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Salon: Issue 435
2 October 2019

Next issue: 15 October

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 EditorSalon doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.

Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this, and an online archive where new editions are posted. You can also unsubscribe at any point, by following this link.
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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Staffordshire Hoard Launch

On Friday 27th we celebrated the completion of the Staffordshire Hoard monograph project with a reception at the Society.

The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure monograph has been a collaborative initiative and it was delightful to see so many people who have worked so tirelessly on the project in the room. The monograph has gone to print and will be available to purchase on November 1st at our colloquium which is now fully booked! This colloquium will examine the significance of the hoard for future research and public understanding and contributions will look to the future, rather than dissect the hoard’s past history. We look forward to sharing the completed monograph with you at the colloquium and thanks go to our Academic Editors, Chris Fern FSA, Tania Dickinson FSA and Leslie Webster FSA.

Our thanks to all those who attended this event and in particular Cllr Beardmore & Cllr Brown from City of Stoke-on-Trent Council and to Duncan Wilson FSA, Chief Executive of Historic England. Thank you to all the key contributors to this project, many of whom attended. Particular thanks go to Toby Watley, Director of Collections at Birmingham Museum Trust, Keith Bloor, Museum Manager, Stoke-on-Trent Museums who  joined us to celebrate this momentous occasion and to Barney Sloane FSA from Historic England who has been a huge support. Thanks also to Barbican Research Associates who have been instrumental throughout the project. 

It has been a wonderful experience to work on this project and great to see so many of our Fellows playing a key part in what is a landmark publication and indeed discovery. From its foundation in the early 1700s the Society has been disseminating research on material culture through its journals and monographs and publishing is a key part of the Society’s commitment to foster public understanding of heritage, and to support research and communicate its results.
The very first Research Report of the Society was published in 1913 on excavations on the site of the Roman town at Wroxeter, Shropshire. That was over one hundred years ago. Since then, many more titles have been published by the Society, often written by some of the most recognisable names in archaeology – Sir Mortimer Wheeler FSA, Dame Kathleen Kenyon FSA, Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA, to name but a few – making the results of their excavations available for today’s researchers to draw upon.The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure is a major landmark and the Society’s eightieth Research Report.

Ever since the Hoard was discovered in July 2009, it has captured the imagination of academics and the public alike, here and abroad. Its discovery has prompted research, conferences, innovative conservation techniques – and now a monograph. This monograph has been written by a team of specialists in Anglo-Saxon archaeology and history, together with expert conservators with unparalleled access to the Hoard. It is illustrated throughout with full-colour photographs, maps and explanatory drawings. Key chapters discuss the decoration and meaning of the Hoard’s intricate ornament, the techniques of Anglo-Saxon craftsmen, the religious and historical background, and hoarding practice in Britain and Europe, to place this most exceptional find in context.
With this monograph, the Society is proud to continue its tradition of making important research accessible. It should be noted that this is a significant monograph not only in terms of its subject matter and research, but in how the Society makes that research available. For this first time, with this monograph, the Society will achieve a wider, more diverse readership in three key ways:

  • Letterpress: a beautifully bound, sturdy hardback book printed using the highest-quality production values and made to withstand years of use by academics, students and libraries as well as the general public
  • Print-on-Demand: a bound book printed in smaller quantities using the latest digital technology to keep this important research available in print while cost-effectively retaining the high production values of the images and overall book
  • Open Access: a free-to-access, unbound version online hosted by OAPEN and ADS (but which does not offer the highest quality reproduction of the letterpress or POD book)

For some time now the Society has been exploring ways of unlocking its past print titles, making these contents more widely available. To date, the Society has digitised one-third of its backlist, making these titles available for readers worldwide to download and use online free of charge. The Society’s titles are in demand but most are currently unavailable in print.
The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure marks a change in the way the Society publishes its monographs. With the generous help of Historic England, the Society has been able to keep costs of the letterpress of The Staffordshire Hoard low and enable a Print On Demand copy to be made available at an affordable price. In this way, the Society can help to keep important research within the reach of academics and the public for years to come without comprising quality. This is the way forward with our future publishing initiatives, created in partnership with Historic England: letterpress, POD and Open Access. 

*Images from the Staffordshire Hoard event.

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Open House London

The Society took part in Open House London again this year on Saturday 21st September. We welcomed over 350 people to the Society on free tours throughout the day. Thank you to all the staff and Fellows who helped to make this another very successful year.

Our audio described tour with VocalEyes for visitors who are visually impaired or blind was a huge success and received very positive feedback. The tour was co-led by VocalEyes describer Jane Brambley and Kate Bagnall, Museum Collections Manager at the Society. We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the four venues that worked with VocalEyes to deliver these unique tours. 

Each year Open House is a great opportunity for us to open our doors to a new audience and showcase all the Society has to offer. We are delighted to take part alongside our neighbours in the Courtyard and look forward to continuing this tradition. 

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Donations in memory of Claire Donovan

We have received some generous donations in memory of Claire Donovan FSA, who died on 5 June 2019 following a short illness. Claire was an invaluable member of the Kelmscott Manor Campaign Group and achieved some notable successes with major funders.  Earlier this year, she gave a talk in the chapel of Exeter College, Oxford to help us raise individual giving for the project.  She quoted William Morris, who declared that if he were asked to name the two things most to be desired in life, he would reply ‘a beautiful house’ and, after that, ‘a beautiful book.’ Given Claire’s life-long interests in early printed books and the significant contribution she made to Kelmscott Manor’s future, we wish to honour Claire’s memory by leaving all donations received in her name towards the care and protection of the Book and Archive collections at Kelmscott Manor.  

If you would like to make a donation please contact Dominic Wallis, Head of Development  020 7479 7092

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New Researchers Weekend 

Friday 25 October & Saturday 26 October

Join us for two events at the Society aimed at early-career researchers and students currently undertaking or about to begin postgraduate studies. On Friday 25 spend the day learning about our collections and resources that can help you with your research at our Postgraduate Open Day. Hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their fields. Network with other postgraduate students and early-career researchers and spend time in the Library, exploring our collections. Some highlights from our collection will be on display in the sessions including the Winton Domesday, Magna Carta, our collection of Seals and our Bronze Age sword. 


‘The Antiquarian Society’ 1812,George Cruikshank, Scourge iii

On Saturday 26 we are holding our inaugural New Researchers ConferenceRecovered from the Shipwreck of Time. This conference is on the history of collecting and the role of the antiquary. The conference is part of our public outreach programme with a specific focus on engaging with ‘new’ researchers, postgraduate and early career academics. Key items for our collection related to the papers will be on display throughout the day. 

Dr Arthur MacGregor FSA will deliver the keynote paper.

List of speakers and papers below.  

  • Angela Websdale Replication and Reproduction: The Westminster Cult of Saint Edward the Confessor at Saint Mary's Church, Faversham, Kent.
  • Elizabeth Chant Corsairs, Conflicts, and Coastlines: The Derrotero General del Mar del Sur (Panama, 1669)
  • Katy Whitaker FSA 'Shipwrecked mariners on some foreign shore': recovering sarsen stones from the Society’s Sarsen Stones in Wessex project archive MS953.
  • Gavin Francis Stoneystreet Kelmscott Manor: The legacy of a Plantsman’s garden.  
  • Sam Bromage Past Perspectives: Preserved cartographic and illustrative depictions of urban space in the collections of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
  • Dr Madeleine Pelling Negotiating the Portland Vase: Mary Hamilton, Sir William Hamilton and the Duchess of Portland
  • Kayleigh Betterton A Duty to Encourage, a Duty to Advance: Institutional Collections and the Society of Antiquaries in the Nineteenth Century
  • Liam Sims FSA 'For the encouragement of learning’: collaborative antiquarianism & the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society
  • Eloise Donnelly The Society of Antiquaries, the British Museum and collecting networks 1850-1913

We encourage Fellows to support (and attend) these events and share with interested parties. It is a great opportunity to open up the Society to a wider audience.

For more information or to book visit our website


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Thomas Cook: What Hope for 175 Years’ Travel Archives?

Early on 23 September Thomas Cook, a world travel group with roots in a company founded in the English Midlands in 1841, and employing 9,000 people in the UK and 12,000 overseas, ceased treading. The media focused on 150,000 British tourists stuck abroad and reasons for the company’s business failure, but there is another story. An intimate part of the British cultural discovery of other nations, escorting travellers and making it its business to learn about and document destinations and customers, it accumulated an unmatched archive of 19th- and 20th-century travel.
Thomas Cook Group Plc had an archivist, Paul Smith. He joined in 1996, having previously worked with the company archives of Diageo and Barclays Bank. He lost his job in July, and is now ‘seeking new opportunities’.

What of the archive itself, at the company’s HQ on Westpoint Peterborough Business Park? It was used extensively by Andrew Humphreys for his Grand Hotels of Egypt in the Golden Age of Travel (2011) and On the Nile in the Golden Age of Travel (2015). On the Nile, Humphreys wrote in a blog in 2015, ‘comes close to being a history of the company of Thomas Cook & Son in Egypt, for which there is a very simple reason. History may be written by victors but it’s also shaped by those with the best archives – and the Thomas Cook archive is fabulous… [with] everything from contracts and minutes of meetings to porters’ costumes and a couple of glass panels by Lalique from the Orient Express. A particularly brilliant resource for any travel historians is a complete run of The Excursionist, which is a sort of proto travel magazine, published by Thomas Cook from 1851 and which featured details of Cook’s tours, as well as general travel news and articles, book reviews and a wonderful selection of advertising. Then there are the albums of photographs, the cups, glasses and cutlery, the menus and printed passenger lists, the vintage guidebooks, blueprints, the genuine 3000-year-old piece of ancient Egyptian statuary…’
On the day of Cook's demise, I asked Amara Thornton FSA, who researches archaeological archives as a way to explore historical contexts, for her reaction. She came back with this within minutes:
‘The week has kicked off with the news that Thomas Cook, the famous British travel company that has over 175 years of history under its belt, has gone into administration with immediate effect. The website offers a stark, terse message communicating liquidation. No services are offered. And the news leaves its employees without jobs, and those who had embarked (or were due to embark) on trips with Cook in a horrible situation. Emergency measures are to be taken – enter Operation Matterhorn. I hope they all return home safely.
History Twitter has also been ablaze today as the fate of the Company's extensive archive is as yet unknown. A hashtag has been created #RIPThomasCook; researchers and curators and historic sites have been tweeting about the relevance of Thomas Cook to their work. For historians of archaeology the Thomas Cook archive represents a major resource. I've personally not had the pleasure of doing any research in it, but I know how important Thomas Cook was for the archaeologists that I've researched. The company is everywhere in the history of archaeology – offering not only transportation but countless other services that made excavation possible.

‘As Dr Sarah Irving noted, it's also really important for understanding the local contexts and economies wrapped up in its tours. It is inextricably linked to museum collections in the UK (and likely across the world), as it would likely have facilitated in one way or another the transportation of artefacts. It was also a publisher – one need look no further than the British Museum's rather infamous Keeper of Oriental Antiquities Wallis Budge FSA to see a deep and long-lasting publishing relationship. Budge wrote The Nile: Notes for Travellers in Egypt (1890, given to those embarking on Cook's Egyptian Nile cruises), and edited several editions of its Handbook to Egypt at a time of major imperial expansion (in which the company was also involved).
‘What does the future hold? At the moment, hard to tell. But for the moment, interested researchers can register their interest in the archive via this link.’
• Musannaf (@afzaque), a researcher of medieval Islam and early modern print culture, tweeted the poster at the top, with the message, ‘“When British power weakened, so did Cook's.” This was the inadvertently foreboding conclusion of F. Robert Hunter's 2004 paper, “Tourism and Empire: The Thomas Cook & Son Enterprise on the Nile, 1868–1914” (Middle Eastern Studies, 40:5). Image: Poster for 1904–05 travel season.’

The wine glass is from Andrew Humphreys’ blog.

Felicity Cobbing (@FelicityCobbing), Chief Executive and Curator of the Palestine Exploration Fund, tweeted the other archive photos.

Pugin Letter Box Returns to Palace of Westminster

According to the Antiques Trade Gazette (8 July), who spoke to Nigel Kirk of Nottingham auctioneers, Mellors & Kirk, the script above reads, ‘The Post Shall Go At …’ I wonder if it starts ‘Our post’ (‘Our post shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt us’ from King Lear might be appropriate, but doesn’t fit). Can any Fellow decipher it?
On 26 June it was the box that went, sold to a UK phone bidder for £4,200 (around three times the estimate of £1,000–1,500), who was revealed on 29 September to be the Palace of Westminster. The letter box comes with no supporting documentation, having been in ‘Private family ownership since the early 20th century or before’ and recently found by Nigel Kirk ‘in an outbuilding in a country house’. No further details have been released on this account, but, given the interpretation placed on it as described below, perhaps it was taken home by someone in Westminster when a replacement post-box system was introduced. Research, we are told, continues.
In the meantime, Mark Collins FSA, Estates Archivist and Historian in the Parliamentary Estates Directorate, says in a press release that he found a pertinent letter from Charles Barry to Augustus Pugin (from the architect of the Palace of Westminster to its interior designer) dated 27 December 1851. ‘The drawings for the letter boxes’, writes Barry, ‘were sent to Hardman as soon as I received them. I have this moment given Crace the drawings for the decoration of the blank lights, received this morning with orders to proceed … I enclose a diagram which he has made of the pannels [sic] and a list of the data for their decoration; and shall be very glad, if it were not be bothering you too much, if you would give the subject your deliberate attention … That would be most satisfactory.’
‘There is good reason,’ says the House of Commons press release, echoing the auctioneers' description, ‘to regard the recently discovered box as one of those referred to in this letter. One letter box was presumably intended for the House of Lords, the other for the House of Commons.’ There is no mention of Barry’s diagram.
‘We are still piecing the history of the letter box together’, adds Collins, ‘and figuring out how it fits in with other Pugin designs in the Palace.’
The box is decorated with suitably epistolary imagery. On the front is an iron plate with a lion passant guardant in crown (the Royal Arms of England) wearing a postal satchel. On one end is a bottle marked ‘Ink’ with a pair of crossed quills, and the inscription that opens with ‘The [Our?] post’ is on the other. Both ends have a falcon; one appears to be carrying what may be a second script.
‘Now much obscured by rust,’ wrote Mellors & Kirk, ‘the very finely chiselled mounts are consistent with’ the work of John Hardman & Co, Birmingham, and the box with Frederick Crace & Son, London.
Made of oak with iron fittings and a substantial recessed lead weight held in place by two brass strips on the base, the box, 26.5cm long, ‘needs some conservation work but is in relatively good condition’. After conservation it will be added to the the Palace of Westminster’s Historic Furniture and Decorative Arts collection and put on public display.
Photos Mellors & Kirk (white background) and UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor (dark background).

• There are two manuscript diagrams in the RIBA Collections, said to have been drawn by Pugin to Barry’s design in 1851, showing a less ornate letter box with metal fittings. ‘In December 1851’, notes the RIBA, ‘Barry wrote to Pugin asking him for a design for 15 letterboxes for use in Committee Rooms.’


Forensic Archaeologists Misrepresented on TV


The impact of investigations into missing people leading to the recovery of bodies reaches beyond the tragedies for close relatives and friends of the deceased. A Confession, a six-part ITV drama whose fifth episode was broadcast on 30 September, tells the story of the search for a missing young woman which led to the recovery of not just her body, but also that of another victim. Sian O’Callaghan and Becky Godden-Edwards, both from Swindon, had been murdered by Christopher Halliwell. He was convicted of the first murder in 2011. The second conviction followed in 2016, the delay being caused by the official response to Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher’s procedure of persuading Halliwell to take police to the disposal sites without having cautioned him and with no solicitor present.
John Hunter FSA, Emeritus Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, was a witness at Halliwell’s second trial. A forensic archaeologist who had examined Miss Godden’s grave, he offered four possible explanations in court for how her disturbed remains might have come to lie as they were found; his evidence implied that the grave may have been revisited and the head and arms removed.
Hunter wrote to Salon about the TV films:
'Some of Salon’s readers may be watching the serialised drama A Confession broadcast on ITV on Monday evenings. It details the actual events of two relatively recent murders and focuses on the career demise of Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher (played by Martin Freeman) and the effects on the families of two murdered women.
‘One of the women, Becky Godden, was buried in a field in Gloucestershire. It is unfortunate that the drama fails to make any mention of the two days of searching and careful excavation of the victim undertaken by a skilled team of archaeologists and anthropologists of which I was one. Instead the discovery is credited to a police officer with words along the lines of “There’s a dip in the ground over there, get me a spade”. Presumably it makes for better television.
‘Moreover, the interpretation of the woman’s missing body parts was an archaeological one made on contextual evidence gathered during excavation and was presented in Bristol Crown Court by an archaeologist. Sadly the drama accredits this interpretation to the forensic pathologist with the surviving bones laid out in front of him (out of context) on the mortuary slab.
‘It is a pity that a drama that purports to represent “true events” can so blatantly and deliberately ignore the roles of forensic archaeologists and anthropologists. They were the key players in locating, recovering and identifying this victim, not to mention helping to secure a conviction. I write this in order to put the record straight.’
• The films have been praised for their focus away from the more common prurient interest, and on the effects of the slowly emerging news of the tragedies on the women’s families and friends, the police and the wider local communities. Each one opens with a text saying that the 'true story' is ‘a dramatisation based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts’. In a Radio Times feature (15 August) Jeff Pope, the writer, explains that he interviewed Fulcher and the families of the victims, but ‘he decided not to film the drama where the real events happened… We didn’t go to the field where Becky was found or the ditch where Sian was… The decision not to film there was at least partly because of sensitivity [to friends and family]’.
Archaeological and forensic science is typically presented in TV dramas with no regard to the processes, the skills involved or what is or is not possible – a strange set of affairs given how central such work often is to the plots. A Confession is filmed locally at sites that look much like the real ones, is well directed and acted and has a strong sense of authenticity. The more peculiar, one might think, that John Hunter might feel the need ‘to put the record straight.’

The photo at top shows Martin Freeman on location at the Uffington White Horse (ITV). Karen Edwards (mother of Becky Godden-Edwards) has made her own record in A Killer's Confession, written with Deborah Lucy who worked for Wiltshire Police, which was published on 22 August.

The Art of Innovation

The Art of Innovation is a major new project from the Science Museum and BBC Radio 4, with an exhibition (25 September–26 January 2020), a 20-part radio series, and a book. The show is fronted by Ian Blatchford FSA, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group, and Tilly Blyth, the museum’s Head of Collections and Principal Curator (in photo below).
Blatchford and Blyth present the BBC’s 14-minute-long programmes, which use works of art and scientific images as stepping-off points for discussions of topics, from the expected steam trains (bring on Turner’s Rain, Steam, and Speed) and furnaces (de Loutherbourg’s Coalbrookdale by Night, top), to the moon seen through James Nasmyth’s detailed 1870s photos – achieved by the ingenious device of making plaster models in his studio. They have also co-authored the book, The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter, an ‘illustrated modern history of the connections between science and art [revealing] a new perspective on what that relationship has contributed to the world around us.’ Melvyn Bragg offers a nice puff: ‘It becomes increasingly obvious that all innovation can be included under the canopy of Imagination… we now understand [science and the arts] come from the same source. Together they speak to an inter-connective-ness in life which in this age of profoundly rich new knowledge is being shown to be a unifying characteristic of the way we are.’
The exhibition brings together loans from Tate, the National Gallery, the V&A, National Museums Scotland, the Estorick Collection, Derby Museums Trust (Joseph Wright) and elsewhere. Four sections (Sociable Science, Human Machines, Troubled Horizons and Meaningful Matter) and 20 stories explore our relationship with society, our bodies, the environment and found patterns in nature, adding rarely displayed objects from the Science Museum Group’s own Collection. The latter is impressive not just for the artefacts (a mauve-dyed silk skirt and blouse from the 1860s, a French conoid string surface model made in 1872, or a 1930 heavily repaired ‘peg leg’), but also the art. This ranges from a Gillray etching to the very same Coalbrookdale by Night. Sometimes the distinction between art and science evaporates, as with these samples of fabric based on X-ray crystallography data, designed for the 1951 Festival of Britain (above right).
Katy Barrett, the Museum Group’s Curator of Art Collections (her PhD at the University of Cambridge was about William Hogarth and the search for the longitude) launched a four-year art commission in May, seeking creative responses to the construction of a new collection management facility at the National Collections Centre south of Swindon in Wiltshire. To be completed in spring 2020, this will house over 300,000 newly studied and digitised objects, opening to the public in 2023. The winning artist is expected to be revealed soon.
Impressively, the exhibition is free to enter (though you do need a ticket).

Royal Arms at Diddlebury, Shropshire

‘A couple of months ago, the William and Jane Morris Fund made a generous donation towards the restoration of the royal arms of William III at Diddlebury,’ writes Martin Speight. ‘I am pleased to say that the work is now progressing, and thought that the Society might be interested in a short progress report, especially in view of the rather remarkable discovery.’
‘I have never come across anything like this in 50 years’ church crawling,’ adds Speight, ‘and I wondered if anyone at the Society of Antiquaries has any thoughts on the matter?’
Here is his report:
‘Following generous donations from a number of grant aiding bodies, including the William and Jane Morris Fund, the Parochial Church Council of St. Peter’s, Diddlebury has been able to proceed with the restoration of its William III Royal Arms of 1701. To that end in June the contractors C’art removed the painting from its position on the west wall of the church, and transported it to Annabelle Monaghan’s conservation studio near Shrewsbury.
‘When the painting was taken down from the wall, it was discovered to be a palimpsest, with a Jacobite device painted on the rear. This consists of a large depiction of the Prince of Wales’ feathers and Ich Dien motto, framed by the heads of putti in each corner and dated 1701. It also features two sets of initials, IC and RR.

‘As there was no “official” Prince of Wales in 1701, this painting must refer to James Edward Stuart “The Old Pretender,” who forfeited his title on going into exile with his father James II in 1688. It was therefore a somewhat foolhardy and extremely treasonable statement of loyalty to the Jacobite cause. The conservationist’s report suggests that it was painted in some haste, without the same degree of preparation employed for the official Royal Arms on the obverse face.
‘It has so far proved impossible to discover who was responsible for this painting, though it may be that the initials IC refer to John Crowther, who was churchwarden for the early months of 1701. A small number of double-sided Royal Arms do exist, but these are generally legitimate updates of earlier arms, and it is likely that the Diddlebury example may be unique. It is hoped that faculty permission will be granted to display both sides of the painting rather than replacing it on the west wall, and possible location and means of display are being investigated.’
Photos by Annabelle Monaghan.


World Heritage is at Risk, Fellows Tell the Times


‘When Britain leaves the European Union’, its 14 overseas territories will lose EU funding and ‘struggle to preserve an extraordinary rich and diverse architectural heritage’. So wrote leaders of five heritage groups to the Times on 1 October, giving St Helena as an example. ‘The British government, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the vast majority of heritage trusts and foundations in the UK’, they added, ‘do not offer funding for the built heritage of the British overseas territories.’ John Darlington FSA (World Monuments Fund), Catherine Leonard (International National Trusts Organisation), Marcus Binney FSA (SAVE Britain’s Heritage), David Adshead FSA (the Georgian Group), Christopher Costelloe (the Victorian Society) and Philip Davies FSA (Commonwealth Heritage Forum) appealed to ‘the government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund,’ suggesting ‘a minor policy adjustment could also release funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office.’
Meanwhile collections leaders wrote to the Times on 30 September to say that UK museums are ‘at breaking point’. ‘For a decade’, said Sir Ian Blatchford FSA (National Museum Directors’ Council/Science Museum Group), Maggie Appleton (Museums Association/Royal Air Force Museum) and Stephen Deuchar (Art Fund), ‘museums have suffered swingeing cuts in local and central government funding while coping with record visitor numbers. We have delayed essential maintenance, patched or repaired infrastructure and rattled the tin for donations to fill the gap.’ At risk are ‘the stability and preservation of collections’. ‘All political parties recognise the crisis,’ they added, ‘but it is time to deliver on their promises of help.’
Philip Venning FSA wrote to the paper on 21 September to praise the J Paul Getty Trust for its pledge to spend $100 million on conserving antiquities around the world, citing threats such as climate change and sectarian violence, extending its traditional remit beyond Greek and Roman remains. ‘It would be really helpful’, suggested Venning, former Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, ‘if some of this money could go towards encouraging the routine maintenance of archaeological sites. Sadly it is often the case at well-known Greek and Roman cities for all the scholarly and technical emphasis to go on conserving individual structures. But wander around neglected areas of excavated parts of the same sites and you will see easily preventable decay and damage. Unfortunately maintenance is unlikely to attract grant aid and major sponsors.’

• The photo at top is a view of What Remains, an exhibition at IWM London, in partnership with Historic England, which explores the plight of cultural heritage in times of conflict, and how people respond. It is part of Culture Under Attack, reviewed in Salon 430, open until 5 January 2020 (Imperial War Museum).

Cutting-edge Archaeological Research Rewarded


Notwithstanding heroic efforts of, among others, the Heritage Alliance to put heritage and creativity at the front of politicians' minds when they think about the future, funding for arts and heritage remains dangerously low. Heritage doesn’t feature strongly in the UK Research and Innovation’s Future Leaders Fellowships scheme. Announcing a second group of new fellows on 20 September, Chris Skidmore FSA, the Universities Minister, said that they ‘will generate the ideas of the future, helping to shape science and research for the 21st century,’ adding that ‘their ideas need to be taken out of the lab and turned into real products and services, where they can actually change people’s lives for the better.’
Sadie Watson FSA, then, an archaeologist at Museum of London Archaeology (top), deserves special congratulations: not only for being among the 78 new fellows, but also for having impressed UKRI sufficiently to be highlighted in the publicity (and yet again, perhaps, for being an unusual non-university recipient). Her four-year project (Bringing the Past to the Present: Measuring, Maximising and Transforming Public Benefit from UK Government Infrastructure Investment in Archaeology) is among seven described in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s press release, and Watson herself features in one of three videos on the UKRI website. The results, says Janet Miller FSA in the video, ‘will be applied across the UK to shape archaeology’. ‘Ultimately,’ adds Watson, ‘the Fellowship will provide policy guidance on a national level.’
Also among this year’s fellows is Ruth Nugent, an archaeologist at Liverpool University (right), who will be leading The Digital Library of British Mortuary Science & Investigation. Having completed a Leverhulme-funded PhD on seventh–21st century cathedral burials at the University of Chester in 2016, followed by postdoctoral work in mortuary archaeology and digital humanities at the universities of Chester, Exeter, and Lancaster, she will be based in Liverpool’s Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology. Her project ‘will work with churches, policymakers, scholars, public groups, and exhumation specialists to create the first-ever digital research library of historic exhumations from the seventh–19th centuries and a unique research-practice network.’ A key focus will be ‘how historic burial grounds and churchyards are managed at this vital time’.
The first 41 fellows were announced on 7 May. The programme is supported by a £900 million investment fund, it says, ‘to provide researchers and innovators from diverse backgrounds and career paths with the flexibility and time they need to make progress on truly challenging questions,’ and to ‘cross boundaries and disciplines in pursuit of excellence’. Among those 41 was Esther Breithoff, at Birkbeck University of London (left). In her project, Material Memories: Archaeology, Heritage and Human Rights Violations in South America, she is investigating sites of conflict and violations with archaeology, critical heritage studies and material culture studies, to explore the processes of reconciliation and remembrance.

Fellows (and Friends)

Kay Sutton FSA, medieval manuscript specialist, has died.
A preliminary appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains further notices on the late Kerry Downes FSA and the late Brian Kemp FSA.

Michael Coe, a distinguished American archaeologist and anthropologist who was not a Fellow of this Society, died on 25 September aged 90. He shone ‘light on ancient Mesoamerican civilisations,’ says an obituary in the Washington Post (30 September), ‘leading excavations in Guatemala and Mexico, helping decode Maya writing and art, and writing best-selling books that galvanised public interest in his field.’ He unearthed colossal Olmec stone heads and monuments at Lorenzo, Mexico, and authenticated the Grolier Codex, a bark-paper document acquired by a collector in 1971 and now considered one of a very few surviving Maya codices or manuscripts. ‘Mike was one of the greatest archaeologists of the 20th century,’ said Stephen D Houston, Maya scholar and Chairman of the Brown University Anthropology Department, ‘and a peerless populariser of our field.’

David Pearson FSA and Paul Thost have translated, with Tony Cowan, The Catastrophe of 8 August 1918 by Thilo von Bose, originally published in 1930. The book, writes Pearson, was the 36th and last in a series of popular semi-official German histories of the First World War. It documents in great detail the ‘black day of the German Army’ at the Battle of Amiens, a turning point that set the Allies on the road to victory just a hundred days later. With considerable moral courage, Bose tells the human story of German soldiers as individuals, alongside his powerful critique of the failure of German command. The edition presents the German text in parallel with the first ever English translation. The introduction, appendices, maps and photos give the historical and military context.

The V&A announced on 1 October that it plans to mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death by revisiting the Raphael Cartoons, loaned to the V&A from the Royal Collection and displayed in the Raphael Court. Work will start on 27 January to create a new lighting scheme to improve visibility, and new high-definition images, and infra-red and 3D scans of the Cartoons will be available in the gallery and online. New interpretation will explore the Cartoons’ function as full-scale tapestry designs for the Sistine Chapel, Raphael and his workshop, the rescue of the Cartoons in 17th-century England and their modern history. ‘Since their loan by Queen Victoria to the South Kensington Museum – now the V&A – in 1865,’ said Tim Knox FSA, Director of the Royal Collection, in a press statement, ‘[these extraordinary works by Raphael] have been on display for the public to experience and enjoy. Royal Collection Trust has worked closely with the V&A to support the extensive recording of the Cartoons, which will enable visitors to engage with and understand these masterpieces of Italian art in new ways.’

The Second Sleep, best-selling author Robert Harris’s new novel, has had Fellows talking. It’s set in the future, yet has a strong archaeological sense of the messages carried by artefacts – in this case plastic and hi-tech fragments surviving for an eccentric collector to retrieve as relics of a lost world. Echoing Joseph Gandy’s watercolours for Sir John Soane FSA of an abandoned London, Harris imagines what would remain for a future society after an apocalypse and years of subsequent decay and landscape change. Antiquarians, tweeted Gail Boyle FSA (@Boyle123G), ‘are considered to be heretics in this imagined “medieval” future’. Lesley Favager, the Society’s former Head of Finance, took this clip of a passage conjuring an image of the same Society’s publications surviving as records of all that has been destroyed. Beware what you submit to the Antiquaries Journal.

The Maritime Heritage Foundation, variously backed by the Ministry of Defence, Odyssey Marine Exploration (a profit-seeking American company) and Lord Lingfield (the Foundation’s chair), has been fighting for the right to HMS Victory, which sank in 1744 off the coast of Devon. The Foundation hoped to excavated the wreck, saying it was threatened by trawling and other marine dangers, and sell artefacts. Archaeologists said the remains were better left on the seabed; Kevan Jones MP, then Shadow Defence Minister, called Odyssey a ‘scam’ and Lord Lingfield a ‘Walter Mitty’; and in 2018 the UK Government said it was withdrawing permission for the Foundation to continue work on the wreck. In September a High Court in London dismissed a challenge from the Foundation, saying the wreck was at ‘minimal risk’ and could be ‘appropriately monitored’.

Digging up Britain: Ten Discoveries, a Million Years of History is now out. Like my previous books, it tells stories of archaeological excavation as theatres of challenge, discovery and inquiry, seen through the eyes of those taking part. There is a difference, however. The others focused on single locations (most recently the church where Richard III had been buried). By contrast this takes ten projects, all recent and many still in progress. They are selected partly for their sheer drama, but also for their combined ability to enlighten two themes: the extraordinary and little understood world of modern archaeology, and the new narratives of ancient British history that are being created. These really are new, and I highlight in particular the constant movement of people in and out of the islands, and the annihilation of the popular view of a long, unchanging sweep of ‘ancient Britons’; people have been living here for 11,500 years without break, and for more than half of that time they have not been white skinned. Many Fellows feature in the book, not least Chris Fern FSA (Staffordshire Hoard), Sadie Watson FSA (Bloomberg HQ), Jacqui McKinley FSA (Cliffs End), Barry Ager FSA, Chantal Conneller FSA, Nicky Milner FSA and Tim Schadla-Hall FSA (Star Carr), Jill Cook FSA and Chris Stringer FSA (Gough’s Cave) and Nick Ashton FSA (Barnham) – and many others, past and present (including behind the scenes a long-suffering editor, Colin Ridler FSA).

Fellows Remembered

Kay Sutton FSA has died. She was born in July 1943, and was elected a Fellow of the Society in June 2009.
Kay (Carole Ann) Sutton studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, London, and completed a PhD at the University of Warwick on medieval manuscript illumination in Lombardy. She taught there for two years before being appointed Area Editor for medieval painting and manuscript illumination at the Grove Dictionary of Art. She then worked freelance, as a researcher, cataloguer, writer and editor; she was an Advisory Editor for the Oxford Companion to Western Art. In 1996 she joined Christie's, London, where she rose to become the Director and a Senior Specialist at the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts International Book Department.
Her photo is clipped from a Christie’s video in which she describes the Ripley Scroll, a 17th-century alchemical treatise. The scroll was sold in London in December 2017 for £584,750 (with premium), around twice its estimate.

The Times has published two obituaries for Fellows.
Kerry Downes FSA, who died in August, is headlined as an ‘Architectural historian who campaigned with Betjeman and shed new light on the work of Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh' (25 September).
‘From an early age’, says the paper, ‘Downes showed an interest in architecture, and father and son would cycle to churches together.’ On retirement he ‘carefully constructed a plywood model of how he would like his extensive library to look’. He was ‘a shy but determined character. Students recalled his quiet encouragement, pregnant silences and dry wit, while those who became lifelong friends described “those very long phone conversations and those even longer letters, bringing news and advice from his home in retirement in York”.’

The Times described Brian Kemp FSA, who died in August, as a ‘Historian of Reading Abbey whose magisterial studies of church monuments helped to revive interest in them’ (23 September).
'Kemp’s skills as a historian,’ says the obituary, ‘were perhaps best displayed in his editorial work, to which his careful scholarship was well suited. English Church Monuments, a landmark study unrivalled in its range, is beautifully written, and as acute in its observations on monuments of the 19th century as on those of the 13th. The book was to make a great contribution to the revival of interest in church monuments in the 1980s, assisting in the recognition of the subject as a field of academic study. He also wrote a short illustrated version of the study for Shire Publications, as an introduction to what some might have seen as a dry discipline.’

Memorials to Fellows 

‘I thought you might like to see this modest memorial from Brompton Cemetery’, writes Christopher Foley FSA, ‘of Thomas Joseph Pettigrew FSA (1791–1865), also FRS FLS FRCS. Old Thomas was a considerable polymath: apart from a distinguished and varied medical career (not without the occasional hint of scandal), he was a fellow of the Royal Society and elected FSA in 1824. He was one of the founders of the British Archaeological Association in 1843. Pettigrew was an enthusiastic Egyptologist of the “hands-on” school: DNB says he “unrolled numerous specimens” of Egyptian mummies, including, apparently, private unwrappings performed for friends as a prelude to dinner. One rather hopes spare ribs were not on the menu!’


The Wisdom of Fellows 


In the last Salon Catherine Phillips asked about an altered portrait of Mary Queen of Scots in the Hermitage Museum (right, above). Michael Liversidge FSA, Emeritus Dean, Faculty of Arts, at the University of Bristol, has this to say:
‘Never wise to express an opinion without seeing the original when it comes to a painting, but St Petersburg is a long way to go. I suspect the Hermitage portrait of Mary Queen of Scots is actually 19th century (being on canvas, and having something of the “air” of a romantic image about it, almost pertly post-Jane Austen). The “likeness” and some of the costume details seem to be copied directly from the engraving made by George Vertue in 1735, which he inscribed In The Royal Palace of St. James's an Ancient Painting 1580. The engraved picture, whatever the original was, evidently shows her standing, so the Hermitage picture is probably a composite image made up from the 18th-century engraving by Vertue and a typical full- or half-length in the Elizabethan style for the rest. Not by any means an expert opinion…’
Above right: Mary, Queen of Scots by George Vertue after Nicholas Hilliard, from the National Portrait Gallery's Reference Collection CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

I continue my catch-up list of Fellows actively engaged with political affairs in the Palace of Westminster. ‘You can add to the FSAs in the House of Lords’, writes Edmund King FSA, ‘the President of the Northamptonshire Record Society, Lord (Tim) Boswell of Aynho FSA.’
‘I have always enjoyed reading Salon,’ writes Lord Boswell, ‘since becoming a Fellow at the instigation of my neighbour and friend Helen Forde FSA. I have perhaps been a little less publicly active in heritage and archive issues than I would have liked. This is mainly because I have just finished serving what I gather is a record term of over seven years as Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees, with specific responsibility for chairing the EU Committee, in the House of Lords. This has required me to spend most of my time on EU issues (though I have always taken an interest in the wider cultural aspects of Europe) and I have also been obliged to be politically non-aligned (and have no current plans to change this).
‘You may care to note that I served from 1987–2010 as Conservative MP for Daventry (including a spell as Universities minister) and may well be prepared to become more involved again in due course.’

Christopher Foley FSA has a positive note to add to the discussion about copyright fees for historic images:
‘A small thought on the problem noted (Salon 433 and 434) by Robin Simon FSA facing academics and other researchers of being asked to pay reproduction fees for images. I have run an art dealership (Lane Fine Art Limited) for nearly 50 years, and have supplied gratis innumerable images from the company's extensive archive of photos of historic British paintings to bona fide researchers. Several other London dealers do the same sort of thing. It's always worth asking: you won't be charged!’
• This oil of two sisters under a tree is among new acquisitions listed on Lane Fine Art’s website. Acquired by the dealership from a private American collection, it was painted c 1740 by Thomas Bardwell of Bungay.
In my last ‘Memorial to Fellows’ (Salon 434) I appended a list of featured Fellows back to the first edition I edited in June 2015. A few Fellows, perhaps missing my qualification, have written to point out that my predecessor, Chris Catling FSA, also featured Fellows’ memorials. If anyone would like to compile a list of those I will happily put it into a future Salon. Norman Hammond FSA says he submitted Catling’s first entry, on the Society’s late Vice-President Geoffrey Bushnell FSA, in St Bene't Cambridge. I rather like this pyramid sent in by Gwen Yarker FSA, which first appeared in Salon in 2014 (331).
It commemorates Thomas Rackett FSA (1756–1840), ‘and his wife’, and stands opposite the entrance to St John the Baptist Church at Spetisbury near Blandford, Dorset. But does anyone know why he got a pyramid?

And, because of course we can’t avoid this particular topic, a concluding note from Mark Samuel FSA:
‘May I congratulate Salon for so many mentions of Brexit – and expressing views! [Disclaimed, Ed.] Trying to ignore the subject is just storing up trouble for the future.’

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager ( We are currently scheduled a year in advance for our Ordinary Meeting Lectures. 

Ordinary Meetings are held from 17.00 to 18.00 on Thursdays. Open to Fellows and their invited guests.  

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

  • 25 October: Postgraduate Open Day Spend the day learning about our collections and resources that can help you with your research. Hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their fields. Network with other postgraduate students and early-career researchers. Spend time in the Library, exploring our collections.
  • 26 October: New Researchers Conference This conference is on the history of collecting and the role of the antiquary. The conference is part of our public outreach programme with a specific focus on engaging with ‘new’ researchers, postgraduate and early career academics. Key note speaker: Dr Arthur MacGregor FSA
  • 1 November: Publishing The Staffordshire Treasure: Impacts and Implications, organised by Prof Leslie Webster FSA, Dr Sam Lucy FSA & Dr Tania Dickinson FSA 
This event is now fully booked.  Aimed at the archaeological, wider academic and interested lay communities, this day conference will be a chance to hear from those directly involved in this field and discuss the issues and challenges faced. Speakers will include Prof Peter Stone OBE FSA, UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University; Lt-Col Tim Purbrick OBE FSA, the newly appointed commanding officer of the British Army’s Cultural Property Protection Unit; Dr Paul Fox FSA, secretary of the UK Blue Shield Committee; Maj Mark Dunkley FSA, SGMI/Historic England, Dr Emma Cunliffe, Newcastle University, Dr Nigel Pollard FSA, Swansea University and Lt-Col James Hancock, NATO/SHAPE.  

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.

Welsh Fellows

The Welsh Regional Fellows’ Group of the Society is holding a one-day symposium on Raglan Castle, Gwent  (Monmouthshire), in the Beaufort Arms, Raglan.

The meeting is being organized in honour of the late Rick Turner OBE, FSA, formerly of CADW, who died in June 2018. It will report on a new project of research into the castle and grounds of the exceptional very late medieval and Renaissance-period castle at Raglan and its role as a cultural and political centre, which Rick himself had been involved in planning.

We shall have a programme of papers and reports from leading specialists in the field from 9.45 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and propose to discuss future prospects for research and publication, including the aspiration to bring together a comprehensive volume of the scope and quality of Rick Turner’s own co-edited volume on Chepstow Castle (with Andy Johnson, Logaston Press, 2006). The cost for the day will include coffee/tea morning and afternoon and a buffet lunch. You can book tickets through the Society website here

Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.

York Fellows

Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.
  • 29 October: Fellows Evening. Lecture by Dr Andrew R. Woods FSA, Senior Curator, York Museums Trust. 'Detecting power: Interpreting the coinage from Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham
Join us at the Bar Convent, (17 Blossom Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO24 1AQ) at 6-6.30 pm for a glass of wine followed by a lecture by Dr Andrew R. Woods FSA. Fellows are welcome to bring guests but, for catering purpose, it is useful to have an idea of numbers to expect, and it is essential to let me know if you would like to join us for a meal afterwards. Please contact Ailsa Mainman FSA by email:

Detecting power: Interpreting the coinage from Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham
The elite Anglo-Saxon site at Rendlesham, Suffolk has been subject to a large-scale archaeological investigation, including a detailed metal-detector survey, over the past decade. Amongst the material recovered is one of the largest mid-Saxon coin assemblages from England. This paper will offer analysis of this assemblage, seeking to interrogate the economic networks of an elite residence at the very outset of Early Medieval coin-use in England.
This paper is part of the Landscape and Lordship in East Anglia project, supported by the Leverhulme Trust (
  • 30 November: Christmas Dinner, SAVE THE DATE.This will once again be held at the Dean’s Court in York. Details to follow.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (, 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 Danielle Wilson Higgins (, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.

Presently we are scheduled approximately a year in advance. 

Temporary Reduced Library Services 


Rebecca Loughead & Barbara Canepa have joined the Library team as Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian and User Services Librarian respectively. We will be continue to operate with reduced library services until October, when the new Head of Library and Collections will take up their post.
Research visits: Research visits by Fellows will continue as usual during the Library’s normal opening times (Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm). Fellows wishing to consult material that needs retrieving by staff (manuscripts, archives, prints and drawings, and printed items on closed access) are asked to order material in advance.
External researcher visits will be limited to no more than 2 researchers per day and will be strictly by appointment only. Our Guidelines for Researchers on our website give information on how to make an appointment.

Image services: From 10 September the images service will resume and we will be accepting requests for images and licenses from the library and museum collections.
Other library services to Fellows will operate as normal (book loans and electronic resources service)
Please check our website at for dates of planned closures.

Other Heritage Events

• Entries new to this Salon are marked by The Veil of Time, the keystone over the entrance to the Society’s premises in Burlington House

3 October: Elizabeth I at 60 (London)
Literary scholar Helen Hackett and art historian Karen Hearn FSA will give a lunchtime lecture in the National Portrait Gallery about Queen Elizabeth I, who celebrated her 60th birthday in 1593. In modern screen representations the older Elizabeth is usually in a grotesque state of physical decay, with flaking white make-up, black teeth, and a garish orange wig. The record from the early 1590s is far richer and more complex than this. Using portraits, literature and eye-witness accounts, this lecture will investigate how the ageing Queen was viewed by her contemporaries, and will ask: can we discover the truth of what Elizabeth was like at 60? Details online.
5 October: Social Housing in Buckinghamshire: from Almshouses to Right-to-Buy (Aylesbury)
A conference organised by the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society and local history societies, exploring housing for the people from cottages on manorial estates and the 18th-centuiry workhouse, to New Towns and the right-to-buy. Speakers include John Boughton, author of Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing. Details online.

5 October: One Thousand Years of Ceramic Innovation (London)
This conference organised by the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology and the Medieval Pottery Research Group, will focus on a wide range of technological, stylistic and functional advances in ceramics that have taken place from medieval times to the present. These are manifested in innovative developments in methods of manufacture, ceramic fabrics, new and increasingly specialised forms, decorative styles and techniques, and their collective effect on the place and role of ceramics within society. The conference will bring together speakers covering a diversity of topics, and will also offer opportunities to visit the Museum of London’s Ceramics and Glass Collection. Details from Lorraine Mepham FSA, at or 01722 326867, and online.
5 October: Walking Tour of Churches (Stamford)
The Church Monuments Society continues its series of Walking Tours with a visit to medieval churches in Stamford, Lincolnshire, with a galaxy of monuments from all periods. Not for the faint-hearted, we shall be visiting five churches in five hours, each with a good 20–30 minute walk between, so please wear suitable shoes. Details online.
7 October: Hadrian's Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier (online)
This six-week online course starts on 7 October with tutor Ian Haynes FSA, and offers a comprehensive introduction to Hadrian’s Wall and its people, raising fascinating issues concerning colonisation, cultural transformation, immigration, integration and imperialism. We will explore life in the region before the construction of the Wall, and after the arrival of the Roman army and its impact on the local population, with detailed case studies, To appreciate the range and character of native people, soldiers’ families, slaves, merchants and migrants, we will examine their homes, dress, diet, rituals and religious beliefs. Details online.
9 October: [Museums and critical approaches to the climate and ecological emergency] (London)
The UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies third Annual Public Lecture will be given by Nick Merriman FSA. The topic will revolve around how critical museology has been dominated by a largely human-centred mode of enquiry since it emerged 35 years ago. With a few notable exceptions, until recently little attention has been focused on what is now being termed the climate and ecological emergency. Merriman will discuss ways in which critical approaches to this phenomenon can both illuminate museology as a subject and influence practice in museums. Details online.
10 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The course will be of interest to all those who are currently (or hope to be) involved in the commissioning or production of desk-based assessments. It is targeted towards new entrants to the profession and those who would like to develop skills in this area. Course Directors: Jill Hind (formerly Senior Project Mgr Oxford Archaeology) and Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, County Archaeologist for Wiltshire. Details online.

15 October: Planning for the Conservation of the Palace of Westminster (London)
Patrick Duerden, a Practice Director with Donald Insall Associates, will present an overview of conservation policies as the new Palace of Westminster Conservation Management Plan nears completion. Organised by ICOMOS-UK. Details online.
15 October: Who Guards London? (London)
SAVE Britain's Heritage's annual lecture will be given this year by Simon Jenkins FSA at St Botolph Without Bishopsgate Church. Throughout history Londoners have argued about the growth and appearance of their city. Rarely were they heard, at least until the 1970s. Then, with the conservation movement, a revolution occurred. Who is protecting London's historic buildings; the Mayor, London boroughs, government ministers, MPs or the voluntary movement? Details online.

16 October: Homer Today (London)
Martha Kearney will chair a panel – Edith Hall, Nicoletta Momigliano FSA and A E Stallings – in the Macmillan Hall, Senate House, as they discuss their most recent findings and the current trends in reading Homer; Kearney read Classics at Oxford before becoming a journalist and BBC broadcaster. A reception in the Hellenic and Roman Library will follow the event, which is held in aid of the Library. Details online.

16 October : Faith and Place: A Future for the Isolated, Rural Church (Norwich)
Booking is open for the annual County Churches Trust conference to be held at Norwich Cathedral. Speakers include John Inge, Bishop of Worcester; Trevor Cooper, Chair of the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance; John Goodall FSA, Architectural Editor of Country Life, and Diana Evans from Historic England. There will also be experienced representatives from community projects involved with rural churches. Details online.

21 October: Accademia - Recent Acquisitions and the 'Grandi Gallerie' Project (London)
Paola Marini will talk for Venice in Peril at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. As Director of the Accademia between 2015–18, Marini oversaw a major programme of exhibitions, conservation and remodelling of the galleries. Setting this work in context she will offer a preview of the new Cinquecento Rooms in the light of recent acquisitions and conservation, before reflecting on her new role as Chair of the Association of Private Committees for Venice. Details online.
28 October: Architectural Salvage from Cairo to London: The Pivotal Role of the Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 (London)
Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, and Mercedes Volait, Research Professor at CNRS, based at InVisu, INHA, Paris, speak in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

29 October: Fire: Friend or Fiend in Human History? (Bournemouth)
The Third Annual Pitt Rivers Lecture at Bournemouth University will be given by the internationally renowned anthropologist Ruth Tringham (University of California at Berkeley). She will explore how archaeologists can and do act as arson investigators centuries or millennia after the event, focusing on the burned houses of Neolithic Southeast Europe, and earlier examples in Neolithic Anatolia (Çatalhöyük, Turkey), in order to consider how fire has been managed and controlled, and why fire is chosen as a means of destroying places, urban or rural, public or domestic. Details online.
31 October: Developing Fire Prevention Guidance for Historic Properties (London)
In the wake of recent devastating fires during major conservation projects, this timely workshop with Christopher Marrion and Fiona Macalister is aimed at the development of guidance on a coherent approach to fire management. Organised by ICOMOS-UK. Details online.
31 October: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce the standard types of published reports currently produced by archaeologists, and how the scope and content of a report is planned. The course will then focus on two key components, the stratigraphic narrative and the discussion, and the most effective and successful ways of approaching the planning, writing and illustration of these. This will include a critical review of a number of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements that apply to writing in a professional and academic context. The course will involve some preparatory reading before the training day. Course Director: Elizabeth Popescu, Post-Excavation and Publications Manager, Oxford Archaeology East. Details online.

2 November: Archaeology Live! (Sleaford)
Discoveries and Research from Lincolnshire and beyond will be presented at the 2019 Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology day conference. Speakers include Adam Daubney FSA, Mark Gardiner FSA, Colin Haselgrove FSA, Tom Lane FSA, Natasha Powers FSA and Duncan Wright FSA. Details online.
5 November: Blessed be the Springy Turf – The Story of Commons and our Rural Roots (London)
Common land still covers extensive proportions of rural England and Wales and survives in the heart of most of our cities. This lecture by Terry Robinson will explore the extremely important place common land occupies in the way our landscape has evolved and how our land management has developed. Organised by ICOMOS-UK. Details online.
6 November: Charles I: The Court at War (London)
Second in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. During the Civil War Charles I’s court, denied access to its country residences, set itself up in makeshift locations. Oxford, and other temporary ‘palaces’, had to be both elegant court centres and efficient military headquarters. These unusual royal houses cast new light on the key protagonists in England’s Civil War. Details online.

9 November: Sunrise Over the Stones: Recent Research into Neolithic and Chalcolithic Wessex (Bournemouth)
The CBA Wessex 2019 Annual Conference will be held at Bournemouth University. Roland Smith FSA will give the welcome address, and other speakers include Tim Darvill FSA, Mike Parker Pearson FSA, Josh Pollard FSA, Julian Richards FSA, Miles Russell FSA, Alison Sheridan FSA and Ann Woodward FSA. Details online.
11 November: Glorious Things: John Ruskin's Daguerreotype Photographs of Venice (London)
During his 1845 visit to Venice, Ruskin became aware of the power of the recently invented daguerreotype camera to make accurate records of endangered buildings. To mark the 200th anniversary of his birth Sarah Quill, a Trustee of Venice in Peril, will look at Ruskin’s involvement with photography during his researches for The Seven Lamps of Architecture and The Stones of Venice, at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Details online.
11 November: Animals and the Rise of the Georgian West End (London)
In this Spencer House Lecture Tom Almeroth-Williams, author of the recently published City of Beasts: How Animals Shaped Georgian London, will explore the dramatic role played by horses, livestock and dogs in West End life in the Georgian period. Details online.
14–15 November: Collecting and Collections: Digital Lives and Afterlives Workshop (London)
The Collective Wisdom project, funded by an AHRC International Networking Grant, explores how and why members of the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Leopoldina (in Halle, Germany) collected specimens of the natural world, art, and archaeology in the 17th and 18th centuries. Three international workshops at Carlton House Terrace will analyse the connections between these scholarly organisations, natural philosophy, and antiquarianism, and to what extent these networks shaped the formation of early museums and their categorisation of knowledge. Details online.
15 November: Curating Decay (Waltham Abbey)
This will be Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills’ first course, with three morning talks covering a range of issues in the management of vulnerable heritage sites, and reimagining how we might adopt an ethical stance that allows us to collaborate with natural processes and decay, rather than fighting against them. Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills exhibition and a guided tour of the site led by Wayne Cocroft FSA. Details online.

16 November: Discovering Anglian York: Digging in the Dark (York)
This year’s York archaeology conference will focus on Eoforwic, Anglian York. Talks will review current knowledge and recent discoveries, and will ask where should we be looking and why have we so much yet to find. Speakers include Richard Morris FSA, John Oxley FSA and Julian D Richards FSA. Details online.
23 November: HS2 Archaeology (Winslow)
Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society is arranging a second HS2 Archaeology event at Winslow Public Hall, Elmsfield Gate, MK18 3JG. HS2 archaeologists will speak on discoveries made in the course of recent investigations in Buckinghamshire. Open to all, admission £3. Doors open 1.00pm, talks start 1.30pm.

24–25 November: Books at Work: Books and Libraries for Professionals and Tradesmen since the 15th century (London)
Among themes to be addressed at the 41st Annual Book Trade History Conference will be book-trade strategies aimed at particular professional groups and specialisation in genres of publications useful for work, as well as the libraries of professionals, including doctors, lawyers, clergy, architects and heralds. Speakers include David Pearson FSA and Nigel Ramsay FSA. Details online.
25 November: A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883-1961), Dealer and Curator (London)
Barbara Lasic, Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

26 November: William Holcot's Books: Recantation and Repentance in Reformation England (London)
John Craig will talk about William Holcot, a mid-Tudor gentleman, bibliophile and lay reader in the early Elizabethan church, whose experience of recantation during the reign of Queen Mary powerfully shaped his thoughts and actions during the Elizabethan period. The few pieces that survive from Holcot's life enrich our understanding of a particular stream of Elizabethan Protestantism. At Lambeth Palace Library in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500–1800, this event will be followed by a drinks reception. Details online.
27–29 November: Art of the Lost Conference (Canterbury)
Over three days curators, conservators, scientists, historians, archaeologists and artists from the UK, Europe and the USA will gather at Canterbury Cathedral and look at how, and why art is defaced, destroyed or lost within architectural settings. With a particular focus on art within the context of cathedrals and other places of worship, the conference considers changing ideologies, iconoclasm, war, fashion and symbolism. It will discuss art from the sixth century to the present. Delegates will have exclusive access to the Cathedral’s collections, with behind-the-scene tours of conservation in action, and wall paintings and graffiti. Speakers include Gerry Alabone FSA, Paul Bennett FSA, Kate Giles FSA, Tessa Murdoch FSA, Sandy Nairne FSA and David Rundle FSA. Details online.

27–29 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
A short course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is a practical workshop carefully designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called upon to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. It will present the terms of procedure, the roles of the participants and the general feel of a Public Inquiry. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study. Training for potential witnesses will be given in how to prepare evidence for a Public Inquiry, how to produce proofs of evidence, and to experience them being given and tested under realistic conditions. You will be allocated a role to play in the Inquiry and asked to prepare a proof of evidence to fit this role. Active participation limited to 14 participants. There will also be a limited number of places available for observers. Course Directors: Roger M Thomas, Barrister and Archaeologist; George Lambrick, Independent Archaeology and Heritage Consultant. Planning Inspector: Richard Tamplin. Advocates: David Woolley QC and Allan Ledden, Solicitor. Details online.

18 January 2020: Fifty Years of Archaeology at Rewley House (Oxford)
This day school will look back at a half century of archaeology at Rewley House, to assess and celebrate the department’s achievements, discussing in particular its involvement in field archaeology from the training excavation at Middleton Stoney in the 1970s through to its recent and current community archaeology work in East Oxford and Appleton. In addition, present and former directors of archaeological studies, alongside others who have played significant roles in Rewley House archaeology, will talk about their work with the department. Speakers include Malcolm Airs FSA, Anne Dodd FSA, David Griffiths FSA, Tom Hassall FSA, Gill Hey FSA, Gary Lock FSA and Trevor Rowley FSADetails online.

31 January 2020: Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland: Prehistoric and Roman (Oxford)
A long-running series of weekends at Rewley House on Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland returns to the beginning, and examines evidence for prehistoric and pre-Christian Roman places of worship. Speakers include Kenneth Brophy FSA, Tim Darvill FSA, Chris Gosden FSA, Seren Griffiths FSA, Martin Henig FSA, Fraser Hunter FSA, Tony King FSA and John Pearce FSA. Details online.
18 March 2020: Charles II: The Court in Exile (London)
Third in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. For a decade after the execution of Charles I the Stuart courts were based in the Low Countries and France. Determined to maintain splendour and dignity, though short of money, Charles II used rented mansions as headquarters for the exiled monarchy. In these hitherto unknown royal ‘palaces’ the king and his courtiers developed tastes that were to fundamentally fashion the art and architecture of Restoration England. Details online.
23–27 March 2020: Histories of Archaeology (Canberra)
The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific (CBAP) Australian Research Council Laureate Project, led by Matthew Spriggs FSA, will be hosting this conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, airing new ideas on the history of archaeology worldwide. Invited keynote speakers include Margarita Diaz-Andreu FSA, Stephanie Moser FSA, Lynn Meskell, Tim Murray FSA, Lynette Russell and Nathan Schlanger. The conference launches the CBAP-linked international museum exhibitions under the title of Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania, which will take place at approximately 40 museums and cultural institutions worldwide. Enquiries to, details online.
1–3 May 2020: The Great House in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford)
The popularity of the great house for the hereditary aristocracy, aspiring owners and the visiting public has continued to blossom in the present century. A weekend (not the May bank holiday weekend) at Rewley House will provide an opportunity to explore some of the themes about the great house which have emerged since the turn of the millennium. It will cover new and established houses and their garden settings, and will examine the ways in which houses are managed and presented to the public. Speakers include Malcolm Airs FSA, Tarnya Cooper FSA, Ben Cowell FSA, Jeremy Musson FSA and Alan Powers FSA. Details online.
10 June 2020: William and Mary: The Court Divided (London)
Fourth in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. Like James I, King William III was unhappy with the formality of England’s vast crumbling royal estate. But unlike James, who virtually abandoned Edinburgh, William maintained a second court, and a parallel suite of royal houses, in the Netherlands. Mostly ignored by English historians, these houses are the key to understanding the style that we now know as William and Mary, and its impact on England. Details online.

Call for Papers

16–18 April 2020: Wall Painting Conservation and its Dilemmas in the Twenty-first Century (York)
A conference in memory of Sharon Cather FSA will take place in the surroundings of the Tempest Anderson Hall of the Yorkshire Museum, the Hospitium in the museum’s 19th-century gardens, and the King’s Manor, University of York, to take stock of the current state of wall painting conservation internationally, and consider potentially productive developments in the future. Contributions will cover all periods of wall painting from ancient to contemporary, and will take the opportunity of reflecting on the type of issues that were of such concern to Sharon Cather. The number of papers will need to be limited to about 18. Many have already been offered, and others are now invited. Speakers will be asked to commit to contributing to the follow-up publication. Details online.

8–10 July 2020: Early Modern Conference (Durham)
The Durham Early Modern Conference is an annual event organised by the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Durham University. It offers a broad and inclusive interdisciplinary forum for any aspect of early modern studies, covering the period c 1450 to c 1800. We welcome proposals for panels comprising at least three papers, and strands which will run through the conference and should generally comprise at least two and no more than five related panels. The deadline for submissions is Monday 11 November 2019. Details online.


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