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Salon: Issue 309
25 November 2013

Next issue: 9 December 2013

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website. News and feedback for publication in Salon should be addressed to the Editor, Christopher Catling.
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Inside this issue

Christmas Closing at Burlington House

The Society’s apartments and library will close at 4pm on Friday, 20 December 2013, and re-open at 10am on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

Forthcoming meetings

Tea is served from 4.15pm, and meetings start at 5pm

28 November 2013: ‘Torksey, Lincs: the Viking winter camp and Saxon town’, by Julian Richards, FSA, and Dawn Hadley
In the winter of AD 872—3, a Viking army made camp on the banks of the River Trent at Torksey in Lincolnshire. The location of the camp has now been identified from the recovery, by metal detector users, of large quantities of war booty, including silver and gold, as well as copper alloy scrap metal. Torksey went on to become a Late Saxon town and the army is also thought to have introduced foreign potters to England, leading to the establishment of the Torksey-ware kilns. With the support of the Society of Antiquaries and other bodies, Dawn Hadley and Julian Richards are now leading a new project to investigate the winter camp and its relationship to the Saxon town and pottery industry, and will report on the latest findings.

5 December 2013: ‘The Malleability of Portraiture in Post-Reformation England: the Kaye Panels of Woodsome, Yorkshire’, by Robert Tittler, FSA
In 1567 the Yorkshire squire John Kaye commissioned four complex tableaux painted on both sides of two panels. Two are portraits, one of John and one of his wife Dorothy, while a third offers a family genealogy in the form of a Tree of Jesse. The fourth offers sixty-six coats of arms of those family members and friends with whom the Kayes claimed affinity. The panels are also painted with poems and moral apothegms born on scrolls by small human figures floating on the picture plane, sundry heraldic devices and various other visual elements. This paper suggests that the emergence of secular panel portraiture offered the unsophisticated, but socially aspiring ‘backwoodsmen’ of post-Reformation England a ‘malleable moment’ in which to experiment with the form and content of portraiture as a form of self-expression. The Kaye panels, like some others of their time, employed a number of visual elements in transition: some soon to disappear; others to become common portrait tropes; still others to find their place in other visual media. By c 1600 the conventions of polite, continentally derived portraiture swept over even such remote areas as Woodsome, Yorkshire, bringing this malleable moment to a close.

6 December 2013: ‘Antiquity in a world of change: celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Sir Thomas Smith (1513—77)’
Sponsored by our Society and the Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, and organised by Fellow Richard Simpson, this seminar will investigate Sir Thomas Smith’s scholarly studies and his practical activities, helping us to understand how the analysis of antiquity in the sixteenth century provoked not only a desire for the recovery of the past, but also a critical and creative questioning of the present.

Registration costs £10 per person and includes lunch and refreshments. To book, please email Executive Assistant Jola Zdunek or tel: 0207 479 7080.

12 December 2013: Christmas Miscellany and Mulled Wine Reception
This year’s Christmas miscellany has a Stonehenge theme. First, artist Mark Anstee and documentarist Gabi Cowburn will tell us about their year-round observational tour of the stones, then we will hear from Susan Greaney, Senior Properties Historian at English Heritage, about the planning and research that went into the creation of the new Stonehenge visitor centre (where several of the Society’s prints will be on display).

Admission to the Mulled Wine Reception that follows the meeting is by ticket only (remarkably good value at £5, half the price of previous years!).  Guests are welcome. Please book by contacting Jola Zdunek, the Society’s Executive Assistant; tel: 0207 479 7080.

From the Desk of the General Secretary

The Officers and staff of the Society would like to say ‘thank you’ to all the Fellows who returned the Fellowship survey. We received a great response (nearly 300!), and more than half of those who responded expressed an interest in getting more involved with the Society or helping the Society to achieve its goals. While surveys are still being analysed and documented, Council was able to digest a summary report of the responses. Those responses have helped inform Council’s plans for the Society for the next five years, especially in regards to increasing the Society’s public engagement. We’ll be sharing more information about Council’s plans for the Society with Fellows in the New Year, and hope to have the survey results available at that time as well. Thank you again to all those who responded to the survey. While we are no longer collecting survey responses, please do feel free to share your feedback and ideas with us at any time by contacting the appropriate officer, committee or staff member.

Fellows and Friends of Kelmscott Manor will be interested to learn that the Manor had a record-breaking year thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of all the staff and volunteers, headed by the management team of Property Manager Sarah Parker, Visitor Experience Manager Kathy Haslam, Administrative Assistant Gill Hall, Shop Manager Norma Colman and Catering Manager Janet Hilton. We welcomed nearly 20,000 visitors this summer (April through October), many of whom discovered the Manor for the first time through new marketing campaigns in local publications, travel deal websites such as Groupon and TravelZoo, and Twitter. Of course, we owe the staff and all of the volunteers at the Manor a huge debt of gratitude for handling the increased visitors and ensuring a memorable experience for everyone.

Growing popularity and increased visitor traffic means that we are sharing Kelmscott Manor and its internationally important collections with a wider public audience. However, if we are to continue meeting the demands of that growing audience and provide a positive visitor experience in the future, we will have to think strategically about conserving and developing the property. This will necessitate a capital investment for conserving the buildings and collections, making repairs around the estate, and improving visitor services. The successful launch of the Friends of Kelmscott Manor membership programme is a cornerstone to the development of the Manor, but we will depend on the continued support of the Fellowship and Kelmscott Manor patrons to secure the future (find out more about supporting Kelmscott Manor).

At Burlington House we’re more than halfway through our autumn 2013 programme of events (ordinary meetings, public lectures and seminars). This past month, the Re-Dating Early England seminar was a great success. Organised by Fellow Christopher Scull with help from Fellows John Hines, Catherine Hills and Sam Lucy, the seminar was fully booked and generated a wide amount of interest. Speakers (including Fellows Alex Bayliss, Marion Archibald and Andrew Reynolds) provided a fascinating review of the work done at Spong Hill and other Anglo-Saxon burial sites in the UK and abroad, introducing new chronological frameworks and methodologies for the fifth to eighth centuries in England. Watch the videos from the lecture on YouTube (8 November 2013: Re-Dating Early England playlist) or in the Lecture Archive on the Society’s website.

Between now and Christmas there is still plenty to keep us busy! Not only do we have a few more weeks of Ordinary Meetings of Fellows, but we also have a Public Lecture by Fellow Martin Brown (‘Spitfires and Pagodas: Conflict Archaeology in Burma 2013’, 3 December at 1.00pm), a study day organised by Fellow Richard Simpson (‘Antiquity in a world of change: celebrating the 500th anniversary of Sir Thomas Smith’, 6 December), and our Christmas Miscellany and Mulled Wine Reception (12 December). We hope to see you at Burlington House soon!

Friends of Kelmscott Manor: buy a Gift Membership for Christmas

‘The Society is very grateful to the 250-plus Fellows and visitors to Kelmscott Manor who have become Founding Friends’, writes Dominic Wallis, the Society’s Head of Development, ‘and to everyone who has contributed to the £1,600 in donations given so far for the Society’s vital work of conserving items in the Kelmscott Manor collection — including Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s paint box, the Geoffrey Poy clock and the square piano. We greatly appreciate your continued support and ask that you recommend the Friends of Kelmscott Manor membership programme to friends and loved ones this Christmas.’

Our Communications Officer, Renée LaDue, says: ‘Gift memberships purchased before spring 2015 will still be considered as “Founding Friend” memberships, and recipients will receive our commemorative Founding Friend lapel pin (the design is based on one of William Morris’s own brass rubbings), as well as free entry to the Manor on General Open Days, a free guidebook, regular newsletters and mailings from the Manor, invitations to special events and lectures at Kelmscott Manor and the Society’s London apartments, and discounts in the Manor’s tearoom and shop. Click here to download the Friends of Kelmscott Manor membership order form today. You can also call Kelmscott Manor (Tuesday—Friday); tel: 01367 253348. And don’t forget to renew your current Friends of Kelmscott Manor membership subscriptions when the time comes! Thank you for supporting Kelmscott Manor.’

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Society Christmas cards

A detail from the John Gipkyn diptych (1616) in the Society’s collection, showing angels rejoicing at the (hypothetical) restoration of the tower of St Paul’s Cathedral — one of two new Christmas card designs for 2013

Five different Christmas card designs are available this year, including two new designs, each one based on a historical image from the Society’s own library and collections. You can see them on the shop page of the Society’s website and order them online or by contacting Jola Zdunek, the Society’s Executive Assistant; tel: 0207 479 7080; priced £7 for a pack of 10 cards and envelopes (p&p extra).

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The value to the UK economy of heritage tourism

How much do Fellows contribute to the UK economy through their work for heritage agencies, museums and galleries and as curators of the special exhibitions that draw so many visitors to the UK? Quite a lot, it would seem, on the basis of figures contained in a new HLF report on The Economic Impact of the UK Heritage Tourism Economy. This reveals that heritage-based tourism is now worth £26.4bn to the UK economy — £5.8bn higher than the HLF’s previous report, published in 2010; the increase is partly due to the growth in ‘staycations’ taken by UK residents choosing to spend all or part of their holiday time visiting heritage attractions at home.

The data in this new report come from research carried out by Oxford Economics, one of the most respected companies in the world specialising in financial forecasting and modelling. The scale of the heritage-based visitor economy makes it a bigger contributor to UK GDP than the much more high-profile advertising, car manufacturing or film industries, and the achievement is all the more remarkable given how little is invested in the heritage sector compared to the billions that are spent in these other three sectors.

Our Fellow Loyd Grossman, Chair of the Heritage Alliance, believes that the sector as a whole must do more to highlight the links between heritage and tourism. Welcoming the HLF report, he said ‘this is incontestable proof that our unique heritage is one of our major national assets and can contribute to our national economic recovery. Heritage means business for Britain.’

The report is based on the most recently available statistics for domestic and in-bound international tourism, taken from source data compiled by the Office for National Statistics. It also includes recent survey data on the activities undertaken on tourism visits in order to understand the extent to which visits are motivated by heritage. This shows that visits to heritage sites or attractions (excluding natural heritage, sites such as nature reserves, country parks, beaches and so on) have become increasingly important in people’s vacation choices, accounting for some 28 per cent of the activities that visitors undertake while on holiday.

To put this in perspective, VisitBritain recently published a report on the value of music tourism to the UK economy, from the BBC Proms season to the thousands of gigs and rock, folk and jazz festivals that take place here every year. This put the total spend of music tourists buying tickets and paying for transport, accommodation, food and souvenirs at £2.2 billion — one-tenth of the scale of heritage tourism.

According to another newly published report,  commissioned by VisitBritain from Oxford Economics and Deloitte, tourism as a whole is now the fifth largest industry in the UK, while the UK is the seventh most popular tourist destination in the world. Tourism generates £127 billion a year for the UK economy (9 per cent of UK GDP), directly supports more than 3.1m jobs (9.6 per cent of the total workforce) and is the UK’s sixth largest export earner. Since 2010, there has been a rise of 13 per cent in both international visits to the UK for holidays and the number of overnight holiday stays in the UK made by UK residents. International visitors were spending 28 per cent more per visit in 2011 than in 2007, and UK residents on holiday were spending 7 per cent more.

London’s tourism is a major component in these statistics: the VisitBritain report says that the capital’s tourist-based economy will grow from £36 billion to £77.4 billion over the next ten years, accounting for 12.8 per cent of London’s GDP, supporting 700,000 jobs in the capital (12 per cent of the total workforce). Inbound tourism form China and other parts of Asia is expected to rise by 6 per cent per year.

The Government’s response has been to cut investment in the heritage and tourism sectors. As Loyd Grossman pointed out at the ‘Future of Heritage’ seminar held at the Society in September, this makes perfect sense from the Treasury perspective, because heritage tourism has risen in direct proportion to the cuts imposed on our heritage agencies and national museums.

This is, of course, a misleading statistic: the fact is that the less-visible functions of curatorship, scholarship and conservation have suffered grave cuts, while priority has been given to the more visible customer-driven revenue-earning functions (one symptom of which is that the British Museum Great Court increasingly resembles a railway station, with kiosks offering visitors 'two-for-one' deals on bottles of water). One wonders how long the sector can continue to outperform the rest of the world on this basis.

Given that tourism generates £24 billion in export earnings and yields £6.7 billion a year in taxes paid by international visitors to the Treasury, it would be nice to see even a small proportion handed back for essential investment in what is increasingly a fundamental part of the UK economy — one that is likely to become even more important as manufacturing declines in the West and as Europe depends increasingly on heritage tourism from newly prosperous parts of the world, such as Asia and South America, for economic survival.

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Queen’s Anniversary Prize awarded to Leicester for outstanding archaeology

The long record of exceptional research and public engagement work undertaken by Leicester University’s archaeology department, culminating in the discovery of the remains of Richard III, has been recognised through the award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The announcement of the award was made at a reception at St James’s Palace on 21 November 2013 attended by Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Mark Thompson, and by our Fellow Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist on the Richard III dig.

Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: ‘This royal recognition for research and expertise in history, heritage and archaeology highlighted by the discovery of Richard III is a magnificent achievement and a testament to the world-class work in our School of Archaeology and Ancient History. The discovery of Richard III is probably the most dramatic of the university’s more recent archaeological and historical achievements, but it rests upon experience and knowledge derived from work on Roman and medieval Leicester, the discovery and presentation of the Hallaton Hoard, an Iron Age dig that changed perceptions of what could be done at rural sites, and extensive work on prehistoric and other nationally important sites.’

Our Fellow David Mattingly, Acting Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, said: ‘Leicester is one of only a handful of archaeology departments in the UK that still maintains a professional archaeological unit alongside the academic staff. Under the direction of Richard Buckley and Patrick Clay, the unit has been part of the School since 1995. The synergy of that professional/academic partnership has been a key to our success over the years, with University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) staff contributing to teaching and fieldwork training of students and academic staff working as advisers on ULAS projects with a significant research element.

‘The Richard III investigation highlights the relationship perfectly, with Richard Buckley and his ULAS staff leading the excavation, but a number of academics playing key roles, whether in the excavation and subsequent examination of Richard III’s skeletal remains, genetic research, etc, as well as co-ordinating aspects of the wider public presentation of the discovery. This has not been an isolated example and the nomination for the prize presented a wider range of projects where the School has made a major impact in public engagement with archaeological discoveries, such as the Hallaton Iron Age hoards, the major programme of urban archaeology in Leicester city centre and the current training excavation at Burrough Hill.’

First World War commemoration projects announced

English Heritage has announced that it is aiming to double the number of listed war memorials in the next five years, working with volunteers from the War Memorials Trust. Some 1,300 are already listed, though this is thought to constitute a small proportion of the eligible examples. At the same time, it was announced that the Liverpool Cenotaph (above), built to commemorate those who lost their lives in the First World War, is to be listed at Grade I, making it one of only three Grade I war memorials in the country, along with Victoria Park in Leicester and the Cenotaph in Whitehall, both designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

The Liverpool Cenotaph was designed by Lionel Budden with sculptural work by Herbert Tyson Smith and unveiled in 1930. In the form of a vast altar, it is decorated with stone and bronze reliefs depicting massed ranks of soldiers marching off to war and massed ranks of gravestones, disappearing into infinity. Our Fellow Roger Bowdler, Designation Director at English Heritage, said that ‘the Liverpool Cenotaph is a remarkable monument, combining the highest quality of design and artistry with a dignified and painfully poignant memorial to the losses suffered by the people of Liverpool. It fully deserves this designation at the highest grade.’

He added: ‘researching, recording and recommending up to 2,500 more war memorials for listing over the next five years is a major task, but one that English Heritage is proud to undertake. These memorials will gain a place on the National Heritage List for England to tell the story of this country’s sacrifice and struggle.’ Details of how to apply to have a memorial listed can be found on the English Heritage website, along with information on various grants for the repair and conservation of war memorials.

To mark Remembrance Sunday, English Heritage also published new web pages describing several more First World War projects. The main project will see English Heritage staff working with volunteers from the Council for British Archaeology to identify, research and record the evidence of the impact of the First World War on the buildings and landscapes of England. These include the remains of practice trenches, surviving drill halls, the very first pill boxes and the wrecks of British and German ships and submarines. For further information, see the English Heritage website.

Excavating the Cannock Chase battlefield

One example of the impact of the First World War on the landscapes of England was briefly revealed during October, when professional archaeologists and local volunteers excavated a scale model of the Belgian town of Messines, built in concrete in 1918. Staffordshire County Council and Natural England undertook the excavation to record the model, which measures 15ft by 131ft, using photography and laser scanning.

The model was built by German prisoners of war held at Brocton training camp, Staffordshire, under the supervision of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. It was intended that the model should be used both as a military training aid and as a memorial to the 50,000 men on both sides who died in the battle fought around Messines ridge in June 1917, as part of the build-up to the larger and bloodier Passchendaele offensive, which began in July of that year.

The excavation team found homes, churches and trenches rendered accurately in their ruined or bomb-damaged state using concrete and fragments of brick, along with cobbled roads, made using pebbles, railway lines and the trenches dug by the Allies to protect the western side of the town.

For more on this, see the blog of Brownhills Bob.

Human Remains from wreck sites: English Heritage consultation

English Heritage, in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, is seeking responses to a new draft policy on the treatment of human remains from wreck sites within England’s territorial waters. The aim is to ensure that the remains of people lost at sea within England’s territorial waters are afforded the same level of protection as deliberately buried human remains — in effect making it unlawful to disturb burials within the twelve-mile limit without first obtaining lawful authority to do so. The consultation period ends on 13 December 2013, and further information can be found on the consultations page of the English Heritage website.

The HLF’s ‘Collecting Cultures’ scheme is back

The Heritage Lottery Fund has set aside £5 million under its revived ‘Collecting Cultures’ scheme to help fund enhancements to the UK’s museums, libraries and archives collections. Grants of between £50,000 and £500,000 will be available for funding acquisitions that can be used as a catalyst for research, for increasing curatorial skills and for creating greater public engagement with collections.

Examples from the past include the acquisition by the Garden History Museum at Lambeth of nearly eighty works of art illustrating aspects of gardens and gardening and the purchase by the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading of more than 400 objects reflecting post-war rural England, including Glastonbury Festival programmes, Corgi toys, Arts and Crafts furniture and a Series 1 Land Rover.

Fiona Talbott, HLF’s Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives, said: ‘HLF’s Collecting Cultures was a groundbreaking scheme when it was launched in 2007. It enabled applicants for the first time to purchase what they needed to develop collections strategically. Initially designed for museums, Collecting Cultures is back and has been extended to include archives and libraries. An innovative feature is that applicants can have the money in advance so that they can collect as and when the opportunity arises. They will not need permission to buy individual items and so will be able to be move faster on potential purchases.’

Collecting Culture applications must be received by 2 May 2014 for decisions in September 2014. An online application pack is available on the HLF website.

The Crosby Garrett helmet on display at the Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

If you are travelling anywhere near Carlisle in the coming weeks, you should take the opportunity to see the stunning Crosby Garrett Roman helmet, which is on display at the Tullie House Museum until 26 January 2014; the helmet may well not be seen in public again for a very long time, since this masterpiece of Roman metalwork was acquired by a private collector when it was sold at Christie’s antiquities sale in October 2010.

Such is the interest in the helmet from archaeologists that more than 100 people attended a day-long conference held at Tullie House, Carlisle, on 9 November, devoted to the discovery and excavation of the find-spot, the geophysical survey of the area around the find-spot, the significance of the find and its international context. Papers on these themes can also be found in the 48-page booklet that has been produced to go with the exhibition, edited by our Fellow David Breeze with M C Bishop.

Put very simply, the booklet shows that, like the Staffordshire Hoard, a huge amount of mystery still surrounds the helmet's find spot. There is no obvious explanation for its being buried some 10km from the nearest fortification. The find spot has more of an Iron Age / Romano-British character than a Roman one. The limited amount of landscape and geo-physical survey that has taken place around the site has revealed possible hut circles within an earth-banked enclosure.

The presence of the helmet, and of Roman coins, supports the idea of some kind of ‘interaction between Roman and Briton in the uplands of Cumbria’, and it is possible too that this striking face mask, though dated to the late first to mid-third century AD, might not have been buried until the fourth century, having been treasured, perhaps, as some sort of heirloom for the intervening years. All this simply adds to the compelling appeal of this almost feminine helmet and facemask, with its luxuriant curls, Phrygian cap and griffin crest.

The Garden History Society's Conservation Management Plan inventory

The Garden History Society has created the first ever inventory of Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) relating to Britain’s most important parks and gardens. Dr Marion Harney, Chair of Joint Conservation Committee of The Garden History Society and the Association of Gardens Trusts (JCC), said that: ‘In order to understand a heritage asset, CMPs describe how it has changed over time, from the earliest period to the present day using documentary research, archival information, historical maps and plans, archaeological information, oral history and field observations. These include published or unpublished sources, guidebooks or reports and the location of important sources of information, making them an invaluable resource to students, researchers and all those interested in understanding why our heritage is important and to whom it matters.’

Dominic Cole, Chairman of The Garden History Society, said that: ‘a CMP is very often the single best source of information, plans and analysis relating to a landscape or garden. Many such plans have been prepared over the years for public and private properties and it is very exciting that English Heritage have supported the GHS in compiling as full a list as possible of what CMPs have been produced and where they may now be found. This will be an invaluable source of information for garden owners, managers and researchers.’

More than 1,000 CMPs have been tracked down, and it is hoped that entries will be added in future, growing into a comprehensive reference resource. The Garden History Society welcomes new submissions, or additional details to existing entries.

Further evidence links Pembrokeshire and Stonehenge

A new paper by our Fellows Richard Bevins (Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales), Rob Ixer (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) and Nick Pearce (Aberystwyth University) concludes that the majority of the spotted dolerites used in the construction of Stonehenge come from Carn Goedog (above), an isolated outcrop in Pembrokeshire’s Preseli hills.

The paper, to be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, describes the use of mass spectrometry techniques developed by the authors, building on geochemical data published in the early 1990s by Richard Thorpe and his team from the Open University, to identify the unique chemical fingerprint of rock and debitage from Stonehenge. They have subsequently spent the last three years sampling rocks from quarries and outcrops in the Preseli Hills to search for those that match.

Their papers published in 2011 and 2012 confirmed for the first time that Craig Rhos y Felin, near Crymych, Pembrokeshire, was the source of some of the Stonehenge rhyolites, and this new paper does the same for another major type of bluestone, spotted dolerite (left), so-called because of its prominent spots of white fluorspar.

It was H H Thomas, of the Geological Survey, who first identified the Preselli Hills as the probable quarry for the Stonehenge spotted dolerites. Specifically, he thought that the tors on Carn Meini and Cerrig Marchogion were the likely source. This latest research shows that the actual quarry site was some 1.5km away from Thomas’s originally proposed site.

Richard Bevins, who has been studying the geology of Pembrokeshire for more than thirty years, said: ‘only once we know their correct geographical origins can we fully interpret the archaeological significance of the Stonehenge bluestones’. He added that the choice of specific quarries could be seen as evidence of planning and forethought, and that the different types of stone might have been chosen for some specific purpose.

Rob Ixer, who studied his first Stonehenge bluestone twenty-five years ago, said: ‘As this and our earlier papers show, almost everything we believed ten years ago about the bluestones have been shown to be partially or completely incorrect.’

Research continues to locate the sources of the other Stonehenge bluestones: Richard Bevins said ‘we've located two of the sources, and there's another five or possibly six to go’.

News of Fellows

Our Fellow Francis Pryor will be the guest of honour at this year’s Personal Histories event in the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge, at 4pm on 2 December 2013. The event is being advertised as a conversation about his 'life as an archaeologist', but Francis says it is really about his life 'as a human being' — there being, after all, more to life than archaeology (really?!). Francis is a marvellous raconteur; expect to hear thoughts on farming and rural life, gardening, writing detective fiction, broadcasting and all sorts of other topics (perhaps even the origin of Francis Manning Marlborough Pryor’s splendid middle names). The event promises to be informative, entertaining and inspiring, with the added incentive of delicious homemade cakes and tea served from 3pm. Do reserve a place by sending an e-mail message to the organisers.

This month sees the retirement of our Fellow John Kenyon, Librarian at Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales, following thirty-four years of unbroken service. During this time he has developed and promoted the library’s special collections, particularly in the area of early Welsh topographical books and contemporary private press volumes.

Some Fellows will remember that John began his career as Assistant Librarian with our Society in the early 1970s. During that time, he studied to become an Associate of the Library Association, before going on to gain a joint honours degree in History and Archaeology from the University of Southampton in 1977, moving on to work for two years as Assistant Librarian at the University of Oxford before joining National Museum Wales in 1979.

John is one of the UK’s leading authorities on castles, having written and edited a number of books and academic papers on this theme, most notably The Medieval Castles of Wales (University of Wales Press, 2010). In recognition of his literary contributions to the field of castle studies, he was awarded a PhD by published work by the School of History and Archaeology at Cardiff University in 2011.

As well as being a Fellow of our Society, John is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and he is an Honorary Lecturer at the School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University. John’s colleagues at Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales say that they will greatly miss John’s dedication to the post of Librarian, his near-photographic memory and his encyclopaedic knowledge.

Fellow Richard Sharpe has had a busy year. Salon has already reported on his Roderick O'Flaherty book, which was published in Dublin in June. Later in the summer another book appeared, co-authored with Robert Easting (of the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), on Peter of Cornwall's Book of Revelations (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2013). This is the first book-length study of Peter of Cornwall, prior of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, London, whose Liber Revelationum (Lambeth Palace Library MS 51), dating from the year 1200, is a compilation of some 1,100 chapters dealing with visions of the otherworld and revelatory appearances of God, Christ, Mary, angels, saints, devils and revenants. Like his other large-scale work, Pantheologus, Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations was intended to assist preachers with propagating the fundamentals of the faith.

Richard has also just announced the launch of a major resource for the study of the Anglo-Norman period in the form of editions of royal charters, writs, proclamations, treaties and letters, from Henry I’s reign (1100—35). Starting from a launch of 230 documents in fifteen files, this will expand to include more than four hundred files and 2,000 documents from the period 1087 to 1135. The page-count will grow from 700 to several thousands. Richard is assisted in this project by David X Carpenter (a name well known to Yorkshire charter specialists) with one year's funding from Oxford University’s John Fell Fund. Completion of the edition depends on finding funding for another five years: the project team is actively seeking support.

The acts of the Anglo-Norman kings were authenticated with the Great Seal; shown here is the equestrian side of one of Henry I's Great Seals

Meanwhile, Richard continues his editorial work with our Fellow James Willoughby on the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, a series that aims to gather and annotate all the documentary sources for the contents of medieval libraries. Richard has created a unified author/title index with concise identification notes for all texts so far identified in the first sixteen volumes of the Corpus. (Volume 15, James's own volume, The Libraries of Collegiate Churches, will be published by the British Library in December and volume 16, Rodney Thomson’s The University and College Libraries of Oxford, will follow in 2014.)

The unified List of Identifications now comprises records for some 9,000 works documented from British libraries between the late-tenth and the mid-sixteenth centuries; of these, more than 8,500 are the works of some 3,300 different writers ranging in date from Homer and other ancient Greek authors to the sixteenth century. Some 40,000 copies of individual texts are recorded so far, of which some 85 per cent no longer survive. For further information, see Richard’s faculty web page. The Corpus will need to find funding for one more phase to bring to publication the last four volumes, most of them on English cathedral libraries.

Alongside this Richard and James have been developing ‘Medieval Libraries of Great Britain 3’ (MLGB3), a digital project which aims to link the documentary evidence of the Corpus with surviving books. Building on Neil Ker’s Medieval Libraries of Great Britain, published in 1941 (‘MLGB1’) revised and augmented in 1964 (‘MLGB2’), MLGB3 will provide an updated online resource recording every book that contains evidence of its having survived from one of the institutional libraries of medieval Britain, with details of each volume's contents and an explanation of the evidence on which the judgement of provenance has been based. MLGB3 has been funded by the Mellon Foundation and will launch in 2014.

From South Africa comes the news that our Fellow Bruno Werz has set up a new maritime archaeology institute in Cape Town, with Fellow Edward Harris, Executive Director of the National Museum of Bermuda, as one of the board members. The African Institute for Marine and Underwater Research, Exploration and Education (AIMURE) is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation, registered as such with the South African Department of Social Development.

AIMURE’s aim is to stimulate and support African marine, maritime and underwater studies. It does so by actively developing and pursuing projects that promote research, exploration and education related to the marine and underwater environments. The current emphasis of the AIMURE research programme is on the study of the material culture from two Dutch East India Company shipwrecks that were excavated in Table Bay, the excavation of sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest discovered shipwreck in Namibia and searching for prehistoric occupation sites under water.

For further information, visit the AIMURE website and for an article and interview with Bruno Werz, see ‘The Exciting World of South African Marine Archaeology’.

Lives Remembered: Mavis Batey

Mavis Batey with the Abwehr Enigma machine in 2004. Photo: Ian Jones

Mavis Batey, who died on 11 November 2013 at the age of ninety-two, was elected a Fellow of our Society in 2002. Her obituary in the Daily Telegraph concentrates on her wartime work as a code breaker at Bletchley Park where, as a member of a small elite group of brilliant thinkers who specialised in cracking the Enigma ciphers that had defeated other brains, she twice had a direct and personal influence on the course of the war. The first time was when she cracked a message giving details of the Italian navy’s plans to attack an Allied convoy in the Mediterranean in 1941; the Royal Navy inflicted such a heavy defeat on the Italians in response at Matapan that their navy was effectively immobilised for the remainder of the war. The second was when she cracked the extraordinarily complex code used by the German secret service and was able to plant false intelligence leading the Germans to expect an Allied invasion force to land in the Pas de Calais as part of Operation Overlord (the D Day Landings). As a result, Allied troops faced less resistance than they might have done because German forces were split between Calais and Normandy.

By the time the war ended, Mavis had married Keith Batey, the ‘clever Cambridge mathematician from Hut 6’, who had helped her in her code-breaking work, and when Keith was appointed Secretary of the Chest, or Chief Financial Officer at Oxford University, they moved to Nuneham Courtenay where, having undertaken pioneering research into the history of the park and having identified it as the location for Oliver Goldsmith’s poem, ‘The Deserted Village’ (1770), Mavis became an energetic advocate for the efforts of the Garden History Society to protect the many parks, gardens and designed landscapes under threat from road schemes in the 1970s.

Edward Lear' s Nuneham Landscape (1860)

In this field her achievements were many: she instigated a programme of formal recording and assessment of historic gardens which led to the creation of what is now the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England; she lobbied successfully for the National Land Fund (now the National Heritage Memorial Fund) to grant-aid historic landscapes; and she led the Garden History Society’s campaign to highlight the plight of urban parks, which led to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s immensely successful Parks for People programme.

Before she died, Mavis gave an interview on her life and work at Bletchley and as a historic gardens campaigner to Sarah Jackson; this has been published on the Parks and Gardens UK website.

Lives Remembered: Dennis John Turner (March 1932―January 2013)

The Society lost a long-standing and valued Fellow with the death of Dennis Turner on 17 January 2013¸ following a long battle with cancer. Salon’s editor is very grateful to Audrey Monk for the following obituary.

‘Dennis left school in 1948 and joined the Surrey Archaeological Society where he immediately took part in the excavations at Farthing Down: this was clearly a defining moment as much of his life subsequently was devoted to studying every aspect of Surrey’s historic past. Dennis was elected a member of the Council of the Surrey Archaeological Society in 1961 and was soon urging Council to publish a monthly newsletter of notes and queries. He and his wife Molly became Joint Editors and the Bulletin continues to this day. He served as Honorary Secretary between 1969 and 1976, was appointed Vice-President of the Society in 1977 and President from 1990 to 1994.

‘As Collections, the Surrey Society’s journal testifies, he excavated widely, undertaking rescue excavations and furthering his particular interest in the medieval period. This resulted in investigations of moated enclosures, medieval kiln sites, medieval timber-framed buildings, castles, churches and religious institutions both in Surrey and further afield, particularly in Burgundy and Scotland. He was indefatigable in support of his interests, becoming a founder member of the Castle Studies Group, the Moated Sites Research Group and the Deserted Medieval Village Group. He was also Trustee of Merton Priory (where he had undertaken early preliminary excavations to reveal part of the complex), the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, the City of London Archaeological Trust and the Council for British Archaeology, of which he was a Trustee for a period. He attended public inquiries on behalf of CPRE and the Reigate Society, and was for many years a member of the Southwark Diocesan Advisory Committee.

‘Dennis was elected a member of the Society of Antiquaries (Scotland) in 1967 following his excavations at Breachacha Castle on Coll, which he directed jointly with J G Dunbar, and at Achanduin Castle on Lismore. His love of Scotland never diminished. In 1969 he was elected a Fellow of our Society, becoming a frequent visitor to the library. When Dennis was awarded the Society Medal in 1997, Simon Swynfen Jervis, then our President, said: “It has been said that if you look closely at any archaeological organisation in London you will find Dennis Turner, either in person or else the seat still warm. He was a founding member of SCOLA (Standing Conference on London’s Archaeology). He has appeared as a witness at public enquiries, was much involved with the Treasure Trove business, is on many regional London Committees and has the very special, but rare, talent of being a good listener and, following from this a brilliant facilitator.”

‘Dennis was a modest and private man, with an innate sense of justice. He had a mischievous sense of humour, which enlivened many meetings and conversations: a master of irony ― often missed and seldom appreciated. Ultimately all we have to give is our time and to share our knowledge, and of both he gave most generously.’


Apologies to our newly elected Fellow Grahame Soffe, whose name was misspelled ‘Graham’ on the ballot paper and in the last issue of Salon.

In the report in Salon 308 on the special exhibition ― West Country to World’s End: the South West in the Tudor Age ― currently on at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, the ‘Armada Portrait’ of Elizabeth I used to illustrate the Salon report was said to be that owned by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. In fact, this image, which is also used on the cover of the exhibition catalogue, is not of the Apothecaries’ painting, but is instead of the portrait of Elizabeth I lent from the Tyrwhitt-Drake Collection.

In response to the report in Salon 307 on the conservation work being carried out on the Society’s painting of The Fire of London, Fellow David Leigh has suggested that the studio and the conservators undertaking such work on the Society’s behalf should be named: ‘it would be interesting to some of us at least to know who is doing the work, bearing in mind that not a few conservators are themselves FSAs’, David writes. Salon is happy to oblige: the work is being undertaken by Amanda Paulley, Paintings Conservator, and Annie Ablett, Conservator-Restorer of Historic Frames.

Call for papers: International Insular Art Conference 16 to 20 July 2014

The International Insular Art Conference is the premier forum for the study of insular art during the late Iron Age and early medieval period. For the 2014 conference, the organisers welcome papers on any aspect of insular art, but are invited to consider in particular the European and Mediterranean background of insular art ― motifs, themes, symbols, transmission, translation and scholarship. Abstracts of up to 350 words should be submitted by 13 December 2013. For further information, see the conference website.


6 December 2013: ‘Museums and Sustainability’, by Maurice Davies, Head of Policy and Communication, Museums Association, 6pm, in the Archaeology Lecture Theatre, Institute of Archaeology, 31—34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY. This lecture, hosted by the UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage, will look at three aspects of museums and sustainability and show that, contrary to assumptions, their economic sustainability is excellent, their social sustainability is not at all bad, but their environmental sustainability has room for improvement.

7 December 2013: ASPRoM (the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics) will host a symposium at King's College London (King's Building, Strand Campus, 2nd floor, Room K2.31) from 2pm to 5.30pm. The speakers will be Zahra Newby, on ‘Sport and spectacle on Roman mosaics’, Gail Boyle, on ‘Return from the Underworld: the Orpheus mosaic from Newton St Loe’, Fellow Roger Ling, on ‘Some new mosaics and old controversies’, and Fellow Steve Cosh, giving an ‘Update on mosaics in Britain’. For the programme and a booking form, please see the ASPRoM website.

14 December 2013: ‘Human Origins: Explaining Change and Innovation in Human Evolution’, a study day from 10am to 4pm, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton. When and how did we become human? What are the key features that make humans ‘human’? Innovations we take for granted today, such as networking, funerary practices, spoken language, music, art, ceramic technology and the control of energy were all developed in the Palaeolithic, and this study day will explore how and why they arose. Fellows of our Society are leading and presenting this event, including William Davies, Sonia Zakrzewski and John McNabb. Further information can be found on the Southampton University website.

25 January 2014: The Fourth New Insights into Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century British Architecture Conference, at the Society of Antiquaries. There are still a few places available for the conference; the programme includes papers by Fellows Jenny Alexander, Gordon Higgott, Paul Drury and David Adshead, as well as four other scholars in the field. The cost of the conference is £47.50, to include coffee, lunch and tea. For more information, contact one of the conference organisers, Claire Gapper or Paula Henderson.

Eric Ravilious: artist and designer

Fellow Alan Powers’ new book on Eric Ravilious (1903—42) is beautifully produced and does full justice to the artist’s distinctively limpid style and his favourite watercolour medium. Speaking at the book’s launch, Frances Spalding said that this medium was perfectly matched to the artist’s subject matter, the brittleness and fragility of English landscapes before and during the Second World War, a time of great change in the countryside.

It was by organising a major retrospective of Ravilious’s work at the Imperial War Museum in 2003, for the centenary of the artist’s birth, that Alan Powers first began to rescue Ravilious from the shadow zone of neglect to which he had been consigned by art historians who saw his work as sentimental, nostalgic and conservative by comparison with the more exploratory, challenging work of his Modernist contemporaries. Opinion has come round since then, and this book represents the new view ten years on, arguing that Ravilious’s work is not charming, safe and sentimental but is subtler, stranger and more disturbing than at first appears. Echoing Marina Vaizey, Powers sums it up by describing Ravilious as depicting ‘Eden with a biting edge’.

It is also fascinating to learn from this book about Ravilious’s bohemian life, squatting in Furlongs, a half-abandoned shepherd’s cottage below the Sussex Downs near Firle, not quite a stone’s throw from that other bohemian artistic set at Charleston, though it seems they knew little about each other. Despite lacking water and electricity, ER’s fellow-artist Peggy Angus made Furlongs the centre of hospitable house parties where the guests were expected to write and paint all day, coming together to talk, drink, sing and make music (and love) in the evenings.

It was from here that Ravilious explored the Downs in all weathers, producing some of his most memorable images, including perhaps his best-known work (apart, that is, from the woodcut that graces the front of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack), ‘The Wilmington Giant’ (1939). Painted just weeks before the outbreak of the war in which Ravilious was to lose his life, this is a work that perfectly fits Alan Powers’ thesis: the primeval chalk figure is glimpsed through the symbolically ominous lines of a dark fence posts and a barbed wire fence, an echo of the battlefields and trenches of an earlier world war.

Eric Ravilious: artist and designer, by Alan Powers; ISBN 9781848221116; Lund Humphries, 2013

The Keep — now open for business

The Wilmington Giant features again in a new concrete frieze that wraps around the top of the archive store at ‘The Keep’, the brilliantly named new Brighton home of the East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), which is where you would go to consult the archives of Eric Ravilious or of Peggy Angus. The ‘Keep Frieze’, representing aspects of the East Sussex landscape, is the work of the Lewes-based artist, Carolyn Trant, herself a former student of Peggy Angus.

Our Fellow Christopher Whittick (Senior Archivist, ESRO) shows Her Majesty The Queen examples of material from the archives of East Sussex Record Office. Photograph: © Brighton Argus

The Keep was officially opened by our Royal Fellow, Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, on 31 October 2013. The ceremony was attended by several other Fellows, including East Sussex County Archivist Elizabeth Hughes, Senior Archivist Christopher Whittick (shown above), our President Maurice Howard (below), Pamela Combes, Mike Hughes, Sabrina Harcourt-Smith and John Farrant. The plaque that The Queen unveiled to open the building was carved by Helen Mary Skelton, daughter of John Skelton, whose archive is also held at The Keep, and who was apprenticed to Eric Gill, born in Brighton not very far from The Keep in 1882. The plaque incorporates a design from an Eric Gill document that ESRO purchased in the summer with the assistance of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and its own Friends organisation, FESRO.

Our President Maurice Howard is presented to HM The Queen. Photograph: Stuart Robinson © University of Sussex

The Keep brings together all the collections of the East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), the Royal Pavilion & Museums Local History Collections, the internationally significant University of Sussex Special Collections, comprising twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary, political and social history archives, the library of the Sussex Family History Group and the Historic Environment Record of sites and finds from early prehistory to the present day. Together they form a detailed record of the region’s history, dating back over 900 years, documenting the lives of individuals, places and events from across the county and beyond in the form of written records, maps and plans, prints and drawings, photographs and films, oral histories, and digital and electronic records. There is plenty more information about The Keep and its facilities on the ESRO website, including a new digital catalogue, with a full online search facility, giving remote access to the wealth of material in the collections.

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

It is to John Farrant, mentioned above, that we turn for insights into an unlikely Christmas best seller, a new edition of The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, by Francis Grose. The success of the book, according to the 8 November 2013 edition of the Times Literary Supplement, can be attributed to the general popularity of ‘word books’ as Christmas gifts and the national fascination with rude words. The blurb for the book reads: ‘originally printed as a guide to street slang for men of quality, The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue is a gem! The avowed purpose of the dictionary was to give men of fashion an insight into the inappropriate language of the street ... Learn how the Georgians and early Victorians would insult each other and find out how some of today’s words and derivations have come about in this quirky little volume.’

Nowhere does the new edition tell you anything about Grose himself, who we know best as an antiquary and Fellow of this Society. Written by our Fellow John Farrant, the entry for Grose (baptised 1731, died 1791) in the Oxford Online Dictionary of National Biography, describes him as a pioneer of the armchair travel guide, whose engravings, published in parts as The Antiquities of England and Wales, was the first to include descriptive text along with views of medieval buildings. As well as contributing significantly to the popular appreciation of Britain’s medieval monuments, Grose had, according to John Farrant, ‘an uncommon breadth of conception of what antiquarian studies should embrace’, and was a pioneer collector of dialect words, folklore and slang, for which he was praised by his friend, the poet Robert Burns. Grose was just as much interested in university, military, upper class and legal slang, but it is for his Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785) that he is best remembered.

By ‘vulgar’, Grose did, of course, mean ‘belonging to ordinary people’, though many of the words and phrases could also be described as coarse and rude. Fellows of our Society might be nonplussed to find, for example, that ‘academy’ meant a brothel and a ‘collector’ was a highwayman, whose fate might well have been to end up at ‘college’, meaning a prison (hence to be educated at New College meant to be imprisoned (or even hanged) at Newgate).

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, by Francis Grose, can be downloaded for free from the Project Gutenberg website; the new Hesperus Classic edition can be purchased from bookshops and online booksellers.

Preserving and Presenting the Past

Edited by our Fellow Martin Henig and Crispin Paine, this collection of twenty essays has been published to honour our late Fellow John Rhodes, who died in 2011, after a career spent largely in and around Oxford: first at the Pitt Rivers Museum, then at the Oxfordshire County Museums Service, where he played a leading role in the creation of the rural life museum at Cogges Manor Farm, and where his complete re-display of the Woodstock Museum was condemned by Oxfordshire County Councillor John Redwood as ‘sub-Marxist crap’, and finally at Reading Museum and Art Gallery, of which he was Director from 1988 to 1994.

In retirement he continued to be as active as ever, both as a museum development consultant and in researching and writing conservation management plans with Fellow Julian Munby of Oxford Archaeology for such major buildings as Orford, Framlingham, Tattershall Oxford, Porchester, Deal and Dover castles, Gainsborough Hall, Chichester Cathedral, Knole and Tyntesfield. On the afternoon before his death, he had just completed a report for English Heritage on Osborne House.

Memorial volumes can be a bit hit and miss, but this one is all hits, partly because the papers are all iconoclastic in one way or another, offering an alternative view or a dissenting voice, which one senses is what John did in his own life to very good effect. Thus Martin Henig begins by attacking dull and simplistic museum displays and soars off into a personal, and very different, account of Roman Britain to the conventional one, based on his own lifetime’s study of Romano-British art. He argues that the ‘invasion myth has invaded museum displays’, and that there is too much emphasis on conquest and control, rather than on self-government; museums are also wrong to begin their accounts of Roman Britain in AD 43, ignoring a prior century of contact, diplomacy and trade between Britain and the Roman world. Nor is sufficient credit given for the continuity of the ‘native’ arts of metalwork and jewellery, influenced as these were to a degree by the Roman arts of architecture, sculpture, painting and mosaic.

Fellow Brian Durham is witty and ironic in his paper on the ‘democratising of heritage service over four decades’, arguing that the ‘past is not what it used to be'. For example, the Viking, 'once a ruthless pillager dripping with blood and silver is now portrayed as an economic migrant, coloured in pastel’. Asking, ‘how did this happen?', he has great fun with trendy museology and theoretical archaeology (‘analytical weirdness’ is his phrase), and the belief that there is a ‘process’ in human social evolution that is acted out by ‘agents’ rather than by people. His serious point is that all the attempts to ‘democratise’ heritage (or what theorists call ‘enhancing access’) have failed because the profession is jargon-ridden, inward-looking and bureaucratic, and uses language that means nothing to museum visitors (he singles out ‘historic environment’ as an example).

Several of the essays take a wry look at unfamiliar aspects of Oxford’s local history. Nancy Hood's account account of the lives and quarrels of the fishermen, bargemen and canal boatmen who lived in the now-demolished cottages of Oxford’s Fisher Row is as entertaining as a soap opera. Fellow Arthur MacGregor tells us all about Britain’s first ever agricultural show, held in Oxford in 1839, painting a colourful picture of the final grand dinner, which was attended by 2,500 people (‘eminent cultivators of the soil, breeders of stock, or friends generally to the advance of husbandry in this kingdom’), seated in ranks around the quadrangle of Queen’s College, which resembled a vast amphitheatre ... Innumerable toasts were drunk, reinforced by "three times three cheers", concluding with the tremendous cheering that greeted the Vice-Chancellor’s announcement that in two years’ time the university would establish a Professorship of Agriculture’. Nothing like that ever happened when Oxford appointed its first Professor of Archaeology!

Preserving and Presenting the Past in Oxfordshire and Beyond: essays in memory of John Rhodes, edited by Martin Henig and Crispin Paine; ISBN 9781407311715; BAR British Series 586, 2013

Books of the Year

It is that time of the year when critics and arts celebrities look back on the year and nominate their favourite books. Two books by Fellows were featured in the list published this weekend in the Guardian, in which Bill Bryson wrote: ‘my absolute book of the year is [Fellow] Philip Davies's hefty, gorgeous London: Hidden Interiors (English Heritage/Atlantic Publishing), which explores 180 fabulous London interior spaces that most people know nothing about, from George Gilbert Scott's wondrous chapel at King's College to L Manze's eel, pie and mash shop in Walthamstow. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Derek Randall and worth every penny of its £40 price’.

And historian David Kynaston chose Ian Nairn: Words in Place (Five Leaves) by Fellow Gillian Darley and David McKie, explaining that ‘I am far from alone in having the awkward, melancholic architectural writer and broadcaster as one of my heroes: partly for his deep conviction that the built environment mattered, partly for his insistence — in defiance of modernist orthodoxy — that people mattered more. One day no doubt Nairn will get a heavy-duty biography, but for the time being this elegant, rather slighter treatment does the job with charm and just the right degree of critical affection.’ As Salon reported a fortnight ago, Gillian will give a talk on ‘Nairn's London’ at the Art Workers Guild, London, on 27 November 2013: drinks from 7pm, lecture at 7.30pm; tickets cost £15 (£10 for students) and can be booked in advance or purchased on the door.


Royal Armouries: Deputy Master
Salary: £65,000; closing date 27 November 2013

Royal Armouries is seeking someone who can develop and sustain the organisation’s position and reputation as a major national museum and an internationally recognised centre of expertise and excellence in the study and display of arms, armour and artillery. You will increase understanding of the collection and its significance through contextual and collection-specific research, and promote its understanding and enjoyment by specialists and the public. Apply online.

Royal Armouries: Public Engagement Director
Salary: £65,000; closing date 27 November 2013

You will be responsible for the development, co-ordination and implementation of the Royal Armouries’ public-facing programmes, activities and outputs. The ideal candidate will have proven experience of devising and implementing displays, exhibitions and interpretation schemes and substantial experience at a senior level of interpretation, education and related activities. Apply online.

Royal Armouries: Chief Operating Officer
Salary: £75,000; closing date 27 November 2013

You will be responsible for devising and delivering an operations strategy across all sites to ensure the smooth running of the Royal Armouries’ portfolio of venues, ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and best practice, including health and safety and risk. You will also lead and develop the museum’s commercial activities and oversee the provision of IT services. Apply online.

National Trust: Chair of the Commercial Panel
Closing date: 29 November 2013

The Commercial Panel’s function is to advise the staff of the Trust on its commercial activities (catering, retail, e-commerce, holiday cottages and travel partnerships), publishing and media, business development, membership, brand development, marketing, legacies and corporate partnerships. The Panel meets formally three times a year, with one visit being to a property or region that is involved in a project that has national strategic relevance. Meetings take the form of a round-table discussion based on pre-circulated operational and strategic papers. In addition, some Advisory Board members also work with staff teams on ad hoc matters or projects as required.

For further information about this post, see the National Trust’s website.

National Trust: Chair of North West Regional Advisory Board
Closing date: 2 December 2013

The role of the Advisory Board is to advise, support and challenge directors and their teams to help them in their delivery of the Trust’s strategy for the region. They also advise the Board of Trustees on matters relating to the region, and undertake actions for matters delegated by the Board of Trustees. The Advisory Board meets formally four times a year. Meetings take the form of a round-table discussion based on pre-circulated operational and strategic papers. In addition, some Advisory Board members also work with staff teams on ad hoc matters or projects as required.

For further information about this post, see the National Trust’s website.

English Heritage: Commissioners
Closing date: 13 December 2013

English Heritage is looking for six new Commissioners to provide strategic direction during a time of change that will include a major project to set up and license a charity to manage the National Heritage Collection. There are three general vacancies for people with senior-level experience in business transformation, customer-facing operations and IT. In addition, there are three vacancies for specialists: someone with expertise as a historian, respected by the academic community and able to act as an advocate for the importance of history in national life; someone with a record of experience in the conservation of historic buildings and monuments; and someone with a track record in the issues of owning, maintaining and conserving a historic property or estate.

National Trust: Chair of the Archaeology Panel; Chair of the Gardens and Parks Panel
Closing date: 20 January 2014

The National Trust is looking for dynamic, imaginative and well-networked individuals to act as figureheads for the Trust’s advisory panels covering archaeology and the historic environment and parks and gardens.

The role of each panel is to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Trust, offering independent and authoritative guidance and strategic direction to the Trust’s senior staff and technical specialists. The panels currently meet four times a year (at properties or in London or Swindon), and smaller meetings or working groups are also sometimes arranged with staff.

Further information can be found on the Trust’s website: click here for the Archaeology Panel and here for the Gardens and Parks Panel. For an informal discussion about either of these posts, you can also call the Trust’s governance team, tel: 01793 817663.

Propose a lecture

Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 5pm) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 1pm).

We welcome papers based on new research on themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past.

You can view our current lecture programme in the News and Events section of our website.


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