Salon: Issue 389
4 July 2017
Next issue: 17 July 2017
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor.
Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
20 July: Private View for Blood Royal Exhibition
Join us a private view of our free summer exhibition, Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy
, which will showcase our collection of medieval and Tudor royal portraits
alongside material from the Library and Museum collections, including our postmortem
inventory of Henry VIII and an Elizabethan map of an the area near Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for supporting this project. We are delighted that a number of Fellows have given generously of their time to help write interpretation, film video highlights for objects on display and participate in special programming such as gallery talks (Tuesdays, 14.00-14.30) and museum lates (11 August and 25 August). We would particularly like to thank Fellows Mr Peter M Barber
, Dr John PD Cooper
and Prof Glenn J Richardson
, who have worked closely with Society staff to undertake research into the collections and produce the exhibition.
The exhibition officially opens to the public the following Monday (24 July), and we hope Fellows will bring family and friends to explore our collections. Tickets are still available for the private view and can be purchased via our website.
28 July: Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Maor
Fellows’ Day will take place on Friday, 28 July. We are delighted to announce that we will receive a visit from our Royal Patron, the Duke of Gloucester. Fellows will have an opportunity to learn more about our Heritage Lottery Fund project, Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future
Tickets are available through the Society website
(login required) or by contacting Kelmscott Manor directly (call 01367 252486, or email email@example.com
Image: Council Members (until April 2017) with the General Secretary at Kelmscott Manor.
Changes to Burlington House Staff
We regret to announce that we will be saying goodbye to three members of staff in the coming months, all of whom we hope you will join us in thanking for their service. They will all be greatly missed. Alana Farrell, User Services Librarian, will be leaving her post at the end of July to resume her studies. In the 12 months that Alana has been in post, she has made a huge contribution to the development of our library services. We posted the User Services Librarian vacancy in the previous issue of this e-newsletter and are currently recruiting.
Katy Drake will be leaving her post as Head of Finance and Operations in September. Katy joined us in early 2015, and she has made a huge impact on the way our finances are managed and the way Burlington House operates and is maintained. She has also acted as project manager for the Society’s past two summer programmes (the series of lates in 2016 and the forthcoming exhibition in 2017). Katy is leaving to take up the post of Deputy Director at the Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire. We are currently recruiting for a this role (see the 'Vacancies' section below).
Dr Helen Cockle, our Governance Officer, will be retiring in September. Helen has been a critical asset to the Burlington House team and has produced superb minutes, organised committee meetings, overseen the ballots and the reform of the Statutes. She has administered the grants programme, and has also written a several strategic papers for Council on the direction of the Society. Helen has been a pillar of support to Fellows, colleagues and the officers and other members of Council.
A Few of Sargent's Watercolours
The Dulwich Picture Gallery’s exhibition of watercolours by John Singer Sargent opened on 21 June. Billed as the UK’s first major showing of his watercolours since 1927, it presents an uplifting array of 80 charming, intimate works, all done between 1900 and 1918. They feel like the output of a busy artist on holiday, with the light and warmth of glamorous destinations and in a relaxed style suggesting a talent so potent it can afford to throw off grand ideas and technical brilliance in apparent ephemera. Some of the most striking works, it seems, a few sensuous male nudes, may never have been intended to be widely seen.
The exhibition has been co-curated by Richard Ormond FSA and Elaine Kilmurray. They have co-authored the catalogue and they share the narration on the exhibition audio guides. Perhaps this was a bit of a holiday for them too, having previously compiled a nine-volume catalogue of Sargent’s complete paintings (1998–2016), as well as other works including Tate’s catalogue for a larger exhibition in 1998 (not to mention two volumes of the Dictionary of British Portraiture, on which they worked together with Malcolm Rogers FSA).
Richard Ormond, who is Sargent’s grand-nephew, said in a release, ‘In Sargent’s watercolours we see his zest for life and his pleasure in the act of painting. The fluency and sensuality of his paint surfaces, and his wonderful command of light, never cease to astonish us.’ In her catalogue introduction, Jennifer Scott FSA, Sackler Director, Dulwich Picture Gallery, writes that Sargent’s skill as a watercolourist equalled that of Turner, Cézanne and Winslow Homer. He may have been escaping the pressure of portrait painting by leaving England, but Sargent was ever the professional. A photo (right) shows him at work in the Simplon Pass, his kit arranged around him with the air of one who had given considerable attention to maximising the efficiency of painting outdoors.
The paintings at top show Spanish Fountain (1912, Fitzwilliam Museum) and The Lady with the Umbrella (detail, 1911, Museu de Montserrat). The photo is from the Sargent Archive, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Sargent: The Watercolours ends on 8 October.
Visit a Hillfort
It began as a dry website at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, named the Survey of Hillforts. The first subheading was Access and Health and Safety, and among the pages of text there was only one significant illustration, a small photo of something that might be moorland. Then on 26 June the project launched an online atlas. At the end of the first week, it had received 12 million hits.
Over the past five years, a team of nine archaeologists, led by Ian Ralston FSA (Edinburgh University) and Gary Lock FSA (Oxford), helped by volunteers and statutory archaeological organisations in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, have been assembling information about all the UK’s known hillforts. These are defensive-looking earthworks dating between around 1000 BC and AD 700, but mostly built during the Iron Age (as Maiden Castle, Dorset, above). The project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, supplied detailed survey forms, which some 400 people completed by visiting sites and collecting data. They held talks, training days and conferences. Then they put it all together – 4,147 ‘archaeological sites considered to be hillforts or possible hillforts’ – into a free online database with satellite photography, and opened it up to the public, as the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland.
Two days later, the project was celebrated by Oxford University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards. The team has now stepped down. The Bodleian Wikipedian in Residence and a team of voluntary Wikipedians are creating a Wiki page for each of the sites, comprising a summary version of each database record. A printed atlas is in preparation.
‘Standing on a windswept hillfort with dramatic views across the countryside, you really feel that you’re fully immersed in history,’ said Ralson in a press release. Lock said he hopes ‘that this resource will be the starting point for a new period of interest and research into hillforts. We have collected the data, it is there for people to download and work within their own research interests.’
Archaeologists will enjoy a blog by Harold Mytum FSA, in which he writes about a project at Castell Henllys, Pembrokeshire. In the early 1980s, when he was a Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Mytum excavated a roundhouse at this Iron Age hillfort so that it could be reconstructed as a full-scale house for research and entertainment. The house, impressively, still stood until earlier this year, but it was deteriorating. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park decided to replace it. Archaeologists recorded the structure as it was dismantled, and then excavated the remains. The new building will rise later in the summer.
Eleanor Scott, who was on the original dig, writes about her experiences at Castell Henllys (happy), and at other excavations (not always so), in an important blog. ‘If we're all honest about the dig experiences we're offering,’ she concludes, ‘and we then share out those experiences equitably … then there should be digs out there where everyone can find their spot, and be set up not to fail but to succeed.’
Avebury Chapel Saved
There is a small 17th-centruy Nonconformist chapel near the centre of Avebury’s great stone circle, which happened to be just beyond the required distances from three towns allowed at the time for such chapels. Itself built partly from broken megaliths, it’s a symbol of a time when pagan fears, Christian fundamentalism and business interests combined to attack the monument, as vividly described by William Stukeley FSA.
As Mark Gillings and Joshua Pollard FSA agued in Avebury (2004), the leading stonebreakers were Nonconformists associated with the chapel’s construction. Only when Alexander Keiller FSA excavated in the 1930s was it realised that the destroyers had been less successful than it seemed. For reasons which still defy explanation, many megaliths had already been safely buried out of sight, probably in the early Middle Ages.
For some time the chapel had been rented out by the United Reformed Church for use as a tourist information centre. The local Council pulled funding, and the building struggled to find a use. In April it was put on the market. ‘The property’, said the sale details, ‘is suitable for continued community use or potentially it could form a visitor centre or café to serve the tourist industry or would convert to a very attractive single residential property.’ It came with headstones and graves to which access would need to be given.
There were rumours of a group hoping to turn it into a multi-faith centre. We now learn that the chapel has been bought by the National Trust, which already owns most of the stone circle and many houses, including Avebury Manor. Jan Tomlin, General Manager Wiltshire Landscape for the National Trust, said the Trust would restore and develop the building into ‘a welcome and information space’ for local communities and visitors, highlighting work undertaken to conserve and protect the World Heritage Site and offering information on wildlife and heritage. It’s difficult to guess what Stukeley would have thought: protected but secularised, the chapel lives on as a memorial to his hated ‘miserable farmers’.
Protests at Plan to Shrink Inner Temple Library
Past and present architectural editors of Country Life have joined protestors against proposed alterations to the Inner Temple Library in the City of London. Writing to the Times (29 June), Marcus Binney FSA, Clive Aslet, John Goodall FSA, Mark Girouard FSA, Michael Hall FSA and Jeremy Musson say the scheme ‘will destroy the proportions and much of the … fine oak panelling and balustrade galleries.’ ‘The library was rebuilt with monies from the War Damages Commission,’ they continue, ‘and its beauty should be seen as a tribute to the sacrifice of war.’ It is in ‘the great tradition of library-building in Britain,’ and the benchers of the Inner Temple ‘should show more respect for what their forbears so recently achieved and heed the very strong opposition to their proposals.’
With a books and manuscripts collection dating back to at least 1505, the library’s 19th-century Gothic building by Sir Robert Smirke was destroyed in the Second World War. The present building (by T W Sutcliffe) was completed in 18th-century style in 1958, with oak panelling supervised by Sir Edward Maufe, architect of Guildford Cathedral. Historic England declined a 2015 listing request.
The Inner Temple wants to add a new mansard roof to provide a new auditorium, offices and meeting rooms. The library, on the upperfloors of the Treasury Building, will need to be reduced in height. The diagram (left) shows the library, shaded, as is on the left and with proposed lowered celling on the right.
In March, Save Britain’s Heritage described the original project as ‘one of the capital’s finest examples of sensitive postwar restoration.’ Binney, Save’s Executive President, said, ‘This handsome library beautifully panelled in oak, has a wealth of fine architectural detail. It is unbelievable that one of the historic Inns of Court should be proposing to butcher its own heritage in this brutal and insensitive fashion.’
Fellows Making History
Ahead of the solstice gathering at Stonehenge on 21 June, BBC Radio 4’s Making History considered the A303 road tunnel. Unlike the time when a tunnel was first prosed in the last century, said presenter Tom Holland, archaeologists now know Stonehenge is at the centre of a rich ancient landscape.
The piece opened with a brief comment from Rosemary Hill FSA (future generations would not forgive us for a tunnel), and Barry Cunliffe FSA (‘I will go very firmly in favour of the tunnel’). Helen Castor talked to David Jacques FSA at Blick Mead, where, he said, archaeologists have ‘discovered the communities who built the first monuments at Stonehenge.’ Closer to the stones, Castor talked to National Trust archaeologist Nick Snashall. ‘It’s so important,’ said Snashall, ‘that this road should be removed in its current form.’ Rachel Pope FSA said archaeologists now realised Stonehenge was part of a wider landscape, making a tunnel inappropriate. Duncan Wilson FSA, Chief Executive of Historic England, agreed with Pope’s landscape analysis but concluded this was all the more reason for a tunnel: the critical question, he said, is the placing of the tunnel portals. Pope wanted the portals outside the World Heritage Site, but Wilson objected, saying, ‘we must view this rationally’. Two reports have shown, said Snashall, that there are ways of siting the portals, if sensitively designed, that can bring a real benefit to the World Heritage Site.
This was followed by a discussion with Rob Iliffe and David Haycock about William Stukeley FSA, the originator, said Holland, of ‘the idea that Stonehenge is part of a larger, ritual landscape (an idea that modern archaeologists now support).’ Next Marc Vander Linden FSA was asked to comment on the ancient DNA Beaker study: archaeological evidence for culture, he said, shows there could not have been a population replacement in Britain, despite claims from geneticists.
This was not the end of Making History’s Fellows. The next item took music presenter Verity Sharp to the Royal Society in London to meet Anna Marie Roos FSA and the Society’s Librarian Keith Moore FSA. Anna Roos has been studying a diary written by James Petiver (1665–1718), an apothecary who corresponded about plants with people around the world and conducted rudimentary fieldwork across Britain; his collection became part of the early British Museum.
On the morning of the solstice, the Today programme on Radio 4 addressed the issue of restricted access to Stonehenge. Hugh Thomson, a travel writer and broadcaster, was distressed that most tourists were unable to enter the stone circle, which he blamed on ‘a Labour government who were determined to prove they could at least control access to a monument even if they couldn’t control the rest of the country.’ Susan Greaney, English Heritage, said the ground would rapidly erode and turn to mud if all visitors were let in, and there are sensitive remains which would be damaged.
The photo at top is a Press Association image from BBC News, which reported that around 13,000 people watched the midsummer sunrise at the stones.
World’s Biggest Archaeology Event
This year’s Festival of Archaeology, co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology and funded through Historic England and Cadw, takes place from 15 to 30 July. Mike Heyworth FSA, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, said in a statement, ‘The Festival is a great way to celebrate the great diversity of archaeology across the UK. Far from being in a crisis, the public interest and engagement in all aspects of archaeology continues to grow.’
The Festival gives everyone the chance to find out more about archaeology and to get involved, making it still the world’s biggest archaeology event. Highlights this year include hands-on activities for families, behind-the-scenes tours and guided walks, special exhibitions, excavations and workshops, re-enactments and finds identification days. Online event listings are updated daily, with new events being added up to the start of the Festival. The Society of Antiquaries' summer exhibition, which includes archaeological finds from the Wars of the Roses Battle of Towton and Battle of Bosworth, is one of the Festival's attractions.
The Festival generates a lot of activity on Facebook and Twitter, say the organisers, ‘so please spread the word by following, posting, tweeting and liking us on Facebook (archaeology.for.all), Twitter (@FestivalofArch) and Instagram (#FestivalofArchaeology).’
Defeating the Subliterate Haptics
If you are not a follower of contemporary architecture, you may be surprised to learn that these two buildings on the Isle of Dogs in east London are a storm-water pumping station (left) and a transformer house. They were designed in the later 1980s by John Outram for the Docklands Development Corporation (DDC). The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has listed them Grade II*, on the advice of Historic England as part of its Post-Modernism project.
Roger Bowdler FSA, Historic England’s Director of Listing, said in a statement, ‘John Outram’s pumping station was one of the most exciting buildings of the 1980s. Outram exulted in the panache and exuberance of Classicism, and gave this utterly functional structure an exterior which is unforgettable.’
The listing came as a present on Outram’s 83rd birthday. ‘The oldest architecture I ever visited’, he said, ‘was the painted caves of 20,000-year old Lascaux. Decoration is the origin and essence of Architecture. It can mediate, in the theatre of a built room or a built city, the epiphany of a meaning. I was told, in 1955, at the beginning of my life as an architect, that my medium was both to be illiterate and devoid of metaphysical capacity. My work has been a rebellion. I refused to live in a city designed by proudly subliterate haptics whose ambition was to reduce it to mere “plant”.’
The listing entry tells a long and fascinating story about the buildings. Outram was not alone in fearing ‘a city designed by proudly subliterate haptics’. The DDC was founded in 1981 to oversee the regeneration of a large area of east London. Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister, decreed that everything above ground should be built by the private sector; the public sector was left only with utilities and infrastructure below ground, apart from three pumping stations. This defiant stand was subverted by Edward Hollamby, the DDC’s Chief Architect and Planner, who brought in leading private architects: Richard Rogers, Nicholas Grimshaw and Outram were each allocated a pumping station.
‘Broadly,’ says the listing, ‘the building can be read as a classical temple or ark rising from a primeval sea or river, expressed in the wavy lines of the courtyard paviours. A phoenix is expressed in the building’s pediment and central fan, and the break in the pediment is a cave between the mountains out of which comes the sun and the river’s source (the fan); the coloured lines in the blue brickwork are the ripples on the water. The columns are trees, and the battered walls are mountains, with the stripes in the brickwork the geological strata.’
‘It is vital that we keep the List up to date,’ said Bowdler. ‘it’s really exciting that we are starting to see the very best of Post-Modern buildings find their place among England’s finest works of architecture.’
Bowdler will be kicking off the Society of Antiquaries' Ordinary Meeting of Fellows programme for the autumn, with a lecture to Fellows regarding this project (5 October).
Celebrating Past Times
Congratulations to Norman Hammond FSA, who on 1 July celebrated 50 years as Archaeology Correspondent at the Times. It’s unlikely this unique achievement will ever be bettered – except by Hammond himself, who seems busy as ever: his most recent piece, about an excavation in Norfolk referred to below in The Wisdom of Fellows, was published on 17 June.
The column was in effect created by the late Derek Roe FSA. Roe was a student at Cambridge when he asked the paper’s editor, Sir William Haley, if he could write it? Like Hammond, Roe went on to have a distinguished career in archaeology, so the column has only ever been written by archaeologists reporting on the work of colleagues while also conducting their own research, bringing insight and balance. Often drawing on fully referenced peer-reviewed articles, its style has been consistently well-informed and restrained, even when covering unavoidably sensational stories. Hammond has also written obituaries for the paper, and contributed many letters (on 24 October 1985, he informed readers that gibnut was more like a guinea pig than a rat, and ‘tastes even better’; the Queen had been reported to have picked at her food during a state dinner in Belize).
HIs first brush with journalism, he tells Salon, was as Press Secretary for the Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society in Sussex. In January 1965 he wrote a freelance article for the Times on his own work in north Africa, suggesting a successor to Roe should he decide to move on. When that moment came, Hammond launched himself with a piece about excavations at Durrington Walls, near Stonehenge in Wiltshire, by the late Geoff Wanwright FSA (14 August 1967).
Occasionally editors have moved his column to the front page. There he reported on museums being duped by fake neolithic Turkish pottery; confirmation that human remains could be those of the Princes in the Tower, supporting Richard III’s guilt in their demise; and the discovery of a 500,000-year-old human fossil at Boxgrove, Sussex. The item reproduced at the top, one of Hammond’s first, is about excavations at Winchester by Martin Biddle FSA, just discernible at far right.
Fellows (and Friends)
Colin Tite FSA
, historian and biographer of Sir Robert Cotton’s library, died in March.
An appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains a further notice on the late Martin Aitken FSA
In the last Salon
I congratulated Fellows honoured in the Queen’s Birthday List: Helen Dorey FSA
and Tom Mayberry FSA
received OBEs, and Paul Bennett FSA
an MBE (my apologies to the latter and any Fellow who contributed to his ‘large post bag’ for getting his award wrong, though doubtless his mail would have been as large in any event). Several Fellows wonder why I hadn’t also named other recipients. The answer is that they weren’t Fellows, but it seems churlish not to extend our congratulations further. So here is a selection of honoured people whose efforts contribute to the greater good and in particular to things that directly concern the Society:
Leonard Blavatnik, a businessman who has given generously to Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum, for services to philanthropy.
David Dewing, lately Director the Geffrye Museum of the Home, for services to the Arts.
Nicholas Dixon, former Director and founder member of the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology, for services to underwater archaeology, public engagement and the economy in Scotland.
Andrew Fane, Director of the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation, the Britten-Pears Foundation and the Stowe House Preservation Trust, for services to heritage and charity.
Inga Grimsey, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for the East of England, for services to heritage and the community.
Sandeep Virdee, founder and Director Darbar Arts Culture and Heritage Trust, for services to the promotion of Indian musical heritage in the UK.
Anne Binney, Director Domaine des Vaux Opera Festival, Chairman Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Chairman the Art Fund Jersey Volunteer Committee, for services to wildlife and the arts.
Vikas Kumar, Director of GemArts, Gateshead, for services to the Arts and Culture.
Sylvia Russell, Chair Lanark Community Development Trust, for services to the community and heritage in Lanarkshire.
James Stretton, lately Chairman, Lammermuir Festival, for services to the arts, finance and charity in Scotland.
Catherine Walker, War Poets Collection Curator, Edinburgh Napier University, for services to education, heritage and public engagement.
Helen Walker, General Manager Theatreplan, former Manager Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, for services to heritage and the community in Ealing.
Trevor Sapey, Community Engagement, Outreach and Access Officer at the Mary Rose Trust, for services to the Mary Rose Museum and disabled and disadvantaged people in Portsmouth and the south-east.
Mary Yapp, for services to art through the Albany Art Gallery, Cardiff and charitable services in Wales.
Bula Chakravarty-Agbo, for services to the arts within the community in south London.
Beatrice Frost, for services to UK national heritage, Hailsham.
Eileen Gardner, for services to adult education and the arts in Fife.
Felicity Irons, owner of Rush Matters and supplier of traditional rush flooring to the National Trust, for services to rush and heritage crafts.
Harvey Lloyd, for services to the community, mountain rescue, mountaineering and heritage in Wales.
John Lord, former Custodian of Grime’s Graves Neolithic flint mines and an outstanding flint worker, for services to flint knapping.
Anne Mason, for services to the Friends of Thetford Forest and heritage in Suffolk.
Roger Morgan, Chair Herefordshire Cultural Partnership, for voluntary service to the Arts in Herefordshire.
Dennis Norton, founder the Norton Collection, for services to Community Heritage in Bromsgrove.
Ann Stewart, for voluntary service to the arts, healthcare and steam railway preservation in London, Edinburgh and Derby.
David Tod, Vice Chairman Scottish Fisheries Museum, for services to preserving the heritage of the Scottish fishing industry.
The photo of John Lord by Matthew Usher (top) is from the Eastern Daily Press
The British Council has published details of new projects supported by the Cultural Protection Fund
. The first eight were announced late last year, ranging from Preserving Afghan Heritage
to Revival of the Mosque of Moqbil
, Egypt and Preserving Palestinian Heritage
. A further 11 extend the scheme’s projects in conflict-affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Among them Preserving Syrian Heritage
, run by the Institute for Digital Archaeology, will collect site data to generate 3D models. Protecting Bedouin Lived Cultural Heritage
, led by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, with Al Maleh Agricultural Cooperative and Al Twani Crafts Cooperative, will focus on nomadic Bedouin communities of the Occupied-Palestinian Territories, hoping to engage young people in their cultural heritage of land and agriculture. The £30 million fund, launched in June 2016, is paid for by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, and available to applicants for grants up to or more than £100,000. It aims to protect and preserve monuments and religious sites, as well as traditions, beliefs and cultural identity, in regions troubled by Islamic State (Daesh).
Historic England has reopened applications for its Heritage Action Zone scheme, which aims to improve economic growth and quality of life in communities across England. With ten Zones up and running, from Appleby in Cumbria to Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset, applications are open to councils, local organisations and groups ‘keen to inject new life into towns and cities rich in heritage, to make them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.’ Historic England is offering specialist advice as well as grants. Details online
Christina Riggs FSA
has published Egypt: Lost Civilizations
. According to the blurb, the book introduces the history, art and religion of Egypt from its earliest dynasties to its final fall to Rome, and explores the influence ancient Egypt has since had. ‘Looking for a vanished past,' she argues, 'always serves some purpose in the present.’ Riggs picks up this theme in an essay in the Conversation
. What looks more sophisticated in retrospect, she asks, looking back to the 1920s: ‘Britain’s imperial adoption of Egyptology and the Western commercial mania for mummies and King Tut, or the creative output ancient Egypt inspired in Egyptians and African-Americans, in the same decade?’
Riggs’ essay open with a mention of The Mummy
, a movie released early in June to negative reviews and lower than expected takings. The common complaint is that the film is ‘a mess’ (Guardian
), a collection of characters, references and plot diversions that fails to hold a coherent story. It certainly has plenty of archaeology. A crusader knight’s tomb is discovered during a Crossrail works in London. An airstrike in Iraq unearths another tomb. An antiquities dealer (Tom Cruise) apparently dies in a plane crash brought on by ancient evil powers, but wakes up in an Oxford morgue. A secret society meets under the Natural History Museum. A revived Crusader army storms London. And so on. If you have seen this and can make sense of it (an academic duty, surely), please write and enlighten other Fellows.
On 27 June Unesco published its latest advisory report
on proposals for road alterations in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. Appearing to step back from an earlier report that praised the way the scheme was being assessed, its key recommendation was that 'the F010 option’ (a new bypass road taking the A303 outside the world heritage site) should be ‘further explored ... as it would have a significantly lesser impact on the [outstanding universal value] of the WH property than the tunnel options’. However, the report also considered how a tunnel design, if adopted as the solution, might be improved. The Times
, under a headline ‘Giant road tunnel at Stonehenge attacked by UN heritage experts’ (29 June), quoted a joint statement from the National Trust, English Heritage and Historic England. ‘We’re disappointed’, said the conservation bodies, ‘that the ICOMOS report largely ignores both the benefits of removing a large stretch of the A303 and the danger of doing nothing at all.’ Peter Saunders FSA
wrote to the Times
(1 July) that it was ICOMOS’s job ‘to secure “perfect” solutions'. ‘However,’ he adds, ‘there can be no perfect solution because of the infinite competing challenges (not only of heritage) to overcome. The tunnel scheme provides as close to a pragmatic compromise as has been achieved in a generation.’
Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Art, Material Culture, Language and Literature of the Early Medieval World
, is edited by Jane Hawkes FSA
and Eric Cambridge. It brings together 27 papers in honour of Richard Bailey FSA
. Contributors include Dame Rosemary Cramp FSA, Lindsay Allason-Jones FSA, Nancy Edwards FSA, Paul Everson FSA, James Graham-Campbell FSA, George Henderson FSA, David Heslop FSA, John Hines FSA, Catherine Karkov FSA, Chris Morris FSA, Colm O'Brien FSA, Éamonn Ó Carragáin FSA, Gale Owen-Crocker FSA, David Parsons FSA, David Stocker FSA, Lorna Watts FSA
and Leslie Webster FSA
(‘Does this set some sort of record?’ asks Hawkes, who has written a paper herself). The book’s focus is on material culture, but also includes insights into the compositional techniques of Bede and the Beowulf-poet, and the strategies adopted by anonymous scribes to record information in unfamiliar languages. Contributors offer fresh insights into iconic survivals, from the wooden doors of Santa Sabina in Rome to the Ruthwell Cross, and from St Cuthbert’s coffin to the design of its final resting place, the Romanesque cathedral at Durham.
Hazel Forsyth FSA
has curated Junk
, free at the Museum of London
until 1 October. The exhibits, many excavated as discarded debris by archaeologists in London, were not so much junk at the time they were last in use as strenuously recycled. They include shoes and clothes made from re-used materials, broken plates fixed with metal staples and solder and creatively wired fragments of glass. ‘These objects remind me of the signs you see everywhere in London,’ says Forsyth, ‘advertising screen repair for cracked smartphones. It's interesting that after decades of Londoners throwing away their possessions when they broke, we now own consumer items expensive enough to repair, rather than replace.’
‘Unesco status is a badge on the wall,’ says Lindsey Ashworth, development director of a property investment group, ‘but we cannot afford to fossilise our city.’ The Peel Group would regenerate Liverpool’s historic docks with skyscrapers inspired by Shanghai, Vancouver and Hong Kong, she told Oliver Wainwright, writing for the Guardian
(1 July). Save Britain’s Heritage thinks otherwise, and welcomed UNESCO’s threat
on 19 May to remove the city’s World Heritage Site status in 2018. Among other complaints, UNESCO notes that development applications were approved within the property and buffer zone, including a 34-storey tower, but the World Heritage Centre was notified only after permission had been granted, and no Heritage Impact Assessment was transmitted. Meanwhile in Venice residents are taking to the streets (again) about the impacts of mass tourism on the fragile city. ‘2000 Venetians protesting at the uncontrolled sell out to the tourist industry,’ tweeted Anna Somers Cocks FSA
on 2 July. ‘They're fighting back. Shame on UNESCO for not backing them!’
Archaeosoup (Marc Barkman-Astles) interviewed Mike Heyworth FSA
on 15 June. They talked about archaeology and politics – the impact of Brexit (‘potentially really bad news for us’), jobs and careers, the absence of archaeology teaching in schools, public perceptions of archaeology and public understanding of science, and more. Archaeology deals with issues that are relevant to contemporary society, says Heyworth. ‘We should be writing letters to newspapers and going on Newsnight
. I’d like more archaeologists to engage with the media and put forward some of the fascinating things we have discovered.’ He doesn't think there should be a single representative archaeological body as proposed by the British Academy
. ‘The important thing,' he says, 'is that we work together, and we can do that.’
Alison Sheridan FSA
talked to the British History Podcast
(BHP) about the Chalcolithic era (Does it exist in Britain? Yes), the Beaker People Project, and in particular a burial excavated in the 1980s at Achavanich, Caithness dubbed Ava, and more. The American BHP is mostly a chronological narrative in which two presenters (Jamie and Dr Zee) discuss themes in half-hour podcasts. Members pay for extras, but many recordings are free. It’s demanding – listeners are instructed to start with the first episode and continue. A recent addition, The Sieges of Aethelred of Mercia
, is podcast number 243.
A more ambitious online history project has been launched by Dan Snow, a broadcaster and President of the Council for British Archaeology. Called HistoryHit.TV
, it is seeking funding to set up a video-on-demand service with both existing documentaries and its own new films (as I write, it has raised £80,000 of a £100,000 goal). Unrestrained by traditional TV’s schedules and programme lengths, it says, it will offer ‘The best collection of great history documentaries on any device, anywhere, anytime.’ Amara Thornton FSA
, an archaeologist at UCL researching early use of film, is a Digital Producer on the team. Tom Clifford is Chief Executive and Snow is Chief Creative Officer.
Matthew Saunders FSA
, who has been Secretary to both the Ancient Monuments Society (AMS) and its partner organisation the Friends of Friendless Churches for over 40 years, will be retiring in 2018. AMS Trustees announced
on 22 June that their Casework Secretary, Lucie Carayon, will be taking on the Directorship of the Society in early 2018. The Friends will be appointing their own full-time Director later this year. Saunders said in a release, ‘I count it an enormous privilege to have worked for the AMS (and The Friends) all my working life and to leave both organisations in fine fettle. One of the great strengths of the planning system in England is the involvement, unique in the world, of the voluntary movement. The AMS has played a key part in the defence of historic buildings as a result and it is good to think that we have made a perceptible difference.’ The photo shows (left to right) Alison Du Cane (former AMS Assistant Secretary), Carayon and Saunders.
Susan Powell FSA
has edited Saints and Cults in Medieval England
, the proceedings of the 2015 Harlaxton Symposium. Saints, says the blurb, have been a significant element of the Christian church from early times. Those who lived righteous lives were celebrated after their death, through papal recognition or unofficially as cults, a practice which continued in England until the Reformation and which remains in the Western Catholic world. Saints were part of the liturgical year, and the focus of indulgences, relic-lists and pilgrimage. Their lives, or legends, were the subject of prose and poetry. As intercessors and holy friends they served every stratum of society, from the monarch to the beggar. The culture of the saints was predominantly tactile and physical, because their shrines (and sometimes even their bodies) were accessible, and their images and symbols decorated stained glass, sculpture in wood and stone, and precious manuscripts. Contributors include Jennifer Alexander FSA, Sarah Brown FSA, John Crook FSA
, Vincent Gillespie FSA, David Lepine FSA, Helen Lutton FSA, Julian Luxford FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA, Nicholas Rogers FSA, David Starkey FSA, Christian Steer FSA, Robert Swanson FSA, Pamela Tudor-Craig FSA, Linda Ehrsam Voigts FSA
and Christopher Wilson FSA
(just short of Crossing Boundaries'
possible record, above).
A fire at the Grenfell Tower in west London on 14 June, in which at least 80 people died, has prompted debate about high-rise architecture. Philip Davies FSA
, former Planning and Development Director, English Heritage, wrote to the Times
(26 June) to point out that ‘High-density housing does not mean high-rise.’ Many tower blocks built in the 1960s and 70s have flawed design, he says, suggesting it would be cheaper and better for tenants ‘to demolish and replace them with 21st-century mid-rise terraces.’ He gives as example Portobello Square, west London, where a failed council estate has been redeveloped into six or seven-storey blocks. ‘There has been no loss of social housing. Homes for sale are mixed with opportunities for shared ownership creating a truly integrated, mixed-tenure community.’ David McKinstry, Secretary, the Georgian Group, wrote to the paper (30 June) to pick up on Davies’ letter. ‘Trying to refurbish tired old tower blocks that have inadequate fire precautions or means of escape’, he says, ‘is madness and absurdly expensive. The answer must be to replace them with well-designed medium-rise developments. It will cost no more.’
A press release from the University of Leicester says it has developed a pioneering X-ray technique that can analyse artefacts of any shape or texture without damaging them. Described in a paper in Acta Crystallographica A
(73, 298–311), the technique uses X-ray diffraction (XRD) to determine crystallographic phase information in artefacts with very high accuracy. Andrew Shortland FSA
, from the Centre for Archaeological and Forensic Analysis at Cranfield University and a member of the research team, said, ‘Archaeological scientists are continually aware that taking samples for analysis from rare and historical objects has to be minimised, or better still eliminated altogether. This new non-destructive technique has the potential to open novel lines of research and answer new questions about our most valuable and interesting historical and archaeological objects.’ An example is given of how pigment types in paintings can yield insights into production and industrial organisation, and help with dating.
It is ‘almost the definition of a reference book that it is one that tries to conceal its ideology.’ Thus Mary Beard FSA
concludes her review of The Atlas of Ancient Rome: Biography and Portraits of the City
, edited by Andrea Carandini with Paolo Carafa and published in translation by Princeton University Press. Carandini gets a good press in her New York Review of Books
essay (‘one of the most distinguished and charismatic Italian archaeologists of his generation, perhaps ever’), but the Atlas
less so, and the translation from Italian none at all. Her review (the envy of any reviews editor) actually ends thus: ‘But the Atlas is a particularly flagrant example of a partisan account masquerading as a work of reference, and given authority and credence by that. Again, reader beware.’
‘I've never been keen on pulling DOWN statues of C Rhodes. But if Observer's right that L Fox has INSTALLED pic of him in dept, I'm gobsmacked.’ Here is Beard in briefer mode, on Twitter, responding to an article in the Observer
(July 2). Ben Quinn catalogues (courtesy of a Freedom of Information request) the artworks assembled in the offices of UK politicians managing the country’s exit from the EU. The choices feature early world maps, Victorian images of Empire and, apparently in Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade, a lithograph of Cecil Rhodes, the object of Rhodes Must Fall, a controversial international campaign to remove representations of the 19th-century British imperial businessman and politician.
‘A lot of the literature of east London, people like Iain Sinclair, is a romanticisation of old working-class London and a hostility to all forms of new development. And I don’t feel like that. I am myself a gentrifier and I find it very exciting here now.’ This is Charles Saumarez Smith FSA
talking to the Evening Standard
in May. His interview with Marcus Field ranged over his discovery of London as a schoolboy, reading art history at Cambridge, leaving academia to join Sir Roy Strong FSA
at the V&A, and his time as Director of first the National Portrait Gallery and then the National Gallery before becoming Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts. He writes an entertaining blog
, enjoying ‘thin-cut cucumber sandwiches’, photographing details of Woodbridge church on his way to Aldeburgh, and presenting an Honorary Royal Academician Certificate to Peter Zumthor over lunch in Basel. Thames and Hudson has turned parts of the blog into an illustrated book, East London
. The effect, says Rowan Moore in the Guardian
, ‘is of an alternative East End universe, a bit more Georgian than the one we have now, more architectural, more charming, almost bucolic in its combinations of leafy waterways and cemeteries with ancient buildings.’
Arts Council England has announced its funding decisions for 2018–22. In all, says Darren Henley, Chief Executive, 831 organisations will receive a total of £1.6 billion over four years for 844 projects. This includes £170 million more outside London. The portfolio has 72 museums and seven libraries, including the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, the Bowes Museum, Beamish Museum, the Geffrye Museum, Pallant House, the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Colchester’s Firstsite and the Tank Museum in Dorset. Further details are promised on a blog
would be interested to hear from any Fellows affected by these decisions.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has given Hull City Council £15m towards the costs of developing its maritime heritage. Hull Maritime Museum will be reconfigured, leading to a 50% increase in the number of items on public view. The Dock Office Chambers will be converted into a home for the maritime collection, and two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship, will undergo full conservation before being relocated to a dry dock at the North End Shipyard and the Hull Marina respectively, with on-board exhibitions and updated displays. A visitor orientation centre will be built at the North End Shipyard on Dock Office Row. A booklet, Hull: Yorkshire's Maritime City
by Susan Neave and David Neave FSA
, was published by Historic England with Hull City Council in March.
Paul Craddock FSA
has written Early Indian Metallurgy: The Production of Lead, Silver and Zinc through Three Millennia in North West India,
with K T M Hegde, L K Gurjar and L Willies. Research, says the blurb, revealed extraordinarily well-preserved remains at three major mining and metal production sites in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan. Survey and excavation allowed the authors to study the development of mining and smelting activity over 3,000 years. At Dariba and Agucha silver was mined by the Mauryan Empire on a colossal scale over 2,000 years ago. At Zawar the Mauryan mines seem to have produced mainly zinc oxide, but in the Medieval period zinc metal was produced by advanced processes of high temperature distillation, almost certainly the earliest commercial zinc production in the world. Here laboratory processes described in early Indian scientific works were developed into major industrial processes, the birth of chemical industry at least 500 years before similar developments began in Europe. The authors also analyse the decline and rebirth of extractive metallurgy in India.
Sir David Attenborough FSA
will narrate a BBC Two Horizon programme on 13 July, about a Natural History Museum project to replace a cast of a dinosaur skeleton in the Hintze Hall, with a real skeleton of a blue whale from a beast stranded on a Wexford beach in 1891. During the move, Richard Sabin told the Times
(30 June), it was discovered that four conservators who worked on the dinosaur in 1934, after the museum bought it from an Irish businessman, signed their names on the inside of the skull.
Colin Tite FSA
died in late March aged 83. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1984.
The summer edition of the Friends of the British Library’s Quarterly Newsletter
(97) carried an obituary. I am grateful to Nickie Chapman, the Friends’ Membership Secretary, for a copy from which the following is extracted:
Colin Tite read history and political science at Trinity College, Dublin. He lectured in history at North-Western Polytechnic, London (1962–75), rising to Head of Department. He was awarded a PhD in 1970 by the University of London for The Development of English Parliamentary Judicature, 1604–1626
. After a stay with the Department of the Environment, he taught history part time at Westfield College, London (1979–89).
His doctoral research introduced him to Sir Robert Cotton (1571–1631, right), an early Stuart antiquary whose manuscript library in particular became the subject of Tite's lifework. Significant in its own day, the library became one of the foundation collections of the British Museum, and thus later of the British Library. Tite attempted a reconstruction of the library’s physical layout in Cotton’s Westminster house, where individual presses were surmounted by a bust of a Roman emperor (hence, for example, the pressmark of the Lindisfarne Gospels is Cotton MS Nero D. IV).
Tite’s publications include Impeachment and Parliamentary Judicature in Early Stuart England
(1974); Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian library, 1696 by Thomas Smith
(edited 1984); The Manuscript Library of Sir Robert Cotton, The Panizzi Lectures, 1993
(1994); and The Early Records of Sir Robert Cotton’s Library: Formation, Cataloguing, Use
Tite was for many years ‘a distinctive presence in the British Library.’ Above all ‘an habitué of the Manuscripts Students Room, he was instantly recognisable to both regular readers and staff,’ presenting Library Assistants with Christmas bottles of wine. He was a keen supporter of the Friends of the British Library, being active in establishing it and serving as its Deputy Chairman (1994–2002).
‘Colin was a valued fellow researcher,’ writes Diana Tyson FSA
, ‘and a kind, good friend, self-effacing and modest, and always ready when one appealed to him for help of whatever sort. His knowledge of the Cotton manuscripts was encyclopaedic and invaluable, and he gave of it freely. I have fond memories of our sitting at “our table” in the BL manuscript room, with our pencils, our paper, and our magnifying glasses, working in the old-fashioned way, and of our many discussions of manuscript research problems, always much to my profit. May he rest in peace.’
Colin Tite’s family have asked for donation in his memory to given to the Friends of the British Library.
Peter Fowler FSA
has written with memories of Martin Aitken FSA
, who died in June
‘I first met Martin, and his ebullient boss, “Teddy” Hall FSA,
when, somewhat desperately wondering how I could earn a living in archaeology after Finals in 1958, I was introduced to them at the new Oxford Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art by my unofficial mentor, Professor Christopher Hawkes FSA
. He thought the Lab, weighty with cutting-edge science, could benefit from an in-house archaeologist; Martin agreed, cheerfully admitting he knew nothing of archaeology.
‘At that stage, I think at Graham Webster FSA
’s suggestion, Martin had developed the proton magnetometer, then a pretty cumbersome piece of kit, specifically to prospect for pottery kilns in advance of road-widening at Durobrivae. In a rare “light-bulb moment”, I realised that if it could find kilns it could probably also detect an Iron Age pit as a magnetic anomaly; and Martin was accordingly invited to prospect the superficially featureless interior of Madmarston hillfort in Oxfordshire, where the university Archaeological Society was conducting its second season of excavations.
‘The summer of 1958 duly saw the famous clothes-line grid laid out, and the rest is history: the first time, I think I am right in saying, that the excavation of a prehistoric site proceeded on the basis of magnetic prospecting rather than intuition and serendipity (Oxoniensia
25, 1960, 3). Martin was tickled pink at the success of his clever machine in a field of which he was initially unaware.’
The Wisdom of Fellows
‘It is lovely to see the transcription by Julian Litten FSA of the very long and now barely decipherable inscription on the wall monument to Sir John Evans FSA in the church in Abbot's Langley in Salon 388, writes Sue Sherratt FSA. 'There is, however, just one transcribing error that I should perhaps point out. The last two words on line 14 of the inscription should read “Nash Mills” – not “North Mills” – as seen relatively clearly in the photograph of the monument. Nash Mills was the Dickinson family paper mill, and Nash Mills House the house attached to it. John Evans and his wife Harriet (née Dickinson) moved into it in June 1856. Harriet had in fact been born and brought up in the house, and John Evans himself worked for his uncle (and later father-in-law) and lived at Nash Mills from 1840 onwards. John Evans finally left Nash Mills in 1906, a couple of years before he died.’
Much can be found about Nash Mills, adds Sherratt, in Time and Chance: The Story of Arthur Evans and his Forebears, by Joan Evans FSA (1943). The drawing of the house by Frederick Kitton in 1892, above, is from the book.
‘I was delighted,’ writes Martin Henig FSA, ‘to read in Salon of further work at Reedham, Norfolk, and the discovery of a structure which I concur with Amanda Clarke FSA is most likely to be a mid-late Roman military installation, perhaps a burgus. In fact the existence of such a structure, there or in the very near vicinity, was suggested as long ago as 1994 by Edwin Rose in the important paper he published in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association 147 (1994, 1–8), largely concerned with the widescale re-use of Roman brick and also stone in the Medieval church.
‘Perhaps we should be more ready to consider re-use of Roman material from demolished buildings on site rather than having been brought from afar. One instance of this in eastern England would seem to be at Peterborough Cathedral, where examination by Kevin Hayward FSA, Penny Coombe and myself of Roman stone including sculpture and an inscription, is suggestive of a monument, an arch or temple on the site. Stephen Yeates has suggested to me, and I find his suggestion at least highly plausible, that the great Norman hall of Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire, with its lavish tile course and very possibly re-use of Roman stone, may have obliterated a Roman temple at the confluence of the Wye with the Severn. So maybe we need not think of Caerwent or Caerleon as the source of this material after all. The trouble is that at this point the ground service is the underlying bedrock. Reedham is a warning to think a little more locally in such matters than we have before.
‘The existence of a ruin may sometimes even have been a stimulus to build at that place rather than another. Why cart stone further than one need? Besides, taking over a Roman building would allow one to claim continuity with a past with which one felt oneself very much a part. I have often thought that if not Julius Caesar, one of his successors built the White Tower, lying in the eastern angle of London's city wall and possibly on the site of a late Roman administrative and/or defensive structure. Here (and incidentally at Chepstow) King William would have thought himself very much the Roman Emperor. When our Society some years ago organised a visit to the White Tower it coincided with a major Roman conference in the north of England. Asked why I was there, I replied to my nonplussed interlocutor, “Because this is the finest Roman building in Britain” … and in saying so I was certainly not questioning the date.’
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Our programme of Ordinary Meetings will resume in October.
20 July: Private View of Blood Royal
Fellows are invited to join us on Thursday, 20 July, for a private view of the Society's summer exhibition Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy, which will open to the public on 25 July. Details (and booking information) is available at on the website.
28 July: Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Manor
Details for Fellows' Day are available on the website, and you can now book your ticket(s) online. Fellows (and family!) are invited to join us at Kelmscott Manor for a special opportunity to hear about our future plans, explore the Manor and its collections, and enjoy family-friendly activities.
1 September: Private View at Salisbury Museum
Fellows are invited to join us for an private view at Salisbury Museum for British Art: Ancient Landscapes (open until 3 September), which features paintings on loan from the Society’s collections. Beginning at 17.30, this is an 'after-hours' event (the Museum closes to the public at 17.00), which will include a welcome from the Society, a short introduction from curator Prof Sam Smiles, and a wine reception in addition to the exhibition. Tickets are available on our website and must be booked before 31 July.
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that lecture programmes are planned between 6 and 12 months in advance.
Forthcoming Public Events
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.
4 July: 'Shakespeare and the Character of Kingship,' with Simon Russell Beale CBE, Prof Maurice Howard OBE VPSA and Jez Smith (film screening). Preview this captivating performance by one of the greatest Shakespeare actors of our day. DVDs are also available for purchase (so you can take home your own copy!).
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.
The Society has two temporary exhibitions running this summer, one at Kelmscott Manor (Oxfordshire) and the other at its Burlington House headquarters in London.
Until 28 October: 'Mary Lobb – From Cornwall to Kelmscott: A Life Revealed', a free exhibition (admission is included in entry ticket for the Manor) in partnership with the National Library of Wales and supported by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.Visit the Manor every Wednesday and Saturday through the end of October.
24 July - 25 August (Mon - Fri, 10.00 - 17.00): 'Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy', a free exhibition at Burlington House exploring the Tudor Dynasty. The exhibition has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Society Dates to Remember
Burlington House Closures
The Library and Fellows' Room will be closed for annual conservation, cleaning and maintenance from Monday, 31 July, to Friday, 1 September (inclusive). The ground floor apartments will be open for the Blood Royal exhibition (24 July - 25 August), but visits to the Library will be by appointment only during this time.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
22 October: Weekend Meeting in Criccieth. Save the date; details will be distributed soon!
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at email@example.com.
19 September: Lecture by Prof David Neave, FSA, 'Hull and its Architectural Heritage', at Bar Convent. Save the date; details will be distributed soon (join the email list below to make sure you don't miss out).
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
Until 3 September: Battles and Dynasties (Lincoln)
To commemorate the Battle of Lincoln (1217), the Collection Museum is exhibiting some remarkable documents and paintings relating to royalty (through to the 20th century) never before seen in the city, sourced from various collections including the Society of Antiquaries as well as the Royal Collection, the National Archives and the British Library. Artefacts include Medieval swords from the River Witham. At Lincoln Castle, which hosts the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta in the new vault created in 2015, the Domesday Book is on show for the first time outside London. The mastermind behind the exhibitions is Lord Patrick Cormack FSA, Chair of the Historic Lincoln Trust, and the accompanying book is written by Nicholas Bennett FSA.
29 June–4 July: Inspiring Landmarks (London)
An exhibition of art inspired by the Landmark Trust’s historic buildings, by Prue Cooper, Kurt Jackson and Ed Kluz, at 8 Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery, Spitalfields. There is an associated events programme during the week. Details online.
4 July: A Deeper Thread: Material Conversations with the Past. Artists in conversation.
5–7 July: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education has a programme of courses at Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills for the historic environment, grounded in everyday working experience. These short practical courses are open to all, from historic environment professionals to members of the public with a keen interest in archaeology and historic buildings. The programme is endorsed by CIfA, the IHBC, the Archaeology Training Forum and FAME, and has been developed in conjunction with leading heritage practices. Courses are linked to the National Occupational Standards for Archaeology, and for Town Planning, Conservation and Building Control, and are widely accepted for continuous professional development. Full details can be found online.
6 July: A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909 (London)
Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society at Lambeth Palace Library, followed by a talk by Arthur Burns (King’s College, London). All are welcome, please register with firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 5 July.
6 July: A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909 (London)
Arthur Burns (King’s College, London) gives a talk after the Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society. At Lambeth Palace Library. All are welcome, contact email@example.com.
9–12 July: Winchester, An Early Medieval Royal City (Winchester)
An international conference at the University of Winchester features keynote speakers Eric Fernie FSA, Barbara Yorke FSA, Martin Biddle FSA and Sharon Rowley. Topics under discussion include the intellectual life of the city, court and politics, saints and miracle stories, bishops of the city and the people of Winchester. As part of the conference, Fernie will give a public lecture at the Guildhall on the Norman Cathedral of Winchester. The conference is part of Winchester, The Royal City project, which aims to celebrate and promote the ancient city as a centre of key significance to the development of England and English culture. Details online.
10 July: East London (London)
East London has changed more dramatically than any other part of the city over the last 30 years, from a desolate state after the bombing of the Second World War, to one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods in the world. Charles Saumarez Smith FSA, who has lived in the area since the early 1980s, shares his explorations through his photographs of the old villages that make up East London, at the Royal Over-Seas League, Park Place. Details online.
17–20 July: Church and City in the Middle Ages: In Honour of Clive Burgess (Harlaxton)
The 2017 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, convened by David Harry and Christian Steer FSA, will be in honour of Clive Burgess FSA, whose work on the Church as community and institution has shaped perceptions of late Medieval religious culture. The meeting will explore the urban presence of the late Medieval Church; the relationship between lay devotion and urban regulars; clerical provision and the administration of urban parishes; distinctive patterns of worship in large towns and cities; and the material culture and music of urban spaces of worship. Speakers include Julian Luxford FSA, Elizabeth New FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Robert Swanson FSA, Jon Cannon FSA, John Goodall FSA, David Lepine FSA, Vincent Gillespie FSA, Julia Boffey FSA and Caroline Barron FSA. Details online.
17–20 July: Understanding Historic Buildings (Oxford)
A number of Fellows will be teaching at this Historic England training course at St Anne’s College, notably Adam Menuge FSA and Allan T Adams FSA. The aim is to communicate investigation and measured survey skills to the next generation. Details online.
25 August: The Contribution of Contract Archaeology to Industrial Archaeology (Northamptonshire)
A seminar organised by David Ingham FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA as a prelude to the annual conference of the Association for Industrial Archaeology at Moulton College, Northampton. Developer-funded projects in cities have greatly added to knowledge of the recent industrial past. Seven speakers include Norman Redhead FSA (Heritage Management Director (Archaeology), Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service) and Michael Nevell FSA (Head of Archaeology, University of Salford). Details online.
16 September: The Deer of Deerhurst: Landscape, Lordship, Custom and Ritual (Deerhurst)
The 2017 Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm at St Mary's Church, Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, given by Graham Jones FSA. Details online.
16 September: Suffolk Textiles through Time (Lavenham)
A day conference exploring the production of textiles in Suffolk, looking at pre-Medieval archaeological evidence; the Medieval woollen cloth industry; and the production of silk in early modern times. Speakers include Joanna Caruth FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA. There will be spinning demonstrations with Jean Rogers, and visits to Lavenham Guildhall and a walking tour of the town and church. Details online.
22–24 September: Monuments in Ruins – Ruins as Monuments (Elefsina, Greece)
The fourth Heritage Management Organisation International Conference on Heritage Management's aim is to discuss and develop best practices in heritage management through case studies from around the world. Of particular concern are key fields such as heritage conservation and digitisation, public engagement, education and legal protection. The core concern for 2017 is the notion of ruins in culture. Details online.
22–24 September: Charter of the Forest (Lincoln)
A conference organised by the Lincoln Record Society to commemorate the issue of the Charter of the Forest in 1217. Of the two surviving copies of the original Charter, one is in Lincoln Castle, where it is on display with the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta. There will be an opportunity to view the Charters, followed by a day of papers on the origins, background and history of the Forest Charter. Speakers will include Nicholas Vincent FSA, David Crook FSA and Paul Everson FSA. The final session will be held in association with the Woodland Trust, and will be addressed by the distinguished American environmental lawyer, Nicholas Robinson. A guided excursion to Sherwood Forest will be available on the final day. Details online.
25 September: Canaletto & the Art of Venice (London)
In a spectacular show at the Queen’s Gallery (19 May–12 November), Canaletto’s work is exhibited alongside the Royal Collection’s other Venetian paintings from the 18th century by Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Lucy Whitaker FSA, Senior Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection, and Rosie Razzall, Curator of Prints of Drawings, give the first Venice in Peril Fund Autumn Lectures at the Society of Antiquaries. Details online.
28 September: Remembering the Reformation (London)
Launch of a major digital exhibition linked with an Arts and Humanities Research Project, at Lambeth Palace Library. Based at the Universities of Cambridge and York, the project explores how the Reformation in Britain and Europe was remembered, forgotten, contested and reinvented. The exhibition incorporates some of the treasures of the Cambridge University Library, York Minster Library and Lambeth Palace Library. The launch will include a display and demonstration of the exhibition website, and will be accompanied by short talks by the project team, Brian Cummings FSA, Ceri Law, Bronwyn Wallace and Alexandra Walsham. All are welcome, please register with firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 22 September.
5 October: Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (London)
A talk at Lambeth Palace Library by Lyndal Roper (University of Oxford) will be accompanied by a small exhibition of material relating to Martin Luther and the Reformation, and will be followed by a drinks reception. A joint event with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. All are welcome, but please register with email@example.com not later than 29 September.
7 October: Recent Discoveries in Lincolnshire Archaeology (Lincoln)
A day conference organised by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. Speakers will include Stuart Harrison FSA on Lincoln monasteries, and Mark Knight on the Bronze Age Village at Must Farm, Cambridgeshire. Contact 01522 521337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 October: Ledgerstones: A Workshop (York)
Discover how to record valuable archives in our churches in a workshop in St Martin-cum-Gregory run by the Ledgerstone Survey of England and Wales. Speakers include Julian Litten FSA, Chair of the LSEW, and the day features a tour of the church and demonstrations of recording and uploading data onto the web. Email Jane Hedley for details at email@example.com.
8 October (provisional): Concert in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace Library (London)
Pre-Reformation polyphonic music from the Peterhouse partbooks (originally intended for use at Canterbury Cathedral), performed by Blue Heron. Details and ticket price to be confirmed, see the Library website and www.blueheron.org. Please register your interest with firstname.lastname@example.org.
19 October: Clarendon, Salisbury and Medieval Floor Tiles in Wessex (Salisbury)
Christopher Norton will present the Annual Clarendon Lecture in Sarum College, Salisbury Cathedral Close. Norton's research centres on seventh–16th-century French and English art and architecture. He is the foremost expert on the Wessex decorated floor tile industry, which commenced in the mid 13th century and whose traditions spread to the West Midlands, Wales and beyond by the early 1300s. The Wessex Industry’s distinguishing characteristics can be traced directly to a pavement made for Henry III’s queen, Eleanor of Provence, at Clarendon Palace 1250–52. Details online.
21 October: From the Cotswolds to the Chilterns: The Historic Landscapes of Oxfordshire (Oxford)
A joint conference hosted by the Society for Landscape Studies and the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Speakers include Helena Hamerow FSA, David Clark FSA and Trevor Rowley FSA. For details email Brian Rich: email@example.com.
21 October: The Long Sunset: the Country House c 1840–1940 (Lewes)
Sue Berry FSA introduces this conference on the theme of how the country house and its setting changed in design and function between 1840 and 1939, comparing the grand houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with their formal gardens and large staff, with the more intimate houses and gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent developments. Speakers include Michael Hall FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA. Visits related to the conference are planned throughout 2017. See online for details.
28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
17–19 November: Arras 200 – Celebrating the Iron Age (York)
This year’s Royal Archaeological Institute conference is in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Museum. The conference will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first excavations on the Middle Iron Age cemetery at Arras in East Yorkshire, and will coincide with a special exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum displaying artefacts from those excavations. Twelve speakers will discuss recent excavations and other current research. There will be an optional field visit to the site of the Arras cemetery and Hull and East Riding Museum, which holds finds from other important Middle Iron Age ‘square barrow’ cemeteries. Details online.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.
Call for Papers
The Georgian Group Journal
The Georgian Group Journal is a refereed academic journal appearing once a year and containing articles based on original research on all aspects of British architecture and design from c 1660–1840. Submission of illustrated articles of not more than 7,500 words is invited for Volume 26 (2018). Shorter articles are also welcomed. Please send proposals or drafts to the Editor, Geoffrey Tyack FSA (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Journal is distributed automatically to members of the Georgian Group, and is also available for purchase through the Group’s website; it is hoped that from 2018 copies of individual articles will be available to download through the same website.
2–3 November: It’s Not Just About the Archaeology – or is it? (Sheffield)
The Society for Museum Archaeology’s Annual Conference will this year be in the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield. The conference offers an opportunity to network with colleagues, hear exciting papers and take part in discussions around museum archaeology. When you work with archaeology in museums, you can end up doing a huge range of activities. Whether it be the delivery of exhibitions, engagement and events, or good old-fashioned collections management, what is the role of the modern museum archaeologist? This year’s conference is an opportunity to celebrate all things good… or bad… about what we do and how we do it! Please send proposals or queries to the society’s Secretary by 31 July at email@example.com.
19 November 2017: Boxes of Old Rocks: New Research from Old Assemblages (Oxford)
From neatly labelled snap top bags and archive boxes accessed in climate controlled museum stores, to the dusty contents of biscuit tins and bread bags found in private lofts and garages, old lithic assemblages come in all shapes and sizes. They can provide a wealth of information about both prehistoric societies and those who have studied them in more recent times. The Lithics Studies Society invite abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute presentations at the Continuing Education Lecture Theatre, University of Oxford, on research related to any aspect of studying old lithic assemblages from museum collections and other sources. Abstracts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 16 July.
18–19 December: Citizen Cathedrals in the Middle Ages: Image, institutions, networks (Girona)
With the aim of bringing together young researchers and exchanging ideas and hypotheses regarding new trends in medieval art history, TEMPLA is organizing a scientific training session in Girona (Spain). This winter school will discuss the concept and expression of the ‘citizen cathedral’ as it has developed in European bishoprics from medieval to modern times. The school is aimed at junior pre- and post-doctoral researchers in the field of art history, history and liturgical studies. Expenses of all researchers whose papers have been accepted will be covered. Proposals before 30 July, and requests for further details to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
18–20 December: 2017 Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference (Cardiff)
The theme of the 2017 TAG conference is Time. The call for papers is now open and will close on 25 August. A wide range of sessions are accepting submissions covering topics ranging from the archaeology of early medieval Wales to the relationship between archaeology and poetry. Registration will open soon. Details online.
January 20 2018: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-century British Architecture (London)
The 8th conference in this series, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, will be held at The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for papers 30 minutes long. 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 2017, and the final programme will be announced in September. We are grateful to the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain for sponsoring bursaries for postgraduate students and we encourage the participation of new scholars. For further information please contact us at Claire.email@example.com and Henderson.firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently recruiting for the post of Head of Finance and Operations. The post holder will be responsible for the sound financial management of the Society and for managing the key operational, support services and activities of the Society at Burlington House, Piccadilly. The post-holder will be a member of the Society’s senior management team at a time when the Society is going through an exciting period of change and evolution. Full details are available on our website: www.sal.org.uk/about-us/vacancies. Closing date for applications 23 July.
Society of Antiquaries of London
We are also recruiting a User Services Librarian. This is an exciting time to join the Library team as we implement our strategic plan to make the Library more accessible physically and digitally, and to maintain our position as one of the leading specialist libraries in the country. The postholder will be responsible for the delivery of high quality library services to users and for producing information and guides to the library and its resources, leading on user engagement activities and supporting library events. Full details are available on our website: www.sal.org.uk/about-us/vacancies. Closing date for applications 14 July.
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is seeking a new Chair of Trustees from November 2017. Closing date for nominations 21 July.
The CBA, based in York, is a UK-wide educational charity working to involve people in archaeology and promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment. Working with the Trustee Board and Executive, the new Chair will ensure that the CBA develops and delivers a new ambitious strategy for change in accordance with its charitable aims and to secure its long-term sustainability. The new Chair will champion the educational objectives of the Council, and lead the organisation in the next phase of its development to build the role that a progressive archaeological organisation can play in the 21st century, growing its impact, profile and financial sustainability. Details online.
The Royal Archaeological Institute is seeking a new Reviews Editor for the Archaeological Journal, to take over from Kate Waddington in 2018. Closing date for applications 31 July.
The Reviews Editor is responsible for seeing book reviews and review articles through to publication. We aim to review 40–50 books for each volume, covering, primarily, titles concerned with the British Isles and northern Europe. One review article is also published each year. Although essentially voluntary, there is a small honorarium subject to agreement with the RAI. Attendance at the RAI Editorial Committee Meetings in London (maximum of two Wednesdays a year) is expected (expenses will be met). Details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.