarium subject to agreement with the RAI. Attendance at the RAI Editorial Committee Meetings in London (maximum of two Wednesdays a year) is expected (expenses will be met). Details online.
The Burlington Magazine is seeking a Reviews Editor, to oversee the commissioning and editing of reviews of exhibitions and books. Deadline for applications 7 August.
This is a senior position at the world’s leading monthly English-language journal of art history, reporting to the Editor, Michael Hall FSA. The successful applicant will have a higher degree in art history with academic expertise in some aspect of European fine or decorative art before 1800, and will be competent in one or more European languages. It is a full-time post based at the magazine’s office in central London. Details online.
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) is looking for new Ordinary Members of Council and new Editors for the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology and for SPMA’s monographs series. Preferred deadline for applications 1 September. Details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, 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). We welcome papers based on new research or 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 download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.