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Salon: Issue 368
18 July 2016

Next issue: 1 August 2016 

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.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary


Burlington House Courtyard Lates

The Society is delighted by the success of the second Courtyard 'late' event this summer (15 July).  We welcomed more than 470 people, and were pleased to be collaborating with the other five courtyard societies to share a very diverse audience.

We helped visitors learn about the Society's 'Georgian Legacy', the period of time that the Society was based at Somerset House, and its early contributions to archaeology. The highlight of the night was a short play, Samuel Foote's The Nabob, which lampooned an Ordinary Meeting of Fellows. It was performed by a group of professional actors and the Society's own Projects Librarian, Adrian James! In addition we displayed objects from the Library and Museum collections, hosted introductory tours to the Library, and kicked off the Festival of Archaeology (nationwide this week!) with our own General Secretary running an informal learning and handing table with objects borrowed from Reading Museum and from our own collection.

We'd like to thank the staff, volunteers and Fellows who made the event possible. Fellows who volunteered included Anthony Davis (Library Tours), David Owen Norris (provided 19th century music) and Robert Weaver (Visitor Assistant). We are also very grateful to those Fellows who attended the event and contributed to its success by bringing family and friends. 

Finally, we would like to encourage Fellows and readers of Salon to join us for the next event on 26 August.

The event in August will focus on the Society's modern legacy, and visitors will have the opportunity to meet some of our Research Grant award recipients or researchers who have recently worked with items in out collections. Again, visitors will be able to explore small exhibits, join an introductory Library tour, meet Fellows, and enjoy cake and prosecco from the cash bar. Activities will also be held at the Royal Academy of Art and the Royal Society of Chemistry — guests are strongly encouraged to take this opportunity to experience the full variety of art, history and science available at Burlington House.

More information is available online at The Society's programme of 'lates' was generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Unlocking Our Collections: Deisis

The Society of Antiquaries has, over more than 300 years, accumulated astonishing collections. Through the Library and Museum collections at Burlington House (London) and Kelmscott Manor (Oxfordshire), the Society cares for a vast array of material, ranging from Old Master paintings to archaeological objects, from prints and drawings to one of the finest libraries for antiquarian and archaeological research anywhere.

This year, we have launched a new programme to highlight a variety of the treasures in our collections, focusing on one special object each month. The features, which consist of short text, sometimes with supporting material or short videos, are published on the Society’s website and shared via this newsletter and our social media profiles (such as Facebook and Twitter). Their aim is to raise awareness and appreciation of the Society’s wonderful collections, but also to engage Fellows more closely in the life of the Society by calling on those Fellows with knowledge and expertise of objects in the collections to share their knowledge with our public audiences.

Our July feature is by guest curator, Philippe Malgouyres FSA (Conservateur en chef du patrimoine, Département des objets d'art, Musée du Louvre). He explains the Society's Deisis (on display in the Fellows' Room). Visit our website for full details.

If you have a favourite object in the Society's Library or Museum collections and would be willing to research and write a short feature for our website, please contact the Collections Manager, Anooshka Rawden, at

A Safe, Inclusive and Egalitarian Space

Tim Loughton FSA has been busy since the last Salon. Until 11 July he was campaign manager for Andrea Leadsom, who was bidding to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister. Things had gone well fast, as Leadsom found herself pitched against Theresa May in a final vote. Two days before, Loughton had led a march of supporters shouting ‘Leadsom for leader’ towards Parliament. But the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Archaeology and for the British Museum, found himself defending unwise remarks by Leadsom to the media, and she withdrew. May is now leader of the country.
Heritage, arts and culture, and individual Fellows, are being affected by recent political events as much as the UK as a whole (Loughton’s fellow Conservative Members of Parliament John Howell FSA and Chris Skidmore FSA supported remaining in the EU).
In May’s new Government, Karen Bradley (an EU supporter) has been appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, to succeed John Whittingdale. Any prior formal engagement by Bradley with culture or media is not apparent, though archaeologists will recognise her Parliamentary Constituency, Staffordshire Moorlands, as the location for one of the more spectacular Roman finds of recent years. Dug up by a metal-detectorist in 2003, the Staffordshire Moorlands enamelled pan (a bronze bowl once fitted with a long handle) has the names of forts of Hadrian’s Wall written around its rim.
Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy in Cameron's Government, has been removed from the Front Bench and appointed to the Privy Council.
On 7 July the Executive Committee of the National Museum Directors' Council (NMDC, whose members include Ian Blatchford FSA, Director of the Science Museum Group) issued a statement responding to ‘reports of racist rhetoric and abuse following the result of the EU Referendum.’
‘NMDC members pledge to continue to provide a safe, inclusive and egalitarian space for all members of the communities they serve,’ the committee writes. ‘Museums have a key part to play in promoting a tolerant and diverse society. The UK’s national and regional museums have hugely benefited from working with EU partners and colleagues over the last decades on a wide variety of projects. The decision to leave the EU will have a significant impact on many museums, with uncertainty over existing and future projects and programmes, loss of access to European funding, and potential implications for the large number of EU citizens working within the UK museum sector. However, it will not mean the end of museums’ international co-operation and exchange.’
Among further responses to Salon’s Special Issue on Brexit (and see earlier follow-up), are these two. Gill Hey FSA is Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Archaeology, and Regional Manager, Oxford Archaeology North. Oxford Archaeology is unusual in the UK for the extent of its international work, which has included expert advice to private and public sector clients such as development banks and UNESCO, as well as archaeological fieldwork on the European continent and beyond. I asked Hey for her thoughts (she was away at the time of my general request). This is what she said:  
‘I share the disbelief and dismay of most of my colleagues. Our financial success depends upon a healthy economy and I fear for future investment in areas such as housing and infrastructure. We had hoped that we were in a period of growth when we could invest in new technology and undertake more innovative community archaeology, but that has been put in jeopardy. However, this is not just a direct financial blow, but also raises concerns for our non-UK EU staff (approximately 10% of our workforce and a highly-valued part of it) and also for the legislation which underpins our work, such as the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments. Possibilities of collaboration with EU partners and funding through EU institutions, let alone working in Europe again, recede. Hard to think about anything good to say about the situation at the moment.’
Peter Hinton FSA, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), found ‘great therapeutic value’ in the Special Issue on Brexit, and thought it ‘useful to share with those who aren’t Fellows’. CIfA has published a statement on the EU Referendum, noting ‘archaeologists’ strong feelings’ on the matter. It includes this paragraph:
‘CIfA’s Board of Directors [which includes Jan Wills FSA (Chair), Paul Belford FSA, Gerry Wait FSA, Hinton and Beverley Ballin Smith FSA] has reaffirmed its commitment to working with archaeologists from around the globe to promote professional standards and ethical behaviour, to maximise the benefits that archaeologists bring to society. One of the great benefits that archaeologists offer is the power to help different people understand the great variety of cultures and traditions of humanity, to recognise how civilisations can thrive on cooperation and how conflicts can arise where cooperation is absent, and to realise how socio-economic problems are generated within societies as often as by outsiders.’
CIfA’s next annual conference is titled Archaeology: A Global Profession. It will be held at the University of Newcastle 19–21 April 2017.

On 15 July Mary Beard FSA spoke with perception and quiet sadness on Brexit and our Cultural Identity, in the last of five 15-minute talks broadcast by BBC Radio 4. Situating herself at a recent David Gilmour concert in the Roman amphitheatre at Pompeii, she reflects on the ‘New Europe that we British seem to be about to lose’. ‘My career as an academic,’ she says, ‘can be measured against the history of the Common Market, the EEC and the EU.’ During that time what she does, the context in which she does it and how she defines herself and her job, have changed dramatically, ‘taking a decidedly European turn, and, without doubt, a turn for the better.’ She concludes pessimistically. ‘I can’t help thinking that what’s left of my working life will see the intellectual boundaries we thought we’d broken down, closing up again.’ ‘The song', she says quoting Gilmour, 'is over.'

Rightmove De-lists Victorian Warehouse

Hull City Council listed Braves’ Hall, a four-storey former warehouse, as ‘a particularly fine and rare example of a Victorian cast iron framed building.’ Historic England, however, has not given it statutory Listing (when pushed, it said the site ‘was probably of local interest, [but] it did not meet the necessary criteria for a national Listing’). So when it came to defending the building or creating a new car park, to further ‘the future development of the area’, the Council was able to ignore its own historical advice and recommend demolition.
The Victorian Society, whose Trustees include David Cannadine FSA, Alasdair Glass FSA and Simon Jenkins FSA, wants the Council to save Braves’ Hall. It recommends refurbishing an existing multi-storey car park, and incorporating the old warehouse within a new development, ‘to maintain a sense of local identity’.
James Hughes, Victorian Society Senior Conservation Adviser, said in a release: ‘This short-sighted approach of demolishing locally listed buildings will harm Hull’s long term future and it’s desirability as a place to live and invest. The Council should reconsider its decision – or at the very least debate the issue at a planning committee.’
The property had been marketed with a year’s free rent, but has been withdrawn. Photo Hull Daily Mail.

A Tale of Anglo-Saxon Rivets

Nigel Maslin FSA, who edits Saxon, a colourful twice-yearly bulletin from the Sutton Hoo Society, writes with news of a curious story he has put on the front page of the new edition.
In 1939 Charles Phillips FSA, one of the excavators of the famous Sutton Hoo ship burial, took a couple of dozen ship’s rivets home with him. His daughter has now given them to the Sutton Hoo Society, and Maslin has arranged for them to be displayed in Orford Museum in Orford Castle, where they are on short-term loan.
Phillips described the rivets in his autobiography (My Life in Archaeology, 1987):
‘It was sad to leave the boat open to the sky and I took a large sample of clench-nails and spikes from different significant parts of the ship. With any luck the clench-nails still retained, fused on by corrosion, the diamond-shaped rove against which the clenching of the red hot nail had been done. The grain of the wood of the two strakes being clenched together could still be seen on the shank of the nail because iron rust had taken the shape of its grain. But no metallic iron ever remained, all was rust more or less retaining the shape of the original iron.’
What happened to them next? Maslin continues the story:
‘This “large sample of clench-nails and spikes” was stored away until they resurfaced last year, when Phillips’ daughter Penny offered them to the Sutton Hoo Society. Rivets were used to join the strakes (planks) of the ship, each consisting of a round head, shank and diamond-shaped rove; iron spikes fixed the gunwales and bolts were used for the ribs. Those surviving in situ were plotted by Rupert Bruce-Mitford FSA during his re-excavation of the ship in 1966–67¸ but those taken by Phillips have not previously been recorded. They no longer have any metallic iron content, because they have degraded to iron oxides and fused with the surrounding sandy soil. There are 23 separate items, four labelled in pencil by Phillips, using luggage labels.’
An article by Rosemary Cramp FSA in the same Saxon looks forward to the re-opening of Bede’s World (‘Rise, Fall and Revival’), which closed in February.
‘This has been the story of an important heritage site’, concludes Cramp, ‘which has many supporters in theory, as the response to the closure showed, but many of these visited quite infrequently, and its position is not favourable to attracting passing visitors. Moreover its always precarious funding did not allow for the sort of publicity to alert the public to the events and exhibitions which took place, and which might have brought in more visitors. In the end, probably, such sites need an endowment fund to allow them to flourish and to bring in revenue, but this one will have a future, and it will need support from all well wishers.’

The Battle of Maxwell’s Field

Ian Burrow FSA writes from Hopewell, NJ with news of a new battle about an old battle. A proposed development, he says, threatens the site where some say George Washington rallied his troops to defeat the British Redcoats in 1777. Others dispute this interpretation of history.
First, a statement from Burrow, who says the UK Battlefields Trust and the Royal Tigers’ Association, the veterans’ organisation of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, have joined the Save Princeton Coalition.
‘A key portion of the site of the Battle of Princeton in New Jersey (3 January 1777)', wrties Burrow, 'is under imminent threat of development from an unlikely source: the internationally renowned Institute for Advanced Study, former host of Einstein and Oppenheimer.
‘The Battle is notable as the first time the Continentals defeated British Regulars (chiefly the 17th Regiment) in a set-piece engagement, and it was the third in a rapid series of successes by Washington which dynamically re-energised the American Revolutionary cause.
‘The piece of land in question is immediately contiguous to the Princeton Battlefield State Park, and within the limits of the designated Princeton Battlefield National Historic Landmark. It is, however, private land owned by the Institute, who are apparently bent upon developing most of it for new faculty housing and now have most of the permissions they need for doing so.
‘The significance of the property, known as Maxwell’s Field, has been demonstrated through a series of historical and archaeological studies, culminating in an authoritative report, The Battle of Princeton Mapping Project: Report of Military Terrain Analysis and Battle Narrative, Princeton, New Jersey, funded by the National Park Service and prepared by the cultural resource management firm of John Milner Associates. The study used GIS and military KOCOA (Key Terrain, Observation, Cover and Concealment, Obstacles, and Avenues of Approach and Retreat) analytical tools, in conjunction with archaeological research and extensive analysis of primary sources, to analyse the battle in exhaustive detail.
‘The report concluded that a substantial portion of the American counterattack, which was led personally by Washington and forced the British into precipitate retreat, took place on Maxwell’s Field.
‘Currently, moral pressure is the main tool available to those who feel that the Institute, a well-endowed institution (assets $741 million) with extensive landholdings, has an obligation to save this essentially unaltered piece of battlefield landscape. The Institute has rejected all offers of mediation from state legislators. The Washington-based Civil War Trust’s offer to pay $1 million over the market value for the property has also been rejected.'
For further details, see the websites of the Princeton Battlefield Society and Campaign 1776.
The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) commissioned historians to report on the Princeton Battlefield Society’s report. Mark Peterson, Professor of History at University of California, Berkeley, wrote a 20-page review. ‘The fundamental weakness of the report,’ he concludes, ‘lies in the fact that its ultimate aim is to demonstrate a declarative statement, not to answer an open-ended question… the Milner Report wants to prove … that a greater proportion of the Battle of Princeton took place on the property which the IAS has planned to develop, and which the Princeton Battlefield Society, the report’s sponsors, oppose, than previous accounts of the battle would indicate.’ ‘… the Institute for Advanced Study is an important part of America’s intellectual, cultural, and political history, and a living institution with every prospect for continuing to promote and contribute to its already rich legacy.’
Fred Anderson, Professor of History at University of Colorado, Boulder, takes a more positive review of the revisionary battlefield study, recognising the validity of its methodology and its main conclusions. However, he says, ‘The authors of the Report … are mainly interested in examining the implications of their findings for the spatial dimensions and progress of the battle, and here they occupy weaker interpretative ground.’
‘Fortunately’, he concludes, ‘the Report’s authors … have created a hypothesis that can be tested by archaeological surveys… I hope that such surveys will at some point be made. In the meantime I cannot see any reason for the Institute to refrain from moving forward with the planned construction of housing units, provided that it takes care to have thorough archaeological assessments made of the building sites before construction is begun.’

New Galleries at the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland opened ten new galleries on 8 July, four from the Art and Design Department and six from Science and Technology. Among over 3,000 objects in the galleries, says the Museum, many have not been displayed for a generation. ‘And with almost 150 interactive displays, films and touchscreens, there are plenty of opportunities to get hands on and delve deeper into the collections. How do you fancy trying your hand at fashion design, building a bicycle or testing your driving skills in a Formula 1 car simulator?’
Alison Morrison-Low FSA, until recently Principal Curator, Historic Scientific Instruments and Photography and now a Research Associate at the Museum, describes the background to the Science and Technology galleries for Salon:
‘From the early days of the Industrial Museum of Scotland, founded in the aftermath of the Great Exhibition of 1851, technology has been at the heart of the museum on Edinburgh’s Chambers Street. We still collect cutting-edge tools and instruments, but these days our displays also include rockets and historic scientific treasures.
‘The museum has always been famous for our working models and hands-on displays, and this tradition continues into the digital age with virtual interactives. The combination of these experiences, the galleries themselves and the thousand objects within them, paints a picture of Scotland as a nation of innovation and enquiry. From inspiration to manufacture to use, the galleries show how science impacts on all our lives. Alongside Nobel prizes and world’s firsts are stories of everyday people and the everyday objects, from bridge girders to mobile phones.
‘The new Science and Technology galleries were many years in the planning and development. High up in the atrium roofspace, the Pilcher Hawk glider, the oldest surviving British aircraft, has been fully conserved and restored. It is at the top of a swooping fly-through of crucial early aircraft.
‘By contrast, Wellcome funding has helped create a Scottish centre for scientific engagement, with an emphasis on encouraging debate and discussion around current issues such as the science of genetics (with Dolly the sheep being a focal point), the development of new pharmaceuticals, and advances in prosthetics and bio-engineering.’
In the final phase of a 15-year Masterplan transforming the Museum, two further galleries in preparation will feature Ancient Egypt Rediscovered, and Exploring East Asia. Photos show the In Flight display, with Pilcher's Hawk high at the back (top), and catwalk models in the Fashion and Style gallery (left).

Early Roman Station Found Near Sheffield

A group of local people calling themselves The Time Travellers, amateur archaeology enthusiasts in South Yorkshire and north-east Derbyshire, have teamed up with Archaeological Research Services (ARS) and found a Roman signal station. The site at Whirlow Hall Farm, located between the Roman forts at Templeborough and Brough, was identified by geophysical survey, followed up by trial excavation which confirmed the nature of the buried remains.
Clive Waddington FSA, Managing Director of ARS, said in a press release that the project began when they noticed a plateau on the highest part of the field with impressive views down into Sheffield and in all directions. ‘The responses picked up in the geophysical survey were strong and clear, and together with the distinctive shape and size of the double-ditched monument left little doubt that this site was likely to be a Roman signal station.’ In a field of pasture rather than cultivation, the signal station would not show up as a crop-mark on aerial photographs, so ‘geophysics provides perhaps the only technique that can detect these sites in this kind of geology and topographic location.’
The evaluation trench revealed narrow construction slots for timber uprights for a stockade, possibly connected with cross braces to create a box rampart. The research, in which over 75 volunteers together with school groups and specialists took part, is supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

New Patron for Spalding Gentlemen’s Society

The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, founded in Lincolnshire in 1710, sends news of a new patron. Heather Rowland, Head of Library and Collections at the Society of Antiquaries (founded 1707), notes that the two societies have associations that go back to their origins, and that many of our most important early Fellows – Martin Folkes FSA, William Stukeley FSA and Maurice Johnson FSA among them – were members of both. See Other Forthcoming Heritage Events below for news of a Handel exhibition at Boughton House.
‘The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society,' it says in a release, 'is delighted to announce that Richard Montagu Douglas Scott FSA, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch and 12th Duke of Queensberry, is to become the Society Patron later this year. The 2nd Duke of Buccleuch became the first Patron of the Society in 1732, and the 9th Duke was also Patron until his death in 2007.
‘The Duke, who visited the Society earlier this year, accompanied by Crispin Powell, archivist at the family home at Boughton House in Northamptonshire, comments: “I am honoured to be asked to re-establish this historic family link, and was hugely impressed by the determination shown by the Society’s office bearers in pursuing a vision that will enable it to make a rich and relevant contribution to 21st century life.”
‘As a former Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Duke of Buccleuch has been closely involved in the heritage world and he is currently President of The Georgian Group and a Trustee of The Royal Collection. He believes that it is vitally important to share cultural experiences and enable people across the community to explore and learn about their past. Given that the Society’s collections are of great local history interest as well as being in several respects of national importance there is an exciting opportunity to broaden their accessibility and create a tourism destination for visitors.’

£8 Million Needed to Keep French Book of Hours

On 12 July then Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed a temporary export bar on a jewel-encrusted Book of Hours made in 1532. It belonged to François Ier of France (1494–1547). Inside the elaborate binding (8.5 by 6.5 cm) is a Christian devotional book painted with 20 religious images and prayers, most completed by the ‘1520s Hours Workshop’ in Paris. From François’ Renaissance court the book passed through numerous hands, including his sister Marguerite d’Angoulême, Henri IV, and Cardinal Mazarin. Jewelled books are considered extremely rare, says a press release from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, and the high-quality painting inside the book makes it a unique survival.
Peter Barber FSA, a member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, and Head of Cartographic and Topographic Materials at the British Library, said:
‘This magnificently illuminated and perfectly preserved manuscript prayer book, its gold cover glittering with precious stones, some of them engraved, is a unique survivor of the luxurious books combining Flemish, French and Italian elements that typified the Renaissance culture of the court of François Ier of France. Such splendidly bound manuscripts set the European standard, and Henry VIII is recorded as owning very similar books. They are now only known through mentions in inventories. The British public now has the chance to keep this unique surviving example, a European masterpiece in miniature, in the United Kingdom and available for display and study by future generations.’
The decision on the export licence application will be deferred until 11 October 2016. This may be extended until 11 April 2017 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £8 million.

Archaeological Awards and Festival

Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA, former President of the Society, was honoured at the biennial British Archaeological Awards, in a ceremony at the British Museum on 11 July. Seen here on right with Julian Richards FSA, who compered the event, Cunliffe was praised for his ‘exceptional contribution to our understanding of the past through his work, and as an inspiration to others.’
Richards summarised Cunliffe’s career from his appointment in 1966, at the age of 27, to lead the newly founded Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton. He has directed some of the UK’s most significant modern excavations, among them a Roman Palace at Fishbourne (West Sussex), an Iron Age hillfort at Danebury, a Roman fort at Portchester and a trading site at Hengistbury Head (Hampshire), and a sacred Roman Spring in Bath (Somerset), as well as a large fortified town at Le Yaudet in Brittany, with a history spanning much of the past 6,000 years.
The presenter of several radio and television programmes, he has written many landmark books. These include Iron Age Communities in Britain (fourth edition 2009), The Ancient Celts (1997), Facing the Ocean (2001), Europe Between the Oceans 9000 BC–AD 1000 (2008), and By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia (2015). He has supported key national archaeological institutions, including as Commissioner and Vice-Chair of English Heritage, President of the Council for British Archaeology, Trustee of the British Museum and Governor of the Museum of London.
‘We have an inbuilt need to know about the past and where we come from’, he has said. 'It is hardwired into us all.’
The Must Farm Project, excavating a well-preserved bronze age village in Cambridgeshire, was also given a discretionary award, for Best Archaeological Discovery.
Many Fellows were represented in the 15 short-listed projects. The winners were the POSTGLACIAL Project (Best Archaeological Innovation), Under London (Best Public Presentation of Archaeology), Westgate Oxford (Best Archaeological Project), Welsh Slate by David Gwyn FSA (Best Archaeological Book), and Battles, Bricks and Bridges (Best Community Engagement Project). Photo shows Nicky Milner FSA (centre) with the POSTGLACIAL team, praised for its imaginative approach to interactive online publication of a Mesolithic engraved stone.
The Awards flagged up the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology, which this year runs from 16 to 31 July. Writing in The Times on 9 July (subscription needed), Norman Hammond FSA described some of the many events and exhibitions, ranging from Ancient Poo and You at the Museum of London Docklands and ‘the archaeology of the Blitz in Islington’, to Monarch’s March at Rutland County Museum (‘design your own crown, shield and horseshoe before parading through the streets to Oakham castle to be raised to the peerage’).
The Festival is co-ordinated annually by the Council for British Archaeology, directed by Mike Heyworth FSA.

Historic England Research

John Cattell FSA, Head of the Investigation and Analysis Department at Historic England, writes to say that the third issue of Historic England Research, a digital magazine, is now available for downloading or reading online. As with previous editions, it brings elegant design and accessible editing to reporting substantial new research.
Linda Monckton FSA writes about Buddhist buildings in England and, with Ingrid Greenhow, Quaker Meeting Houses. Kathryn Morrison FSA surveys England’s shopping parades, on the publication of a new Introduction to Heritage Assets (IHAs). Paul Stamper FSA explains that the 44 IHAs, key thematic guidance texts, are all being revised by expert researchers; other recent titles include Drill Halls and Power Stations.
There are further articles on Sikh places of worship, the church interiors of Gothic Revival architect John Loughborough Pearson FSA, early buildings in Chipping Norton (with dendrochronological research by Martin Bridge FSA), and Reginald Farrer’s private rock garden in Clapham, Yorkshire (begun in 1894). The Bronze Age discoveries at Must Farm are put into their wider settlement and landscape contexts, and new research into historic and ancient landscapes in Cumbria and Lancashire, and separately in west Wiltshire, are described. Finally Owain Lloyd-James considers how ready councils are to take advantage of former Chancellor George Osborne’s promise to let them spend ‘100 per cent of the receipts from the assets they sell to improve their local services’, and what that might mean for their heritage assets?

Museum Archaeologists to Survey Archives 

Following debate about archaeological archives (see previous Salon), on 11 July The Telegraph published a letter from concerned archaeologists.
‘The lack of storage space for archaeological artefacts’, they write, ‘is not a new problem, and it affects the whole of the professional archaeological sector. It is being exacerbated by severe cuts to local authority budgets.’
Some organisations have resorted to commercial storage, they say, but in many cases there is no way out. ‘It is acceptable to dispose of some material once it has been studied, and sampling can preserve research potential without adding to storage problems. Dumping the material in skips, however, is no solution. The archaeological sector, professional and amateur alike, needs to be aware of the importance of arranging suitable storage for excavated materials.’
The letter is signed by Gail Boyle FSA, Chair Society for Museum Archaeology, Jan Wills FSA, Chair Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, Lorraine Mepham FSA, Chair Archaeological Archives Forum, Quinton Carroll, Chair Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers, Nick Shepherd, Chief Executive Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employees, and Mike Heyworth FSA, Director Council for British Archaeology.
‘The raising of this issue again’, Boyle tells Salon, ‘is a timely one for the Society for Museum Archaeology (SMA), since it has just been awarded funding by Historic England to conduct an annual survey of museums that hold archaeology collections, and to establish which are continuing to collect archives from archaeological projects.
‘Nearly every local authority museum is experiencing budget cuts that lead to staff losses. However, the true extent of the reductions in collecting and expertise are not accurately being measured. For a number of years Historic England has supported the gathering of information on local authority staffing levels in planning and Historic Environment Record services, but there has been no concomitant survey of museums. SMA is extremely grateful to Historic England for providing it with the opportunity to literally dig deeper. A summary of the project can be downloaded from the ‘projects’ page of the Society’s recently redesigned website.’

News of Fellows

Gavin Hannah FSA died on 5 July. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in 1988, listing his interests as Nuneham Courtenay and 18th-century Oxfordshire houses. Educated at the University of Birmingham, St. John's College, Cambridge and Kellogg College, Oxford, he taught in independent senior schools, examined History at A Level and trained as an ISI Inspector. He was Head of History at Summer Fields, Oxford, and known to many pupils as the author of books such as History for Common Entrance 13+ Exam Practice Questions (2014), and Mary Tudor 1553–1558 (2001).
Beatrice de Cardi FSA, archaeologist and administrator, died in July. An appreciation appears below.

A memorial service for Randolph Vigne FSA will be held at St Mary Abbots Church, Church St, Kensington on Friday 22 July 2016 at 2pm. The church is on the corner of Church St and Kensington High St, London W8. No flowers please. See below, Lives Remembered.

Taryn Nixon FSA, who has led MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) for 19 years, is stepping down from the job this autumn. In that time, says a statement on MOLA’s website, MOLA grew ‘into one of the best regarded and biggest heritage practices in Europe’. ‘It has been an extraordinary privilege’, says Nixon, ‘to lead the incredible team at MOLA – surely the best job in British archaeology. I have worked with great archaeologists and with some of the most inspiring businesses in the world, and been part of the evolution of our profession and the vital role archaeology plays at the heart of developing for our future.’ ‘I am absolutely delighted, however,’ she tells Salon, ‘to have been asked to continue to contribute by taking up an appointment as a non-Executive Director and Trustee on MOLA’s Board.’ See Vacancies at end.
David Dawson FSA, Director of Devizes Museum, was honoured at the UK Memory of the World (MoW) Awards at the Senedd in Cardiff on 21 June. Dawson and George Boston set up the UNESCO UK MoW register, which recognises the outstanding significance of particular records to the UK. Eleven items and collections joined the UK Register at the event, including the Medieval archive of Canterbury Cathedral, the Royal Institution laboratory notebooks of Michael Faraday, and the Declaration of Arbroath (1320). UNESCO established the MoW Programme in 1992, to promote universal access to documentary and audio-visual heritage, and its conservation and protection. Photo (Welsh Government) shows Dawson (left) and Boston (right) receiving a special award for their outstanding contribution from the First Minister of Wales.
Portmahomack on Tarbat Ness: Changing Ideologies in North-east Scotland, Sixth to Sixteenth Century AD, by Martin Carver FSA, Justin Garner-Lahire and Cecily Spall, was published by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in June. Rediscovered by archaeologists in the 1980s, the site at Portmahomack saw one of the largest research excavations to have taken place in Scotland, between 1994 and 2007. The book, says a press release, presents the archaeological discoveries made and considers their significance. In the sixth and seventh centuries Portmahomack was a high-ranking centre with monumental cist burials and links to the equestrian class in England. In the eighth century it was a monastery, creating manuscripts and making church vessels and a stunning repertoire of carved stone monuments, its monks looking to Ireland, western Scotland and northern England for their intellectual alliances. Around AD 800 a Viking raid ended the monastery, but it swiftly revived as a manufacturing and trading centre, now serving the protagonists of the Norse-Scottish wars. The book carries the story on as the old church of St Colman remained a weathervane of local society and its beliefs.
The Birth of Industrial Glasgow: The Archaeology of the M74, by Michael Nevell FSA, edited by Andrea Smith FSA and Frank Meddens FSA, was published in July by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The book, says a press release, gives an overview of the M74 Completion Project, of such a scale that no single publication could do it justice, marking a milestone in studies of the mid 19th to mid 20th centuries. Excavations examined massive complexes such as the Govan Iron Works and the Caledonian Pottery, as well as engineering works, foundries, lime works and a textile mill. Many different types of housing were also investigated, from purpose-built workers’ rows to ‘Greek’ Thomson tenements. The world-famous industrial might of Glasgow in the form of businesses large and small, wide-ranging and specialised, and the homes of the people involved, is described in detail in the archaeological reports and set in context by Nevell, the principal author.

The National Trust, wrote Sir Roy Strong FSA in The Times on 9 July (subscription needed), ‘is in an identity crisis. Its left-wing director-general, Dame Helen Ghosh, and its governors seem to be ashamed of its solidly middle-class membership’. His article responded to news that the Trust was offering tours of the contemporary heritage of Croydon, a south London Borough substantially redeveloped in the 20th century. ‘For the four and a half million members of the Trust’, wrote Strong, ‘this must come as something of a shock, as the Trust depends for its existence on precisely the people who live in such post-war horrendous high-rise jungles escaping from time to time to enjoy just what the Trust was founded to offer.’ Photo from Wikipedia shows No. 1 Croydon (formerly NLA Tower) designed by Richard Seifert & Partners (1970).
The London Topographical Society has published London Plotted: Plans of London Buildings c.1450-1720, by Dorian Gerhold FSA. ‘Detailed plans of London buildings survive in quantity from the 1670s onwards,’ writes Gerhold, ‘as well as some earlier ones. They cover houses from large to small, warehouses, wharves, industrial premises, markets, inns, company halls and so on, and most have never been published. The book draws together almost 200 of the best examples, from 30 different archives or record offices, ranging from Thomas Cromwell's mansion in Throgmorton Street to an 80-seat public convenience at Queenhithe. The plans are supplemented by views of the buildings, reconstruction drawings and portraits. The text explains how and why London’s tradition of ground plans arose, who the surveyors and their customers were, and what the plans tell us about London’s buildings and their occupants.’

‘We might watch telly — we love Britain’s Got Talent — but I’ll read before bed,’ Lucy Worsley FSA tells The Sunday Times on 17 July (subscription needed). ‘I’m back on speakers with my friend David Starkey FSA [the pair ended a long-running spat over presentational styles and misogyny in 2014], and I’m reading his book on Henry VIII’s wives. They’ll always fascinate me.’ In an interview column called A life in the day, Worsley says, ‘Prancing around on TV isn’t that different from being a museum curator, as we give tours, do sessions for kids and talk on local radio. I suppose I’m still doing what I did when I started out as a 21-year-old curator at Milton Manor, the Inigo Jones house in Oxfordshire.’
Warwick Ball FSA has updated his Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire, first published in 2000. ‘This new edition’, says the blurb, ‘expands on the seminal work of the first, and examines the lasting impact of the near Eastern influence on Rome on our understanding of the development of European culture. Ball explores modern issues as well as ancient, and overturns conventional ideas about the spread of European culture to the East.' The analysis includes links to the Roman Empire with Iran, Central Asia, India and China. 'The Near Eastern client kingdoms under Roman rule are examined in turn and each are shown to have affected Roman, and ultimately European, history in different but fundamental ways. The highly visible presence of Rome in the East – mainly the architectural remains, some among the greatest monumental buildings in the Roman world – are examined from a Near Eastern perspective and demonstrated to be as much, if not more, a product of the Near East than of Rome.’
Nicholas Stanley-Price FSA writes about Rome's Non-Catholic Cemetery in the July/August edition of Apollo, the subject of an art exhibition he has curated (see Other Forthcoming Heritage Events below). ‘The first recorded burial’, he writes, ‘dates from 1716, the basis for now celebrating a tercentenary. New work by historians, notably Edward Corp, has confirmed that the burial ground’s origins were linked to the arrival in Rome of the Stuart court in exile, several of whose members were of Protestant faith. On their deaths, the Papal authorities allowed them to be buried at the foot of the Pyramid, itself significantly the tomb of a Roman high official, Caius Cestius, dating to around 18 BC. Not surprisingly, this massive monument – now looking cleaner than it has for 40 years thanks to a recent restoration – makes an appearance in many of our selected exhibits.’ Photo shows The Grave of Keats by Walter Crane (1873), Ashmolean Museum Oxford.

David Bindman FSA has reviewed Painting in Britain 1500-1630: Production, Influences and Patronage (Oxford University Press/British Academy 2015), edited by Tarnya Cooper FSA, Aviva Burnstock, Maurice Howard FSA and Edward Town, in The Art Newspaper. The book’s origins in ‘cross-disciplinary work in the humanities, carried out by teams on the model of science research’, writes Bindman, ‘might suggest an impenetrable technical conversation, but the authors make a commendable attempt to make it comprehensible to non-specialists. An essay by Aviva Burnstock explains the enormous advance in the analysis of paintings over the past few years that enables greater accuracy in dating and identifying materials. All of this new knowledge of the dating of wooden supports and the paint used to identify workshops and artists is brought to bear in an illuminating way on the principal artists of the 16th and early 17th centuries.'

Lives Remembered

Beatrice de Cardi FSA died on 5 July, aged 102. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in 1950. Between 1976 and 1980 she was successively the Society’s Vice-President and Director. She was awarded the Society Medal in 2003 (for outstanding service to the Society or its aims), and the Society's Gold Medal in 2014 (for distinguished services to archaeology). She pursued parallel archaeological careers in the UK and the Persian Gulf, and though she had stopped excavating by her 90s – saying she was unable to climb in and out of trenches – she was working into her last years.
Her fieldwork circled the Gulf, starting in Baluchistan in 1947, moving in the 1960s first to Iran then the Arab Emirates, and to Oman and Qatar in the 1970s. She began when she was working for the UK Government in India. Opting to stay in Pakistan after Partition, she used a period of leave to track down sites producing what Stuart Piggott FSA had called Quetta Ware.
Piggott, at the time stationed in India, had found this distinctive decorated pottery in the museum in New Delhi, but nothing was known about it. When his next local leave came up, he chased up to Quetta knowing only names that were on labels attached to the sherds. A taxi driver located the sites, and he collected more finds.
Reading Piggott’s report, de Cardi thought pottery that sophisticated and artistic must have been in demand for use on more than five small sites. Sir Mortimer Wheeler FSA, who was concluding a term as Director General of Archaeology for India, tried to persuade her of the dangers of survey in remote Baluchistan. Having failed, he arranged an assistant, an illiterate farmer, Sadar Din; from him, she said, referring to his understanding of the landscape and its potential for settlement, she learnt more than from any academic source. ‘The Kahn of Qalat lent a clapped out jeep and a driver,’ she told me, ‘and away I went.’ She found more Quetta Ware sites, and more pottery about which nothing was known. Her interest in Middle Eastern archaeology was sealed.
She described her fieldwork in a paper for Antiquity in 2008, including reminiscences not just of the challenging archaeology, in a landscape where often little had been done since Sir Aurel Stein’s surveys, but of the field conditions. ‘Lacking institutional support’, she wrote, ‘has meant that I could only embark on short-term projects capable of completion with limited resources.’ Loyalty to her British responsibilities meant she could take leave only in the summer, ‘the unfortunate consequence [of which] was that my small expedition was obliged to work in Pakistan during the hottest months of the year.’
‘At night the howls of wolves in the adjacent hills’, she continued, ‘served as a reminder that Baluchistan was a wild and dangerous place. That impression gained substance when we moved back to Surab and were not allowed to camp at Siah-damb on account of a djinn greatly feared by our workmen. I suspected a more material power and accepted the service revolver lent by the local official.’
Unsurprisingly, journalists likened her to Indiana Jones, but this was an affinity she denied. ‘I would prefer not to be compared with him’, she told the BBC in 2008, as it played the movies’ theme music in the background. ‘I have an image to project, which I want to be an academic one, not that of an adventurer.’
After she had stopped fieldwork, she continued cataloguing artefacts at the Ras al-Khaimah Emirate’s National Museum, whose foundation went back to her pioneering archaeological discoveries. Her most pleasing find, she said, was a type of Grey Ware pottery used in Ras al-Khaimah in 2000BC, which analysis showed to have been exported from where she began, in Baluchistan.
As impressive as this work was, supported by other archaeologists and grants from academic institutions, she was technically an amateur, accumulating leave to fit her travels around paid employment. She distinguished herself equally in the latter, as Secretary of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) for 24 years, but her heart was in the Middle East: ‘she toiled valiantly for British archaeology’, said a friend, ‘while dreaming of deserts’. She would advise young aspirant archaeologists that the career was best followed with private means. But if, she once told me, you have to choose between a comfortable living, or a perennial interest in life, ‘personally I’d plump for the interest.’
Beatrice de Cardi was born in London a few weeks before the start of the first world war, to Christine (née Wurrflein), a would-be opera singer and heiress from Pennsylvania, and Edwin de Cardi, a Corsican Count; they had met in Paris. Beatrice, herself a Countess though she never used the term, was the last of an aristocratic line from Bastia, where the Cardi Renaissance palace still stands (the photo of a somewhat battered family crest is from Genealogia dei Cardi Facebook page). She loved visiting relatives there, and searching for ancient sites among the maquis. Interviewed for the CBA last year, she said returning to the island was the one thing she’d like to do. She requested a Corsican liberation song for her funeral.
She grew up in a large house on Ealing Common with tennis court and servants, learning ballet at a barre installed at home while her mother bought waffles and American ice cream at Selfridge’s. When she started at St Paul’s Girls’ School in nearby Hammersmith, Kathleen Kenyon FSA, who became a leading archaeologist in Britain and the Middle East, was head girl; the pupil relationship was one that de Cardi later felt Kenyon was unable quite to throw off. De Cardi’s education was interrupted by serious illness, and she gave up dancing.
After convalescing for a year, she studied history and economics at UCL. While there she attended lectures by Mortimer Wheeler. When she was a child driving around in the family Belsize tourer, she’d ask to stop at archaeological sites – her father shared her interest. But it was Wheeler who enthused her to choose the subject for her life’s work.
Her first excavation experience was at the great fort of Maiden Castle in Dorset, where, she observed, Wheeler ‘had the foresight to get the general public interested’ – while his wife Tessa managed and taught the team. In 1936 she became his secretary at the London Museum. She discreetly observed his passing girlfriends, his outbursts of anger and his relentless energy for archaeological politics, and they remained good friends until his death.
She joined the Allied Supplies Executive of the War Cabinet in China in 1944, travelling widely in India and western China as Personal Assistant to the British representative; they followed mountain tracks rather than main roads where bridges had been destroyed and there was a greater danger. After the war she found her museum post back in London filled – lent by the museum, it never occurred to her to leave India until the war in Japan had finished, later than in Europe. Lured by the prospect of studying the ancient Indus civilisation, she returned to India as an Assistant UK Trade Commissioner.
Soon even de Cardi recognised Baluchistan as unsafe; it was over a decade before she would return to her ‘archaeological paradise’. In 1949 she was invited to apply for the new Council for British Archaeology’s first paid position, running a small office from a South Kensington attic. Her mission, requiring considerable diplomacy, was to combine the powers of numerous local archaeological societies into a federal campaigning force, at a time when post-war renewal threatened substantial damage to archaeological remains and historic buildings. Under her direction the CBA set up research committees – including one for industrial archaeology, a world first – and published reports and guides, among them a small red-and-white pamphlet known to generations of volunteer diggers as the CBA Calendar.
The CBA grew into a key player in British archaeology, representing especially enthusiasts and championing archaeology for the public. De Cardi’s tact and efficiency were legendary. ‘She wrote the best chairman’s agendas I have ever seen’, said a colleague: ‘all likely pitfalls carefully outlined.’ Mike Heyworth FSA, the CBA’s current Director, said ‘Beatrice was an inspiration to everyone associated with archaeology, and was always a wise source of comment and advice on topical archaeological issues.’
The day after her retirement in 1973, she was in Qatar, commissioned by the government to uncover the country’s story, ‘from the stone age to the oil age’, in ten weeks. It was on this expedition that George Barrington (Barry), long-standing interpreter, driver and travelling friend, died after a riding accident. ‘The debt I owe him is immeasurable’, she wrote in Antiquity of a man she said she would have married, ‘and my personal loss was overwhelming.’ An earlier fiancé had died in the second world war.
She was appointed OBE for services to British archaeology, and awarded the Al Qasimi Medal for archaeological services to Ras al-Khaimah, the Royal Asiatic Society’s Burton Memorial Medal, a fellowship and visiting professorship at UCL, and a senior fellowship at the British Academy. The CBA, which has held an annual Beatrice de Cardi lecture since 1976, delighted her on her 100th birthday by naming its offices Beatrice de Cardi House. On the same day the Society presented her with its Gold Medal, one of archaeology’s highest accolades – among 41 recipients, she was the fifth woman.
At the latter event, outshining her card from the Queen and a congratulatory letter from then British Museum director Neil MacGregor FSA, were two spectacular artefacts: a gold and silver khanjar (an elaborate curved dagger) and a replica golden dhow, presented to her by the Ruler and the Deputy Prime Minister, respectively, of Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
Obituaries for Beatrice de Cardi have appeared in The Telegraph and The Times (July 7, subscription needed), The National (UAE, July 11) and The Guardian (July 14).
Photo at top: Beatrice de Cardi receiving a khanjar from Sheikh Saud bin Saqr, Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah (courtesy Christian Velde)


On 8 July The Guardian and The Times (subscription needed) each published an obituary of James Campbell FSA, who died in May. The Times headlines an ‘absent-minded academic who inspired generations of students as the creative doyen of Anglo-Saxon history at Oxford University.’ ‘Considered by many to be the “last of the old dons”,’ says the paper, ‘Campbell once almost set himself on fire after forgetfully putting a lit pipe in his pocket, yet he was not eccentric so much as unconventional and unkempt, and his brilliance as a historian was never in doubt. He was, indeed, hailed as “the most consistently creative influence on the writing of Anglo-Saxon history today”.’
In The Guardian John Maddicott FSA emphasises Campbell’s understanding of Bede. ‘In articles published in 1966 and 1971,’ he writes, ‘James showed that although Bede, a Northumbrian monk active in the eighth century, looked in many ways like a modern historian, he was far from being one. His whole purpose was to defend and promote the church, using his idealised history of the seventh-century missionary church tacitly to admonish what he saw as the more secular and corrupt institution of his own day. That his intentions as a historian were overwhelmingly didactic made his silences – about the misdeeds of Christian kings and bishops, for example – as significant as his statements. James’s insights here were almost entirely original: no one before him had penetrated Bede’s mind quite so convincingly.’
‘Not all of this was entirely new’, writes Maddicott of Campbell’s engagement with Anglo-Saxon England, ‘and not all of it proved to be uncontentious. Nevertheless, James’s working model of a highly organised, intensively governed and participatory Anglo-Saxon state provided the launching pad for much subsequent scholarship. He wrote, as he spoke, with a wit and stylishness rare among his fellow historians.’
‘Slightly unworldly to the last,’ concludes The Times, ‘Campbell never learnt to drive or use a computer. However, not all the stories about him were true. The one about him circumventing the Worcester College rules on prohibited animals by proclaiming that his cat, Frideswide, was a dog, was nothing more than a well-founded rumour.’
To which David Landau responded (Times 13 July): ‘I believe your obituary … may have barked up the wrong tree in one respect. When I became a fellow of Worcester College in 1980 the story I was told was not that James Campbell had proclaimed his cat a dog, but, on the contrary, that Harry Pitt … had got round the prohibition for living-in fellows to keep dogs by getting the governing body to approve his motion that his dog, an inseparable companion, was actually a cat.’
On 11 July The Guardian published an obituary of Randolph Vigne FSA, who died in June. Denis Herbstein describes the background to Vigne’s exile in Britain:
‘Frustrated, in 1960 Randolph helped found the National Committee for Liberation (it became the African Resistance Movement), recruited some 60 students, plus a few intellectuals, almost all whites and/or Liberals, and launched a sabotage campaign. When the police discovered incriminating papers at the home of a saboteur, the game was up. Randolph had not actually planted the dynamite, but, as the ringleader, he faced the gallows.
‘As the net tightened, his friend James Currey, the Oxford University Press man in Cape Town, booked a cabin in his own name on a Norwegian freighter, and boarded with Randolph’s suitcase of clothes and books. Randolph went to “see him off”; and hid in the cabin as Currey stepped ashore. My first contact with his name came that year, 1964, some years before we became friends. Working on the Cape Times, I covered the burning down of his Cape Town home by vengeful members of the security police.
‘Arriving eventually in Montreal, he was granted asylum in Britain, thanks to the intervention of Sir Maurice Bowra, warden of Randolph’s Oxford college, Wadham. His wife Gillian and children were already in London.’

Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows and Other Exclusive Fellows' Events

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'). The next meeting will be Thursday, 6 October 2016.

Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer (

Forthcoming Public Events

Burlington House Courtyard Lates

Explore 300 years of learning and discover at the Society of Antiquaries of London! Discover what's behind the doors at the six learned societies at Burlington House. Visitors will be welcome to enjoy a variety of activities at different societies around the courtyard on 26 August (18.00 - 21.00).

To find out more, visit


Public Lectures

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.

23 August: 'Armour and the Afterlife: Knightly Effigies in England and Wales', by Dr Tobias Capwell FSA

20 September: 'A Copy of a Copy: Leek's Replica of the Bayeux Tapestry', by Dr Brenda King, Chair of the Textile Society.

18 October: 'The Relics of Battle Abbey', by Dr Michael Carter FSA (English Heritage).

22 November: 'Motherboards and Motherloads: The Evolving Excavation of the Digital Age', by Christine Finn FSA.

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.

Filming Antiquity

The Filming Antiquity project was funded in spring 2014 to digitise, research and present the home movies of the British archaeologist Gerald Lankester Harding FSA. Harding began his career in archaeology with Flinders Petrie in 1926 at Tell Jemmah, in what was then British Mandate Palestine. The footage currently being researched by Filming Antiquity dates to the late 1920s and early 1930s, when Harding was working on the sites of Tell Fara, Tell Ajjul and Tell ed-Duweir.

23 September (17.30-19.30): In this presentation Amara Thornton FSA and Michael McCluskey (University College London) will discuss the life and work of Harding as captured on screen, setting the footage in the context of interwar excavations and the history of cinema. The presentation will include screening of footage rarely seen since the 1930s, as well as fascinating materials from Harding’s archive showing his experiences on these digs.

For more information, including booking (£5 per person), please visit the website.

Postgraduate Open Day (14 October)

The Society of Antiquaries of London has the largest antiquarian library in the country, with a collection spanning items from the 10th century to present day, reflecting 300 years of research and scholarship into the history and material remains of Great Britain and other countries. Our second annual Postgraduate Open Day is focused on helping students learn about the resources that can available for their postgraduate studies (aimed at students beginning or currently undertaking postgraduate study).

Find out more and reserve your place via our website (this is a FREE event, but space is limited and reservations are required).

Forthcoming Events at Kelmscott Manor

23 July 2016: Make Your Own Miniature Book Family Activity Day (12.00-16.00). No need to book. Included in cost of admission to the Manor. Create your very own miniature folding book, inspired by the Kelmscott Manor garden and William Morris's own designs. med at 3 to 83 year-old visitors, the sessions will run on a drop-in basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Society Dates to Remember


Burlington House Closings

The Society's apartments, including it's Library, will be closed for its summer conservation and maintenance programme from 1 August to 2 September (inclusive, with the exception of its public lecture on 23 August and the final Courtyard Late on 26 August), reopening on Monday, 5 September. Fellows are advised to contact the Library staff before planning a visit during this time.

The Society's Library will also be closed on Friday, 14 October, for its second annual Postgraduate Open Day.

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:

Welsh Fellows

Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at

York Fellows

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:

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

See end for 'Call for Papers'
19–22 July: The Great Household 1000–1500 (Harlaxton)
The theme of the 2016 Symposium convened by Chris Woolgar FSA is the medieval great household, from the 11th to the early 16th century, with a focus on elite contexts in the British Isles. Delegates will be given a guided tour of Harlaxton Manor and the afternoon outing will be to Gainsborough Old Hall, one of the finest and best-preserved 15th-century manor houses in England. The conference banquet will feature food inspired by medieval cuisine. The keynote will be delivered by Chris Dyer FSA, University of Leicester. See website for details.
August: Handel at Boughton (Kettering)
During its annual August opening, Boughton House, home to His Grace The Duke of Buccleuch FSA, is holding an exhibition exploring seminal moments in the life of composer George Frideric Handel. The exhibition follows Handel from Rome to London’s West End and Montagu House, where he was a frequent visitor. It brings together a collection of artefacts for the first time, including a 1720 harpsichord (probably Handel’s own), sculptor Louis-Francois Roubiliac’s own first model for Handel’s monument in Westminster Abbey, a Chelsea porcelain orchestra and rare orchestral instruments from the period. The Buccleuch Art Collection contributes a first edition of Messiah, portraits of the Montagu family who entertained and commissioned Handel, period furniture and the original menu from Handel’s lunch with the Montagus in 1747. See website for more information.
2–4 September: Sussex Memorials: The County's Occupants and Occupations (Hailsham)
Father Jerome Bertram FSA will give the welcoming lecture, on ‘Monks, friars and canons: Some Sussex clerical monuments,’ at this conference at Herstmonceux Castle, a striking moated red-brick fortress built in the 15th century and restored by Walter Godfrey FSA in the last. Other speakers include RGW Anderson FSA (‘Scientists’ monuments or monuments to scientists?’), Adam White FSA (‘The Johnson family, at Eastbourne and elsewhere’), Jeremy Hodgkinson FSA (‘Wealden iron and church monuments’) and Mark Downing FSA (‘The medieval effigies of St Thomas, Winchelsea’). For details and booking forms see the Church Monuments Society website.
9–11 September: Capability Brown: Perception and Response in a Global Context (Bath)The influence of Capability Brown and the naturalistic landscape design style on landscapes across the world will be presented at a major ICOMOS-UK conference at the University of Bath, as part of the first-ever national Capability Brown Festival. Speakers include David Thackray FSA, President of ICOMOS-UK and Megan Aldrich FSA. For more information see the ICOMOS website.

17 September: 850th Anniversary of the Assize of Clarendon (Salisbury)
Before 1166 guilt or innocence was mainly tested by ordeals. During the Assize held at Clarendon Palace, Henry II laid the first foundation of our present judicial system and paved the way for Magna Carta. Speakers at a conference in Salisbury Museum include John Mcneill FSA, Anthony Musson FSA and Nicholas Vincent FSA. The programme will include a chance to see some of the material from the contemporary Old Sarum site, held in store at the Museum. For more information or to book a place contact
23 September–13 November: At the Foot of the Pyramid (Rome)
Nicholas Stanley-Price FSA is curating At the Foot of the Pyramid: 300 years of the cemetery for foreigners in Rome, at the Casa di Goethe, under the auspices of the 15 administering embassies. The exhibition assembles more than 40 European and American paintings, drawings and prints from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, including works by JMW Turner, Jacques Sablet, Walter Crane, Jakob Philipp Hackert, Ettore Roesler Franz, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Edvard Munch. Among the most famous tombs, designed by artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Bertel Thorvaldsen, are those of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley and the Beat poet Gregory Corso; Italians include Dario Bellezza, Carlo Emilio Gadda and Antonio Gramsci. Shelley thought it ‘The most beautiful and solemn cemetery I have ever beheld.’ Photo shows detail of Rudolph Müller’s painting of the tomb of August von Goethe, the poet’s son (1840s), Klassik Stiftung Weimar.

24 September: Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham A Royal Centre of the East Anglian Kingdom (Bury St Edmunds)
A one-day conference to present the results of archaeological investigation at Rendlesham 2008–14, at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Speakers include Chris Scull FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA, and discussions will be led by Martin Carver FSA, Catherine Hills FSA and Leslie Webster FSA. For details see Suffolk Heritage Explorer.

24 September: 2016 Deerhurst Lecture (Gloucestershire)
The 2015 Deerhurst Lecture will be given by Matthew Townend of the University of York, under the title 'The Road to Deerhurst: 1016 in English and Norse Sources'. The lecture will commemorate the millennium of the peace-meeting at the island of Olney between Kings Edmund Ironside and Cnut after the many battles in the course of the year. Tickets will be available at the church door or visit the Friends Of Deerhurst Church website.
5–6 October: Auricular Style: Frames (London)
An international conference at the Wallace Collection will be the first dedicated to the Auricular style, centring on one of its most significant manifestations, the picture frame. Speakers currently include Karen Hearn FSA, Christopher Rowell FSA and Jacob Simon FSA. Displays to run simultaneously with the conference are planned with the Guildhall Art Gallery, and Ham House, London. Relevant topics include connections between countries, the Van Vianens, Fontainebleau, the grotesque. ‘Medici’ frames. the influence of prints, Auricular settings, craftsmanship, the style’s decline and its revivals, and more. Enquiries and submissions (300–400-word abstracts) to by 29 January, 2016. Convenors Gerry Alabone FSA and Lynn Roberts, in association with the Institute of Conservation (Gilding & Decorative Surfaces Group). Early bird registration (after which prices rise) ends on 30 June.

7–8 October: Sir Walter Scott the Antiquary (Edinburgh/Melrose)
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (SAS) and Abbotsford House are holding a conference to celebrate the bicentenary of The Antiquary, at the Auditorium, National Museum of Scotland on the Friday (chaired by Iain Gordon Brown FSA and George Dalgleish FSA), and Abbotsford House, Melrose on the Saturday. Published in May 1816, The Antiquary’s 6,000 copies sold out within three weeks, and went through a further nine editions in Scott’s lifetime. Scott was a Vice President of the SAS, and his interests in the material culture of Scotland and their contemporary research form a core element of the novel. This unique event will uncover a different side to Sir Walter Scott, the antiquary and collector, and the physical culture surrounding and inspiring him.
14–16 October: 1066: Interpreting the Norman Conquest in 2016 (London)
In this 950th anniversary year, a conference on the Norman Conquest is to be held by the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, running from the day of the battle. The conference is intended for a general audience, but the contributions will be delivered by prominent experts, including David Bates FSA, author of a forthcoming biography of William the Conqueror, and Elisabeth van Houts, who has edited and translated several Anglo-Norman chronicles and has published on women and gender in the Middle Ages. Subjects will include the background to the Conquest, arms and armour, architecture, landscape, government, aristocracy, the church, society, the Bayeux Tapestry and the task of studying the period today. To register interest and obtain further information please contact or call 0113 220 1888.

15 October: The Age of Luxury: the Georgian Country House c 1700-1820 (Lewes)
Between 1700 and 1820 old houses were transformed and new ones built, some on a spectacular scale by owners who would now be regarded as multi-millionaires. The influence of the Grand Tour on country house owners was considerable, not least as many of them travelled abroad themselves, seeing European fashions at first hand. This Saturday conference chaired by Maurice Howard FSA address such aspects of the Georgian country house. Speakers include Sally Jeffery FSA on the influences on early Georgian garden design, Geoffrey Tyack FSA on architecture and planning, Susan Bracken FSA on interiors and Jonathan Yarker of Lowell Libson on the Grand Tour. Other topics include servants, guidebooks and how such spending was paid for.
The Age of Luxury is part of a series of day conferences organised by Sue Berry for the Sussex Archaeological Society at Lewes. New ideas from Fellows are welcomed (and she is seeking an expert on the impact of the Reformation on the English Parish Church). Please contact Speakers are paid a fee and expenses and can bring a friend free. The watercolour by J. Lambert of Lewes (1780, detail) shows Newick Place near Lewes, the home of Lady Vernon (Sussex Archaeological Society).

Call for Papers 

12 September: Objects & Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World 1200–1800 (Southampton)
Chris Woolgar FSA is organising a conference at the University of Southampton, 3-6 April 2017, to focus on objects and possessions between AD1200 and 1800 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 relations between Europe and the wider world. He invites proposals for single papers and whole sessions (three papers). Abstracts (maximum 200 words) to Keynote speakers include Chris Briggs (Cambridge), Giorgio Riello (Warwick) and James Walvin (York).

3–4 November: Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Conference 2016 (Worcester)
The Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Conference will take place at The Hive, offering an opportunity to network with colleagues while hearing about and discussing the latest developments in the field. This year’s theme is ‘A World of Archaeology: from local to global’. Have you worked on projects with international partners? Do you work on a World Heritage Site? Do you engage overseas audiences online? Or do you concentrate on working with local communities, and use imaginative approaches to open up the world? Gail Boyle FSA, Chair of the Society, says they would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to share the innovative ways they work with archaeological collections. Please send proposals or queries to the Society’s Secretary Kat Baxter at by 31 July.
21 January 2017: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
This seventh conference in a series will be held at the Society of Antiquaries. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for 30-minute long papers. While the emphasis remains on new developments in architecture, we welcome proposals on related themes, such as decorative arts, gardens, sculpture and monuments. The proposals should be submitted by mid-August and the final programme will be announced in September. For further information, please contact Fellows Paula Henderson FSA ( or Claire Gapper FSA (


MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), a leading independent archaeological and built heritage practice, is seeking a new Chief Executive.
The charitable company has over 300 staff based in London, Northampton and Birmingham. A dynamic and innovative organisation, we provide independent, professional heritage advice and services to development, infrastructure and construction sector clients. The research that we conduct as part of planning and development process takes place alongside our own academic research strategy, and we are the only organisation of our kind to have been awarded Independent Research Organisation status.
The successful candidate will lead our organisation into its next phase of development. S/he will be inspirational, entrepreneurial and culturally aligned with the values of the historic environment sector, with a career history of proven leadership experience, and the commercial acumen and strategic mind set to ensure our continued sustainability, growth and wider impact.
See online for further information (quote reference 2614). Deadline for applications is midday Monday 25 July 2016.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 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 Officer, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.


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