Salon: Issue 437
28 October 2019
Next issue: 12 November
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor. Salon doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.
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From the Desk of the General Secretary
Last week we held two events at the Society aimed at Postgraduate and Early Career researchers. Both events were a huge success and we welcomed over 100 people to the Society over the two days. On Friday we held our 5th annual Postgraduate Open Day where attendees got to hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their fields. Thank you to Prof Chris Scull FSA, Prof Maurice Howard Hon VPSA, Dr Ann Benson FSA, Dr Adrian Ailes FSA, Dr Kim Sloan FSA, Adrian James FSA, Dr David Rundle FSA and Dr Elizabeth New FSA who led sessions throughout the day which showcased the diversity and significance of the Society's collections. As with previous years we received excellent feedback from this event with attendees enjoying the opportunity to see some of our treasures including the Magna Carta, Winton Domesday and our Bronze Age sword. A key highlight of the day is the opportunity to network with other postgraduate students and Fellows.
On Saturday 26 we held our inaugural New Researchers Conference, Recovered from the Shipwreck of Time. This new initiative with a focus on engaging with early career researchers was a huge success with a fantastic panel of speakers who all enthralled delegates with their research. The focus of this conference was on the history of collecting and the role of the antiquary and so we were delighted to have Dr Arthur MacGregor FSA deliver the keynote paper. Feedback from this event was resoundingly positive and in particular delegates were fascinated by the array of objects from our collection that we had on display, with a highlight being the Derrotero General del Mar del Sur.
Thank you to speakers, Fellows and to all the staff who helped to make both of these events such a success.
Gifts to the Library
July – September 2019
The Society is very grateful to the donors of the following books, given to the Library by Fellows in the period from July to September 2019. These books are, or will shortly be, available in the Library, with full records on the online catalogue www.sal.org.uk/library.
From the co-author, Nathalie Cohen FSA, Knole revealed: archaeology and discovery at a great country house / Nathalie Cohen and France Parton (2019)
From Johann Michael Fritz, Hon FSA, In Deutschland Verborgen fur Europa Entdeckt: Mittelalterliche Kunst, ausgestellt nach dem Krieg im Ausland mit Hilfe von britischen ‘Monuments Men’
From the authors, Brian and Moira Gittos FSA, Interpreting medieval effigies: the evidence form Yorkshire to 1400 (2019)
From Simon Hancock FSA, An historical atlas of Pembrokeshire / edited by David W. Howell. Pembrokeshire County History volume 5 (2019)
From the author, Matthew Johnson FSA, Archaeological theory: an introduction. 3rd edition (2020)
Protect & Respect Conference
29 November 2019
Society of Antiquaries / Historic England day conference, with support from the UK Blue Shield Committee and Newcastle University
Organised by Dr Clive Cheesman FSA (College of Arms) & Dr Helen Forde FSA
Awareness of the harm that armed conflict does to the world’s cultural heritage has probably never been higher. Events in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Syria are fresh – raw, even – in the communal consciousness. The issues, though pressing, are not necessarily simple, and 2019 sees a range of events, exhibitions and conferences on the general themes, in Britain and abroad. Both nationally and internationally there is a sense of being at a critical point in understanding what is at risk, and in formulating a practical response.
On the military side, the framework for that practical response is the Law of Armed Combat and the Hague Convention of 1954. With the long-awaited ratification of the Convention in 2017 the UK became obliged to create a military capability to identify and safeguard cultural property in areas of armed conflict. But both in the British armed forces and in NATO measures were already well under way to deliver this capability and ensure that the Convention’s requirement to ‘respect and protect’ cultural property in conflict zones is written into operational decision-making processes.
Aimed at the archaeological, wider academic and interested lay communities, this day conference will be a chance to hear from those directly involved in this field and discuss the issues and challenges faced. Speakers will include Prof Peter Stone OBE FSA, UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University; Lt-Col Tim Purbrick OBE FSA, the newly appointed commander of the British Army’s Cultural Property Protection Unit; Dr Paul Fox FSA, member of the UK Blue Shield Committee; and other experts and scholars in relevant areas.
Conference will take place in the Society apartments at Burlington House. You can find our more details and information on how to book on our website.
Encounters with Death and Antiquity
Michael Rosen, poet, story-teller and former Children’s Laureate, will address iconic objects made of chalk, gold and bronze at a free event at the British Museum on Halloween (31 October). The artefacts were found by archaeologists in three ancient graves: Neolithic chalk cylinders buried with a five-year-old child around 2500–2000 BC (above, photo British Museum); gold-foil discs from the grave of a Bronze Age woman whose remains have been dated to 2030–1770 BC; and a mirror that had been buried with a woman around the time of Claudius’s invasion of Britain in AD 43.
Maev Kennedy FSA saw Rosen at work in the BM archives last year (Guardian 9 January 2018). ‘It’s quite hypnotic,’ he said, looking at a mirror. ‘You feel that it has meaning, that it has stories, that it is not just a static object. What was it to her, and what did she see in it?’ Were grave goods ‘owned by the dead,’ echoed Julia Farley FSA, Curator of the BM’s British and European Iron Age Collections, ‘were they bribes for favourable intercession in the future? Or were they making sure these objects stayed with the dead to keep them in their graves, to prevent them from returning?’
Rosen’s poems were commissioned by Grave Goods, a research project led by Duncan Garrow (University of Reading), Melanie Giles FSA (University of Manchester) and Neil Wilkin FSA (British Museum). The idea was to help extend the academic project’s reach, especially to children. With such ‘outreach pathways,’ the archaeologists say, ‘we also hope to begin to breach the British public's contemporary cultural silence on mortality, by reflecting on past humanity's ways of coping with death.’
Linked work includes art commissions. Chie Kutsuwada, a Manga artist, has told the story of how the mirror was recovered in 1994 from a field near Portesham, Dorset, by archaeologists tipped off by a detectorist (bottom). Kelvin Wilson, a talented illustrator based in the Netherlands, has imagined the woman sporting her four gold discs, which were found in 1858 in Orkney at the Knowes of Trotty (above). And Rose Ferraby, an artist and archaeologist at the University of Cambridge, has depicted the three chalk drums excavated in 1889 near Folkton in North Yorkshire, as if they were trying to say something from the grave (below).
The three and a half year project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will reach its research conclusion in 2020, but other outreach work has already been completed, including information packs for schools and a museum trail. The latter, Grave Goods: Stories for the Afterlife, is in the BM’s permanent British Prehistory galleries. Focusing on 11 iconic artefacts or groups of things found in graves, it ‘examines the significance of everyday, humble objects buried with the prehistoric dead and gives alternative perspectives on the more spectacular and prestigious items, badges of status and power that normally capture our attention’. The first of those objects you encounter are the Folkton chalk drums, accompanied by Rosen’s poem:
‘lay me close to the eyes
traced on my treasures
watching me walking into the mist
watching me walking into your minds'
Grave Goods: Objects and Death in Later Prehistoric Britain, to give it its full title and which includes Chris Gosden FSA, Jacqueline McKinley FSA, Chris Scarre FSA and Alison Sheridan FSA on its advisory panel, is an ambitious project, and not only for its outreach ideas which are rarely so integral to research. It set out to create a database of everything found in graves (‘formal mortuary contexts’) made between 4000 BC and the Roman conquest in six parts of Britain – three on the south coast, one in north-west Wales, one in Yorkshire and two consisting of Scottish islands.
Things deliberately placed in graves have always been popular with archaeologists for a variety of good reasons, and they have often been studied: but never in Britain with such resources across such a time scale (embracing the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age), geographical variety and with, at the outset, an estimated number of 6,000 artefacts. It is expected that these factors, combined with much new information from recent excavations and scientific research, will lead to insights into early Britain of a new order.
Secrets of Reading Gaol
The Ministry of Justice is selling Reading Prison (above). In 2015 George Osbourne, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Michael Gove, then Secretary of State for Justice, announced a policy of selling redundant prisons to raise funds for new prisons, thereby releasing land to ‘help thousands of working people achieve the dream of owning a home’ (suggesting a possible conflict between selling at a high price to fund prisons, while expecting the buyer to build cheap housing). Reading’s ‘Unique Freehold Development Opportunity’, which comes ‘with full vacant possession’, has arisen following the gaol’s closure in 2013. Offers to be received by 12 noon on 6 December 2019.
The Ministry’s agents have made available archaeological reports obtained during the course of pre-sale evaluations at a highly sensitive historic site. They are interesting (see below), and their publication is to be welcomed. It is curious, then, that hitherto the Government had declined to reveal them on the grounds that to do so would be against the taxpayers’ interest – notwithstanding the efforts of David Harrison FSA, who had submitted Freedom of Information requests to no effect.
There is no debate about the historic interest of the site, both to the citizens of Reading and a wider international audience. Designed by George Gilbert Scott around 1842 and inspired by Warwick Castle, the prison was built over the ruins of the eastern part of Reading Abbey. The latter was founded and lavishly endowed by Henry I as his private family mausoleum, and taken apart after the Dissolution in 1539. Standing ruins are now open to the public, after a recent conservation programme led by Reading Borough Council, and much of the abbey grounds to the west lie within a public garden. Tim Tatton Brown FSA has argued that any surviving remains of the graves of Henry I and his Queen, Adeliza, whose locations have long been sought, lie adjacent to the western border of the prison site.
Meanwhile the prison had its own king in the form of Oscar Wilde, who wrote his Ballad of Reading Gaol after release in 1897. As his poem relates, judicial hanging and burial of inmates occurred within the prison grounds. Today Historic England, which confirms the principle of new development, emphasises the importance of re-using the Grade II-listed elements. Theatre & Arts Reading, supported by a £20,000 grant from Arts Council England and by local people, the Council and Matt Rodda, Reading’s Member of Parliament, would like to use the site to celebrate Wilde with a museum and archive as part of a theatre and arts hub. It has formed a trust, the Reading Gaol, Arts, Museum and Theatre Company, with the aim of buying the prison.
The long-established planning system makes it inevitable that any significant new works to be conducted at the prison would be subject to assessment for their heritage impact. The MoJ decided to do this in advance of going to market rather than leave the risk for potential buyers. In November 2016 Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) began to evaluate the site following an archaeological desk-based assessment by Purcell which, unsurprisingly, found its significance ‘very high’. MOLA submitted its report in September 2018.
Harrison, concerned at the absence of public discussion about the work, submitted an FOI request to HM Prison and Probation Service. He was told that release of the archaeological report might affect the sale price, and ‘not ensure best value for money for the taxpayer’. Harrison then applied for an internal review, which gave more detail. Decisions about the gaol’s future, he was told, needed to be discussed ‘away from external interference and distraction’, and ‘prematurely disclosing the report’ might encourage someone ‘to interfere with a protected site’. The dogged Harrison appealed again, this time to be told that, with regard to environmental rather than heritage protection, ‘disclosure of the withheld information would endanger the land’.
That the works had occurred was clear, as MOLA’s backfilled evaluation trenches could be seen in Google Earth. But what had the Ministry found that could be so worrying? MOLA’s was among a dozen or so reports put online on 4 October, when the sale was announced. Whatever it contained was now freely available (I registered an interest with EG Propertylink, who passed my details on to JLL who gave me a data room password), making the MoJ’s refusal to engage with public interest puzzling. In fact, as is usually the case with the characteristic narrow archaeological trenches designed to assess (rather than totally excavate), many details of MOLA’s investigations are difficult to interpret. Nonetheless, the archaeologists conclude confidently that ‘The site as a whole displays a high rate of survival of archaeology of both medieval and former prison remains,’ and ‘the potential for survival of ancient ground surfaces and structures … is high.’
Significant discoveries, say Helen Vernon and Tim Johnston, include ‘substantial medieval masonry features, which relate to the buildings and precinct of Reading Abbey’. Among these are two flint foundation walls in the north-west corner of the site (Trench 4, above) in an area investigated by Cecil Slade FSA in the 1960s, interpreted as part of the Abbey Church’s north ambulatory – close to where, according to Tatton-Brown, the royal graves might lie. Elsewhere were remains thought to be Abbey foundations, among them from the infirmary, and three human skeletons apparently first revealed but not recorded during ground levelling in the 1970s, when, ‘posing somewhat more of an issue than brick or flint walls, [they] were promptly reburied’.
MOLA’s photos of Trench 4 show (above left, looking south) the grave of an apparently medieval woman (like other human remains, left in the ground by MOLA) and right (looking north) 19th-century walls and floors in the corner of a former prison tower, undocumented by Slade, with a wall of the church ambulatory beyond. My photo (below) shows the refilled trench under new tarmac, looking south-west: the site of Henry I’s grave is in the area immediately below the line of The Blade against the sky, under the brick wall.
‘In the light of the results of the evaluation’, says the report, ‘MOLA considers that the remaining archaeological deposits should be excavated archaeologically in advance of any further ground reduction.’ So now we know.
Photo at top EG Propertylink.
How to Hang the Bayeux Tapestry (Perhaps)
Christopher Norton FSA, Emeritus Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture at the University of York, caught public attention on 24 October with a proposal about the Bayeux Tapestry, described in an article published in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association (172). ‘English Bayeux Tapestry theory unravels’, headlined the Times. Others went with a more strident statement, including the Express with ‘Bayeux Tapestry mystery solved: British archaeologist ends 900-year-old origin debate.'
What was the mystery? And has it been solved?
‘Plans to redisplay the Bayeux Tapestry’, writes Norton in his abstract, ‘raise anew the questions as to where and how it was originally intended to be displayed. Analysis of the linen fabric provides new insights into the tapestry’s design and manufacture, and enables its original length to be calculated. Re-examination of the (largely destroyed) 11th-century cathedral at Bayeux and of its liturgical layout demonstrates that the tapestry would have fitted neatly into the nave west of the choir screen. Its narrative falls into three discrete sections that reflect the way in which it would have been hung within the building, and the arrangement of the scenes takes account of the uneven bay-spacings of the nave arcades and the positions of the doorways. It can therefore be concluded that the tapestry was designed for a particular location within the nave of Bayeux cathedral.’
As Jack Malvern explained in the Times, if correct this theory would settle a debate over whether the embroidery was designed for a religious setting (preferred by ‘most French historians’) or domestic (favoured by ‘English-speaking academics’). Not necessarily, responded Roy Perry in the letters page of the following day’s paper: the cloth would fit equally nicely into the Great Hall of Winchester Castle, or (hedging his local bets), Winchester Cathedral, which ‘has the longest nave of any medieval cathedral at 169 metres and contains the bones of Emma of Normandy, from whom William traced his claim to the throne.’
‘I mentioned to a friend’, says Norton in a remark approved by peer review, ‘that I was planning to write an article about the Bayeux Tapestry. He replied that thinking one had anything new to say on the subject was the first sign of senility. Another colleague ventured that it was a symptom of insanity.’
I asked Michael Lewis FSA, who in his spare time aside from his work as Head of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the British Museum is a specialist on the Bayeux Tapestry and a member of the Bayeux Tapestry Scientific Committee. He is an advocate for the display of the Tapestry in the museum, following President Macron’s announcement in 2018 that it could be loaned to the UK; Richard Brooks reported in the Observer (20 October) that the BM and the V&A are ‘at arrows drawn’ over which should have the hanging rights. Here are Lewis’s interesting thoughts on Norton’s theory:
‘Christopher Norton’s article, "Viewing the Bayeux Tapestry, now and then," is a welcome addition to the large (and ever increasing) corpus of scholarship on this most famous of embroideries, the publication of which was inspired by plans to redisplay the Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux Museum and its potential loan to the United Kingdom in 2023/24. Professor Norton was very gracious in sending me his article prior to publication. So, what I say below, I said to him.
‘As Norton himself acknowledges, it is not new to say that the Bayeux Tapestry was made for display in Bayeux Cathedral; indeed, in 1824, Honoré François Delauney first proposes that William’s half-brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeux, commissioned the Tapestry, and that it was made for the dedication of Bayeux Cathedral in 1077. It has, nonetheless, become trendy to believe that the embroidery was not suitable for an ecclesiastical setting, primarily because of its subject matter, which is bawdy in places. [George Garnett, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Oxford, told History Extra last year that he had counted 93 penises (‘There is also what appears to be a pair of testicles, the penis itself being concealed by a discreetly positioned axe handle’). Ed.]. However one only has to observe the activities of characters on the masonry on the Romanesque cathedral at Troia (Italy), to see that such subject matter was not a major issue for the Church, and we know also that the Tapestry was displayed in the cathedral – warts and all – by 1476.
‘A significant problem with Norton’s hypothesis (for me) is that it assumes that the linen used for the embroidery was cut to lengths used for measuring cloth in the Middle Ages – the ell – which we do not know was certainly used in the 11th century. The Bayeux Tapestry is made of nine pieces of linen that have been joined together and then embroidered. Norton suggests (see his diagram above) that pieces I and II came from one length of linen, lengths IV, V, VI and VII from another of about the same size, and III, VIII and IX coming from another, though smaller, to which might be added an imaginary 3m to make it match the size of the other two (X). Adding these three equal lengths together gives Norton an overall projected original length for the Tapestry of 71.50m. It is important to note that Norton assumes that nothing is missing from the beginning of the first piece of linen, which is heavily restored.
‘Given a total length for the original Bayeux Tapestry, Professor Norton progresses to fit the embroidery into the space of Bayeux Cathedral – though, as he says, interpreting the Norman cathedral with the current Gothic one is not an easy task. Nonetheless, a logical assumption is made that the Tapestry was made for display in the cathedral. It has interested me for many years that several of those creating Bayeux Tapestry-inspired embroideries have no clear plan where their creation will end up, and maybe this was the same for Bishop Odo. Elsewhere, I have suggested that maybe it was the case that the Tapestry was gifted to the cathedral with no specific demand for exhibition or display, as surely was the case of many benefactions to churches throughout time. A further issue with the Tapestry, which Norton highlights, is that if it was displayed at any height then its detailed imagery becomes less and less visible (see Norton's hanging suggestions below).
‘Unsurprisingly, Norton finds the Bayeux Tapestry “fitted neatly” within the Norman cathedral of Bayeux, and – very much like those who have suggested the Tapestry was displayed in a castle or great hall (which Norton does not discuss) – argues the importance of the juxtaposition of certain scenes. Particularly interesting is his argument that the Tapestry’s scenes respect the architectural composition of the cathedral, especially the bays of the nave, and based on this might have served within the liturgy of the cathedral: as he says, “the message of the Tapestry is reinforced by the symbolism inherent in the physical space”. This is interesting and does make one wonder what was in the mind of the patron, designer and embroiderers, though the narrative structure of the Bayeux Tapestry – with its links back and forth – lends itself to making connections between its various scenes.
‘Christopher Norton is no doubt correct that “a redisplay of the Bayeux Tapestry offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase our knowledge and enhance our understanding of it”, and this is also what motivates us involved with advising Bayeux Museum on the embroidery’s re-interpretation and re-display. It will almost certainly need conservation prior to it being redisplayed, and its long-term preservation will also be a major consideration. It is likely that compromises will be needed (between conservators and curators), as it will also be a requirement that the Tapestry is on public display and shown in a way that enables ease of viewing, interpretation and visitor flow etc. Conservation of the Bayeux Tapestry will also provide a potential opportunity for exciting new research, which could include an examination of its materiality, including the relationship between the various lengths of linen from which it was constructed – and much, much more. But it will be science and conservation that mostly guides how the Tapestry will be exhibited in the future, which is unlikely to be akin to how the embroidery may have been displayed in the 11th century, if (indeed) it ever was…’
• Illustrations are from Norton's JBAA article (lightly edited).
Fellows (and Friends)
Madge Moran FSA
, vernacular architecture specialist, died in October.
The Revd Jerome Bertram FSA
, specialist in church monuments and brasses, died in October.
Appreciations appears in Fellows Remembered below.
Joan Taylor FSA
, specialist in Bronze Age gold, died in October. An appreciation will follow in a future Salon
Napoleon Chagnon, an American anthropologist who was not a Fellow, died in September aged 81. As John Horgan has written in Scientific American
(27 September), Chagnon’s ‘work provoked fierce debates about the roots of war’. His study of fieldwork in the Amazonian rainforest, Yanomamö: The Fierce People
(1968), was a best-seller which, notes Horgan in an appropriate linkage of one controversial public scientist with another, outpaced Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa
(1928). Both books drew on fieldwork in remote locations to describe people with particular values that could be interpreted as a reflection on human nature – in Mead’s case about sex, in Chagnon’s male violence. In 2000 Patrick Tierney wrote a damning study of Chagnon’s and others’ work with the Yanomamö, subtitled How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon,
accusing Chagnon of fraud. This too became a sensational best-seller, but a series of investigations by the American Anthropological Association seemed first to support and then denounce its claims. By 2012, says a Times obituary
(23 October), Chagnon was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, causing Marshall Sahlins, a leading anthropologist, to resign. In 2013 Chagnon published Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes – the Yanomamö and the Anthropologists
. The extent to which the Yanomamö’s violent ways were innate or cultural rather got lost in the debate. Photo New York Times
James Hughes-Hallett, former Chair of the Governing Board of the Courtauld Institute of Art, died in October aged 70. As the Courtauld writes
(15 October), Hughes-Hallett, who was not a Fellow, ‘was an accomplished businessman’ (becoming Chairman of Swire Group branches in the UK and Asia, and of Cathay Pacific Ltd) and a ‘dedicated philanthropist’. His ‘passion for the arts, education and philanthropy were ever present, and alongside his roles at the Courtauld, he was a Governor of SOAS (2005–10), a Trustee of Dulwich Picture Gallery (2005–13), Chairman of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (2005–19) and Vice-Chairman of the Attingham Trust (2008–present). He was passionate about teaching art history to young people and played a major role in the establishment of the charity Art History in Schools.’ He joined the Courtauld’s Governing Board in 2008, served as its Chairman between 2012 and 2017, and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2018.
Fifty years ago The Elizabethan Image
generated queues down the steps outside the front of what we then called the Tate Gallery. Sir Roy Strong FSA
has returned to his theme with The Elizabethan Image: An Introduction to English Portraiture, 1558–1603
. With 230 colour illustrations, the book presents what the blurb calls ‘a detailed and authoritative examination of one of the most fascinating periods of British art. Enriching previous perceptions and ways of seeing the Elizabethans in their world, Strong reveals an age parallel in many ways to our own – a country aspiring professionally and changing socially. The gaze is from the inside, capturing the knights, melancholy lovers, poets (including Sidney, Donne and Sir John Davies), court favourites and their “Gloriana” – as they mirrored and made themselves.’ The Daily Mail chose it for its Book of the Week in June
: ‘Underlying Strong's narrative’, wrote Frances Spalding, ‘lies an awareness that, at the start of Elizabeth's reign, the country needed to be reunited politically, socially and culturally, and that monarchy was seen to be at the heart of this endeavour.’
Helena Hamerow FSA
was among three new Commissioners appointed to the board of Historic England on 1 September. The role, for which she had to declare under the Government’s Governance Code that she had not undertaken any significant political activity in the last five years, runs until 31 August 2023. Hamerow is Professor of Early Medieval Archaeology at the University of Oxford, where she had once been Head of the School of Archaeology (2010–13). Her research interests lie in the economy, villages and farming practices of rural communities in north-west Europe during the Early Middle Ages. She has been Vice-Master of St Cross College, President of the Society for Medieval Archaeology, and Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Oxford Archaeology, on the Board of Visitors of the Pitt Rivers Museum, and an elected member of the Council of the University of Oxford, and has previously served on the Board of Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum and the Board of Curators of the Bodleian Libraries.
Patrick Greene FSA
, one-time Director of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, writes to say that he has left Melbourne, where he was Chief Executive Officer of Museums Victoria, to take up the post of CEO and Museum Director of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin. ‘EPIC uses digital technology, film and multimedia’, says Greene, ‘to explore the factors that made Ireland, until very recently, a net exporter of its people with the mix of heartache, anticipation and excitement that characterise emigration. It also examines the impact that the Irish have had on the places to which they travelled, from the late sixth century to the present day. EPIC is located in the atmospheric stone and brick vaults of the remarkable bonded warehouse at Custom House Quay, beneath the cast-iron framed upper storey that encloses an 8,000 square metre floor area. It was designed by the Scottish engineer John Rennie and opened in 1820.’
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has published attendance figures for museums and galleries it sponsors
, claiming a ‘massive jump in visitors’ to sites outside London (24 October). In a press statement Sir Ian Blatchford FSA
, Chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council and Director of the Science Museum Group, said, ‘The strong and consistent growth in visits to museums, and the increase in self-generated income, reflects the creativity and ingenuity of those who work in our sector.’ The British Museum remains the most visited individual site with 6.0 million visits in 2018/19, an increase of 3.5% on the previous year. The total self-generated income also rose, by 5.0% on 2017/18 to £289 million.
The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, in partnership with the National Library of Wales, CADW and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, has commissioned what it describes as ‘the most comprehensive study of Wales’s maritime history ever, taking over a decade to research and produce’. Wales and the Sea: 10,000 years of Welsh Maritime History
, edited by Mark Redknap FSA, Sian Rees FSA
and Alan Aberg FSA
, features archive photos and ‘delves into every aspect of Wales’s connection with the sea, from earliest history to the present day: from archaeology to paintings and poetry, from naval history to seaside holidays.’
Patrick Barkham has written a ‘long read’
about David Attenborough FSA
for the Guardian
(22 October), about his television career, his global status (‘Attenborough is the closest we have to a universally beloved public figure. Last year, a YouGov poll found him to be the most popular person in Britain’) and, the main focus, his story-telling skills and his recent attention to humanity’s destructive impacts on the planet, after a long career in which he appeared to ignore them. ‘For most of his life,’ says Barkham, ‘Attenborough’s environmentalism has been the old-fashioned, off-screen variety, lending his support to numerous green charities.’ Attenborough counters that this reflected a mix of BBC policy and a wish to keep viewers watching, but this changed in 2006 with The Truth About Climate Change
and more since and in the future. ‘At 93, Attenborough is more in demand than ever.’
The autumn issue of The Archaeologist
, the magazine of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, features climate change and its challenges for heritage, picking up on a topic covered at CIfA’s summer conference (Session 7: presentations by Andrew Davidson FSA, Hannah Fluck FSA, Mark Dunkley FSA
and others can be watched on YouTube
). Articles focus on active erosion and flooding caused by rising seas, with a nod to other factors such as heavy rainfall. As with construction and development, however there are opportunities in the losses: exposed remains can be studied to increase knowledge and public interest if archaeologists are prepared.
On 16 October the Royal Society published a report
funding that will at once chill and resonate with academics. Since 2015, it says, the UK’s annual share of EU science research funding has fallen by almost a third – by €430,000,000. Ahead of Brexit, UK applications to Horizon 2020 (an EU project to to invest €11 billion in research and innovation) have fallen ‘drastically’, by 39%. Across the EU, Britain has fallen from the top recipient of funding (equal with Germany) to near average, with a falling trend. The worst part, says the report, is that the UK is also ‘losing out on international talent’. ‘The confidence of researchers in the UK and those who we are hoping to attract’, says the Royal Society, ‘is being undermined.’ • Giving evidence to Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee on 22 October, Chris Skidmore FSA
, Science Minister, said that he expects talks to join Horizon Europe membership
will begin in April or May 2020, and that the UK will be able to negotiate entry for when the new Horizon project starts in January 2021.
Courtship, Slander, and Treason: Studies of Mary Queen of Scots, the Fourth Duke of Norfolk, and a Few of their Contemporaries, 1568–87
combines two reports: Arthur Freeman FSA
writes about ‘Mary Queen of Scots and the Fourth Duke of Norfolk: The Literature of the “Forbidden Match”, 1568–73,’ and Janet Ing Freeman FSA
contributes ‘The Trial and Death of Mary Queen of Scots in Contemporary Report: A Codicological Study’. While they were ‘independently conceived and pursued,’ they write, ‘they are (we hope) complementary in effect, and they share one important intention or pretext: they are not, primarily, nor would wish to be considered, retellings or reinterpretations of episodes in Elizabethan history concerning Mary Queen of Scots and her hard fate in England, and Thomas Howard, the doomed fourth duke of Norfolk, but essentially surveys of the contemporary literature – narrative, argumentative, judgemental, propagandistic, and libellous – devoted thereto.’ Some 25 texts are discussed in the first study, and more than 60 contemporary manuscript accounts of the events of 1586–87 in the second.
A Love Letter to Europe
, due out on 31 October – when, as publisher Mark Booth says, ‘Boris Johnson says we’ll be leaving [the EU]: no ifs, no buts. Who knows what will be happening then?’ – is a collection of articles by high-profile writers reflecting on Europe. The Guardian
(26 October) has published some extracts
, including one from Mary Beard FSA
. ‘I now expect to find students from all over Europe in my classes,’ she writes. ‘Some of my closest colleagues in my department in Cambridge come from Italy, Germany and Greece. It’s two-way traffic as our staff and students have come simply to assume that “the Continent” … is as open to them as the UK is. It’s open for conversation, for resources and for collaboration. This doesn’t just add to the local colour; the mix of cultures and languages, of educational backgrounds and different traditions of expertise has widened all our horizons. And it has changed how we think about our subject, our opportunities, and even about the very nature of education itself… I now also think of myself and call myself European, and I mean also. You don’t give up feeling British when you start to feel European.’ But, she adds, ‘none of that means very much to the unemployed of, say, Boston, Lincolnshire. Those of us who have been the beneficiaries of New Europe must face the uncomfortable fact that we are partly to blame for the vote going, in our terms, so badly wrong.’
Madge Moran FSA
died on 5 October, aged 92. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1988. Daniel Miles FSA
and Bob Meeson FSA
have kindly written this tribute for Salon
‘Madge Moran FSA
was born in Newport, Shropshire. She was by profession a tutor in Home Economics and Catering at Radbrook College, Shrewsbury. However, for many years she also taught vernacular architecture to continuing education students for Birmingham and Keele Universities, and she was a long-standing member of the Vernacular Architecture Group and the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society.
‘Madge is credited with many published papers in Shropshire History and Archaeology
, Vernacular Architecture
and other journals and, with David Lloyd, she co-authored The Corner Shop
(1978) – an historical and architectural analysis of Bodenhams in Ludlow. One of her best papers was on the 15th-century open hall long-house known as Padmore, Onibury, in the Archaeological Journal
(1985) – a significant record of an important building that has since been demolished.
‘More than three decades of independent recording of mainly timber-framed buildings led to her two main publications – Vernacular Buildings of Whitchurch and Area and Their Occupants
(1999) and Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire
(2003). This latter work – her copiously illustrated magnum opus – was the first publication of its kind to make such extensive use of dendrochronology, using growth rings to estimate dates of tree felling, and thus to construct relative chronologies between and within buildings. The Shropshire Dendrochronology Project commenced in 1992 and ran for 15 phases, recording and dating over 175 construction events in more than 100 buildings.’
The Revd Jerome Bertram FSA
died after a long illness on 19 October, aged 69. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1988.
The Revd Jerome F A Bertram was a busy, energetic and charismatic man who left his mark in several areas of life. He was a priest, a preacher to religious communities in England and overseas, and a writer about prayer and spiritual life (defending the choice of unmarried men for the priesthood ‘precisely because marriage is holy and a sacrament’). He was a scholar of medieval church monuments, an influential brass rubber and a translator of medieval Latin. And he was Director of the G K Chesterton Study Centre and Library in Oxford. Many tributes have appeared online. Here, first, is an edited extract of what the Church Monuments Society has to say
‘Born in Sussex, Father Jerome Bertram was ordained as a Catholic Priest at Arundel Cathedral in 1979, and at his death was an assistant priest at the Oxford Oratory. He was a good, sound and faithful priest, and a witty and engaging preacher, as well as a kindly confessor.
‘For members he will be known better as one of the great pioneers of our subject, who travelled throughout Europe in order to study all types of medieval monuments. He was a prolific author, producing many books and articles, most recently preparing a paper for our symposium on the brasses of Hereford Cathedral. A long-lasting memorial to his legacy as an antiquary and scholar will be the forthcoming book, edited by our Council member, Christian Steer FSA
, The Monuments Man: Essays in Honour of Jerome Bertram
, to which many members and other friends have contributed: he saw the book in course of production, and was pleased with it.’
Next the Monumental Brass Society
(MBS), of which Bertram was senior Vice-President (edited):
‘Jerome joined the Society in 1962 at the age of 12 and published his first book, Brasses and Brass Rubbing in England
(1971), when just 21 years old. His output was prolific. Brass Rubbing in Sussex
appeared in 1973. Lost Brasses
(1976) covered an innovative subject adorned with his skilful drawings. This work was in part inspired by his membership of the Oxford Archaeological Society, when in 1972–73 he was instrumental in developing the first systematic catalogue of lost brasses for a “whole” city – Oxford. Rare Brass Rubbings from The Ashmolean Collection
(1977) featured important rubbings compiled by the Oxford Architectural Society between 1839 and 1848.
‘Jerome was also a prolific contributor to the Society’s Transactions
(of which he became Editor for six years), his first paper (“An unrecorded royal brass at Peterborough”) appearing in 1970. Among other papers were important studies of lost brasses in Oxford (1974), and brasses at Burton, Sussex and incised slabs in the English College, Rome (1979). He edited two important Society publications: Monumental Brasses as Art and History
(1996) and The Catesby Family and their Brasses at Ashby St Ledgers
And finally a tribute from Martin Henig FSA
, who kindly wrote this for Salon
‘I first met Jerome when he was an undergraduate decades ago, when the Oxford University Archaeological Society had a brass-rubbing section which he ran with enthusiasm. He became a very impressive scholar in various fields of antiquarian research. This embraced not only the lives of saints (I have on my shelves, for instance, the Life of St Edward the Confessor by St Aelred of Rievaulx, Translated into English for the first time by Fr Jerome Bertram FSA
, published in 1997), and modern Catholic history (such as a book on Newman's Oxford), but he will be best remembered for his work on brasses.
‘The book which he edited and contributed to, Monumental Brasses as Art and History
, is something of a landmark in the study, but there was very much more to come. This included forays into the northern Baltic, looking at brasses and tombs from behind the former Iron Curtain which had previously been neglected. And he freely shared his knowledge.
‘At the same time he was a very busy member of the Oratorian order, and amongst other things was responsible for a major restoration of the Oratorian Church, St Aloysius in Oxford. It was built in 1873–75 by Joseph Hansom, and Jerome restored it to the splendour lost in ill-advised work in the 1960s. Like Sir Thomas More he was “a man for all seasons”, and we mourn the passing of a very good friend.’
• A Requiem Mass will be held on 5 November at 11.00 am at The Oratory, Oxford, followed by burial at Wolvercote Cemetery. Details at the MBS.
The names of pre-publication subscribers to his Festschrift
, and now memorial, The Monuments Man –
to which many Fellows have contributed – will be recorded in the book.
Memorials to Fellows
Helped by David Clark FSA
, who sent me his spreadsheet of Fellows’ memorials, I list below those Fellows who featured in Salon
under the editorship of my predecessor, Chris Catling FSA
. Together with my more recent list is Salon 434
, barring inevitable errors and omissions, this completes the catalogue of memorials up to September 2019.
Salon 332 included
a list of 32 Fellows commemorated with monuments in Kensal Green Cemetery, London W10, compiled by Julian Litten FSA
. Good photos welcomed.
Tom Blofeld FSA
(1903–86) Hoveton St John, 327
Edward Blore FSA
(1797–1879) Highgate, London, 343
Geoffrey Bushnell FSA
(1903–78) Cambridge, 326
Sir Henry Chauncy FSA
(1632–1719) Alderley, 327
Vere Gordon Childe FSA
(1892–1957) Sydney, 329
Gerald Cobb FSA
(1900–86) London, 327
William Cole FSA
(1714–82) Cambridge, 333 [no image]
Sir John Cullum FSA
(1733–85) Hawstead, 330
Sir John Dugdale FSA
(1628–1700) Shustoke, 333 [no image]
Sir William Dugdale FSA
(1605–86) Shustoke, 333 [no image]
John Frere FSA
(1740–1807) Finningham, 328
Benjamin Gibson FSA
(1811–51) Rome, 328
Richard Gough FSA
(1735–1809) Wormley, 332
Peter Hoare FSA
(1755–1834) Chiselhurst, 342
John Ives FSA
(1751–76) Benhall, 329
Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer FSA
(1906–69) Felbrigg, 327
William Lambarde FSA
(1536–1601) Sevenoaks, 333 [no image]
Sir Austen Henry Layard FSA
(1817–94) Canford Magna, 334
Thomas Martin FSA
(1697–1771) Palgrave, 329
Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick FSA
(1783–1848) Goodrich, 337
John Nichols FSA
(1745–1826) Islington, 337
John Gough Nichols FSA
(1806–73) Holmwood, 333 [no image]
John Pike FSA
(1801–1879) Little Stanmore, 337
Thomas Rackett FSA
(1756–1840) Spetisbury, 331
Sir John Soane FSA
(1780–1837) London, 331
William Stevenson FSA
(1750–1821) London, 336
John Stow FSA
(1525–1605) London, 328
John Strype FSA
(1643–1737) Leyton, 333 [no image]
William Stukeley FSA
(1687–1765) Stamford, 330
Alexander Hendras Sutherland FSA
(1753–1820) London, 334
George Vertue FSA
(1684–1756) Westminster Abbey, 339
John Green Waller FSA
(1813–1905) Nunhead 333, [no image]
Richard Hensleigh Walter FSA
(1862–1924) Stoke-sub-Hamdon, 327
F A Walters FSA
(1849–1931) Buckfast Abbey, 339
Roger Wilbraham FSA
(1745–1829) Twickenham, 338
Anthony Wood FSA
(1632–95) Oxford, 333 [no image]
Richard Woolfe FSA
(?–1877) Worcester Cathedral, 343
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager (email@example.com). We are currently scheduled a year in advance for our Ordinary Meeting Lectures.
Ordinary Meetings are held from 17.00 to 18.00 on Thursdays. Open to Fellows and their invited guests.
Forthcoming Public Events
Conferences and Seminars
This event is now fully booked.
Aimed at the archaeological, wider academic and interested lay communities, this day conference will be a chance to hear from those directly involved in this field and discuss the issues and challenges faced. Speakers will include Prof Peter Stone OBE FSA, UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University; Lt-Col Tim Purbrick OBE FSA, the newly appointed commander of the British Army’s Cultural Property Protection Unit; Dr Paul Fox FSA, secretary of the UK Blue Shield Committee; Maj Mark Dunkley FSA, SGMI, Dr Emma Cunliffe, Newcastle University and Dr Nigel Pollard FSA, Swansea University.
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.
The Welsh Regional Fellows’ Group of the Society is holding a one-day symposium on Raglan Castle, Gwent (Monmouthshire), in the Beaufort Arms, Raglan.
The meeting is being organized in honour of the late Rick Turner OBE, FSA, formerly of CADW, who died in June 2018. It will report on a new project of research into the castle and grounds of the exceptional very late medieval and Renaissance-period castle at Raglan and its role as a cultural and political centre, which Rick himself had been involved in planning.
We shall have a programme of papers and reports from leading specialists in the field from 9.45 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and propose to discuss future prospects for research and publication, including the aspiration to bring together a comprehensive volume of the scope and quality of Rick Turner’s own co-edited volume on Chepstow Castle (with Andy Johnson, Logaston Press, 2006). The cost for the day will include coffee/tea morning and afternoon and a buffet lunch. You can book tickets through the Society website here.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.
Join us at the Bar Convent, (17 Blossom Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO24 1AQ) at 6-6.30 pm for a glass of wine followed by a lecture by Dr Andrew R. Woods FSA. Fellows are welcome to bring guests but, for catering purpose, it is useful to have an idea of numbers to expect, and it is essential to let me know if you would like to join us for a meal afterwards. Please contact Ailsa Mainman FSA by email: email@example.com.
- 29 October: Fellows Evening. Lecture by Dr Andrew R. Woods FSA, Senior Curator, York Museums Trust. 'Detecting power: Interpreting the coinage from Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham
Detecting power: Interpreting the coinage from Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham
The elite Anglo-Saxon site at Rendlesham, Suffolk has been subject to a large-scale archaeological investigation, including a detailed metal-detector survey, over the past decade. Amongst the material recovered is one of the largest mid-Saxon coin assemblages from England. This paper will offer analysis of this assemblage, seeking to interrogate the economic networks of an elite residence at the very outset of Early Medieval coin-use in England.
This paper is part of the Landscape and Lordship in East Anglia project, supported by the Leverhulme Trust (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/research/directory/lordship-and-landscape-east-anglia).
- 30 November: Christmas Dinner, SAVE THE DATE.This will once again be held at the Dean’s Court in York. Details to follow.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (email@example.com), if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.
Presently we are scheduled approximately a year in advance.
Other Heritage Events
• Entries new to this Salon are marked by The Veil of Time, the keystone over the entrance to the Society’s premises in Burlington House
29 October: Fire: Friend or Fiend in Human History? (Bournemouth)
The Third Annual Pitt Rivers Lecture at Bournemouth University will be given by the internationally renowned anthropologist Ruth Tringham (University of California at Berkeley). She will explore how archaeologists can and do act as arson investigators centuries or millennia after the event, focusing on the burned houses of Neolithic Southeast Europe, and earlier examples in Neolithic Anatolia (Çatalhöyük, Turkey), in order to consider how fire has been managed and controlled, and why fire is chosen as a means of destroying places, urban or rural, public or domestic. Details online.
31 October: Developing Fire Prevention Guidance for Historic Properties (London)
In the wake of recent devastating fires during major conservation projects, this timely workshop with Christopher Marrion and Fiona Macalister is aimed at the development of guidance on a coherent approach to fire management. Organised by ICOMOS-UK. Details online.
31 October: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce the standard types of published reports currently produced by archaeologists, and how the scope and content of a report is planned. The course will then focus on two key components, the stratigraphic narrative and the discussion, and the most effective and successful ways of approaching the planning, writing and illustration of these. This will include a critical review of a number of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements that apply to writing in a professional and academic context. The course will involve some preparatory reading before the training day. Course Director: Elizabeth Popescu, Post-Excavation and Publications Manager, Oxford Archaeology East. Details online.
2 November: Archaeology Live! (Sleaford)
Discoveries and Research from Lincolnshire and beyond will be presented at the 2019 Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology day conference. Speakers include Adam Daubney FSA, Mark Gardiner FSA, Colin Haselgrove FSA, Tom Lane FSA, Natasha Powers FSA and Duncan Wright FSA. Details online.
5 November: Blessed be the Springy Turf – The Story of Commons and our Rural Roots (London)
Common land still covers extensive proportions of rural England and Wales and survives in the heart of most of our cities. This lecture by Terry Robinson will explore the extremely important place common land occupies in the way our landscape has evolved and how our land management has developed. Organised by ICOMOS-UK. Details online.
6 November: Charles I: The Court at War (London)
Second in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. During the Civil War Charles I’s court, denied access to its country residences, set itself up in makeshift locations. Oxford, and other temporary ‘palaces’, had to be both elegant court centres and efficient military headquarters. These unusual royal houses cast new light on the key protagonists in England’s Civil War. Details online.
6–8 November: Victoria and Albert at Osborne (Isle of Wight)
This English Heritage conference at Osborne House commemorates the 200th anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. There will be papers about the house, gardens and collections, and the significance of Osborne from a political, cultural, technological and aesthetic perspective. Speakers include Joanna Marschner FSA, Marilyn Palmer FSA, Roy Porter FSA, Michael Turner FSA and Rowena Willard-Wright FSA. A N Wilson will give a keynote address. Details online.
7 November: Looking After the Royal Collection (London)
Tim Knox FSA, Director of the Royal Collection, will give the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Annual Lecture at the V&A. Comprising over a million objects displayed in 13 royal residences, the Royal Collection is the only European collection of its kind to remain in the hands of its royal family and not to have been absorbed into a state-owned collection. Knox will talk about caring for the Queen’s collection and how it is used and shared with the public. Details online.
9 November: Exploring Medieval Wales: Power, Language(s) and Literature (Cardiff)
This free public event at St Fagan’s National Museum of History is tied to Llys Llywelyn, ‘Llywelyn’s Court’, the reconstruction of the 13th-century royal court of the Princes of Gwynedd in north Wales. There will be a site tour with the museum’s curator and lectures by specialists in medieval Welsh history and literature, including Helen Fulton FSA. Details online.
9 November: Sunrise Over the Stones: Recent Research into Neolithic and Chalcolithic Wessex (Bournemouth)
The CBA Wessex 2019 Annual Conference will be held at Bournemouth University. Roland Smith FSA will give the welcome address, and other speakers include Tim Darvill FSA, Mike Parker Pearson FSA, Josh Pollard FSA, Julian Richards FSA, Miles Russell FSA, Alison Sheridan FSA and Ann Woodward FSA. Details online.
11 November: Glorious Things: John Ruskin's Daguerreotype Photographs of Venice (London)
During his 1845 visit to Venice, Ruskin became aware of the power of the recently invented daguerreotype camera to make accurate records of endangered buildings. To mark the 200th anniversary of his birth Sarah Quill, a Trustee of Venice in Peril, will look at Ruskin’s involvement with photography during his researches for The Seven Lamps of Architecture and The Stones of Venice, at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Details online.
11 November: Animals and the Rise of the Georgian West End (London)
In this Spencer House Lecture Tom Almeroth-Williams, author of the recently published City of Beasts: How Animals Shaped Georgian London, will explore the dramatic role played by horses, livestock and dogs in West End life in the Georgian period. Details online.
14–15 November: Collecting and Collections: Digital Lives and Afterlives Workshop (London)
To be held at the Royal Society, this is the last of three international workshops organised by Collective Wisdom, which is exploring how and why members of the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Leopoldina (in Halle, Germany), collected specimens of the natural world, art, and archaeology in the 17th and 18th centuries. How can we integrate extant digital databases? How did early modern scientific journals, priority of discovery and ‘matters of fact’ shape the organisation of knowledge? How do we consider those early modern models in digital reconstructions of early collecting? Speakers include Anna Marie Roos FSA. Details online.
15 November: Curating Decay (Waltham Abbey)
This will be Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills’ first course, with three morning talks covering a range of issues in the management of vulnerable heritage sites, and reimagining how we might adopt an ethical stance that allows us to collaborate with natural processes and decay, rather than fighting against them. Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills exhibition and a guided tour of the site led by Wayne Cocroft FSA. Details online.
16 November: Discovering Anglian York: Digging in the Dark (York)
This year’s York archaeology conference will focus on Eoforwic, Anglian York. Talks will review current knowledge and recent discoveries, and will ask where should we be looking and why have we so much yet to find. Speakers include Richard Morris FSA, John Oxley FSA and Julian D Richards FSA. Details online.
23 November: HS2 Archaeology (Winslow)
Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society is arranging a second HS2 Archaeology event at Winslow Public Hall, Elmsfield Gate, MK18 3JG. HS2 archaeologists will speak on discoveries made in the course of recent investigations in Buckinghamshire. Open to all, admission £3. Doors open 1.00pm, talks start 1.30pm.
24–25 November: Books at Work: Books and Libraries for Professionals and Tradesmen since the 15th century (London)
Among themes to be addressed at the 41st Annual Book Trade History Conference will be book-trade strategies aimed at particular professional groups and specialisation in genres of publications useful for work, as well as the libraries of professionals, including doctors, lawyers, clergy, architects and heralds. Speakers include David Pearson FSA and Nigel Ramsay FSA. Details online.
25 November: A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883-1961), Dealer and Curator (London)
Barbara Lasic, Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
26 November: William Holcot's Books: Recantation and Repentance in Reformation England (London)
John Craig will talk about William Holcot, a mid-Tudor gentleman, bibliophile and lay reader in the early Elizabethan church, whose experience of recantation during the reign of Queen Mary powerfully shaped his thoughts and actions during the Elizabethan period. The few pieces that survive from Holcot's life enrich our understanding of a particular stream of Elizabethan Protestantism. At Lambeth Palace Library in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500–1800, this event will be followed by a drinks reception. Details online.
27–29 November: Art of the Lost Conference (Canterbury)
Over three days curators, conservators, scientists, historians, archaeologists and artists from the UK, Europe and the USA will gather at Canterbury Cathedral and look at how, and why art is defaced, destroyed or lost within architectural settings. With a particular focus on art within the context of cathedrals and other places of worship, the conference considers changing ideologies, iconoclasm, war, fashion and symbolism. It will discuss art from the sixth century to the present. Delegates will have exclusive access to the Cathedral’s collections, with behind-the-scene tours of conservation in action, and wall paintings and graffiti. Speakers include Gerry Alabone FSA, Paul Bennett FSA, Kate Giles FSA, Tessa Murdoch FSA, Sandy Nairne FSA and David Rundle FSA. Details online.
27–29 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
A short course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is a practical workshop carefully designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called upon to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. It will present the terms of procedure, the roles of the participants and the general feel of a Public Inquiry. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study. Training for potential witnesses will be given in how to prepare evidence for a Public Inquiry, how to produce proofs of evidence, and to experience them being given and tested under realistic conditions. You will be allocated a role to play in the Inquiry and asked to prepare a proof of evidence to fit this role. Active participation limited to 14 participants. There will also be a limited number of places available for observers. Course Directors: Roger M Thomas, Barrister and Archaeologist; George Lambrick, Independent Archaeology and Heritage Consultant. Planning Inspector: Richard Tamplin. Advocates: David Woolley QC and Allan Ledden, Solicitor. Details online.
28 November: Monks, Hermits and the Natural World: 300–650AD (London)
Robin Lane Fox will speak for the Saint Catherine Foundation at the Royal Geographical Society about holy men and hermits of late antiquity, distinctive features of early Christianity often linked to its monasteries such as St Catherine's of Sinai. The lecture will consider the realities and textual representations of their relations with animals, landscapes, birds and plants, and contrast the use and presentation of such items in pagan history, literature and philosophy. Details online.
29–30 November: Houses of Politicians Symposium (Manchester)
This symposium organised by Peter Lindfield FSA at the Manchester Metropolitan University will bring together established and early career scholars who explore the correlation between politics and the country house within this protean political environment. Case studies and dialogue sessions will discuss design and style, as well as collecting, display, patronage, networking, dissemination, and the relationship between London and the country. There will be an optional tour of Wentworth Woodhouse, built by the marquises of Rockingham and now the focus of a major heritage restoration initiative. Details online.
29 November–1 December: Romans in North-East England: Recent Research (London)
This joint Royal Archaeological Institute/Roman Society conference will feature lectures on Aldborough, Corbridge, Scotch Corner, the Tees Valley, Dere Street, Piercebridge, Catterick, Binchester, Brough and Norton. Speakers include Richard Brickstock FSA, Hella Eckardt FSA, Peter Halkon FSA, Ian Haynes FSA and Martin Millett FSA. Details online.
30 November: Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2019 (Manchester)
The University of Salford will be hosting its eighth annual Archaeology Day with a programme for practitioners, professionals and especially members of the public, with highlights from archaeological projects undertaken in Greater Manchester over the last year. Guest speaker for the Brian Grimsditch Memorial Lecture will be Mike Heyworth FSA. Other speakers include Ian Miller FSA, Mike Nevell FSA and Norman Redhead FSA, and talks will range from a newly discovered prehistoric site above Rochdale to the excavation of industrial remains in Castlefield. Details online.
18 January 2020: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The 10th conference on New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, and is organised by Paula Henderson FSA and Claire Gapper FSA, who will be speaking with, among others, Maurice Howard FSA, Paul Drury FSA and Adam Menuge FSA. Details online, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
18 January 2020: Fifty Years of Archaeology at Rewley House (Oxford)
This day school will look back at a half century of archaeology at Rewley House, to assess and celebrate the department’s achievements, discussing in particular its involvement in field archaeology from the training excavation at Middleton Stoney in the 1970s through to its recent and current community archaeology work in East Oxford and Appleton. In addition, present and former directors of archaeological studies, alongside others who have played significant roles in Rewley House archaeology, will talk about their work with the department. Speakers include Malcolm Airs FSA, Anne Dodd FSA, David Griffiths FSA, Tom Hassall FSA, Gill Hey FSA, Gary Lock FSA and Trevor Rowley FSA. Details online.
31 January 2020: Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland: Prehistoric and Roman (Oxford)
A long-running series of weekends at Rewley House on Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland returns to the beginning, and examines evidence for prehistoric and pre-Christian Roman places of worship. Speakers include Kenneth Brophy FSA, Tim Darvill FSA, Chris Gosden FSA, Seren Griffiths FSA, Martin Henig FSA, Fraser Hunter FSA, Tony King FSA and John Pearce FSA. Details online.
18 March 2020: Charles II: The Court in Exile (London)
Third in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. For a decade after the execution of Charles I the Stuart courts were based in the Low Countries and France. Determined to maintain splendour and dignity, though short of money, Charles II used rented mansions as headquarters for the exiled monarchy. In these hitherto unknown royal ‘palaces’ the king and his courtiers developed tastes that were to fundamentally fashion the art and architecture of Restoration England. Details online.
23–27 March 2020: Histories of Archaeology (Canberra)
The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific (CBAP) Australian Research Council Laureate Project, led by Matthew Spriggs FSA, will be hosting this conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, airing new ideas on the history of archaeology worldwide. Invited keynote speakers include Margarita Diaz-Andreu FSA, Stephanie Moser FSA, Lynn Meskell, Tim Murray FSA, Lynette Russell and Nathan Schlanger. The conference launches the CBAP-linked international museum exhibitions under the title of Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania, which will take place at approximately 40 museums and cultural institutions worldwide. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org, details online.
1–3 May 2020: The Great House in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford)
The popularity of the great house for the hereditary aristocracy, aspiring owners and the visiting public has continued to blossom in the present century. A weekend (not the May bank holiday weekend) at Rewley House will provide an opportunity to explore some of the themes about the great house which have emerged since the turn of the millennium. It will cover new and established houses and their garden settings, and will examine the ways in which houses are managed and presented to the public. Speakers include Malcolm Airs FSA, Tarnya Cooper FSA, Ben Cowell FSA, Jeremy Musson FSA and Alan Powers FSA. Details online.
10 June 2020: William and Mary: The Court Divided (London)
Fourth in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. Like James I, King William III was unhappy with the formality of England’s vast crumbling royal estate. But unlike James, who virtually abandoned Edinburgh, William maintained a second court, and a parallel suite of royal houses, in the Netherlands. Mostly ignored by English historians, these houses are the key to understanding the style that we now know as William and Mary, and its impact on England. Details online.
Call for Papers
16–18 April 2020: Wall Painting Conservation and its Dilemmas in the Twenty-first Century (York)
A conference in memory of Sharon Cather FSA will take place in the surroundings of the Tempest Anderson Hall of the Yorkshire Museum, the Hospitium in the museum’s 19th-century gardens, and the King’s Manor, University of York, to take stock of the current state of wall painting conservation internationally, and consider potentially productive developments in the future. Contributions will cover all periods of wall painting from ancient to contemporary, and will take the opportunity of reflecting on the type of issues that were of such concern to Sharon Cather. The number of papers will need to be limited to about 18. Many have already been offered, and others are now invited. Speakers will be asked to commit to contributing to the follow-up publication. Details online.
8–10 July 2020: Early Modern Conference (Durham)
The Durham Early Modern Conference is an annual event organised by the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Durham University. It offers a broad and inclusive interdisciplinary forum for any aspect of early modern studies, covering the period c 1450 to c 1800. We welcome proposals for panels comprising at least three papers, and strands which will run through the conference and should generally comprise at least two and no more than five related panels. The deadline for submissions is Monday 11 November 2019. Details online.