Salon: Issue 382
21 March 2017
Next issue: 4 April 2017
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor.
Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
Remembering Our Former President, Geoffrey Wainwright Hon VPSA
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of our former President, Geoffrey Wainwright.
Geoff died at his home in his beloved Pembrokeshire on Monday, 6 March 2017, after a battle with cancer – a mere five days after his great friend and our former General Secretary Dai Morgan Evans.
Geoff is remembered in the section below, 'Fellows Remembered
', and Fellows are encouraged to send their own memories of Geoff to the editor of Salon
before Friday, 31 March
) for inclusion in the following e-newsletter. The Society will of course be holding a memorial event at Burlington House later in the year. For the moment, these are just a few of my personal thoughts, although when thinking of Geoff’s achievements it is difficult to know where to start, and even harder to stop.
Geoff was elected a Fellow in 1967 and served the Society as member of Council and as Director of Research, Treasurer and finally President from 2007 to 2010. The Society was immensely important to Geoff, and he made a huge contribution to its running, especially in leading our 300th anniversary celebrations in 2007-08.
Geoff was born in 1937 and read archaeology at Cardiff; he studied for his PhD at the Institute of Archaeology London. He was Professor of Archaeology at the University of Baroda, India, from 1961 to 1963, returning to Britain to become an Inspector and later Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments at DoE / English Heritage until 1990. He was Chief Archaeologist there until his retirement in 1999. In the 1960s and 70s, he led the major excavations at Durrington Walls, Mount Pleasant, Gussage All Saints and Shaugh Moor among others. As Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage, he was the moving force behind the adoption of Planning Policy Guidance Note 16, the document that in effect gave birth to the commercial archaeology sector we know today. Thus he was not only a great field archaeologist, but an extremely capable administrator and policy maker who put archaeology firmly at the top of English Heritage’s agenda. Geoff felt passionately about all he did. He made decisions and most importantly, made sure they were implemented. Geoff did not suffer fools under any circumstances, and he could be abrasive and divisive, but he was undeniably effective. Stories about Geoff – and in particular his days leading the 'Central Excavation Unit' and as Chief Archaeologist – are legion and have become part of the folklore of archaeology in England. Like most archaeologists of my generation, he had an impact on my career at various times. For example, in 1988 he visited my late glacial and early Mesolithic site in Uxbridge to find out why we were asking English Heritage for money to extend the excavation. After a thorough interrogation, he made a decision on the spot, and we had the money by the end of the week. Later in my career, Geoff was chair of the board of Trustees at Wessex Archaeology when I was employed there, and of course, I knew him as a past President and keen supporter of our Welsh Regional Fellows Group.
These days the words 'legend' and 'giant' are used far too freely, but Geoff was certainly both of these. He dominated English archaeology through forceful leadership and strength of character in ways that we are unlikely to see again.
Geoff’s funeral was due to be held at 12:15 pm on Monday, 20 March
, at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth, SA67 8UD
. All of his friends were welcome and joined Geoff’s family afterwards for refreshments at Gellifawr Hotel, Newport
Watch the Funeral Online:
If you were unable to get to the funeral, but would still like to take part, you can watch a live web cast, which will be available in real time or for up to seven days after the event. To access the web cast, please apply to Matthew or Luke Jenkins on firstname.lastname@example.org
for instructions and a log-in code.
The Society of Antiquaries of London will hold a memorial event for Geoff at Burlington House later in the year, and will notify Fellows in the usual way.
What's New in the Library
New Objects on Display
A new display was installed in the Library last week on the theme of 'Liturgical Music for Holy Week'. This display highlights the musical aspect of the Library collections, bringing together items from the printed books and manuscripts collections to showcase various chants sung for services during Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. Included are two pamphlets published by the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society in the late 19th century, as well as one of the Society’s manuscripts dating from the 15th century, the York Manual. This display will run until the end of April.
We Need Your Feedback
The Society of Antiquaries of London would like your help. We are carrying out a survey to gather information about our users and the way they use the Library. The results will help measure our users' perceptions of the quality of the services and the collections the Library provides. Analysis of the results will feed into our future planning for the Library and - where possible - implement the right changes for our users.
The survey will be available from Wednesday, 22 March, and run until 31 May. You can complete it in the Library reading room, or online (the link will be available on our Library webpage at www.sal.org.uk/library). This should take 5-10 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your participation!
William Morris Fruitcake Easter Offer
Kelmscott Manor Receives £5.50 for Each Order
Award-winning artisan baker Ursula Evans follows Morris’s fruitcake recipe almost to the letter, soaking the vine fruits in brandy, baking slowly in her AGA. ‘The luxury glace fruits used in the original William Morris fruitcake mixture are used as a topping now’, she says, ‘but otherwise, these are the cakes that the Morris family enjoyed for tea in the 1880s.’
Each order supports the future care and development of Kelmscott Manor, Morris's 'heaven on earth'. Christmas sales of these special cakes raised more than £270 to support conservation at the Manor. This Easter, you can choose between a cake topped with glace fruit (like the Christmas cake) or a festive marzipan topping.
To enjoy a William Morris fruitcake with family and friends this Easter, please place your order via the My Cottage Kitchen website.
Painting the Wall
Featuring long obituaries for two outstanding archaeologists (and an update on the Stonehenge road proposals) this is a particularly archaeological Salon. Dai Morgan Evans FSA
and Geoff Wainwright FSA
both had influential careers in institutional archaeology. They also had strong presences in the Society, as office holders and as personalities, and will be much missed.
Many of the issues they confronted in their work are embodied in Hadrian’s Wall, a monumental World Heritage Site with a complex history of ownership, research and conservation. In an era when painting outdoors in watercolour was, for a certain class, almost the equivalent of today’s phone photography, a family of artists recorded the length of the Wall. Henry Burdon Richardson in particular, in 1848, created a large portfolio which John Collingwood Bruce FSA
used in lectures and to illustrate his books, via engraved versions. As David Breeze FSA
explains, however, most of Richardson’s work – often featuring excavations by John Clayton FSA
– was never published. In Hadrian's Wall: Paintings by the Richardson Family
, Breeze assembles over 70 paintings, including some by Charles Richardson (brother) and Thomas Miles Richardson (half brother), all now in the collections of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.
The works are a significant record of Hadrian’s Wall at a particular time of understanding and thought. And the ruins of antiquity are still there, emerging from beneath turf and moorland for the new attentions of successive generations.
Ring the Alarum-Bell!
News emerged last year that the Whitechapel Bell Foundry will close this May. In continuous business since 1570 (it was founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I) and on its present site since the 1740s near the centre of London, the foundry is an exceptional industrial concern with an extraordinary history. Its bells include the Liberty Bell, commissioned from America in 1751, the 2012 Olympic Bell and, of course, Big Ben himself.
Over 200 lots are being sold by a liquidity auctioneer between 30 March and 6 April. They include lathes, drills, sand moulding boxes, cranes, musical bells, two Ford Mondeos, a Victorian mantel clock and a baby grand piano. Alan Hughes, said to be the last in a line of bell founders stretching back to 1420, retires this year at 68 years old.
Unsurprisingly, the imminent closure has caused some concern. Charles Saumarez Smith FSA, Henrietta Billings, Peter Guillery, Mike Heyworth FSA, David McKinstry, Will Palin, Matthew Slocombe FSA, Matthew Saunders FSA and Tim Whittaker wrote to the Times (11 March), urging Historic England to list the buildings Grade I (they are currently Grade II*). Whitechapel is one of just two remaining bell foundries in Britain, they say. ‘We fear that we will lose specialised jobs and skills. This type of business and trade is part of the historic essence of our towns and cities. How is Britain allowing this national treasure to slip through our fingers?’
Christopher Green FSA, Chairman, Antique Metalware Society, wrote to the paper on March 16 to speak up for the company’s records, ‘including the extensive portfolio of drawings of inscriptions on ancient bells sent for re-casting. These drawings were made by William Kimber, the chief mould-maker at the foundry in the mid-19th century. It is important that these company records are not dispersed and that they remain accessible to scholars in this country.’
The East End Preservation Society went one further and launched a petition to save the foundry itself; as I write, it has 1,345 signatures. And the Spitalfields Trust has asked Tower Hamlets Council to have Whitechapel Bell Foundry designated an Asset of Community Value. The Foundry is an integral part of the district’s historical identity, says the Trust, and as well as being a major tourist attraction, it is an important local employer.
Meanwhile, the Foundry has other things on its mind. Falling sales, said the Times, led the owners to decide to move the business and sell the site for development – it will be worth a great deal. The Hughes family has owned the business since 1904. Now they worry that the efforts of conservationists will stop the sale, saying, ‘Far from being saved the foundry and its directors may well be bankrupted and the company will then have no future at all.’
Debate about a proposed tunnel for the A303 road past Stonehenge has continued since my last news roundup in late January. You can have too much Stonehenge. I’ve refrained from reporting every twist as it happened, but with Highways England’s public consultation over (it closed on 5 March, and we await HE’s next move), now seems an appropriate time for another survey.
Three road options were offered in the general consultation:
• Option 1N (D061 in the Technical Appraisal Report), with a tunnelled section within the World Heritage Site and a bypass north of Winterbourne Stoke further to the west
• Option 1S (D062), as above with a southern bypass
• and Option 2 (F010), an entirely new road outside the World Heritage Site to the south and east.
Highways England's preferred solution is the tunnel.
In the map above, the pink route is the existing A303; white spots mark that section which would be removed if either of the first options were to be adopted. The green route is proposed new surface dual carriageway, partly hidden in a tunnel. Option 2 is a dual carriageway on a new surface route. Ancient earthworks are marked red; mapping is more complete within the World Heritage Site. The grey blobs are the major areas of modern settlement (all are growing).
The Society’s considered response to the A303 consultation, available to read in full, is that the current proposals constitute ‘a positive recognition of the importance of the World Heritage Site, a potentially deliverable means of significantly reducing the adverse impact of the A303 on the landscape around Stonehenge, and of providing a solution to the bottleneck caused by the existing road.’ There is concern about the western tunnel portal (too close to Stonehenge and to significant other remains), and whatever new junction would be decided on between the A303 and A360 at the edge of the World Heritage Site (WHS) further west. The Society also raised the issue of the construction impacts, about which nothing has yet been said.
Such qualified support for a tunnel near the present route of the A303, with concerns about the western portal and the road continuing from there out of the WHS, is one of two dominant approaches. The Council for British Archaeology, English Heritage, Historic England and the National Trust have taken broadly similar points of view (‘We believe that with careful and sensitive design,’ wrote the Trust in a letter to Highways England, ‘a bored tunnel of sufficient length to allow for the proposed location of the eastern portal east of the Avenue as well as to address the issues with the portal to the west, could transform the Stonehenge landscape with significant benefits to the OUV [Outstanding Universal Value] of the WHS').
Clive Ruggles FSA responded to the consultation on behalf of Commission C4 (World Heritage and Astronomy) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Recognising that the tunnel proposal ‘clearly has benefits, in particular by removing the A303 from the landscape immediately to the south of Stonehenge,’ he expressed concern about the suggested western tunnel portal, which would be ‘directly on the solstitial sightline to the SW from Stonehenge.’ He was also worried about the open road and new junction to the west, ‘all placed within the sightline,’ apparently in conflict with Policy 3c in the 2015 Management Plan. The current plan would ‘[eliminate] forever the possibility of visitors to Stonehenge once again seeing the winter solstice sun setting behind the distant natural horizon along the axis of the monument.’ His submission contains a strong statement on the solstitial sightline’s importance.
Separately, Amanda Chadburn FSA and Ruggles submitted a response which disagreed more strongly with the proposal, but is otherwise similar to that written by Ruggles on behalf of the IAU. ‘To preserve as dark a night sky as possible’ is their most important concern at the A303/A345 Countess junction on the eastern border of the World Heritage Site. On the west, they note that the A303/A360 Longbarrow junction is ‘at almost the exact spot where the midwinter solstice sun would set – the very spot critical to the design and use of Stonehenge, and therefore critical to its understanding and significance. This … should be avoided.’
Historic England and the National Trust, as part of their Highways submissions, prepared a 76-page assessment of the impact of route options on the World Heritage Site’s OUV, written by Nicola Snashall and Christopher Young FSA. OUV is a key concept in WHS management. Its consideration at Stonehenge judges road options previously accepted (though not implemented) as unacceptable (the OUV concept was less rigorously defined when the WHS was first created). Snashall and Young weigh up the costs and benefits of new road options against the present arrangement, one of the starting points being the A303’s ‘major adverse visual impact of very large significance on the setting of [Stonehenge and nearby ancient] monuments’. They conclude that the various choices subsumed under Option 1 have a ‘large positive’ or ‘very large positive’ impact on OUV.
Others, however, are not convinced. The second main strand of responses to the proposal is to prefer Option 2, a new road outside the WHS. This would allow the present A303 to be completely removed within the WHS borders.
Among supporters of this is a group of 21 archaeologists, calling themselves ‘a consortium of Stonehenge experts’, which includes several Fellows: Mike Parker Pearson FSA, Mike Allen FSA, Nick Branch FSA, Christopher Chippindale FSA, David Field FSA, Charly French FSA, Vince Gaffney FSA, David Jacques FSA, Joshua Pollard FSA, Peter Rowley-Conwy FSA, Clive Ruggles (again) and Julian Thomas FSA. They argue that the consultation document ‘has evident weakness, as it is clearly based on inadequate and obsolete information.’ Highways England or its consultants have not asked them, ‘the leading experts’, for help.
Option 1, they say, is bad for the landscape/ astronomical impact of the western portal and its approach road; the destructive impact of the surface roads at either end; the high cost of associated archaeological works; and for setting a bad precedent for large-scale destructive development within a WHS. At the eastern tunnel portal, they focus on the unknown effects of development on a Mesolithic site at Blick Mead. They also note it would ‘badly damage the visual setting of the prehistoric hill-fort of Vespasian's Camp … The hill-fort’s entrance faces north, so any works on the southern flank of the A303 will impinge on this, its natural access point.’ (Vespasian's Camp currently overlooks that part of the A303 that is dual carriageway, see photo above.)
By contrast, Option 2 ‘is the only one which does not have a severe impact on the WHS. Therefore it must be taken. The others have dreadful consequences for the world’s most famous archaeological site and its landscape setting’ (original emphases). ‘It is dangerous’, they say, making a general point, ‘to plan on the basis that what we know now of the ancient landscape is all that exists in the ancient landscape.’
This view is also taken by the International Council on Monuments and Sites UK (ICOMOS UK), which published its response on 4 March. They say that supporters of Option 1 present a false case about improved OUV. ‘To suggest that this damage,’ they say, referring to the tunnel portals and surface roads, ‘can be mitigated by benefits brought by the tunnel to the centre of the WHS, is to fundamentally misunderstand the commitments made to sustain OUV at the time of inscription of the property on the World Heritage List.’ Benefits to some parts of a WHS, they add, ‘cannot outweigh irreversible negative impacts on OUV in other parts of the site.'
The ICOMOS case works because, rather than compare parts of the WHS with other parts, it compares the WHS only with areas outside, where no OUV applies (the Draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site was first published In 2011; it is not directly comparable to the OUV as described in the original inscription). This begs a question, however, about the largely unassessed landscape, through which a large new road would have to be built, and the modern communities it would effect.
That point was addressed by Peter Saunders FSA in a letter to the Times on 10 March. ‘It’s no surprise that the International Council on Monuments and Sites UK “firmly objects” to the government’s plan to upgrade the A303 past Stonehenge. Most archaeologists, including myself, believe the proposed tunnel to be too short and have responded to Highways England’s consultation accordingly. However, to argue for a route totally outside the World Heritage Site because that “has no constraints beyond its ownership” is disingenuous. What do those landowners think? What other landscapes, with unexplored archaeology, would be damaged? Above all, what enormous further and unacceptable delay to this urgently needed road improvement would ensue? Being as close to a practical and funded resolution of this problem as we have had for decades, this is the moment for ministers and all interested parties to demonstrate magnanimity and prove that compromise can produce a worthy, if not perfect, solution.’
Tim Loughton FSA MP
asked the Secretary of State for Transport about Option 2 in a written question. John Hayes replied on 13 March
, saying that in Highways England’s assessment, while Option 2 performed better than the tunnel options against the Cultural Heritage objective, it performed worse against other objectives: in particular, ‘it would have large adverse environmental impacts through the Woodford Valley and would not be effective in relieving rat-running traffic problems in the local communities.’
Fellows (and Friends)
Geoffrey Wainwright FSA
, Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage, died in March.
An appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered
below. The section also contains further notices on the late Dai Morgan Evans FSA
and the late Ivor Noël Hume FSA
Richard Burleigh FSA
, British Museum scientist, died in February aged 85. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1974.
There will be a service of thanksgiving for the late Charles Truman FSA
at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, at 2 pm on 27 April, to be followed by a reception at Brooks’s, St James’s Street, London.
There will be a memorial service for the late Dick Pfaff FSA,
on 12 May at 6pm at Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford. Choral Vespers will feature plainsong and music by Monteverdi, one of Dick’s favourite composers. All are welcome and refreshments will follow. Contact the Revd Dr Jonathan Arnold, Dean of Divinity, Magdalen College at email@example.com.
My apologies to Norman Hammond FSA
, whose message I misinterpreted. His tribute to the late Maurizio Tosi FSA
was read out at a memorial event in Ravenna, but he was not himself there. I also said the late Iain MacIvor
was 66: he was 88.
Historic England and the Society for Museum Archaeology have published Museums Collecting Archaeology (England),
the first of three annual reports. Anecdotes about storage and conservation crises, they say, can now be backed by statistics, which show ‘real, on-the-ground reductions in resource and capacity’. The greatest problems, they add, are lack of space and lack of staff. 'This does not come as a surprise to museum professionals working with archaeology collections; however we now have clear data to demonstrate the scale of these issues.’ Of concern is the large number of museums provided by local authorities, which continue to collect. Despite a number of museums charging for deposition, many find the income from developer-funded archives insufficient. The report has been prepared by Gail Boyle FSA
, Nick Booth and Anooshka Rawden. Comments can be made on the SMA website
Women in ice age carvings are not erotic, says Jill Cook FSA
in a British Museum video: their knees are tight together, they look down, their arms are tucked in over swollen bellies, some are slim, young and sexy, others have had their children and ‘are a bit overweight’. She once heard a speaker lecturing on cave art, address an image of a sculpture – of a type traditionally known as Venus figurines – and say only, ‘We all know what Palaeolithic men were thinking about when they made this.’ ‘I had a problem with that’, she says. Cook opens a BM blog
posted on 8 March, International Women's Day. Dora Thornton FSA
describes a dish made in Europe around 1600, signed by Susanne Court. Kim Sloan FSA
highlights botanical art by Mary Delany (1700–88). Judith Swaddling FSA
chooses a bronze Etruscan statuette of a running girl (520–500 BC), and Julia Farley FSA
an Iron Age bronze mirror from St Keverne, Cornwall (120–80 BC). Some women in ice age carvings are pregnant or giving birth, adds Cook. They are about women, not men.
Also on 8 March Victoria Ingles, curator of an exhibition ‘Pioneers to Professionals: Women and the Royal Navy,' and Dominic Tweddle FSA
, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, greeted Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The formal visit to open the exhibition marked the launch
of the Women’s Royal Naval Service centenary celebrations.
Cristina Dondi FSA
has written Printed Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century Italy: The Texts, the Books, and the Survival of a Long-Lasting Genre
. Her book offers an in-depth examination of the production, distribution and use, from the late 15th century to the present, of the 74 editions of Books of Hours printed in Italy in the 15th century, 198 copies of which have survived – they are today in 82 libraries in 16 countries in Europe and North America. Special attention is paid to the transmission of the texts in print, the definition of a stemma editionum
, the cycle of illustrations, and the identification of buyers and users, including the question of the price of these first printed copies in comparison to that of contemporary manuscripts. Dondi’s book includes a complete transcription of all the calendars, and 88 colour plates.
The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designation of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2017 came into force on 3 March. Several First World War shipwrecks appear in the list of designated vessels for the first time: HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue (all sunk on 22 September 1914), HMS Viknor (sunk 13 January 1915), SS Armenian (28 June 1915), HMHS Anglia (17 November 1915), HMS Falmouth (20 August 1916), HMS Laurentic (23 January 1917), HMS Pheasant (1 March 1917), HMS E49 (12 March 1917), HMS Lady Patricia (20 May 1917), HMS E47 (20 August 1917) and HMS Moldavia (23 May 1918). German submarine U9 hit the three Royal Navy cruisers, Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue in a single incident, killing 1,459 sailors; HMHS Anglia (a hospital ship) was carrying doctors and nurses and nearly 400 injured soldiers when she struck a mine outside Folkestone Harbour, and at least 160 died. Mark Dunkley FSA
, a senior Cultural Property Protection Adviser at Historic England, said, ‘The wrecks are now legally protected and recognised as military maritime graves. In protecting these historic wreck sites, the Ministry of Defence has recognised the significance of the ships as part of our national story, recognised the cultural importance of the First World War at sea, and honoured the memory of those lost in the defence of our shores.’ Photo
shows one of the Anglia's anchors recovered before the Order came into force; such salvaging is now illegal.
Injury and Trauma in Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Violence in Past Lives
, is by Rebecca Redfrern FSA
. The remains of past people, says the blurb, are a testament to their lived experiences and living environment. Synthesising the latest research, the book examines the bioarchaeological evidence used to understand and interpret violence, exploring the significant light that such evidence can shed on past hierarchies, gender roles and life courses. Redfern draws on social and clinical science research to investigate violence and trauma in the archaeological record, focusing on human remains. It examines injury patterns in different groups, as well as the biological, psychological and cultural factors that make us behave violently; how our living environment influences injury and violence, the models used to identify and interpret violence in the past; and how violence is used as a social tool.
Westminster Abbey has published new photos of people who work there, ranging from the head chorister to a heritage cleaner. That here shows Matthew Payne FSA
, who has been Keeper of the Muniments since April 2012. ‘It's one of the loveliest things,’ he says in the release, ‘looking after the archives in the historical setting.’ The photos were taken by Gareth Cattermole in the Abbey’s Triforium, which is currently being converted into a new museum and gallery; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Galleries open in 2018. The portraits can be seen online
in the Guardian
, and are in aid of a public appeal to raise funds for the museum.
Carole Souter FSA
(St Cross) was among the heads of 35 Oxford colleges who wrote to the Times
(March 13) urging MPs to support a House of Lords amendment guaranteeing the right of EU citizens who live in Britain to remain here after Brexit. ‘Oxford University relies on EU citizens’, they said, ‘as lecturers, researchers and support staff. If they lost their right to work here, our university would suffer enormous damage which, given our role in research, would have reverberations across the UK.’ Taking control, MPs overturned the Lords’ amendment in a vote that day.
The People of Palomas: Neandertals from the Sima de Las Palomas Del Cabezo Gordo, Southeastern Spain
, edited by Erik Trinkaus and Michael J Walker FSA
, is, says the blurb, the first detailed overview of the remarkable human fossil assemblage from the Sima de las Palomas. The unique Neanderthal site is particularly distinguished by the remains of many individuals, and being south of the Pyrenees may have potential for studying a population isolated from other contemporary groups of early humans.
Battersea Arts Centre is asking for ideas for a Phoenix season to mark the reopening next year of the Grand Hall, reports Maev Kennedy FSA in the Guardian
. Two years ago the Grade II*-listed Victorian building, originally a town hall, was partly destroyed in a major fire. Among past productions, the theatre premiered Jerry Springer - The Opera in 2002.
‘I retire shortly as Surveyor of the Fabric of Chichester cathedral,’ writes Colin Kerr to the Times on 14 March
. Chichester has no entrance charge. ‘I recognise the financial pressures facing cathedral chapters – as Surveyor I have been close to those pressures – but paying at the door fundamentally alters the relationship between the cathedral, Christianity and the visitor. That is why I am certain that free entry should be the norm for all our cathedrals; working towards the restoration of such should be a national concern.’
Mary Beard FSA
blogged about five powerful women in ancient Greece and Rome for the British Museum
as a contribution to March’s Women's History Month. No. 5 (left): An anonymous Roman woman, illustrated by a Roman marble tomb relief with a portrait of a woman as victorious Venus. ‘For some grieving husband or parents, she was a goddess.’
On 15 March Dan Hicks FSA
was admitted as Junior Proctor of the University of Oxford for the proctorial year March 2017–2018.
In an article headed ‘If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you’, the Washington Post
notes that the US President’s budget, released on 16 March, proposes to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The 2017 budget for all four of these agencies, says the paper, is $971 million, a fraction of the sum Trump has requested to fund a wall along the border with Mexico. Military spending is set to rise by $54 billion. The Environmental Protection Agency’s budget will be cut by more than 30%.
Ark of Civilization: Refugee Scholars and Oxford University, 1930–1945
is edited by Sally Crawford FSA
, Katharina Ulmschneider FSA
and Jas Elsner. The book is a spin-off from a research project at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford on archives relating to Paul Jacobsthal Hon FSA
, refugee archaeologist and art historian. It explores the importance of Oxford as a shelter, a meeting point, and a rescue centre for wartime Continental scholars in the arts and humanities, with sections on archaeologists Otto Brendel, Brian Shefton FSA
, Gerhard Bersu Hon FSA
and Jacobsthal himself. ‘In the current climate’, write Crawford and Ulmschneider, ‘we feel this volume is a timely reminder of how British archaeology gained from welcoming refugee academics in the past.’ Contributors include David Gill FSA
, Harold Mytum FSA
and former Fellow Oswyn Murray.
Edwin Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen
has been acquired for the nation
at a cost of £4 million, half its estimated market price. The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £2.65 million towards its purchase from Diageo.
John Kenyon FSA
notes that the 8 March editon of Country Life
features the Society and Kelmscott Manor.
A Roman temple the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, said the Times
on 18 March, has been found by a Cambridge University-led team at Falerii Novi, 30 miles north of Rome. Martin Millett FSA
said ground penetrating radar had revealed the detailed layout of a buried town, and the history of its growth and development. The archaeologists, and colleagues from the British School at Rome, the Italian Ministry of Culture and the University of Ghent, have used the same method to map Interamna Lirenas, another Republican-era town south-east of Rome. The research will be described at the Cambridge Science Festival
on 21 March.
Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians; The Battle of Tettenhall 910AD; and Other West Mercian Studies
is written and published by David Horovitz FSA
. It is, says the blurb, an account of West Mercia in the early tenth century, a period of great threat from Scandinavian forces. The book seeks to investigate in detail the period leading up to the battle of Tettenhall, to analyse early accounts of the conflict, to identify the possible battlefield site, and to consider the roles of AEthelred and AEthelflaed. It also considers the early history and topography of the area and its archaeology and ancient monuments. Well illustrated with maps, photographs and diagrams, the book incorporates a detailed index
Archaeology and Landscape at the Land’s End, Cornwall: The West Penwith Surveys 1980–2010
derives from over 270 pioneering archaeological surveys and conservation projects. Written by Peter Herring, Nicholas Johnson FSA, Andy M Jones FSA, Jacqueline Nowakowski FSA
, Adam Sharpe and Andrew Young, the book seeks deeper understanding of the historic landscape and is a celebration of its unique qualities, says the blurb. Still largely a rural landscape of ancient farmsteads and churchtowns, the district also has a famous mining history. Across the moorland spine lie numerous prehistoric ceremonial monuments. Today’s fields, particularly across Zennor and Morvah parishes, preserve boundaries laid out over 2,000 years ago. Abandoned engine houses lie scattered along the northern coast amid mine waste and moorland between villages of terraced houses dotted with nonconformist chapels.
The Cotswolds LEADER Programme is a grant scheme targeted at rural areas of England, to stimulate economic growth through creating jobs. Applications are considered for grants for new capital projects from £5,000–£50,000. Among the investment themes are Cultural and Heritage rural services, including ‘the conservation of small scale built heritage’ and ‘enhancing venues providing cultural and heritage activity’. See online for details
Mark Harrison FSA
, National Policing and Crime Advisor at Historic England, reports an unusual heritage crime conviction. On 8 March David Cockle, a former policeman, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court for the theft of Merovingian gold coins recovered from farmland in Norfolk. He was jailed for 16 months, and the Court imposed a Criminal Behaviour Order (previously known as an Anti-Social Behaviour Order) for five years after his release. During that time he will be prohibited from owning metal-detecting equipment and from entering into detecting agreements with landowners. Cockle sold the coins to a dealer for £15,000. He didn't tell the landowner, though he had contracted to split the proceeds of any find. He also failed to tell the coroner, selling the coins in three batches to disguise the fact they were legally Treasure (another detectorist had found 35 Merovingian coins at the same site, and declared them). Harrison tells Salon
that police have recovered eight of the 10 coins.
Academic research in museums is flourishing, says Mark Jones FSA
. But ‘expertise’ – by which he means ‘the ability to recognise and identify objects, surmise their history from their appearance, tell the genuine from the false and make judgements about quality’ – is not doing so well. It has become ‘patchy, even rare, in museums,’ he writes in the Art Newspaper
(13 March), adding that expertise ‘may sometimes be antithetical to scholarship’. He illustrates his point with the story of the Greenhalgh family, who, ‘quite uneducated’, duped Sotheby’s, the British Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, among many others, with their fakes. We live in a world ‘more used to knowing about things than knowing them directly and for themselves,’ he concludes, ‘relying more on the internet for knowledge than on personal experience.'
Marcus Binney FSA
, writing on behalf of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, makes a similar point about development planning in a letter to the Times
(20 March). A cover of Times2
, he writes, features ‘a compelling image of the evening sun shining through the Paddington Cube’. ‘This seemingly transparent glass block’, he says, ‘contains a substantial lift and fire escape core that will completely block out half the sun shown streaming so seductively through the building.’ Planning officers should be wary that committee members relying on developers’ computer-generated images could be misled.
A mosaic of the Crucifixion by Georg Mayer-Marton, who fled Austria after the Anschluss and moved to Britain, is at risk after the Roman Catholic diocese of Salford decided to close the Holy Rosary church where it is installed. Catherine Pepinster reported in the Observer
(26 February) that the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association had warned the bishop that the mosaic’s destruction would be ‘a very regrettable loss, if not an act of iconoclasm’. Mayer-Marton, who was of Hungarian-Jewish descent, worked on the mosaic ten years after the war and losing his parents and brother in the Holocaust. Photo Oldham Chronicle
Geoffrey Wainwright FSA
died on 6 March aged 79. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1967; he was a member of Council, Director of Research, Treasurer and finally President, from 2007 to 2010. As the General Secretary, John Lewis FSA
, has written above
, the Society was immensely important to Geoff, and he made a huge contribution to its running, especially in leading the 300th anniversary celebrations in 2007–08.
To say that Wainwright transformed the profession of archaeology in Britain, would be just the start of it. He created an entirely new area of work, a commercial archaeology sector, which now employs more practitioners than any other sector. This affected the construction industry, which has funded an unprecedented programme of excavations, changing the way we understand our past – when we see a story in the media about an archaeological dig in England, in many cases now it will have happened because of systems he led into being. A Pembrokeshire man who carried his mining ancestry as an honour rather than a chip, he enjoyed a drink and a righteous battle (not least around Stonehenge and over the remains of Shakespeare’s Rose theatre), and no one who knew him or worked with him would forget the encounter. But he never lost sight of his driving passion: to engage with the ancient past through excavation, and show the world that archaeology mattered.
As Principle Inspector of Ancient Monuments (1980–89) and then English Heritage’s Chief Archaeologist (1989–99), Wainwright was at the helm of archaeology in England as it definitively ceased from being a gentle pursuit for the amateur. Substantial losses of historic and ancient remains during the war, the development boom which followed and a rapid growth in archaeology teaching at universities, unleashed new forces. In a small field striving to get its voice heard, individual high-profile moments were critical. These included the discovery of a Roman temple to Mithras in the City of London in 1954, which halted an expensive development, and attracted the public in their thousands and the intervention of the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Advances in public and political awareness however, were often lost through what Wainwright described as ‘lack of vision, mismanagement and corporate rivalries’ among fellow archaeologists. It took someone of his vision and confidence to identify and champion the right cause, and to push it through to become implemented policy.
The way forward, he saw, was to base the protection of our ancient past in local authority planning departments. A key part of the idea was that ‘protection’ could allow for destruction. Archaeology should not hinder development, but if the latter meant the loss of significant remains, the developer should pay for their recording and analysis. After years of ingenious manoeuvring, conflict and abandoned schemes, Wainwright’s public moment arrived in 1989, on the south bank of the Thames opposite the City.
Southwark council had given consent for a new office block at what was known to have been the site of one of Shakespeare’s best understood theatres. Museum of London archaeologists found much of the Rose’s foundations had unexpectedly survived, and appealed for money to excavate them and for the development to be slowed or stopped. In the face of well-orchestrated protests from archaeologists, actors (‘Dame Peggy Ashcroft was seen in deep distress on the arms of various leading men,’ wrote Wainwright), columnists and politicians, he refused to back extra funding or protection for the site. Negotiation with the developer saved the remains, but at the time it seemed to most observers that Wainwright had sold out. In fact, he had his eye on a bigger stage.
He described to me the occasion when he walked into the Rose’s auditorium, its remains dissected on a building site. Beyond the fence, he said, ‘luvvies’ were screaming for his blood, banging drums and blowing tin whistles. Yet he was able to focus on both past and future with calm determination: he was alone with Shakespeare’s audiences, crunching under his feet the shells of hazelnuts thrown down by Elizabethan groundlings; and he was in Parliament, hearing his policy for archaeology being approved.
He was right, at least about the latter (archaeologists now think the shells were part of the floor makeup). Planning policy guidance 16 – commonly abbreviated to PPG 16, and surviving today in a planning policy statement – was passed the day before Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister. Steered by planners, the policy puts the responsibility for saving archaeological remains on the developers who threaten them, providing a risk-management system for the construction industry and a wealth of new data to inform the nation’s long history. It has proved instrumental in making Britain a leading nation for the teaching and practice of archaeology, and Wainwright helped here too, applying himself to raising the quality of recording and research to maximise the public gains from development funds. Much of the thinking behind PPG 16 is reflected in the influential Valletta Treaty 1992 (the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage), which he helped draft.
Geoff Wainwright was born in Angle, Pembrokeshire, where his mother was the village school teacher. His father had been a collier in south Wales, but had moved because of industrial disputes in the 1920s, in which he was deeply involved (as his son proudly related). Geoff went to the Pembroke Docks School, and then to the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff, to study archaeology. While he was there, Kathleen Kenyon, a prominent archaeologist known for her work in Jericho, gave a public talk. Afterwards, he asked her what he should do to become an archaeologist. ‘She looked at me as if I was something that had crawled out of one of her trenches,’ he told me. Her response was that he needed a private income (Kenyon’s father was a knighted director of the British Museum). ‘I turned my back and walked away,’ said Wainwright. ‘I wasn’t put off. It just confirmed me in my opinion of the upper classes.’
In 1958 he went to the Institute of Archaeology in London to write a doctoral thesis on the south Welsh Mesolithic (the country’s last era of hunter-gatherers, after the ice age ended). Under one of its professors, Frederick Zeuner, the Institute had pioneered archaeological sciences, and Wainwright’s first job, aged 24, was as Professor of Environmental Archaeology at the University of Baroda, India. He returned to the UK in 1963 to become an Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments in the Ministry of Public Building and Works. The organisation changed – the ministry became the Department of the Environment, and later in 1984 Michael Heseltine hived the section off to set up English Heritage – but Wainwright stayed with ancient monuments until retirement in 1999. It had been, he said, ‘the job of a lifetime’.
The earlier part of that career was spent doing what he most enjoyed: digging. From 1975 he led the Central Excavation Unit. 'I like pushing wheelbarrows,' he told me when he was 69; 'I still am, I think, the European champion in deturfing.' With a keen eye on how excavation could be used to address big questions about the past, he directed a succession of major projects across southern Wales and England, invariably at sites he selected partly, but not only, because they were being lost to ploughing or development.
Where senior colleagues might have opened carefully polished trenches a few metres long, and retired to their clubs after working up a light sweat, Wainwright brought in bulldozers. Gangs of untrained navvies worked under teams of younger archaeologists and drinking friends who had acquired exceptional excavation skills; photos show groups of unwashed men, women and children, with long (mostly) hair, sandals and musical instruments; that here was taken at Balksbury Camp, Hampshire, in 1973 (from ‘Time please’, by G Wainwright in Antiquity
74 (2000), 909–43). At sites that are now almost all iconic in the discipline, including an iron Age village at Gussage All Saints, Dorset and a prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon fort at Coygan Camp, Carmarthenshire (both of which he entirely excavated), Wainwright scandalised the establishment, while managing to inspire the support of his employers.
His most dramatic achievement was in Wessex, where he excavated at three major henge earthworks, the first in 1966–67 close to Stonehenge at Durrington Walls. A road was to be driven through the latter. Wainwright brought squads of workers and equipment to prove not only that the earthwork was contemporary with Stonehenge, but to reveal that it contained the remains of two enormous circular post structures which no one had suspected (not least those archaeologists who had tried to stop him). He went on to excavate at two similar earthworks, also little understood – Marden in Wiltshire, and Mount Pleasant in Dorset – and showed that they too were part of the Stonehenge world, and had their own ritual timber structures.
Later he became involved in the seemingly endless attempts to improve the contemporary landscape around Stonehenge, and was able to see a car park at the monument closed and a new visitor centre built some distance away. He was to dig at Stonehenge in retirement, opening a trench in 2008 with Timothy Darvill FSA
with whom he worked on a project to understand the sources of the Welsh bluestones that had been taken there – from his beloved Pembrokeshire – over 4,000 years ago (my photo at top shows him at the dig). But as his career progressed, he enjoyed the excavations of others more than his own, doing whatever he felt was required to enable good projects, and to use them to engage the public and politicians. Among many other successes, he oversaw discoveries such as Boxgrove man, the half-million-year-old fossil from West Sussex, the Rose theatre and the Artognou stone, an inscribed piece of slate excavated at Tintagel that could be read, in the right light, as a reference to Arthur.
Geoff Wainwright was Vice-Chairman of the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments (Wales) for 15 years. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton and the Institute of Archaeology (now UCL). He held office at this Society for 20 years, culminating as President, and was a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors at Wessex Archaeology, and President or Honorary Member of several other archaeological bodies. In 2006 he received the Grahame Clark Medal for Prehistoric Archaeology, a rare honour from the British Academy, and was made MBE in 1991 for his work with English Heritage.
Wainwright had no patience with archaeologists whom he felt were not doing what they should – those with unpublished excavations, who were too territorial, who treated the public with disdain, who were unwilling to change with the times. Judging himself equally harshly, he worked as hard as he played, but at the end, in his word, he was content. His legacy, for archaeology and for the nation, is extraordinary.
The photo right, by Clive Gamble FSA,
shows Wainwright among the barns at Boxgrove in 1995, telling the media about the discovery of a hominin leg bone; Chris Stringer FSA
sits to his right. ‘Deep down’, says Gamble, ‘he was a closet Palaeolithic archaeologist’.
for the Guardian
on 15 March, by Timothy Darvill, has the subhead, ‘Influential archaeologist who helped to change the public experience of Stonehenge.’ ‘Between 1984 and 1999’, writes Darvill, Wainwright ‘worked tirelessly to negotiate schemes for the relocation of the visitor centre, closure of the A344 beside Stonehenge itself, and rerouting of the A303 in a tunnel south of the stones.’ In an online comment, HamishSoutar adds, ‘I think it only fair to point out that [Wanwright] was a very strong early advocate of a long tunnel, quite different from what has since been proposed by the government, and only backed the shorter tunnel scheme out of a belief that it was the best we were ever going to get.’
‘Geoff was a lover of landscape and the great outdoors,’ concludes Darvill, ‘and walking was his favourite recreation, especially when coupled with exploring the cultures of other countries and enjoying their sites, food and drink. Rugby was a lifelong passion and he followed the Welsh team closely. He had a strong singing voice, and at home loved the garden, his cats, and settling by the fire with the newspaper or a chosen book.’
‘In 1992,’ writes Richard Hodges FSA
, ‘Lord Rothschild visited ancient Butrint in the newly liberated Albania, following 50 years of totalitarianism. He wanted to excavate there so he asked his friend, the head of English Heritage, Sir Jocelyn Stevens, if he might arrange it – as one does. Sir Jocelyn despatched Geoff Wainwright for a visit. Geoff visited Butrint but then had to admit (what he knew already) that EH was bound by its constitution and could not operate out of the UK. A decade later, when it came to preparing a new management plan to enlarge the Unesco World Heritage site, the Butrint Foundation turned to Geoff. I recalled an intimidating man from my youthful days in Wessex; nothing could have been further from the truth. He was both kind and immensely insightful. There was nothing insular about Geoff; he grasped the challenges of a post-communist context and skilfully helped us (without saying it, paying his dues for the trip he’d made earlier). A truly great archaeologist in the field who could readily adapt his abilities to any context.’
‘Geoff invited me to join the Antiquaries,’ writes Julius Bryant FSA,
‘and put me up for Fellowship when I was Chief Curator at English Heritage, and he was Chief Archaeologist there. I recall the great event to mark his retirement, held in the vast former DOE lecture hall in our imposing Modernist HQ building in Savile Row (since demolished). Tribute speeches were made by all the great and good of the archaeology world, some even on video from foreign fields. In the reception after I confessed to him my ignorance of his global eminence. He replied, with typical modesty and humour: “You don’t seriously believe any of that, do you?”’
Dai Morgan Evans FSA
died on 1 March on his 73rd birthday. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in November 1989, and he was General Secretary of the Society from 1992 to 2004.
Dai Morgan Evans’ interest in archaeology and history began as he grew up in Chester, joining excavations run by the Grosvenor Museum before going to Cardiff University to study archaeology (1963–66). He researched the archaeology of early Welsh poetry and was an assistant director on excavations at Cadbury Castle, Somerset.
In 1969 he became an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings in Cardiff (now part of Cadw), with a special interest in industrial archaeology. He took charge of rescue excavations, and helped bring about the present system of Welsh Archaeological Trusts.
He moved to London in 1977, joining the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate at the Department of the Environment as a casework Inspector over most of southern England. From 1986, by when the Inspectorate had become English Heritage, he was also charged with developing countryside policies, including the Historic Landscapes Register, the Historic Battlefields Register, Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Countryside Stewardship. He specialised in public inquiries, acting as advocate in 14 cases and training witnesses.
In 1992 he moved from Savile Row, where English Heritage had its offices, to Burlington House, as the Society’s General Secretary. Here, as John Lewis FSA has described
, he set about modernising the Society. He introduced new financial management systems and corporate planning, cleared a four-year backlog of publications, and computerised the Library Catalogue. He worked to raise the Society’s public profile, achieving the same for himself in a television project for the Discovery Channel and Channel 4.
In his own time as Chairman of the Butser Ancient Farm Trust, in 2002–03 he oversaw a six-part TV series as a Roman villa designer, and narrated the story on screen. In Rome Wasn't Built in a Day
, a ‘villa urbana’ was built at Wroxeter (left), drawing on evidence from earlier excavations there. Managed by English Heritage
, the house opened to the public in 2011, an important part of Evans’ vison for the project.
Retiring from the Society in 2004, he became a Visiting Professor in Archaeology at the University of Chester. The photo at the top shows Evans at the Pillar of Eliseg, near Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen, where he helped initiate a research project with colleagues at Chester and Bangor University, to learn more about the multi-period monument. He was also an Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology UCL.
As the contributions below show, as well as a supreme professional, Dai was a kind and popular man who enjoyed life. The first tribute comes from Liz Walder (now at Communication Crossroads Ltd), who worked with him at the Society:
• ‘As General Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, Dai was an exuberant and humorous leader and an efficient manager. I reported directly to him as part-time Curator of Collections in the mid 1990s, and he supported my management of the collections with the newly introduced documentation system, the changing displays of objects, and encouraged my research on a wide range of the Society’s objects.
‘Under Dai’s guidance, I researched the thin embroidered slice of the Worcester Clothier’s Pall, given by Peter Prattington to the Society, locating the remainder in The Commandery in Worcester – with an equally thin hole set in the middle. Such was the excitement at this development that Dai invited me, a non-Fellow and a comparative youngster, to deliver a paper about the discovery to the Fellowship at one of their miscellany of papers.
‘Dai’s convivial hospitality at the Society knew no bounds. The morning coffee and afternoon tea trolley were rolled up to the Fellow’s Room at set times, for staff and Fellows alike to converge and converse. The Society’s cellar was opened at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon for a drink before setting off on our journeys home for the weekend. Dai also produced the ancient cocktail recipes for the annual Society’s celebrations of Christmas and the Anniversary, some of which were completely lethal and involved bizarre ingredients such as kumquats and wormwood. In preparation for one annual event, I once had a race with Dai to see who could open the most number of wine bottles in 30 minutes: Dai won with 32 (I had a paltry 10).
‘Once our annual staff meeting took place at Stonehenge and Avebury and we were treated to an alcoholic picnic amongst the stones, complete with a guided tour by Dai and his comrade-in-arms, the late Geoff Wainwright FSA
. We were fascinated as we walked along the Avenue with Geoff describing how the ancients would have approached the ritual site; Dai waving an umbrella around in imitation of an ancient weapon.
‘The Society and myself are the poorer for this loss: Dai certainly planted a flagstone in my career path. Heaven has gained two new bartenders in Dai and Geoff. They’ll be mixing up their lethal alcoholic drinks for the angels.’
• Anne Sutton FSA:
‘I would just like to record my sorrow at the death of Dai Evans. I used to attend lectures at the Society regularly while he was General Secretary, and it was always a pleasure to talk to him, and be reminded that there was sherry upstairs afterwards!’
• Patricia Wenz: ‘It was with great sadness that I heard of Dai's passing. But how typical of him (and how fitting!) that it should fall on St David's Day.
‘In November 1995, a few days before starting my new job as Secretary to the General Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, I received a short, handwritten letter from Dai. He outlined the schedule for my first few days of induction at Burlington House, and then added “As I have your CV I thought it only fair that you should have one on (sic) me!” A five-page document was enclosed.
‘That gesture was typical of Dai, as I found over the five years that I worked for him and the Society: being thoughtful and “fair”; taking an interest in one's own interests and studies outside the day job; offering me and my husband one of the Society's allocated tickets to the Royal Garden Party (1998); inventing new traditions (the mulled wine reception at Christmas that was later balanced by the summer reception with the equally highly potent wine cup); and marking “Millennium Eve” with a bring-and-share meal in the Committee Room (which included Dai's own roast leg of Welsh lamb) followed by seeing the New Year in, with Champagne, on the roof of Burlington House. “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive…” It was a pleasure and a privilege to have known and worked with Dai. And it was great fun, too.’
• Vincent Megaw FSA:
‘When Dai was around there was a great deal of laughter, and he was ever ready to help us revolting ex-colonials. Just as John Hopkins used to keep me up with the latest gossip about the Fellowship – handwritten of course – Dai would be ready for a debriefing at the pub across Piccadilly. As the current Gen Sec makes plain, as well as all the fun, the way Dai managed to drag the Society kicking and screaming into the 21st century deserves an inscription over the portal of Burlington House apud Christopher Wren.’
• Jason Wood FSA
(Chairman, National Trust Archaeology Panel 2005–14): ‘Dai was in his final three-year term as a member of the National Trust’s Archaeology Panel, when he was sadly forced to stand down due to ill health. Though incapacitated and frustrated, he kept up a regular optimistic dialogue – not quite “the medical bulletins posted on the Palace Gates” (as he described them) but a running commentary on various diagnoses and treatments to alleviate problems he considered in part to be a consequence of pushing heavy wheel barrows during his digging days (a warning to us all).
‘Occasionally I would receive one of Dai’s bulletins but actually addressed to someone else, followed a few minutes later by another saying “I meant of course Dear Jason – it was quite a good lunch!”
‘Dai was a valuable if sometimes forthright member of the panel, but his advice more than made up for what he himself termed his “nuisance factor”, and the plain-spoken intervention that normally followed the preface: “Now I don’t want to start rocking boats that you wish to keep stable, Chairman…”
‘I and the Trust deeply appreciated Dai’s unfailing help and wise counsel. He was a great sport and is a great loss to our profession.’
• Ann Saunders FSA: '
Dai was so sweet and kind and fun-loving and free spirited and very, very Welsh. We have never had a better General Secretary.'
• Cherry Lavell: ‘I was really sorry to read of Dai’s death. I knew him best as one of my six classmates in Cardiff 1963–66 and I regarded him as by far the steadiest of us, managing the work with great competence and cheerfulness and also having a good time on the side. As a mature student I was 15 years their senior (and the only woman), but they didn’t patronise me as “auntie” (at least not as far as I knew!) and Dai was notably courteous. On the dig he was skilled, but I remember an occasion when he felt out of his depth and was not afraid to ask for help. He’s a great loss to archaeology.’
• Stephen Dunmore FSA
(Chief Executive, Fundraising Regulator): ‘Dai moved from Wales to the Inspectorate in London in 1977. As part of a team responsible for field archaeology and historic landscape conservation across Southern England, he was immediately at the forefront in challenging the Inspectorate’s longstanding focus on historic buildings and sites in care – again, largely buildings – as its overriding priority. He argued strongly for the need to protect and conserve archaeological landscapes rather than sites in isolation. In addition, he recognised and promoted the advantages of better collaboration with other conservation and record-keeping bodies – the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments and the Nature Conservancy Council.
‘Not least, he was instrumental in persuading the Inspectorate to adopt a more professional approach to managing the interface between its conservation responsibilities and the town and country planning system. He championed the development of county Sites and Monuments Records as an academic and planning resource; and ensured that, with improved and more accessible data, the Inspectorate could at last present a more convincing conservation case at planning enquiries.
‘His holistic approach, shared with Geoffrey Wainwright and a handful of other colleagues, ruffled some feathers amongst more conservative elements, but even they found it difficult to resist his enthusiasm and energy, always underpinned by wisdom and scholarship.’
published an obituary for the late Ivor Noël Hume FSA
on 17 March, under the heading, ‘Wilfully eccentric British archaeologist renowned for his work on excavating America’s early colonial history.’ In a long piece rich in personal history and anecdote, we learn that as a boy, he told an uncle who paid his school fees that he wanted to be an archaeologist. ‘Young man,’ thundered the uncle, turning purple, ‘archaeology’s an avocation, not a profession!’ (an experience not unlike one related by the late Geoff Wanwright FSA
, above). As Chief Archaeologist at Colonial Williamsburg, he was not impressed with the way excavated artefacts were neither recorded nor preserved, neglected in favour of building remains. ‘Often outspoken and prickly, he demanded: “Why are we being paid to save this stuff if we don’t show it to the public?” Instead he put objects wherever there was space. “My attitude was that this belongs to the public,” he said.’
Memorials to Fellows
‘Two Presidents of the Society of Antiquaries and the mother of one of them are buried under this modest Victorian tombstone (right) in the churchyard of St Lawrence, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire,’ writes Norman Hammond FSA
‘The monument was initially commissioned by Sir John Evans FSA
(President 1885–92) for his first wife, Harriet Ann Dickinson, in 1858. His second wife, Frances, who died in 1890, was added, and then Evans himself on his death in 1908. His son by Harriet, Sir Arthur Evans FSA
(President 1914–19) chose to be interred in his parents’ grave and his name was added to the south side of the stone. Sir John Evans’s third wife, Maria Lathbury, was the mother of Dame Joan Evans FSA
, the Society’s first woman President (1959–64).
‘The now almost illegible inscription on the tombstone was recorded by the Hertfordshire Family and Population History Society in 1990. The publication mentions a memorial window in the church to Harriet Evans, that could not be found. It also notes, ‘There is a monument to Sir John EVANS which is so high and poorly lighted as to be untranscribable.’ This, by W Richmond, is up on the south wall of the chancel, with a portrait medallion of Evans at its base (left). The inscription panel is in a veined greenish stone, and lettering is only just apparent: it would be a service if somebody were to take a ladder and a raking light and decipher the text.
‘John Evans acquired his interest in fossils and numismatics through his father, the Rev Arthur Benoni Evans, and although he bypassed university to join his uncle John Dickinson in the family paper-making business at Abbots Langley, he ‘filled his spare time with numismatic and antiquarian studies’ (Yolanda Foote, ODNB
). He was elected FSA in 1852.’
The Wisdom of Fellows
‘It may well be right’, says Robert Merrillees FSA
, ‘that Cretomania: Modern Desires for the Minoan Past
, edited by Nicoletta Momigliano FSA
and Alexandre Farnoux, is ‘the first volume entirely devoted to … modern responses to (and uses of) the Minoan past’, as the blurb says
. For the record, however, it should be noted that a catalogue was recently produced of an exhibition held in the Musée d'Archéologie nationale in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, from 5 October 2014 to 19 January 2015, on La Grèce des Origines entre rêve et archéologie
. It is the first time I recall seeing a study published on the artistic impact of Minoan civilisation on contemporary taste. As I don't have a copy of Cretomania
, it may already have been taken into account in this book.’
Max Craven FSA
, author of John Whitehurst: Innovator, Scientist, Geologist and Clockmaker
, was delighted to read in Salon
that an export licence had been temporarily withheld in respect of a John Whitehurst FRS wheel barometer.
‘It appears to be in absolutely wonderful condition’, he writes, ‘but it is a pity that it does not use Whitehurst's unique and pioneering 0-60 scale to express barometric pressure, which are in my view more important for that reason (and, as wheel barometers, scarcer, unlike signpost ones which are mainly with 0-60 scale). I illustrated two similar wheel barometers in my monograph on Whitehurst, which was kindly mentioned in Salon
a few months back. We know from letters and from actual examples of his equally sought-after signpost barometers that some clients preferred the conventional 28-31 inch scale, and I quoted a letter from Matther Boulton to his daughter suggesting she “put a paper scale to my diagonal baromtr otherwise you will not understand that wch Mr. Whitehurst hath put.”
‘There is, however, another specimen in a public collection, even down to the inches scale, at Wollaton Hall Museum (it was supplied to Lord Middleton in the 1760s), albeit in a distressed – perhaps it would be kinder to say “unrestored” – state when I photographed it in the stores there some years ago. I did include a picture of it, along with its en suite wind direction indicator. Whitehurst's wheel barometers were more than once supplied en suite with one of these even scarcer devices to lie either side of a chimneypiece.
‘Let us hope that the present example will manage to remain here and find an appropriate place for people to enjoy it. What a shame, too, that it seems to lack provenance.’
Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Unless indicated otherwise, tea will be served at 16.15, and the Meeting will commence at 17.00 precisely. Online ballots close at noon at the date of the scheduled ballot. At Ordinary Meetings, ballots open at 16.00 and close at 16.20. The results are read at the beginning of the Meeting.
23 March: 'Secret Places: The Unsung Lives of Medieval Churches', lecture by Martin Renshaw and Dr Victoria Harding.
30 March: 'The Chapel of the Blessed Trinity at Stonor, Oxfordshire: Some Recent Findings', lecture by David Clark, FSA.
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that lecture programmes are planned between 6 and 12 months in advance.
Forthcoming Public Events
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.
21 March: 'Faking King Arthur in the Middle Ages' by Richard Barber FSA
25 April: 'Hands Across Time: Medieval Fingerprints in Wax Seals' by Fellows Elizabeth New and Philippa Hoskin
16 May: 'The Vulliamy Clockmakers: Two Clocks in the Antiquaries’ Collection' by Fellows Jonathan Betts and Roger Smith
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.
Society Dates to Remember
Join us for an introductory tour of Burlington House to learn more about the Society and its resources. Whether you're a new Fellow or just haven't been to Burlington House, this is a great opportunity to learn more about your Society, your Fellowship benefits, and ways to become more involved.
Introductory Tours for Fellows
Tours are free for Fellows, but booking is required: 23 March, 11 May, 29 June.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
9 June 2017: Join us for lunch at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, followed by a talk by Fellow David Jenkins (Principal Curator, Transport at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea) on his lates book, I Hope to Have a Good Passage (the Business Letter Book of Captain Daniel Jenkins, 1902-1911). Contact Bob Child FSA (email@example.com) for information.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 April 2017: Ivory: The Real Thing? The Roman Ivories from York and Brigantia by Fellows Stephen Greep and Sonia O'Connor. (18.00, Bar Convent, York.) Contact Stephen Greep, FSA, at email@example.com for information.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
2017: Courses and Workshops in the Historic Environment (Oxford)
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education has a programme of courses at Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills for the historic environment, grounded in everyday working experience. These short practical courses are open to all, from historic environment professionals to members of the public with a keen interest in archaeology and historic buildings. The programme is endorsed by CIfA, the IHBC, the Archaeology Training Forum and FAME, and has been developed in conjunction with leading heritage practices. Courses are linked to the National Occupational Standards for Archaeology, and for Town Planning, Conservation and Building Control, and are widely accepted for continuous professional development. Details of National Occupational Standards. Full details can be found online.
5–6 April: The Setting of Heritage Assets and Places
11 April: An Introduction to GIS for Archaeologists
8–10 May: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings
15–16 May: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field
18 May: Stratigraphic Analysis in Archaeology
24 May: Project Management in Archaeology: an Introduction
7 June: Photographing Historic Buildings
20–21 June: Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessment
26 June: Archaeological Writing for Publication
5–7 July: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance.
22 March: London’s Unseen Chapels: From the Notebooks of Canon Clarke (London)
An event at Lambeth Palace Library to celebrate the life and work of Canon Basil Fulford Lowther Clarke (1908–78). From the age of 15, Basil Clarke kept a record on the architecture and architects of Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches and Chapels which he visited, predominately in England and Wales but also in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, Lambeth Palace Library, and the Church of England Record Centre are mounting a joint exhibition which brings to life the hidden world of London’s chapels. The event will include a lecture by Jennifer Freeman FSA, former Director of Historic Chapels Trust, entitled ‘London's Churches and Chapels; a Miscellany’, followed by a wine reception. See online for details.
25 March: How to Choose your Favourite Church (Midhurst)
Janet Gough, Former Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings at the Church of England, will give an illustrated talk at the launch of her book, Churches of the Church of England, which features a church from each of the 42 dioceses. At 6 pm at St George’s Church, Trotton (GU31 5EN). RSVP Nicholas Hall FSA, Churchwarden, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
31 March–2 April: The Archaeology of Caesar in Britain and Gaul (Oxford)
Colin Haselgrove FSA and Andrew Fitzpatrick FSA have organised a conference of international speakers to discuss Julius Caesar’s Battle for Gaul. The dramatic opening chapter in Britain’s written history, Caesar's invasions have long been neglected by archaeologists and historians, and often dismissed as a sideshow to the Battle for Gaul that left few archaeological traces and changed little. This weekend conference will explore the war's archaeology and its aftermath. Leading scholars will consider Caesar as a politician and general, the combatants, their bases, the battle sites and the lasting consequences of the Battle for Gaul. The conference will appeal to those interested in archaeology, ancient history, military history, and numismatics. Speakers include Greg Woolf FSA and Ian Ralston FSA. See online for details.
3–6 April: Objects and Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World, 1200–1800 (Southampton)
Objects and possessions define us, yet in many ways we know little about them from a historical perspective. This interdisciplinary conference, which takes place at the University of Southampton’s Avenue Campus, looks at material culture across a long timeframe in order to explore the worlds of goods and objects across Europe and its overseas colonies, the connections and relationships facilitated by the exchange of goods, the importance and interpretation of the inheritance of goods and objects, and the ways in which goods brokered relationships between Europe and the wider world in the period. The aim is to deepen our understanding of how goods ‘worked’ in a variety of social, economic and cultural contexts. A closing keynote address will be given by Chris Woolgar FSA. For details see online.
7 April: Design for Cornwall (Truro)
The Cornish Buildings Group, Cornwall Council, Royal Institute of British Architects and the Cornwall Architectural Trust present new and challenging papers at a one-day conference based around the topic of architectural design. See online for details.
19 April: S J Parris and Tracy Borman in conversation (London)
Prophecy writer S J Parris (the pseudonym of journalist, author and literary critic Stephanie Merritt) will swap Elizabethan stories with historian and author of The Private Lives of the Tudors Tracy Borman in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace. On display will be the execution warrant of Mary Queen of Scots, with other Elizabethan books and manuscripts from the collections of Lambeth Palace Library. See online for details.
19–21 April: Archaeology: A Global Profession (Newcastle)
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists’ Annual Conference will cover three broad themes: professionalism, protection and discovery. Archaeology should be without borders, and professional archaeology must be without borders. The conference will provide an opportunity to report on some of the progress made and to explore both the opportunities and difficulties of professionalising across borders. Confirmed sessions include ‘A Broader Vision for Brexit’, ‘Built Heritage in Conflict’ and ‘Archaeology and UK Soft Power’. See online for details.
20–22 April: Queen’s House Conference 2017: European Court Culture & Greenwich Palace, 1500–1750 (Greenwich)
Royal Museums Greenwich and the Society for Court Studies are pleased to announce a major international conference to mark the 400th anniversary year of the Queen’s House, Greenwich. Designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 and completed in 1639, this royal villa is an acknowledged masterpiece of British architecture and the only remaining building of the 16th and 17th-century palace complex. Today the Queen’s House lies at the centre of the World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, where the conference will be held. Keynote speakers will include Simon Thurley FSA. Full details online.
22 April: Late Iron Age Oppida (Reading)
A day conference at the Henley Business School, University of Reading Whiteknights Campus, which will examine current understanding of British Iron Age oppida. Ten invited speakers representing some of the most exciting and up to date research projects on Iron Age towns and their environs will present their thoughts and recent findings. There will also be discussion and debate on present and future directions for research in this area. Speakers include Michael Fulford FSA, Tom Moore FSA, Colin Haselgrove FSA, David McOmish FSA, Philip Crummy FSA and Stewart Bryant FSA. See online for details.
6 May: The Fruitful Body: Gender and Image (London)
The Women’s Studies Group 1558–1837 holds its annual workshop at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ. Karen Hearn FSA, keynote speaker, will talk on ‘Women, agency and fertility in early modern British portraits.’ Early modern painted portraits are constructs (like literary texts). They result from choices – to include, to exclude – and were made for specific contexts and purposes. Hearn’s paper will consider 16th- and early-17th-century British portraits of women, and will address the types of information that they offer today. All participants are invited to prepare a contribution of no more than five minutes, from any discipline related to the speaker's subject, with 30 copies of any handouts. See online for further information.
20 May: The Eleventh Century Church of Chithurst and its Architectural Context (Midhurst)
Eric Fernie FSA will give an illustrated lecture at 7 pm at St George’s Church, Trotton (GU31 5EN). By this date, work should have commenced on re-roofing the church, handsomely grant-aided by the Listed Places of Worship and supported by many local donors. RSVP Nicholas Hall FSA, Churchwarden, at email@example.com.
20 May: Lectures on Medieval and Post-Medieval Effigies (Lichfield)
A Church Monuments Society Study Day at Lichfield Cathedral will include consideration of effigies by Chantrey, Epstein, Hollins and Westmacott. See online for details.
6 June: Liturgical Books and the Medieval Library (London)
It has long been conventional in the history of books and book collections of the Middle Ages to draw a distinction between liturgical books and library books. In practice, however, the distinction was less clear-cut. Tessa Webber FSA will examine the evidence to question how far the conventional bi-partite categorisation of books as 'liturgical' and 'library' reflects the way in which books were conceived during the Middle Ages. at Lambeth Palace Library. At Lambeth Palace Library. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 June: Fifty Years of Conservation Areas (London)
In the last of a series of free lectures as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, Simon Thurley FSA joins Desmond Fitzpatrick FSA at the Museum of London to talk about Conservation Areas. They were designated in 1967, and today at the golden anniversary there are some 10,000 sites. The presentation will explore their origins, variety and challenges for the future. Details online.
17–18 June: Norwich and the Medieval Parish Church c 900–2017: The Making of a Fine City (Norwich)
A conference hosted by the Medieval Parish Churches of Norwich Research Project (undertaken at the University of East Anglia and funded by The Leverhulme Trust). All 58 churches, existing, ruined or lost, are included in the project, which seeks insight into how the medieval city developed. The conference (supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art and Purcell) will present the churches in their immediate local context and in the broader framework of urban churches in Britain and northern Europe. Subjects will include documentary history, the architectural fabric of the buildings and their place in Norwich topography, the development of architecture and furnishings, the representation of the churches and their post-Reformation history. Speakers will include local and international scholars, as well as the UEA research team, Brian Ayers FSA, Clare Haynes, T A Heslop FSA, and Helen Lunnon FSA. Details to be announced.
23–25 June: The Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland: Results, Implications and Wider Contexts (Oxford)
This weekend conference will provide an opportunity to explore some of the results of the AHRC-funded Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland project and to set these into wider contexts. Papers will be presented by members of the Atlas team as well as by colleagues working on related themes within and beyond Britain and Ireland. Members of the Hillfort Study Group, and of the Project Steering Committee have been invited to chair sessions and lead discussion. All are welcome to attend and a particular invitation is extended to those who contributed to the Citizen Science initiative associated with this project. Speakers include Eileen Wilkes FSA, Ian Ralston FSA, Mark Bowden FSA, Rachel Pope FSA, Kate Waddington FSA and Gary Lock FSA. See online for details.
24 June: Memorials in the Marches (Ludlow)
St Laurence's Church houses a fine set of memorials to people associated with the Council of Wales and the Marches over the period 1550–1650. The Ludlow Palmers, who raise money for the Conservation Trust for St Laurence, an independent charity devoted to conserving the church’s fabric and treasures, are hosting a conference in the church, on the church monuments, in association with the Church Monuments Society. Fellows can obtain a 15% discount. See online for details.
6 July: A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909 (London)
Arthur Burns (King’s College, London) gives a talk after the Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society. At Lambeth Palace Library. All are welcome, contact email@example.com.
21 October: The Long Sunset: the Country House c 1840–1940 (Lewes)
Sue Berry FSA introduces this conference on the theme of how the country house and its setting changed in design and function between 1840 and 1939, comparing the grand houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with their formal gardens and large staff, with the more intimate houses and gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent developments. Speakers include Michael Hall FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA. Visits related to the conference are planned throughout 2017. See online for details.
28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.
Call for Papers
19 April: Gertrude Bell: Her Life, Work, and Legacy (Newcastle)
Traveller, archaeologist, cartographer, interpreter, photographer, writer, kingmaker and official correspondent of the Arab Bureau during the First World War, Gertrude Bell occupied a wide variety of roles during her life. She was appointed Oriental Secretary under Sir Percy Cox in 1917, and her expertise in the geography of the Middle East led to her involvement in the Cairo Conference of 1921, in which she played a central role in the formation of modern Iraq. This interdisciplinary symposium will showcase research on any aspect of Bell’s life, work, and legacy. We welcome and encourage papers from a range of fields, including, but not limited to: History, Archaeology, Politics, Literature, Geography, and Architecture. Please send abstracts of 150 words for 20-minute papers to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 24 March 2017.
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London is appointing a Director of Development and Communications. Closing date for applications 27 March 10 am.
The Museum seeks a dynamic and enterprising individual to lead its small but highly accomplished Development team. Having just finished a successful £6 million Catalyst Challenge Grant, the Museum stands poised to develop new strategies to cultivate existing and new relationships with corporate partners, foundations, individuals, and legacies. Together with the Director and Senior Management Team, the new Director of Development will be at the centre of mapping out the future path of this distinguished, historic museum. Full details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.