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Salon: Issue 417
13 November 2018

Next issue: 27 November

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.

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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

HRH, the Duke of Gloucester visits the Society of Antiquaries

Our Royal Patron, HRH the Duke of Gloucester, visited the Society on 6th November to discuss the Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present & Future project. In 2014 the Duke helped us launch our plans for Kelmscott Manor with the fundraising auction and was keen to find out more details about this transformational project.  

Thanks to the great efforts of our Campaign Group, Fellows, Supporters and Funders we have raised over £5 million towards delivering the project.  We are aiming to raise the remaining £800,000 needed for completion by April 2021 through a public appeal and a series of events beginning in early 2019 and culminating in a public exhibition of Kelmscott Manor treasure at the Society in 2020.  HRH the Duke of Gloucester has kindly offered to open this exhibition.

The following is a link to the Decorative Arts Society Journal (issue 42), which featured an article about Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future written by John Maddison FSA. John has been such a critically significant contributor to the project from its outset and I urge you to read it.

Back to the beginning of the report

The Late Glacial Palaeolithic 

Conference 26 November 2018

The Late Glacial Palaeolithic: Open Air Sites and Their Landscapes (£20)
Organised by Prof Nicholas Barton FSA.

Archaeological research into the Later Upper Palaeolithic in Britain has often focused on caves and rock shelter sites – from major fieldwork surveys in karstic areas to renewed investigation of known sites that has led to some new discoveries such as the first British example of Palaeolithic rock art at Creswell Crags. Coupled with these studies has been a comprehensive programme of radiocarbon dating of human and animal bone remains from cave sites that have provided one of the best chronological records for the Late Glacial period anywhere in Europe.  According to archaeological survey data from adjacent areas of the continent, Later Upper Palaeolithic open-air sites should be preserved in lowland Britain. But there are only rare occurrences of such examples here and their potential has largely been overlooked. This conference will refocus attention on the broad use of Late Glacial landscapes and open-air sites by mobile groups of early hunter-gatherers. Details online.

Ashurbanipal Conquers the British Museum

At the end of the British Museum’s glorious new exhibition, I am Ashurbanipal, the lights come up and we find ourselves in what feels like a capacious service corridor to the grand hall. There are a few photos on the wall and a couple of video screens. In one, Preserving Iraqi’s Cultural Heritage, Jonathan Tubb FSA introduces staff from Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage. They have joined the BM’s Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme, and they are passionate about their national heritage. ‘When the museum [ransacked by Daesh] returns,’ says one, ‘Mosul will return.’ They are all women.
The men of Daesh (self-styled ISIS) destroyed Iraqi heritage, especially at Nimrud and Nineveh, prominent sites in the exhibition. Huge stone carvings depicting the horrific exploits of an absurdly powerful man may still exist because Henry Layard, helped by Hormuzd Rassam, dug them out and took them to London in the mid 19th century. ‘It would be inexcusable not to acknowledge the damage done by Daesh,’ said Tubb, adding that it was also an opportunity to tell people about the BM's Iraq Scheme. Supported by the British Government, this five-year project that began in 2016 trains Iraqi archaeologists in the UK and works with them in Iraq at two excavations, where they learn in the field. The faith and optimism of the women from Mosul Museum is one of the most impressive moments in this remarkable exhibition.
I confess that on the page, I had doubts. A preview of an early catalogue left me flat; page after page of carved stone panels merged into a brown blur. Could this bring the thrill of some of the museum’s previous shows in the Sainsbury Gallery? How would we cope with walls of carvings that, impressive as they are, look similar to uninformed eyes and depict warring men with barely pronounceable names making obscure military history?

The show blasted away such doubts. There are extraordinary things to see, many of them in the British Museum collections but not routinely accessible. But it is the way they are displayed that make this work. First there are contrasts between smaller cases and more intimate artefacts and stories, and great walls of flat stone in wide spaces. But key is the lighting. The hall is dark, and light is used to great effect to dramatize carvings and overcome the loss of paint.
A couple of panels are lit in a cycle that begins with a conventional carved scene that is progressively coloured to suggest how they may originally have looked; I wouldn’t have imagined how convincing this could be without seeing it (right). A sequence of large carved panels recording the Battle of Til-Tuba (653 BC) is brought to life with precise highlighting that picks out details across the panels (above), with captions that narrate the atrocities perpetrated on a defeated army.
The art of ancient Assyria is two-dimensional, even when deployed to create lamassu, the monstrous human-headed lions. The lighting in I am Ashurbanipal lifts the carvings off the walls. This is a triumph for curator Gareth Brereton and his colleagues. (It’s worth noting in passing that Michael Rakowitz’s The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, a destroyed lamassu from Nineveh re-created with Iraqi date syrup tins, is in Trafalgar Square until March 2020; a maquette is in the BM by real lamassu from Nimrud.)
Hartwig Fischer FSA, Director of the British Museum, opened his address at the press view by noting that much in the exhibition came from sites systematically targeted by Daesh. Tubb, Falih Almutrb and Sebastien Rey write about ‘The future of Iraqi cultural heritage under threat’ in the catalogue. We can also think about the future of the BM’s collection. These carvings, and more free to view in the permanent galleries that are not roped off for safety reasons, are one of the British Museum’s great glories, a key part of its claim to gather and represent world cultures. Yet they have for long been hidden away and underappreciated, when they should draw as much attention as the Parthenon sculptures. What to do with them? This special exhibition is a place to start thinking about that urgent question.

Main photos British Museum, colour-lit panel mine.

Rationalising Archaeological Collections Won’t Help

Katherine Baxter, Gail Boyle FSA and Lucy Creighton have prepared Guidance on the Rationalisation of Museum Archaeology Collections, for the Society for Museum Archaeology on behalf of Historic England. It makes eye-opening reading.
Many archaeologists, especially those working in museums and for consultancies that excavate on behalf of commercial clients, have been struggling to solve a threatening crisis facing the curation of archives. A significant growth in the number and scale of excavations since the 1990s has led to an unsustainable accumulation of records and finds, which include artefacts, human remains and environmental samples. This would be a challenge even with resources to match the problem, but archive storage does not have an agreed source of funds. Traditional curators of archaeological material, especially local authority museums, are often themselves underfunded. Meanwhile archaeological convention insists that all excavated finds should be retained, whatever their apparent immediate value. Some large excavation archives are currently stored in temporary locations, often inaccessible to the public.
Rationalisation (de-selecting parts of archaeological project archives already accessioned) has been proposed as part of the solution. That might involve disposal, but could also mean using collections in less sustainable ways, such as for teaching or, perhaps, decorating the café.
To consider this, Historic England and the Society for Museum Archaeology have been working with five institutions that collect and care for archaeological archives: the Museum of London; Museums Worcestershire and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service; Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service/Museum in the Park, Gloucestershire; Suffolk County Council Archaeological Archives; and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle.
Six pages of bullet points offer a list of what needs be taken into account in a rationalisation project, from establishing legal ownership to making good use of shelves by putting things into the right sized boxes. These are then discussed, with interesting comments from case studies.
To do the job, Stroud Museum had to buy in archaeological expertise that it didn't have. Museums Worcestershire said rationalisation would need to be done in summer, as ‘the main archive store[s] are known to be uncomfortable for working in winter’. Suffolk County Council’s photographic archive was too large to be audited in six months, so they tested their methodology on a sample of slides: in the event, they decided it would be more cost-effective to scan the lot and select afterwards. Tullie House thought sites that had been published could be assessed by ‘non-archaeological people’, because excavators had already selected items ‘essential for telling the story of the site’ – an assertion with which many archaeologists, not least the excavators, might disagree.
There is much more of this kind. All five curatorial organisations seemed to have significant problems just accessing their collections’ full data, regardless of wondering how they might then proceed. Material has accumulated under different regimes, been storied in a variety of ways, with catalogues that are not always useful. ‘A health and safety report on the main store ruled it inadmissible until further notice’ (Tullie House); ‘An entirely new inventory had to be started for metalwork’ (Museum of London); ‘there was no access to the Collections Management System, the council ICT network or the internet from any of the Museum’s stores’ (Stroud).
The bottom line is that rationalisation of archaeological collections is unlikely to work. ‘The costs and resources required to undertake rationalisation and disposal to its conclusion were high,’ says the SMA, ‘while the amount of space it released was relatively small.’ Time to think again about what collection are for, it concludes, and how best to use them.

In June Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, endorsed Historic England’s recommendations on the future of archaeological archives, responding to a recommendation of the Mendoza Review. In a press statement, Barney Sloane FSA, Director of Research at Historic England, said the Guidance ‘is an important step in helping museums to share ideas that work and to make the most efficient use of space without losing the significance of what they are entrusted to look after.’

Stonehenge Memories

English Heritage recently organised a busy public weekend at Stonehenge, with new music, art and drama, and a very large cake, to celebrate the gift of the monument to the nation by Mary and Cecil Chubb 100 years ago. Peter Saunders FSA reports a more intimate celebration at the Devizes Road cemetery, Salisbury, where staff and volunteers from Stonehenge placed a card and a wreath on Cecil’s grave, where he is described as ‘First Baronet of Stonehenge’. Mary is buried up the road in Netheravon.
With his photos (above), Saunders also sent these two cuttings from the Telegraph (29–30 October):

This seems an appropriate opportunity to highlight an inspired idea of English Heritage to appeal for old photos of visits to Stonehenge. Several shots can be seen online, where EH has also added images from its own archives.
Part of the genius of this project comes from the determined efforts of most photographers seeking signature images of Stonehenge to show the site without people, working outside opening times or in extreme weather conditions (I’m guilty of both). By contrast, these personal images are more about people than stones, and document an essential part of the site’s history that is often overlooked (I wrote about this issue in a study of Bill Brandt’s photos of Stonehenge under snow, in Landscapes, 2008).
Here are a selected few snaps from EH's Stonehenge 100 (none of the photos is credited, and many are undated):

‘Church outing from Holt, Wiltshire. My great grandfather Walter Buckland is standing at the right of the photograph’

‘Great grandfather Lieutenant-Colonel William Hawley and wife?’

‘Wayne and Glenn Tatlow with their Dad Easter 1974’

‘My diary from June 1975 says “Stopped at Stonehenge. Julian took photos of me being sacrificed”.’

As part of this project, English Heritage has been bringing visitors to the site and re-photographing them in homages to their original images (below, Sue Lane and family in 1966 and 2018), with immaculate attention to angle and field of view. It’s effective, though one wonders if it was really necessary to avoid touching megaliths in the new shots (no sitting on stones). A book is surely in the making.

And on 9 November English Heritage tweeted this:


Fellows’ Projects Honoured in Archaeology Awards

The British Archaeological Awards were presented by Carenza Lewis FSA in Central Hall Westminster, London, on 15 October. Held every two years, the BAA are the UK’s only independent sector-wide archaeological awards, with four categories in 2018. Links below take you to short videos about each project.

Best Archaeological Project
Won by National Trust Archaeology at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent (Nathalie Cohen FSA, Project Archaeologist). ‘Inspired by Knole’, a five-year conservation project, is approaching completion and showrooms and new spaces will open to the public in March 2019. Photo above shows a 17th-century letter found under a floor at the house.
Also shortlisted:
Thames Discovery Programme, Museum of London Archaeology (Nathalie Cohen, Gustav Milne FSA).

Best Community-Engagement Archaeology Project
Joint winners:
CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) (Gustav Milne FSA).
SCAPE Trust/Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project.

Best Public Presentation of Archaeology
Won by Bloomberg, London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space.
Also shortlisted:
360 Production for BBC4 Digging for Britain Series 6 – EAST.
Wemyss Caves 4D: Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society/The SCAPE Trust.

Best Archaeological Book
Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Story of the Scottish Soldiers in 1650, by Richard Annis FSA, Anwen Caffell, Christopher Gerrard FSA, Pam Graves FSA and Andrew Millard (Oxbow Books).
Also shortlisted:
The Archaeology of Dun Deardail, by Matthew Ritchie (Forestry Commission Scotland/Nevis Landscape Partnership).
The Small Isles, by John Hunter FSA (Historic Environment Scotland).

Fellows (and Friends)

Brian Smith FSA, archivist, died in November. The funeral service will take place at St Bartholomew's Church, Vowchurch, Herefordshire, on 17 November at 2pm. Enquiries to Dawe Brothers, phone 01432 340200. An appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered below.


The Society welcomed ten new Fellows on 8 November:
Timothy Brittain-Catlin (19th–21st century architectural history, A W N Pugin)
Sue Brunning (Sutton Hoo and Anglo-Saxon metalwork)
Andrew Jackson (history, heritage and community engagement)
Lisa Lodwick (archaeobotany, urbanisation and agriculture in later prehistoric and Roman Europe)
Martin Papworth (Chedworth Roman Villa, public understanding of archaeology)
Tessa Rajak (texts and material evidence of the Jewish diaspora)
Penelope Wallis (medieval art and culture)
Robert Woosnam-Savage (edged weapons, the Jacobites, battlefields and arms and armour in films)
Neil Wilkin (Bronze Age ceramics and metalwork)
Philip Wise (Anglo-Saxon, late Medieval and early post-Medieval archaeology in eastern England)

For details see Ballot Results. Further details can be seen in the Ballot Archive (Fellows only).

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the grant of a Charter of Incorporation for the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars, a Livery Company in the City of London. It takes as its emblem the marble head of Mithras from the Roman temple newly restored under London Bloomberg, representing ‘the history which lies everywhere beneath the surface of the City of London.’
‘Membership is open to those engaged in the study, curation, collection and trade in antiques, antiquities and objects of decorative and applied art,’ it says on its website, adding (rather oddly linking conservation to tax advice rather than curation) that it ‘also welcomes those engaged in the many associated support businesses such as restoration and conservation, insurance, event organisation, tax and legal advice, packing and shipping.’
Founder Liverymen include Geoffrey Bond FSA, Tara Draper-Stumm FSA, Philippa Glanville FSA and Loyd Grossman FSA. This is ‘Quite an achievement,’ writes Glanville, adding that other Fellows are also members of the Arts Scholars, including Alan Borg FSA, Susan Bracken FSA, Robin Harcourt-Williams FSA, Nigel Israel FSA, Arthur Macgregor FSA and Tim Schroder FSA, ‘and many more’.

Wulfhere’s People: A Conversion-Period Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Wolverton, Milton Keynes, by Bob Zeepvat FSA and Alastair Hancock, reports on the excavation in 2008 of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery with 81 inhumation burials and two cremations, accompanied by a wide range of grave goods. The cemetery is the largest of its type found in Buckinghamshire to date, and is probably associated with the nearby settlement at Wolverton Mill, predecessor of the Medieval and Victorian settlements at Wolverton (in Saxon, Wulfhere’s tûn – ‘Wulfhere’s estate’). The report is published by the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society, and is the latest in a monograph series originally established to disseminate the work of the former Milton Keynes Archaeology Unit within the new city.

LCT 7074 is believed to be the sole survivor of more than 800 landing crafts (tank) that took part in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, each capable of carrying ten tanks. The National Museum of the Royal Navy retrieved her from the bottom of East Float Dock, Birkenhead, with the help of £916,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. It has now won a £4.7 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A partnership between the museum and Portsmouth City Council will see the craft join the D-Day Story in Portsmouth, and open to visitors in 2020. ‘LCT 7074 is a unique time capsule,’ said Dominic Tweddle FSA, Director General of the NMRN, in a press statement, ‘of enormous importance to the history of D-Day, and Operation Neptune. This project presents one of the last opportunities to collect these testimonies as the events of June 1944 pass from living memory.’

Simon Jenkins FSA has followed his A Short History of England (2011) with A Short History of Europe, billed as a ‘‘the first short narrative history of the continent’, telling ‘a story that twists and turns from Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages, Reformation and French Revolution, to the two World Wars and the present day.’ Reviewing the book in the Sunday Times (11 November), Dominic Sandbrook says Jenkins ‘has produced a whistle-stop tour of the most old-fashioned kind, all emperors, kings, wars and treaties, heavily weighted towards the continent’s west and particularly to England… As a feat of compression his book is a marvel, though I doubt it took him very long.’ ‘Most academics will surely hate it,’ Sandbrook claims, but he found it ‘impossible to dislike. He is an admirably polished and confident narrator, and even if he did dash it off in a couple of evenings, so what?’

A tapestry showing St Paul burning books, delivered to Hampton Court Palace in 1538, was bought by a Spanish dealer in the last century; it returned to the UK in October for conservation. There has been talk that it might be acquired for Britain (Salon 414). The Art Newspaper (5 November) reports that ‘Some experts believe that the tapestry left the UK without an export licence and was not registered when it arrived in Barcelona… In terms of its age, quality and price alone, an export licence would have been required before it could leave the country. Yet there is no mention of it in the published reports of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art, which go back to 1954.’ Wendy Hefford FSA at the V&A’s Department of Textiles at the time, ‘says that she never saw it’. ‘Over the years all sorts of objects have been “saved for the nation” on what often seem spurious grounds,’ says Thomas Campbell. ‘In this case, we have an object of immense significance to the history of our country.’ ‘It is almost impossible to overstate its importance.’ says David Starkey FSA.
James Stevens Curl FSA has found another fan of his Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism. In a very long blog David Brussat, an American writer on architecture, says the book ‘should inspire a major rethink, a revaluation of values, a revival of old home truths whose outcome, if successful, will rank right up with the transformation of defeated Axis powers into peaceful democracies after World War II, the return to normalcy of post-communist societies in Eastern Europe and (far from complete) Russia, and the awakening of populations around the world to the fragility of the natural environment.’ In a follow-up blog Brussat notes that not all reviewers like the book (‘windy, overwritten, under-edited, repetitive and full of clichés,’ opines Stephen Bayley in The Spectator), and Brussat puts them right.
The Treasury announced that the UK would be minting a 50p coin on 29 March next year, to mark departure from the European Union. Writing in the Guardian (30 October) Charlotte Higgins FSA looked back at earlier numismatic nods to Britain’s relationship with Europe. ‘The neatest parallel to the Brexit coin goes back almost two millennia,’ she says, ‘to the third century AD and the first, dramatic Brexit – under Britain’s breakaway Roman emperor, Carausius.’ In particular, she notes, a gold medallion in the British Museum (right,­ donated by one R Higgins): it is inscribed RSR, which Guy de la Bédoyère FSA read as redeunt saturnia regna (‘the Golden Age returns’) – a quotation from Virgil. Not so, responded de la Bédoyère (‘both pleased and flattered by Charlotte Higgins’ generous acknowledgment of my discovery’) in the Letters pages the next day. ‘Had he been around today,’ he says, ‘far from leading Brexit, the swaggering Carausius would be claiming to be restoring the great aspirations and ideals of the European Union, but in London rather than Brussels.’

Fellows Remembered

Brian Smith FSA, Secretary of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (1982–92), died on 3 November, aged 86. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1972.
Educated at Bloxham School (whose history he wrote, 1978) and Keble College, Oxford (where he was a Holroyd Scholar), he took his MA in 1957. Before joining the RCHM in 1980 as  Assistant Secretary, he was archivist in Worcestershire (1956–58), Essex (1958–60) and finally Gloucestershire, where he was Deputy County Archivist.
He was Editor at the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1971–79), where he was President 1986–87, and he was briefly an Editor of the Victoria County History of Gloucestershire. He was Chairman of the Society of Archivists (1979–80), Vice President of the British Records Association (1993–2005), Chairman of the Trust for the Victoria County History of Herefordshire (1997–2007), President of the Woolhope Club (2001–02) and a Lay Member of the Gloucester Diocesan Synod (1972–76). He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
His other publications include History of Malvern (1964), History of Bristol and Gloucestershire (1972, with Elizabeth Ralph), The Cotswolds (1976), Manuscript Sources for the History of St Helena (1996) and Herefordshire Maps 1577–1800 (2004).

Memorials to Fellows

Philip J Lankester FSA has written this interesting piece about an unusual wall monument in York, which, he correctly writes, has not yet featured in Salon. It commemorates John Burton FSA and his wife Mary, both of whom died in 1771, and is in the church of Holy Trinity, Micklegate. The photos are by Christopher Wilson FSA.
‘The following summary of Burton’s life’, writes Lankester, ‘is drawn, with extensive quotations, from the entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography by Bernard Barr FSA.

'Burton was born in Colchester in 1710. After graduating with a MB from Cambridge in 1733 he practised medicine at Heath, on the outskirts of Wakefield, and in the following year he married Mary Henson. Burton continued his medical studies at Leiden University and was later awarded a MD from Reims. Returning to England he established his practice in York, as a physician and man-midwife. Among his medical publications was An Essay towards a Complete System of Midwifery (1751). His medical practice suffered a setback when he was imprisoned and tried for treason under suspicion of support for the Young Pretender during the 1745 uprising (the case was dropped in 1747). He is supposed to have been the model for Dr Slop in Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759–67).
‘Burton’s interest in antiquities was fostered by his friendship with his fellow physician, the York historian Francis Drake FSA, author of Eboracum (1736). In 1758–59 Burton published Monasticon Eboracense, in which he surveyed the history of most of the monastic houses of Yorkshire and in many cases detailed their properties. He dedicated the work to our Society, to which he was elected a Fellow in May 1759 (my thanks to Heather Rowland for establishing this). In Bernard Barr’s words, “The enduring importance of Burton's history is that he calendars the charters by which the monasteries held their numerous properties; most importantly he uses over 2,000 charters formerly in St Mary's Tower in York but by then in his possession. He hoped to publish the contents of these charters in a second volume but failed to attract enough subscribers to finance it.”
‘The design of the monument, which was illustrated by J B Morrell in York Monuments (Batsford 1944, Pl LXd), is unusual. A gothic arcade is mostly concealed by a memorial scroll bearing an inscription, in rather fussy gothic lettering, to John and his wife Mary. John has the post nominals MD, FAS, the latter being an 18th-century alternative to FSA (see Wisdom of Fellows: William Chambers, Salon 412). From the scroll is suspended a seal with the border inscription DILIGENTIA SAPIENTIA ET VIRTUTE (by diligence, wisdom and virtue). The scroll with its seal recalls the charters which were so central to Burton’s research.
‘At the top of the monument an urn, inscribed RESURGANTUR (let them rise) and encircled by a snake, stands on top of two books, one of which bears the abbreviated title of Burton’s Monasticon Eboracense, volume I. The second book below presumably represents the unpublished volume II. In the first edition of The Buildings of England volume for Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner FSA commented that ‘This is an early date for Gothic Revival, as church monuments go’ (p 129, repeated in the second edition, p 163). The gothic arcade (though largely hidden by the scroll) is appropriate for an antiquary, especially one who published on monastic history. Christopher Wilson has suggested to me that the brackets supporting the panel were copied from statue brackets on the east front of York Minster (right). Did Burton design this unusual monument himself? Burton’s wife (who only survived him by nine months, dying in October after her husband in January) and his only son (an army officer) seem unlikely candidates.
‘Burton’s friend, Francis Drake, survived him by only two months and was by that time living with his son who was Vicar of St Mary’s, Beverley, where Drake was commemorated by a monument in the church or churchyard; only the inscription panel survives (Memorials to Fellows, Salon 365). The ogee shape of the top of this panel suggests that its frame may also have been in the gothic style.’

The Wisdom of Fellows 

As I noted in the last Salon, Mary Beard FSA recently prompted discussion about the role of re-enactment in understanding history, specifically in the context of television documentaries. Maddy Gray FSA, Professor Emerita of Ecclesiastical History at University of South Wales Pontypridd, thinks it’s a discussion worth having and has sent this ‘rather tentative riposte’:
‘I know she was quoted out of context,’ writes Gray, ‘and her scripted off-the-cuff asides have provoked a valuable debate. You mention in Salon the reopening of new museum facilities and new buildings at the Welsh National History Museum in St Fagans. Some of the buildings are of course reconstructions – and as Prof Ray Howell FSA always told his students, all reconstructions are constructions, showing just one of a range of possibilities. The (re)constructed church of St Teilo at St Fagans was the base in 2011 for an extensive project reconstructing late Medieval church services to see how the Sarum liturgies worked in a small and under-resourced parish church (see online for the results). I took part in several of these as a member of the congregation. While the project had its weaknesses – from my point of view, not nearly enough attention to the dynamics of congregational participation – we all learned a great deal.

‘Also in the report on St Fagans you mention the reimagining of the royal palace of Llys Rhosyr. This is an admirable project, but the simplicity of the building risks giving a false impression of the poverty of Medieval Welsh kingship. What England and mainland Europe did in material culture, Medieval Wales did in words and music (the same is true of commemoration of the dead). The palace needs to be filled with musical and poetic performance – and that would mean re-enactors, not of course in sheets and eating grapes, but in tunics and hose declaiming praise poetry. How else can we suggest how these buildings worked?’


‘Your Salon piece about war memorials,’ writes David Bird FSA, ‘gives me the chance to ride my hobby horse again.’ I had written a note about Historic England’s project to list war memorials, and quoted HE’s description of ‘the Promenade de Verdun in Purley, Greater London,’ a Lombardy poplar-lined road leading to a granite obelisk with views of five counties. French soil, says HE, ‘taken from a battlefield where the English and French had fought side-by-side in late 1914, was so full of shrapnel and bullets … that it had to be sifted to deter souvenir hunters from damaging the trees.’
When the avenue was laid out, says Bird, ‘the Promenade de Verdun in Purley was, of course, in Surrey. The reference to “views of five counties” may make my point, as I suspect that those views are likely to be of parts of the relevant counties now submerged within the meaningless concept of “Greater London”. Presumably we are talking of Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Essex?’
The obelisk (photo HE) bears the dedication, ‘Aux soldats de France morts glorieusement pendant la Grande Guerre’.


For Fellows who happen to be in or near Gibraltar this coming week, write Roy Adkins FSA and Lesley Adkins FSA, they will be giving two talks at the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival, which takes place from 15 to 18 November. Both will be at the historic Convent (the Governor’s Headquarters), the first, on the Great Siege, on Thursday 15th at 2pm, and the second, on the Battle of Trafalgar, the next day at 12 noon. Their book Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History was published in March, and Roy Adkins’ Trafalgar: The Biography of a Battle was first published in 2004.

Anna Marie Roos FSA, Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Lincoln, would like to hear about Fellows’ experience with the use of Corten steel as a sustainable building material in extensions for Grade II listed buildings. She can be contacted at the university at


Matthew Bennett FSA was on the People’s Vote march on 20 October (Salon 416).
‘I really fear for the Humanities,’ he writes, ‘especially in the area dearest to the Antiqs, if Brexit comes to pass. I live in a Remain voting constituency (52:48), although our MP (North East Hampshire) backs the government line. I went to London with a group of like-minded people from our village (whilst unaware that there is actually a larger formal group in NE Hants of the same persuasion).
‘Several of our party are members of our village Preservation Society, interested in our environment, past and present. The event was both uplifting, and, I hope, a shot across the bows for the current government. In fact, I cannot see how Brexit can happen, given both the total failure of the government to negotiate (as opposed to presenting a set of demands which directly contravene the EU’s 4 Freedoms).
‘I think that whatever final deal – or much more likely no deal – is presented to Parliament it will be voted down. A likely outcome is a General Election, after which all bets are off. Also, when considering why some people voted for Brexit (as opposed to just poking the government in the eye without realising the consequences) I would suggest that you read Carol Dweck’s theory of Fixed and Growth Mindsets (which I used to teach to the Cadets at Sandhurst).’
‘Fairly predictably,’ writes Peter Fowler FSA, he was on the march too. ‘It was the first time I've “marched” since the great “anti-Iraq war” march. I gather that this time my experience was fairly typical: I joined in Piccadilly but got more or less trapped by sheer numbers outside Green Park tube station and never got further than the Ritz. So I walked across to Burlington House and had a good look at the sham house standing in the courtyard before going home.’
I was on the march, and had thought I might photograph it passing the front of Burlington House: but it left Piccadilly too early. The ‘sham house’ is Cornelia Parker’s Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), first exhibited on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2016 and now in the courtyard outside the Society’s premises (my photo above). It is made from a dismantled traditional American red barn: siding planks form the house’s walls and tiles are made from its corrugated roof. The design is based on the Bates family motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho (1960), in turn modelled on a painting by Edward Hopper, House by the Railroad (1925). Nothing to do with Brexit.

Gifts to the Library

July-September 2018

The Society is very grateful to the donors of the following books, given to the Library by Fellows in the period from July to September 2018. These books are, or will shortly be, available in the Library, with full records on the online catalogue
From Richard Aston FSA, Ancient and early medieval coins from Cornwall & Scilly / R. D. Penhallurick. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publications no. 45 (2009)
From the author, Alan Bott FSA, A history of the parish church of St James, Elstead
From Pippa Bradley FSA, A Romano-British roadside settlement at Beanacre, Wiltshire / by Cai Mason. Wessex Archaeology Occasional Paper (2018)
From Christopher Evans FSA, Riversides: Neolithic barrows, a beaker Trumpington, Cambridge. / by Christopher Evans, Sam Lucy and Ricky Patten (2018)
From the editor, Michael Faraday FSA, Collected Radnorshire wills & other historical papers / by E J L Cole ; edited by M A Faraday (2018)
From Delia Gaze FSA, Architecture in the Balkans : from Diocletian to Suleyman the Magnificent / Slobodan Curcic (2010)
From the co-author, Jane Hawkes FSA, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture, volume XIII : Derbyshire and Staffordshire / Janes Hawkes and Philip Sidebottom (2018)
From J. V. S. Megaw FSA, The Heuneburg and the early Iron Age princely seats: first towns north of the Alps / Dirk Krausse [et al] (2016)
From the author, Nicholas Orme FSA, Medieval pilgrimage : with a survey of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Bristol (2018)
From the co-author, David Pearson FSA, Qasr Ibrim House 1037 : resurrecting an excavation / Graham Connah & David Pearson. BAR International Series, 2821 (2016)
From the author, Nicholas Savage FSA, Burlington House: home of the Royal Academy of Arts (2018) 
From the co-editor, Christian Steer FSA, Commemoration in medieval Cambridge / edited by John S. Lee and Christian Steer. History of the University of Cambridge: texts and studies, 9 (2018)

Fellowship Subscription 

Subscription Rates for 2019

Council have agreed that the Fellows’ subscription for 2019 should increase by £6 to £178.00, having remained at the present rate for the last three years. The decision was taken in the light of RPI presently running at 3.5%, and it is forecast to remain at this rate in 2019. However, the Society continues to face considerable financial pressures outside its control and Council will need to take into account those pressures as well as the rate of RPI when determining future subscription rates.

The annual subscription will fall due for payment on 1 January 2019.

Christmas Cards

Our Society Christmas Cards are now on sale. 

The Society has a wonderful selection of Christmas cards for sale – each design inspired by items from our own library and museum collections. Visit the ‘Society Christmas Shop’ section of our online shop for a full list of available Cards.

To order Christmas Cards please contact us: Call +44 (0)20 7479 7080 / Email Pay online:

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 (
  • 22 November (3:45pm): Financial Presentation to Fellows. 

Introductory Tours for Fellows

If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House. 

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

Public Lectures

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

Our public lecture series resumes in 2019,

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? Events are not currently being organised, but you can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.

Welsh Fellows

  • 18 January 2019: The Davies Family of Llandinam with its Burry Dock connection, by David Jenkins FSA
  • 11-13 October 2019: Weekend visit to the Pembrokeshire area. Programme to be arranged.
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

  • 29 November 2018: 'Surveying Shakespeare's Guildhall: a public building in pre-modern England' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in York). Find out more online.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.

York Antiquaries Christmas Lunch: Saturday, Dec 8th 2018

As we approach the Festive Season, Fellows and their guests are again most cordially invited to a pre-Christmas lunch in the McLeod Suite at the Dean Court Hotel, Duncombe Place, York on Saturday, December 8th, 12.30 for 1.00pm. The cost this year is a very attractive £23.50 per head for a three-course lunch, excluding drinks, and bookings should be made using this form. Confirmation of receipt of payment will be sent by email. Any queries, please contact the Hon Steward (Jim) at Bookings by Nov 19th please. As usual, we invite Fellows to bring objects, documents, photos etc. of antiquarian interest for the purposes of post-prandial entertainment and erudition.
We plan to follow the lunch with the usual informal short presentations and briefings and Fellows are invited to bring exhibits (advance notification would be helpful but is not essential).

Other Heritage Events

13 November: Chedworth: Excavations and Reimaginings at a Roman Villa 1864-2018 (London)
Simon Esmonde Cleary FSA will give the Roman Research Trust’s ninth biennial Joan Pye lecture in Senate House, looking at recent major advances in understanding of the Chedworth Roman Villa. In preparing the ‘final report’ of the site’s 1864 uncovering, a laser scan of the standing masonry (some of it Roman) has been combined with G E Fox’s stone-by-stone drawing of the 1880s and 19th- and 20th-century photos to revolutionise understanding of the villa. Excavations in the north wing have clarified the structural sequence, much extended the chronological range and clarified a complex history. Details online.

15 November: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce standard published reports produced by archaeologists, and how a report is planned. It will then focus on stratigraphic narrative and discussion, with a critical review of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements of writing in a professional and academic context. Details online.

17 November: The People of Roman Britain at Home and Abroad (London)
A symposium at the British Museum organised by the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and the Association for Roman Archaeology, aimed at looking at the general population of Roman Britain through the evidence of new archaeological research, notably from rural settlements and burials. The evidence for Britons working and living elsewhere in the Roman Empire will also be considered, reminding us that Britannia was truly an integrated province of the Empire. Speakers include Hella Eckardt FSA and John Pearce FSA. Details online.
17 November: Medieval Archaeology and History in England: Reflections and New Perspectives (Southampton)
A day conference in honor of David Hinton FSA will be held at the University of Southampton. Speakers include Martin Biddle FSA, Helena Hamerow FSA, Barbara Yorke FSA, Chris Woolgar FSA, Maureen Mellor FSA, Richard Hodges FSA and Duncan Brown FSA. Details online.

22 November: A Royal Treasure and its Role in the Renaissance Court: The Royal Clock Salt (London)
The Goldsmiths’ Company in collaboration with the British Museum and the Rothschild Foundation are presenting an international conference, organised by Timothy Schroder FSA and Dora Thornton FSA, celebrating the Royal Clock Salt. One of the Company’s greatest treasures, the Salt has been on loan to the BM since February 2018 and is on display in the Waddesdon Bequest Gallery. It was probably a diplomatic gift from Francis I of France to Henry VIII of England, or between two of their courtiers. It was made in Paris around 1530-35 and is attributed to the royal goldsmith, Pierre Mangot. The conference follows scientific research conducted by the museum. Details online.
24 November: Heritage and Resources in Southeast England (Lewes)
An interdisciplinary conference involving aspects of geology, archaeology and local history. Speakers will include Danielle Schreve FSA and David Rudling FSA. For details contact the organiser Anthony Brook,

25–26 November: Lives in Book Trade History: Changing Contours of Research over 40 Years (London)
In celebration of the 40th year of the Annual Conference on Book Trade History, this year's event at Stationers’ Hall will explore some of the most important themes and developments in this field through the eyes and experience of some of its most widely respected exponents. Leading authorities will discuss their engagement with book trade history, looking back over their own work to identify the significant influences upon them and changes in focus and research methods over time. Speakers include MIrjam Foot FSA, Christopher de Hamel FSA, David McKitterick FSA, Robin Myers FSA and Dennis Rhodes FSA. Details online.
26 November: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Catrin Jones (Curator of Decorative Arts, Holburne Museum, Bath) will speak on Piecing Together a Collection: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts. Details online.
28–30 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is a practical workshop designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study, with training for potential witnesses. Details online.

3 December: Ancient Sculpture and the Narrative of Collecting: Legacy and Identity in Museum Display (London)
A talk by Nicole Cochrane, PhD Student, University of Hull, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
6 December: Commissioning Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is designed for non-archaeologists who need to work with archaeology within the design and construction process, including architects, surveyors, engineers and other design professionals, planners, and project managers and developers. Details online.

7 December: The Elizabethan Garden Reimagined and Reinvented (London)
We don’t really know what Elizabethan gardens were like; we have almost no images, and poets were general and metaphorical. That has not people imagining their design, decoration and detail. The absence of hard fact has permitted unbridled speculation. Hence this talk is less about actual gardens than how romantic-minded writers have repeatedly reinvented the idea of them to accord with their predilections concerning the customs, manners, moods and delights of the time. The talk by David Jacques, Garden Historian and Conservationist, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Tickets can be bought for each lecture, or a discounted season ticket is available. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery FSA, or 0208 994 6969.

10 December: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Robert Wenley (Deputy Director, Head of Collections, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham) will speak on ‘Rare and Most Magnificent’: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (1809-1878). Details online.

13 December: Space: The Final Heritage Frontier (London)
Bryan Lintott, from the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, will give ICOMOS-UK's Annual Christmas Lecture. The UK’s Space heritage extends to Mars, where the Beagle 2 lander rests on the surface of the red planet. In recent years the Google Lunar XPRIZE and current plans for humans to return to the Moon have transformed theoretical academic interest in the many objects sent beyond the Earth and in their associated sites. Based on the history of heritage conservation in Antarctica, the lecture will consider options for the governance, management and in-situ conservation of space heritage, and the roles that the UK and ICOMOS could have in developing approaches to its conservation. Details online.

13–14 December: Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (London)
The British Library is hosting an international conference with 22 leading experts in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts to coincide with its Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition (19 October–19 February 2019). Keynote lectures will be given by Lawrence Nees FSA, University of Delaware, and Julia Crick, King’s College London. Confirmed speakers include Catherine Karkov FSA, Simon Keynes FSA, Rosamond McKitterick FSA, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Susan Rankin FSA, Joanna Story FSA, Elaine Treharne FSA and Tessa Webber FSA. Details online.

14–15 December: Interpreting and Preserving the Cultural Heritage (York)
A conference in honour of David Park FSA’s contribution to the study and preservation of Medieval art, at King’s Manor, University of York. Christopher Norton FSA and Sharon Cather FSA are keynote speakers, and other speakers include Jessica Barker FSA, Michael Carter FSA, Anna Eavis, Eric Fernie FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Francesca Piqué, Stephen Rickerby, Lisa Shekede, Géraldine Victoir, Paul Williamson FSA and Christopher Wilson FSA. Details online.

19 January 2019: New Insights into 16th-and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The ninth meeting of the New Insights series takes place at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly. Organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, the conference has the themes of Architecture on the Celtic Fringe, Timber, Plaster and Paint, Inigo Jones and Recreating the Antique, and Documents and Recovery. Speakers include Gerry Alabone FSA, Hentie Louw FSA, Nicholas Cooper FSA and Edward Town FSA. Details online.

28 January 2019: Domenico Brucciani and the Formation of Museums of Classical Archaeology (London)
A talk by Rebecca Wade, Assistant Curator for Sculpture, Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
30 January: The Elizabethan Garden at Kenilworth: History and Restoration (London)
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester created a remarkable garden at Kenilworth Castle in the 1570s. Perhaps the best recorded Elizabethan privy garden, it was at the heart of Elizabeth I’s long visit to the castle in 1575, and the subject of an ambitious restoration by English Heritage in 2009. The talk will discuss the garden and its significance, the research and investigation process that informed the project and the challenges and issues which were tackled in realising the re-created garden. The talk by Anna Keay, formerly Curatorial Director at English Heritage, now Director of the Landmark Trust, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Tickets can be bought for each lecture, or a discounted season ticket is available. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery FSA, or 0208 994 6969.

1– 3 February: Chapels Royal in England: Architecture, Music and Worship from the Middle Ages to the Restoration (Oxford)
This weekend at Rewley House will explore the English Chapel Royal from the Middle Ages to the end of the Stuart period. Starting with an introduction to the Medieval chapel royal, the programme consists of three pairs of talks by architectural historians and musicologists, each considering a different period, and will conclude with an examination of the importance of preaching in the 16th and 17th centuries. Speakers include Maurice Howard FSA and Rory O’Donnell FSA. Details online.
18 February: Plaster Casts, Restoration, and the Interpretation of Classical Sculpture (London)
A talk by Emma Payne, King's College London, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
20 February: Oxford Botanic Garden: Past, Present and Future (London)
Oxford Botanic Garden, founded in 1621, is the oldest botanic garden in the UK. This talk will reflect upon the Garden’s history, its current status and challenges, and ambitious plans for the future as the Garden approaches its 400th anniversary. The talk by Simon Hiscock, Director of the Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Tickets can be bought for each lecture, or a discounted season ticket is available. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery FSA, or 0208 994 6969.

March 2019 (date TBC): Museums and Decolonisation (London)
A talk by Alice Procter, Independent Tour Guide, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
6 March: Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Designs for the Gardens of Castle Howard (London)
Among documents formerly at Wilton House are four sketches for streams and rockwork attributed to Nicholas Hawksmoor, recently identified as projects for the garden in Wray Wood, Castle Howard. This naturalistic woodland garden was much admired by early visitors for its innovative features, including a cave, an artificial stream with cascades and rockwork, and much classical sculpture inspired by Ovid. Little now survives, but using these drawings and other records, a picture of the garden can be constructed, and Hawksmoor’s role in the design can be better appreciated. The talk by Sally Jeffery FSA, Architectural and Garden Historian, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Tickets can be bought for each lecture, or a discounted season ticket is available. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery, or 0208 994 6969.

27 March: John Brookes: His Landscape Legacy (London)
John Brookes is most often associated with the ‘room outside’, the subject of his seminal book of 1969 inspired by his early work in small London gardens. This talk will demonstrate how over the subsequent 50 years he remained at the forefront of design by creating distinctive gardens and landscapes increasingly based on ecological principles and designing in harmony with nature and the local vernacular – without losing sight of his belief that a garden is a place for use by people. The talk by Barbara Simms, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery FSA, or 0208 994 6969.
April 2019 (date TBC): Scripting Spadework: Publishing Archaeology in the Late 19th and early 20th Centuries (London)
A talk by Amara Thornton FSA, Honorary Research Associate, UCL, the last in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.

10 April: Studying Orchards in Eastern England (London)
Orchards have formed an important part of our culture for centuries, but investigations of their history are hampered by persistent myths concerning the age of particular examples, and about the antiquity of the fruit varieties they contain. These issues are being addressed by a research project based at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. This talk will discuss the history of different kinds of orchard – farmhouse, institutional, commercial, and as elements in designed landscapes. It will also explore a range of related issues, including the age and origins of ‘traditional’ fruit varieties. The talk by Tom Williamson, University of East Anglia, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery FSA, or 0208 994 6969.

Call for Papers

Antiquarian ‘Science’ in the Scholarly Society (Society of Antiquaries, London)
This is workshop two of the AHRC International Networking Grant: Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the early modern academy which will be led by Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln) and Vera Keller (Oregon) in April 2019. They will explore how ‘antiquarian science’ informed collecting in the early modern scholarly academy, as many members of these societies like astronomer Martin Folkes FSA (1690-1754) also were connoisseurs and antiquaries. We welcome papers of 25 minutes duration from established and early career scholars on the themes above. Please send an abstract of 200 words to Anna Marie Roos ( by 30 November 2018. Details online.

Research Fellowships

Warburg Institute Funded Research Fellowships are now open. 

Long-term Research Fellowships in Cultural and Intellectual History (of nine months to twelve months) for tenure during 2019-20. 

Short-term Research Fellowships in Cultural and Intellectual History (of two, three or four months) for tenure in 2019-20. 

The closing date for receipt of applications is 10 December.  Full details here


The British Museum is seeking a Curator of European Renaissance to 17th Century and Waddesdon Bequest. Deadline for applications 16 November 2018.
The appointee will research, document, display and augment the museum’s collections of objects from Renaissance and 17th-century Europe, and interpret their significance for the public. Key areas of responsibility include leading new research and major permanent display projects, documenting the collections, and acting as a beacon of good practice across the Museum. The post was vacated by Dora Thornton FSA when she joined the Goldsmiths’ Company in February. Details online.

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.


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

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