Salon: Issue 392
19 September 2017
Next issue: 3 October 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
Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy
This summer we opened the doors at Burlington House and invited the public to explore the Tudor dynasty through our Library and Museum collections. We welcomed 8,877 visitors during the five-week exhibition, which also include two evening 'museum lates'.
We are deeply grateful to Fellows Mr Peter M Barber
, Dr John PD Cooper
and Prof Glenn J Richardson,
who worked closely with Society staff to undertake research into the collections and produce the exhibition - including supporting writing interpretation, filming video highlights for objects on display and participating in special programming such as gallery talks. Fellows Sir Roy Strong
and Sydney Anglo
also helped us produce interpretation, and Fellow Karen Hearn
gave one of the gallery talks. Fellows Stephen Johnson
and Anthony Davis
joined the ranks of our exhibition volunteers (nearly 40 strong) to help us invigilate the displays and engage with visitors. Past President Maurice Howard
wrote a fantastic overview of the exhibition for Apollo Magazine
. We were also pleased to be able to support two student placements leading up to the opening of the exhibition.
In addition to helping the Society achieve its charitable objections, enabling our Fellows to share their expertise and also to provide access to the Society's collections, the exhibition helped us to meet key objectives in our audience development plan. A quarter of the visitors who completed surveys were under the age of 50. Volunteers and staff observed (and counted) 355 children and teens visiting the exhibition (which is nearly 4% of visitors).
Surveys indicate an overwhelmingly positive response to the exhibition as well. All areas investigated were rated at satisfactory or excellent by at least 90% of survey participants, and more than 95% said they would recommend the exhibition to a friend and the same percentage said they would return for another exhibition.
We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for supporting this project, and to the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London for sponsoring felt-making workshops during our events. We would also like to thank Fellows and readers who visited the exhibition themselves this summer. If you missed it, you can explore a digital version of the exhibition on our website: www.blood-royal-exhibition.com
On Monday, 11 September, the Society held a memorial event to remember Prof Dai Morgan Evans, FSA
, who was General Secretary of the Society for 12 years. Dai died earlier this year, and his family, friends and colleagues gathered at Burlington House to celebrate his life and work. You can watch a recording
of the speeches from our website (past events).
Today (Tuesday 19 September, on what would have been his birthday), we will also be holding a memorial event for Past President of the Society, Geoffrey Wainwright. Geoff was elected a Fellow in 1967 and served the Society as member of Council and as Director of Research, Treasurer and finally President from 2007 to 2010. Details of the event are available on our website
and we will attempt to provide a recording of the proceedings on the event page as early as Wednesday, 20 September.
We are pleased to announce that the Society's publications, The Antiquaries Journal and Proceedings and Archaeologia, are now available via Open Athens, which Fellows can access from the Fellows' Area of our website. Open Athens is an electronic gateway serving as a one-stop shop for journal titles available electronically in the Library. To find out more, register and download user guides visit: Library Resources in the Fellows Area of our website.
Important Notice Regarding The Antiquaries Journal
Please note that the next volume of The Antiquaries Journal will be posted to Fellows and subscribers in November this year.
In the meantime, you can read a first look of the latest paper to be published online in the Journal. It examines a 4,000-year-old skeleton found in 1989 on farmland in West Sussex. It was discovered during a dig led by one of the paper’s co-authors, archaeologist James Kenny. In ‘Death by Combat at the Dawn of the Bronze Age? Profiling the dagger-accompanied burial from Racton, West Sussex’, Bronze Age specialist Stuart Needham FSA and co-authors Mary Davis FSA, James Kenny, Garrard Cole, Janet Montgomery, Mandy Jay and Peter Marshall examine the Bronze Age skeleton through a range of studies, revealing not only key findings about the individual’s life, manner of death and burial, but how codified elite-level combat could help to explain the apparent incongruity between the limited efficacy of early dagger forms and their evident weapon-status.
‘Death by Combat at the Dawn of the Bronze Age?’ (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003581516000688) can be accessed via The Antiquaries Journal, FirstView, from the Fellows' Area.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
We hope to see Fellows back at Burlington House for our first autumn Ordinary Meeting on 5 October. Please note that the lectures for 5 October and 2 November as advertised in the recent Meeting and Events card (posted in July) have been switched! See details below
Symbolic Codes From Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos
A Public Symposium by the Society of Antiquaries of London (6 November)
This conference will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. The opening address will be delivered by Dr Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada. In this 150th anniversary year of the nation’s confederation, Dr Boudreau will explore how Canada has integrated imperial, European, and native emblems to help establish its own visual symbolic identity. Dr Boudreau will also discuss the challenges facing the Canadian Heraldic Authority with regard to competing forms of symbolic identity in the 21st century. The formal part of the proceedings will end with a round-table discussion (including Elizabeth Roads, Snawdoun Herald at the Court of the Lord Lyon) on 'Branding or Blazon? Examining the Role of Heraldry in a Corporate World Dominated by Logos'.
There will be an opportunity to view a special display of the Society of Antiquaries of London’s rare heraldic manuscripts and to buy some of its heraldic publications. Lunch will be provided and the day will end with a wine reception.
More information, including booking, is available on our website: www.sal.org.uk/events.
Life on the Steppe
Journalists turning up at British Museum openings are used to meeting objectors to one of the institution’s significant sponsors, a major oil and gas company called BP. The protestors politely hand out leaflets and stage minor theatrical events (thankfully the more aggressive tactics that led to acts such as molasses being poured at the foot of the museum’s Easter Island statue seem to have been dropped, at least for now). You think briefly about what they say, wonder who would pay for the exhibition without a sponsor (what organisation with the required financial clout will have skeleton-free cupboards?), and tell yourself that anyway, the problem is not the supplier of fossil fuels, but those who use them (a few years ago protestors memorably turned up outside Tate Britain in a taxi). That’s all of us.
However, the British Museum’s wonderful new exhibition, Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia, has raised the level of debate, and it's interesting. First, perhaps for no reason other than we are hearing from a relatively new Director with his own ideas, Hartwig Fischer FSA has made a point of publicly thanking BP. The museum has twice Tweeted Fischer’s comment, ‘We are very grateful to our sponsor @BP_plc for their support of the #Scythians exhibition’, and the press office is keen that we name them, referring to the show as ‘the BP exhibition Scythians’. And this time at least the protestors have a relevant case. Oil is destroying the exhibits.
When you look at pictures of things in this show, what most impresses is the craft in fine goldwork. There is indeed a staggering amount of both – gold and exquisite artistry. Some of the best pieces come from Peter the Great’s collection, begun in the early 1700s and, notwithstanding its name, grown over the following century or so. The exhibition's first room is devoted to the collection, with an oil portrait of the man painted in London.
There is plenty more treasure throughout the large gallery; somehow the design manages to make tiny exhibits sing of the vast open steppe, and this would be enough to reward a visit. But as you progress, you start to realise the real stars are not made of metal, but of perishable, typically brown materials – wood, seeds, leather, felt, fur, horn, wool, hair (look out for an intricately decorated leather tube made to hold a plaited horse’s tail), a sheepskin, nail clippings and even tattooed human skin. These materials are often worked as skilfully as the gold, and in larger pieces. Many are outstanding: a little stuffed felt swan; fantastic headgear made from wood and leather featuring an eagle’s head holding a deer’s head in its beak, and geese carved into its neck; a decorated woman’s shoe to knock Jimmy Choo off its perch.
As wonderful as all these things are, the archaeologist in me cannot stop marvelling at the fact they are there at all. A truly enormous wooden coffin and a tomb chamber built like a log hut appear to be freshly made replicas. Yet they are real, well over 2,000 years old. This extraordinary preservation, which shows us so much more about these ancient people than we have any right to expect, ironically means we are better informed about their material culture, constrained by their life on the hoof, than we usually are for settled peoples privileged to make and build whatever they felt like.
The principal reason for this survival is permafrost. The exhibition explains how the burial mounds of loose stones allowed precipitation to percolate through, but prevented the ground below thawing in spring. Large grave pits equipped with wall hangings, treasures, even carts and horses, froze and stayed that way. Wood is so tough, the Curator St John Simpson told me, that at the famous Pazyryk tombs excavated in southern Siberia in the 1920s and 40s, great logs raised from the graves still lie scattered on the ground.
The permafrost is melting. Archaeological research on Scythians is continuing, says the catalogue, with excavations each year across the Eurasian steppe, from Mongolia through Kazakhstan and Russia to Ukraine. There is a new urgency, turning this already challenging work from research into rescue. Many thousands of unexplored graves with all they contain are threatened by global warming.
The protestors, BP or not BP?, say the British Museum is exercising climate-change denial by accepting BP’s sponsorship, and that the company welcomes the opportunity for that very reason. This is unconvincing; the exhibition itself raises the issue as a threat. In fact, is there not here a spectacular metaphor for the real problem facing us all? As we wonder at the decorated fabrics and carved wood, the stitched leather and the woollen leggings, and we think about where these things come from and what, until now, has kept them safe, are we not confronted with the real culprits – ourselves – and the power of climate change that can wreak destruction across even such a vast and remote landscape?
Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia is open until 14 January 2018. There is a conference at the British Museum, Scythians and Early Nomads from Siberia to the Black Sea, from 27 to 29 October. St John Simpson has blogged about bringing the show to London; it is organised with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Art critics seem unanimous in their praise, the Times, the Telegraph and the Observer awarding it five stars.
UK Ratifies 1954 Hague Convention
After much debate and lengthy periods of apparent inactivity on the issue, the UK has finally ratified the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and acceded to its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999.
‘Our instruments of ratification and accession,’ wrote Karl Jagdis at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on 12 September, ‘were formally deposited with UNESCO in Paris this morning by the UK Ambassador to UNESCO. Subject to confirmation by UNESCO, the Convention and Protocols will come into force for the UK on 12th December. We intend to bring the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017 into force on the same date.’
Welcoming the news on behalf of the Council for British Archaeology, Director Mike Heyworth FSA said in a statement, ‘Through this Act, the UK has made a clear commitment to be an international leader in heritage protection and we are proud to have played a part in its passing into law. However, we now need to ensure that the Act is effectively implemented and related measures, such as the new Cultural Protection Fund, are sustained to ensure that this Act has a real long-term impact in the protection of cultural property.’
‘We now encourage the Government to turn its attention to heritage protection systems in England,’ he added, ‘where there are a number of issues of concern that need to be addressed.”
The Bill received its third reading on 20 February, and Royal Assent three days later. In a statement from the DCMS, John Glen, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said, ‘The world has watched with dismay and horror in recent years at the wanton destruction of priceless historic artefacts and sites in war. By ratifying the Hague Convention and both its Protocols, the UK underlines our absolute commitment to protecting cultural heritage, both here and across the globe.’ The UK will now join France as the only permanent members of the UN Security Council to accede to both its Protocols.
Photo by Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly shows US troops outside the National Museum of Iraq in 2003, after it had been looted.
• The Cultural Protection Fund (CPF) is accepting applications for Large Grants (up to £2 million) for projects that focus on the protection of cultural heritage at risk due to conflict in one or more of the Fund’s target countries. Two free online information sessions hosted by the CPF team are available for those with a project idea who would like advice before applying. Details online.
Rachel Whiteread and the House Mystery
Another major autumn exhibition in London features the artist Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain (until 21 January 2018). Walls have been removed to open up a single, light-filled room to accommodate examples of her life’s work to date, in what Tate says is the most substantial survey yet of one of the leading artists of her generation. Like that of many contemporary artists, Whiteread’s work has an archaeological feel to it, addressing humanity and decay through shape and texture: inverting the fundamental basis of archaeological reasoning, she turns time, memory and space into material culture. Importantly, the results are beautiful. But something outside the main gallery caught my eye that has specific antiquarian references, on which Fellows may be able to throw some light.
Opposite the ticket desk is a case with a selection of small things selected by Whiteread from her workshops – notebooks, found objects and casts. Among them is an old Ancient Monuments Act plaque (a real one, not a cast), the one that still serves in some places to admonish the curious for taking an interest in antiquity. I asked Ann Gallagher, Director of Collections, British Art, about it. It turns out to be quite significant.
Whiteread is known best for House, a concrete cast of the inside of a terraced house in east London, made in 1993 and demolished by the local council less than three months later. She found the plaque in a shed in the house’s garden, at 193 Grove Road, on the east side of Mile End Park. The retired tenant, Sydney Gale, had collected it long before; he couldn’t remember where it came from, though there is talk it may have fallen from a war-damaged bridge. The plaque’s top right corner has a little damage that might be explained that way.
Can any Fellow help with this? When might the plaque have been made? Would it have had any distinguishing marks related to its site? What type of structure might it have been affixed to? Could there, even, be an old file somewhere documenting the loss of a local plaque?
Telling the Story of Anne Mowbray
This arresting bust of a nervous-looking young girl has been made by Amy Thornton, alumna of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, University of Dundee, using photos and measurements of remains excavated in London in 1964. A complete skeleton in a small lead coffin was disturbed during redevelopment of the site of the church of the Abbey of St Clare in Tower Hamlets. A Latin inscription identified the deceased as Anne Mowbray, Duchess of York, who died in 1481 shortly before her ninth birthday.
At the time of the discovery by workmen, archaeologists were able to examine the coffin and its contents – which naturally created considerable public interest – but only after they had been taken to the local police station. Several scientific studies were hastily arranged before a reburial in Westminster Abbey. The archaeologist leading the project, Francis Celoria, Field Officer of the then London Museum, did not complete a proposed publication. The discovery of a burial of a named late medieval individual has a clear recent analogy in the excavation of the grave of Richard III. The unfortunate story of Anne Mowbray’s record and analysis, however could not be more different. That is about to be put right, as Bruce Watson FSA writes:
‘Everyone has heard of the discovery of the remains of Richard III, better known as “the king in the car park”. However, the 1964 discovery of his young niece and the child bride of the younger of the “princes in the Tower”, Anne Mowbray, is much less well known, mainly because of the non-publication of her burial. This unfortunate situation will be remedied in November with the publication of a comprehensive report on her life and burial in the Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society 67 (2016). This article is being published with the assistance of grants provided by the Society of Antiquaries and the Richard III Society. It will be supplemented by an online catalogue of press coverage, including articles in magazines, academic journals, books and unpublished archive reports, all relating to the discovery and reburial of Anne.
‘It is extremely rare for the remains of a pre-Reformation individual to be archaeologically studied: almost all the bodies which have been examined from this period in Britain are anonymous. A recent study (Medieval Archaeology 58, 2014) of 4,647 juvenile Medieval and early post-Medieval burials from 95 sites across Britain included no named individuals.’
The facial reconstruction, says Watson, was commissioned by John Ashdown-Hill FSA as part of his research into an adult female burial excavated in 1958 on the site of the Medieval Carmelite priory in Norwich; Ashdown-Hill thinks those remains are of Anne’s maternal aunt, Eleanor Butler (née Talbot). The bust has been presented to the Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester. Emma Lay, Sales and Marketing Manager at the centre, tells me that it is not currently on display, but will feature in a future exhibition.
‘Anne Mowbray, Duchess of York: a 15th-century child burial from the Abbey of St Clare, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets’, is by Bruce Watson and the late William White FSA, with contributions by Barney Sloane FSA, Dorothy Thorn and Geoffrey Wheeler, and draws on previous research by J P Doncaster, H C Harris, A W Holmes, C R Metcalfe, Rosemary Powers, Martin Rushton, the late Brian Spencer FSA and the late Roger Warwick
Top photos King Richard III Visitor Centre Trust, coffin Museum of London.
Antiquities Theft in Bergen
Several Fellows have expressed sympathy with colleagues at the University Museum of Bergen, Norway, where on 12 August burglars climbed scaffolding to reach the seventh floor and took ‘several hundred valuable metal objects’. ‘This is a terrible blow,’ wrote Asbjørn Engevik and Knut Andreas Bergsvik in an email appealing for help, ‘not only to Norwegians and Norwegian archaeology, but to our common European cultural heritage.’ ‘One of our primary tasks is to protect cultural heirlooms,’ Museum Director Henrik Von Achen told the press. ‘When we fail to do this, no explanation is good enough. This hits us at a very soft spot. We are all very shaky and feeling a sense of despair.’
The stolen artefacts date mainly from the Viking Period, with some also of Roman and Migration date. Fearing that the objects will soon enter the international antiquities market, the museum has posted photos of them on Facebook. The gallery, of which but a small portion is shown above, is shocking.
Engevik and Bergsvik would like to hear of anything that turns up: contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Imperious but Compellingly Naturalistic’
A temporary export bar has been placed on a sculpture of Queen Victoria by Alfred Gilbert, creator of Eros (the Shaftesbury Memorial) at Piccadilly Circus. The marble bust was based on a full-length bronze statue of the queen, which Gilbert had made in 1887. It was commissioned that year by the Army and Navy Club to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1837, which coincided with their own jubilee.
Lowell Libson FSA, a member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, said in a release:
‘Sir Alfred Gilbert, a leading but mercurial light in the British “New Sculpture” movement, is now regarded as one of the greatest European sculptors of the period.
‘This monumental portrait bust of the Queen-Empress is not only an important icon made at the apogee of British power, but a complex and hugely sympathetic image. It is also a tour de force of marble carving, a medium which Gilbert rarely employed.’
The decision on the licence application will be deferred until 7 December. This may be extended until 7 April 2018 if a serious intention to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £1,200,000 (plus VAT of £240,000).
Fellows (and Friends)
Ian Graham FSA
, Mayan archaeologist, died in August.
Robert Hardy FSA
, actor and longbow specialist, died in August.
Donald Haigh FSA
, Roman road enthusiast, died in August.
Clive Partridge FSA
, Hertfordshire archaeologist, died in August.
Santina Levey FSA
, historian of lace and embroidery, died in August.
Stephen Croad FSA
, architectural historian, died in September.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below.
The section also contains further notices on the late Dai Morgan Evans FSA,
the late Bridget Allchin FSA
, the late Martin Aitken FSA
, the late Frank Herrmann FSA
and the late Jo Draper FSA
I led the last Salon
with the remarkable story of how archive research and new science has proved an old theory that a small excavation on Iona in 1956 had uncovered the early medieval writing cell of St Columba. The theory, and the evidence behind it, had first been published by the Fowlers, Elizabeth and Peter, in 1988, when it was ignored or rubbished. Peter Fowler FSA
has written to say that Elizabeth Fowler, his former wife, died on 7 September.
In The English Fix
, a series on BBC Radio 4, Patrick Wright is exploring English identity. On September 13 he considered the career and thinking of Barbara Castle, a leading Labour party politician who died in 2002. Her father had been a William Morris-type Guild Socialist, and she had been recorded on a visit to Kelmscott, talking about Morris. ‘I always feel when I’m in this house,’ she said, ‘not that I’m in a museum, but that I’m in a place where the thoughts of one lover of beauty and creator of beauty were reaching out into the problems of the modern world. This was always Morris’ obsession, that beauty was to be shared, it was a right that belonged to everyone.’ To Morris, she added, such beauty ‘would all be sterile, if he weren't spending a great deal of his activities in London, agitating, marching, demonstrating, writing.’
The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University has received £1.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a project to conserve Hadrian’s Wall and its earthworks. ‘What stands out about these proposals,’ said Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East in a statement, ‘is the University of Newcastle’s belief that local communities should be central to the management of the area.’
Warning that it would run out of money by the end of 2018, the Milton Cottage Trust launched an endowment fund campaign
in August, supported by a £250,000 Heritage Lottery Fund match-funding grant. Paradise Maintained hopes to raise £3.5 million to preserve the 16th-century house and museum in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, where John Milton completed Paradis Lost
John Davies FSA
, Chief Curator, Norfolk Museums Service, writes with news of a book which, he says, represents part of the research underpinning the current re-development and interpretation of Norwich Castle. Castles and the Anglo-Norman World,
edited by Davies, Angela Riley, Jean-Marie Levesque and Charlotte Lapiche, follows a conference held at Norwich Castle in 2012. It draws together papers by 26 French and English Anglo-Norman specialists, with summaries of current knowledge and new research into prominent castles in England and Normandy. Sections consider the evolution of Anglo-Norman castles, the architecture and archaeology of Norman monuments, Romanesque architecture and artefacts, the Bayeux Tapestry and the presentation of historic sites to the public. As well as Davies, contributors include Steven Ashley FSA, Brian Ayers FSA, David Bates FSA, John Crook FSA, Roland Harris FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Edward Impey FSA, Robert Liddiard FSA, Pamela Marshall FSA, John McNeill FSA
and Elizabeth Popescu FSA
The International Criminal Court has ordered Malian radical Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi to pay €2.7 million in reparations for his role in the destruction of the UNESCO world heritage site in Timbuktu in 2012. This is the first time the court has demanded reparations for the destruction of cultural property. While it recognised that the international community (represented by UNESCO and Mali) had suffered harm, writes Luke Moffett in the Conversation
, it awarded them a symbolic €1 each, instead focussing on the Timbuktu community.
Robert Tittler FSA
, Professor of History Emeritus, Concordia University, Montreal, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His nomination was initiated by Daniel Woolf FSA
, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queens University.
An 18-month programme to re-support HMS Victory
, which is sagging under her own weight, is now underway. She has been sitting in a dry dock in Portsmouth – the oldest in the world – since 1922, supported by steel cradles. A new support system has been designed to mimic how she would sit in water. Dominic Tweddle FSA
, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said Victory
remains a commissioned ship and the flagship of the First Sea Lord. ‘This is the first time something like this has ever been done on a historic ship,’ he said in a release. ‘So we have been really tested with this scheme. Our priority though is to stop the ship from moving, get her into a stable condition and then take the necessary steps to ensure the hull is here for another 250 years.’ The ship, built during the Seven Years’ War and completed in 1765, will remain open to visitors in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The picture shows how the adjustable steel props will look.
, Provost of UCL, addressed the World Academic Summit at King’s College London in September with concerns about the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. These are, he said, important to universities’ international rankings in ‘an outward-looking country with a central role on the global academic stage’. He sought greater clarity from the government on the future rights of EU academics, staff and students to freedom of movement; retention of ‘full access to and influence over EU research and innovation programmes’; and removal of overseas students from net migration figures. • Louise Richardson
, Oxford University's vice-chancellor, said ‘mendacious’ politicians should stop complaining about the scale of vice-chancellors’ salaries, and instead look to their own policies for deficiencies in junior academic pay and student financing. A few days later, Jo Johnson
, Universities Minister, said universities who pay vice-chancellors more than £150,000 a year (Richardson is said to receive £350,000) would have to justify the salaries or face a fine.
Mark Harrison FSA
is now Head of Heritage Crime & Policing Advice at Historic England.
Responding to public debate about taking down, moving and preserving commemorative statues, the Guardian
asked readers to nominate people for new ones. ‘Jayne Nelson, 45, London’ proposed Sir David Attenborough FSA
. The statue should display him with a gorilla on his lap, wrote Nelson, and be sited outside the Houses of Parliament ‘to remind people that while politicians bicker and spout hot air inside, the world around us is bigger than them and their petty differences, and we should all look after it.’ • Two of Attenborough’s Zoo Quest
books, originally published in the 1950s and 60s, are being issued in new editions. The first, Adventures of a Young Naturalist
, is out this month.
London’s museums and galleries have been announcing their plans for next year. At the V&A the Cast Courts will re-open after completion of a major renovation project; Marjorie Trusted FSA
, Senior Curator of Sculpture, has described them as ‘a fundamental element in the history of the institution’ and ‘epitomis[ing] a history of European art’. The Royal Academy will mark the 250th anniversary of the start of James Cook’s first expedition into the Pacific, crossing from Tahiti to New Zealand and Australia, with Oceania
(September 29–December 10 2018), highlighting the art of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia; modern works will include Lisa Reihana’s in Pursuit of Venus [infected].
The exhibition has been many years in the planning, blogged Charles Saumarez Smith FSA
, Secretary and Chief Executive of the RA, ‘including a research programme studying the European holdings of Oceanic material. It looks fantastic.’
Hartwig Fischer FSA
, Director of the British Museum, has described longer-term plans for re-organising the museum’s permanent displays, putting ancient civilisations together on the ground floor, giving more space to Oceania, Australia, South America and Africa, and overall reducing the density of objects on display. He told the Art Newspaper
that a new storage facility for the BM’s Archaeological Research Collection is likely to be outside London, at a university with a strong archaeological department: near options (I’m guessing) would be Oxford and Reading.
Eleni Markou of the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency has interviewed Colin Renfrew FSA
, in Greece to co-direct excavations at the Aegean sanctuary on Keros. In the week that Richard Ellis
spoke of his fears that the Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Crime Unit, of which he was once head, might disappear, Lord Renfrew
said the world's museums should stop acquiring ancient artefacts ‘obtained in dubious ways’. He thought in the long run it was right that the Parthenon sculptures in the British Museum should be returned to Greece, as ‘they belong to a specific building that is still standing’. Celebrity campaigns however were not helpful, he added, saying, ‘there must be an international agreement’. Regarding the modern illicit export trade, Renfrew said, ‘I believe the main [solution] is that museums agree not to buy and to not accept as gifts antiquities that have been exported illegally from their country of origin after 1970, the year set down by the UNESCO convention.’
In a well-researched piece in the Times
on 8 September, Richard Morrison
used his arts column to consider English Heritage’s work at Tintagel, Cornwall. He begins by quoting Nowell Myres FSA
, the Society’s President in the 1970s, who said of Arthur, ‘No figure on the borderline of history and mythology has wasted more of the historian’s time.’ EH has conducted important excavations, writes Morrison (good), and, partly to help grow visitors numbers and raise necessary funds, built a new pedestrian bridge (bad). He thinks the local controversies should be aired at a public inquiry.
Thorsten Opper FSA
, Curator: Roman Collections at the British Museum, blogs about the ‘Sword of Tiberius’
(on display in the Wolfson Gallery of the Roman Empire), reprising an article he wrote for the British Museum Magazine
. The sword was discovered in 1848 near Mainz, and has an astonishingly well-preserved scabbard featuring an enthroned man with attendants. ‘The Museum’s own labels used to say otherwise,’ says Opper, ‘but having followed the heated arguments about its iconography and context over the years, I am with those who recognise here the emperor Tiberius … receiving his adopted son Germanicus, commander-in-chief of the Roman army of the Rhine. The goddess Victory is to his left, and another deity, probably Mars, to his right. Clearly, this refers to a major military triumph in Rome’s German wars.’ Looking back on disastrous wars, Tiberius simply declared victory: ‘In truth,’ says Opper, ‘this is elaborate political spin, masterfully crafted both in intellectual concept and physical form.’
Roy Adkins FSA
and Lesley Adkins FSA
have co-authored many books on archaeology and naval and social history. In their new work, Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History
, they describe Britain's longest siege, lasting 1,323 days between June 1779 and February 1783. This was Gibraltar’s 14th siege, known as the ‘Great Siege’, and it formed part of the American War of Independence. The book, say the authors, is based on original archives and contemporary accounts and combines military, naval and social history. It was an extraordinary occasion: as one dramatic event played out another took its place, until the climax of the siege in September 1782, with an attack by French and Spanish floating batteries watched by some 80,000 tourists from across Europe. Roy and Lesley Adkins will be talking at the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival on 16 November.
‘One of my biggest fears is that the post-conflict redevelopment will attempt to sweep away all memory of the hundreds of thousands who perished and the millions who fled and might never return. If so, Aleppo will become a city of ghosts.’ Thus said Michael Danti FSA
, an Assistant Professor of archaeology at Boston University who worked in Syria for two decades before the war, to Hannah Lucinda Smith, writing from Istanbul in the Times
(8 August). Former residents are not convinced the interests of the community are being properly considered, says Smith. ‘There are plans available of the footprint of the old city, and there have been architectural surveys,' says Danti. ‘However, to say that those plans can be used to rebuild historic neighbourhoods where there is only rubble and desolation is like saying that you could rebuild clear-cut sections of the Amazon using blueprints.’
A delightful object which Leslie Webster FSA
has described as a ‘remarkable and handsome seal-die … of national importance on several counts,’ is back in the news. Authorised in 1322 by Robert the Bruce, the two-part bronze seal was used by Dunfermline Abbey (where the King is buried) to confirm that he had endorsed customs documents. It was sold by TimeLines, and in March 2016 an export bar
was placed on it by Arts Minister Ed Vaizey, giving UK buyers time to raise £151,250. The 21 June deadline passed, and the Arts Council said the export deferral process had been suspended ‘to allow new information to be considered.’ On 25 August the Arts Minister (now John Glenn) issued another notice, with a new deadline for raising the money of 24 November (extendable to 24 February 2018). ‘…if it indeed dates to the reign of Robert the Bruce’, says Webster in a government press release
, ‘it is an item of outstanding importance’.
The Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England announced the Great Place Scheme
on 4 August. Described as ‘one of the flagship measures from the Government’s recently published Culture White Paper,’ the scheme will ‘pilot new approaches that enable cultural, community and civic organisations to work more closely together’. It hopes to do this by telling them that cultural investment must work for jobs, the economy, education, community, and health and wellbeing, and at the same time persuading them, along with businesses, to invest in culture. Twelve pilot areas will receive grants of between £500,000 and £1.5 million. The scheme has a total of £15 million to disburse.
On 15 August the High Court granted SAVE Britain's Heritage permission to challenge the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government over his refusal to call in proposals for development known as the Paddington Cube for public inquiry. Marcus Binney FSA
, Executive President of SAVE, said in a statement: ‘SAVE is deeply concerned at the way Westminster Council brushed aside its own conservation policy to allow this grossly overscaled building in a conservation area and next to one of London's great Victorian masterpieces. We hope this will open the way to a proper thorough reconsideration of this contentious application.’
During restoration of St Vigeans church in the 1870s, writes Jane Geddes FSA
, a bewildering collection of exquisitely preserved Pictish sculpture emerged, reused as building material for the later medieval church. This collection, including the Drosten stone, one of Scotland’s premier monuments previously located in the churchyard, is now preserved by Historic Environment Scotland in the adjacent museum. In Hunting Picts: Medieval Sculpture at St Vigeans, Angus
(Vol 1) Geddes explains the discovery of the sculpture and the construction of the church. The sculpture revels in Pictish inventiveness, teeming with animals and humans in many activities. It also draws on a deep knowledge of Christian and classical literature for its iconography, witness to a highly literate and cosmopolitan society. Some stones are sufficiently complete to suggest complex liturgical meanings and functions.
Cherry Lavell recommends 100 Jahre Leben: Hundertjährige im Porträt
(2015), which contains a chapter on the late Beatrice de Cardi FSA
. Andreas Labes, a Berlin photographer, captured a hundred centenarians over two years. His portraits are accompanied by short biographical sketches written by Martin Pallgen, a journalist. Apart from a few ‘oddities’, writes Lavell, Labes ‘got Beatrice to open up quite amazingly in a relatively short interview’.
Winchester: An Archaeological Assessment,
by Patrick Ottaway FSA
, is, says the blurb, a critical assessment of the archaeology of the historic city of Winchester and its immediate environs, from earliest times to the present. It is the first published comprehensive review of the city’s archaeological resource, which has seen many major programmes of archaeological investigation. The study covers the Palaeolithic, Iron Age settlement in two defended enclosures at St Catherine’s Hill and Oram’s Arbour, Winchester as a Roman civitas
capital, near desertion in early Anglo-Saxon times, the foundation of a minster church in the mid 7th century, the pre-eminent royal centre for the Kingdom of Wessex in the late Anglo-Saxon period, a castle, cathedral and bishop’s palace under Norman kings, and subsequent decline to a regional market town. The archaeological resource for Winchester is very rich and of international importance.
David French – A Life in Anatolian Archaeology
: The British Institute at Ankara is organising a memorial event for David French, its Director from 1968 to 1994, who passed away earlier this year. There will be a colloquium, highlighting his achievements, on 30 September at the Erimtan Museum in Ankara. Details online
The Victoria History of Middlesex: Knightsbridge and Hyde
, by Pamela Taylor FSA
, breaks new ground, says the blurb, by uncovering an earlier, larger Knightsbridge and showing why its initial extent and history have been largely forgotten. Knightsbridge was the southern part of the Westminster Abbey manor of Knightsbridge and Westbourne, which until 1900 included today’s Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, almost half of ‘South Kensington’, and Hyde Park west of the Serpentine (or river Westbourne). The book is the first to look in detail at the area’s place-names and agriculture, and it supplements previous studies of the leper hospital and chapel. New and old sources are also combined to chart the hamlet’s development from the 13th through to the 21st centuries.
Ian Graham FSA
died on 1 August aged 93. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1972. A special event was held in his honour at the Society of Antiquaries in 2012, when it was said he had been dubbed a 'maverick Mayanist' and the 'last explorer'. His exploration of Mayan ruins and documentation of hieroglyphic monuments in the jungles of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize over four decades, led to the great Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions.
Obituaries in the Times
and the Telegraph
highlighted his eccentric lifestyle and career and his wide travels in remote parts of central America, together with his passion for Mayan archaeology and his substantial contributions to scholarship. Having worked on radar during the Second World War, he joined the National Gallery, London, restoring pictures as a Nuffield Foundation Scholar. He worked briefly as a fashion photographer in New York. In 1958 he discovered Mexico and the Maya, and in the early 1960s he explored ancient cities in Guatemala – El Mirador, Nakbe, El Tintal and Wakna – leading to a monograph in 1967.
‘Graham spent several decades at Harvard University,’ said the Times
, ‘compiling an inventory of threatened Maya sculptures and inscriptions, but his global social network meant that he could pop up anywhere without notice. He arrived thus at one Cambridge don’s house, and when the door was opened said simply: “I’ve had a terrible time in Guatemala. My guide was shot dead.”’ Most of his work ‘he did without salary and on minimal grants, and on occasion in the field at great personal risk.’ ‘When not in the jungle or at Harvard’, he lived on the family farm in Suffolk, to which he retired a decade ago.
Seeing monuments looted and damaged by smugglers who sold to museums and collectors, he set out to compile a full record of known sites, especially those most at risk. Such work rose awareness of the issues, and led to the re-unification of plundered sculptures and inscriptions. He persuaded the Guttman Foundation to underwrite the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions
), a Harvard-based archive which he initiated in 1968 and of which 21 fascicles have appeared. Barbara Fash FSA
, Director of the CMHI
, wrote on the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology’s website
that ‘His unfailing dedication to the Corpus program and the body of drawings and photographs, site maps and references he produced are positively staggering.’
He co-produced Great Houses
with Nigel Nicolson FSA
(1968), and wrote two biographies: Alfred Maudslay and the Maya
(2002) and his own, The Road to Ruins
(2010). He received honorary doctorates from Tulane University and Trinity College, Dublin, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for American Archaeology (2004). Guatemala presented him with the Order of the Quetzal. He was appointed OBE in 1999.
The Society was well represented at his funeral at the church of St John the Baptist, Campsey Ash, Suffolk, writes Norman Hammond FSA
‘Barbara Fash FSA
, the current director of the CMHI
, spoke at the funeral about Ian’s career and his importance in Maya research and combatting the looting of Maya sculptures. Bill Fash FSA
, former Director of the Peabody Museum and successor to the late Gordon R Willey FSA
as Bowditch Professor at Harvard, also attended, as did a representative of Harvard’s Signet Club, to which Ian belonged. Jean Wilson FSA
and Norman Hammond FSA
were also there, and the latter spoke about Ian’s adventurous life within and beyond archaeology.’
Photos supplied by Norman Hammond: top in 2014 and above (on left, with George Stuart FSA
) at Yaxchilan, Mexico, 1970s.
Robert Hardy FSA
, died on 3 August aged 91. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1996.
As a leading actor of his age, prominent in television, British cinema and theatre, Hardy has received many obituaries. The Times
headline described him as a ‘Gruff yet elegant Shakespearean actor who became a household name after playing a vet in All Creatures Great and Small
.’ ‘One of his most glittering performances’, wrote Michael Coveney in the Guardian
, came in 1967, as Sir Harry Wildair in the Restoration comedy The Constant Couple
. The Telegraph
noted his performances of Henry V in the Shakespearean TV series An Age of Kings
(1960, opposite Judi Dench) and on stage at the Ravinia Festival in Illinois (1963). In the Independent
, Anthony Hayward led with Harding's portrayal of ‘the bumbling, rule-enforcing Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, in four Harry Potter films.’
It was not for this, however, that Robert Hardy was elected a Fellow, but for his expertise in the history of the longbow, about which he was passionate. Describing archery as ’one of his hobbies’ and horsemanship and bowyery ‘among his recreations’, the Telegraph
said he was a member and patron of the Battlefields Trust, and served on the Battlefields Advisory Panel of English Heritage (now Historic England). He wrote and narrated The Picardy Affair
(BBC TV 1963), about the Battle of Agincourt, and the Guardian
said it was playing Henry V at the Old Vic which inspired Hardy’s lifelong interest in the history of the longbow: ‘Hardy’s book about his passion, The Longbow
(1976), is a standard work on the subject, and he co-authored another volume, The Great Warbow
, in 2004.’
The latter, written with Matthew Strickland FSA
, is subtitled From Hastings to the Mary Rose
. According to the Times
the book led him to become a consultant to, and trustee of, the Mary Rose Trust. In a letter to the Guardian
, film director Stephen Weeks said he first met Hardy at his house near Henley-on-Thames, ‘where, in the cellar, were some 20 longbows salvaged from the wreck of the Mary Rose. Soon we were testing the flexibility of these 400-year old specimens. It was an exciting moment.’
, Chief Executive, The Mary Rose Trust, wrote that Hardy was ‘a true gentleman and joy to work with… Without his enthusiasm, skill and knowledge of the craft of archery, the subject would be much diminished… His passion and enthusiasm for the Mary Rose will be his lasting legacy and treasured by the team.’
Robert Hardy was a Trustee of the Royal Armouries (1984–95), Master of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Bowyers (1988–90), Chairman of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Naturalists’ Trust Appeal and a member of the Woodmen of Arden. He held several honorary degrees and was made CBE in 1981.
Photo Daily Mail
Donald Haigh FSA
died on 5 August aged 91. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in November 1982. A longstanding member of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, he was, in the words of his Times
notice, ‘a Yorkshire man all his life, and life-long expert and enthusiast in Roman roads, fine wines and cricket’.
He taught history and archaeology at Bradford Grammar School from 1956, and worked as a part-time lecturer for the Workers Education Authority and the Department of Adult Education and Extra-Mural Studies at Leeds University. His school Archaeological Society and Saddleworth WEA Archaeology class came together to conduct surveys and excavations, under the guise of the 712 Group (named after a Roman road numbered by Ivan Margary FSA
), in search of the correct ancient route between Failsworth and Castleshaw Roman fort. He published Saddleworth Seven One Two
in 1982. In 1995, with Ken Booth and David Chadderton, he formed the Saddleworth Archaeological Trust.
Clive Partridge FSA
died on 7 August aged 84. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1988. Gilbert Burleigh FSA
has kindly written this obituary of an archaeologist best known for his work at Skeleton Green and Foxholes Farm in Hertfordshire:
‘Clive Partridge trained as an electrical engineer after education in Salisbury – his skill at technical drawing later stood him in good stead. He developed an interest in archaeology from his schooldays and began taking part in excavations, particularly enjoying his time at Fishbourne Palace in the early 1960s, working under the directorship of Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA
. He was also heavily involved with excavations at Wroxeter under the direction of Philip Barker FSA
‘He first came to Hertfordshire with his grandparents, with whom he lived as a child, when his grandfather was appointed gamekeeper for the Youngsbury estate at Wadesmill; the family was also associated with the brick kilns at Stoneyhills near Ware. By the mid-1960s he had joined the East Herts. Archaeological Society. By 1968 he was joint Director of the Society’s excavations, in partnership with Adrian Gibson and Robert Kiln FSA
, and sole Director a few years later.
‘In the early 1970s Clive was able to leave commercial life to work full time in the field. He became Director of the Hart Archaeological Unit (HAU) in the mid-1970s, directing important excavations in East Hertfordshire for many years, as well as assisting and directing excavations elsewhere in the country and overseas, of particular interest being Lezoux in the Auvergne. In 1986 he became a Trustee and Executive Director of the newly formed Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust (now Archaeological Solutions Ltd), which continued from the HAU and expanded to work throughout Hertfordshire and in other counties.
‘His major excavations included Skeleton Green, part of the important late Iron Age and Romano-British settlement at Braughing and Puckeridge, where he worked in the early 1970s (published as a Britannia Monograph in 1981). Between 1974 and 1985, he directed extensive excavations at Foxholes Farm, Hertford, in advance of gravel quarrying. These multi-period excavations revealed significant prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon remains. To his great credit, Clive promptly published this considerable work and data as a Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust Monograph in 1989. Also in the mid-1980s he excavated beneath Hunsdon House, Henry VIII’s favourite hunting lodge and palace. For many years he directed important excavations at Ware, especially on the Allen and Hanburys (now GlaxoSmithKline) site by the river Lea; these are currently being prepared for publication. He directed numerous other excavations and field surveys, and published many in the county journal, Hertfordshire Archaeology
‘During the 1970s and 80s, Clive was a representative for East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society on the Hertfordshire Archaeological Council. In 1983 he was a founding member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists (now the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists). He lectured extensively to local archaeological and historical societies, at the annual Hertfordshire Archaeological Conference, and for the extra-mural boards of Cambridge and London universities.
‘Following the demise of the HAU in 1985, Clive was asked by his friend and colleague Robert Kiln – an insurance underwriter for Lloyds – to take over his sideline of providing insurance assessments for developers, against the need for archaeological investigation. Under the soubriquet of Intermede Archaeological Associates, Clive travelled throughout the country as well as the continent. He was an advisor on the Olympic Committee, and had a number of projects in Italy: his favourite was advising on the implications of a proposed underground carpark in Venice (strangely enough this did not take place).
‘Clive will be sorely missed, not only for his encyclopaedic knowledge of archaeology in all its varied facets, but also for his energy, drive and endless enthusiasm for sharing his love of archaeology with all and sundry.’
Santina Levey FSA
died on 26 August aged 79. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1993. She was an expert in 16th- and 17th-century textiles, and her book, Lace: A History
, published for the V&A in 1983, remains a classic text on the subject. She was a Trustee of the School of Historical Dress, from which much of the next paragraph is taken.
Santina Levey learnt to make lace in Northampton, where she began her museum career. Later in Norwich she was responsible for a church and two museums, before winning an open competition for a research post in the Department of Textiles at the V&A. Her specialist areas of study were embroidery, lace and other non-woven techniques. She worked in the Department for 20 years, as its Keeper from 1981–89; she was the final Curatorial Keeper. She was instrumental in seeing the Blackborne Lace Collection installed at The Bowes Museum, which she catalogued and about which she co-authored a guide with Joanna Hashagen, Fine & Fashionable: Lace from the Blackborne Collection
(2006). Her important study of the National Trust's late 16th-century embroidery, needlework and wrought linen at Hardwick Hall culminated in The Embroideries at Hardwick Hall: A Catalogue
Her specialist publications were internationally well reviewed, and prized by scholars and makers alike. Comments after her death on Legacy.com
include one from Frieda Sorber, Curator of the Historical Collections at the Fashion Museum, Antwerp:
‘It is a testimony to her international reputation that I heard about her passing through an American lace collector and a fellow curator also in the USA. I passed the message on to people who knew her in Germany and Belgium. She was a dedicated and very gifted scholar, a wonderful friend and an amazing human being. Spending time with her in London was always a feast… When I entered the field of textiles in the 70s, she was the shining example of what I wanted to be as a scholar and museum curator.’
Devon Thein, a lacemaker in New Jersey, USA, noted that Lace: A History
‘has informed a generation of lace scholars and remains the most comprehensive reference on the subject.’
Levey was an assessor for the Society’s Janet Arnold Award
, which offers annual grants to support research into the history of Western dress, and which she was active in setting up. She was on the Art Fund’s Advisory Council, and was honoured by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and the Centre International d'Études des Textiles Anciens, Lyons.
Stephen Croad FSA
died on 13 September. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1990. He was born in Bridgwater, Somerset. After reading the history of European art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, he joined the National Monuments Record in 1968, where he became Head of the Architectural Record in 1981. He retired in 1996. His publications included London's Bridges
(1983) and Liquid History: The Thames Through Time
(2003 and 2016).
Peter Fowler FSA
, one-time Secretary to the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), writes:
‘Stephen Croad was known as the ever-present, always helpful, extremely knowledgeable member of staff to a generation of users of the famous red boxes in what was called the National Buildings Record when, as part of the Royal Commission, it was publicly available in Fortress House, Savile Row, London. On the retirement of our late Fellow, Eric Mercer FSA
, Stephen succeeded him as head of what by then had become the Buildings Section of the National Monuments Record until his own retirement.’
Stephen Croad was a member of the Committee of the National Inventory of War Memorials at the Imperial War Museum and a Trustee of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. He was a frequent contributor to the Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society
. He was on the Council of the London Topographical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and was appointed MBE in 1997.
Further tribute will appear in a future Salon
has published an obituary of Dai Morgan Evans FSA
, who died in March
, headlined ‘Archaeologist who built a Roman villa in a Shropshire field live on television.’ He was a ‘stickler for every Roman detail and a self-confessed workaholic,’ it says, ‘who would brave a gale-force wind on a dig attired in little more than his trusty cagoule.’ In front of TV cameras ‘he led a motley crew of 21st-century builders, including a Geordie plumber. His deadline was six months. “It was like Frankenstein’s monster, it was created by a mad professor and took over our lives,” he later said.’
‘Known among his academic colleagues for his Welsh gusto and fruity language – as well as his appetite for a drink – Evans regretted his suggestion that swearing be edited out of the programme. He found his technical explanations to the builders were usually cut very short. “At its worst, they didn’t listen to me, they didn’t seem to understand what I was saying, and I got very frustrated,” he sighed.’
He ‘truly switched off only when walking in the countryside or staying at the family cottage in the remote Gam Valley in Wales,’ concludes the Times
. ‘Otherwise he rarely relaxed or stopped reading – habits that perhaps contributed to his insomnia. On an earlier project to build a Roman farmhouse for a Discovery channel documentary in 2002, he had thought nothing of shouting cheerfully into the camera about flint stone techniques while the wind howled. With rain misting up his lenses, he watched as a wall crumbled down and, in the background, part of a tent came free and flew into the air. However, when the presenter asked Evans if the villa could be built in record time, he grinned: “Absolutely!”’
has published an obituary of Bridget Allchin FSA
, who died in June
, written by Robin Coningham FSA
. It is headlined ‘Prehistorian and expert in South Asian archaeology who blazed a trail for women in the field and whose publications stretched from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka,’ and describes her as ‘one of the first women to establish herself as a field expert in the male-dominated discipline of South Asian archaeology.’
‘A forceful organiser,’ writes Coningham,
‘Bridget became Secretary-General of the Association of South Asian Archaeologists in Western Europe in 1970 and presided over its biannual conferences. In 1978 she was appointed Editor of Afghan Studies, journal of the Society for Afghan Studies, and she steered its transformation into South Asian Studies when conflict in Afghanistan forced the society to broaden its footing southwards in 1985.’
Bridget and her late husband Raymond Allchin FSA
‘were consummate hosts and frequently entertained archaeologists, linguists, art historians and diplomats at home in Barrington, Cambridgeshire, never forgetting to invite students and South Asian visitors. She liked to offer practical advice to the partners of research students as to their expected lot if they became the spouse of a South Asian archaeologist and, within South Asia, she was affectionately known as Auntie.’
Jessica Aitken has written an obituary of her father, Martin Aitken FSA
, for the Guardian
. He died in June
His work with optically stimulated luminescence, says Jessica, ‘overturned contemporary assumptions regarding the age of several well-known ceramic artefacts. These included the so-called Hacilar ware, previously thought to be from ancient Turkey, and inscribed tablets found at Glozel, near Vichy, France, at one time thought to be Neolithic.’
‘This latter work,’ she continues, ‘primarily carried out by his student Doreen Stoneham, initiated his love of the Auvergne. He retired to Le Garret, a small hamlet in the Monts de Forez, in 1996, where he and Joan lived in the house they had bought six years earlier. When Joan died in 2005, he stayed on at Le Garret with the support of the local community and my sister, Jennifer.
‘My father was a generous, likable man with an insightful, logical mind. He was also a competitive sailor and keen camper.’
Frank Herrmann FSA
, who died in April
, was ‘a key player in the London publishing scene and was also a writer of children’s books’, according to his Times obituary
‘For half a century he worked for a bewildering succession of publishing houses. He reorganised book sales and ran overseas offices for Sotheby’s after writing the firm’s history, then cofounded the specialist Bloomsbury Book Auctions. In a moment of relative underemployment he took a job as an assistant in a Manchester bookshop to experience the frontline of the business. Among his own varied writings were a well-regarded history of English collecting and a bestselling series of children’s books featuring a giant called Alexander. For much of this time he was also engaged in restoring and managing two restituted family estates in Germany.’
The obituary refers to Herrmann’s autobiography, Low Profile: A Life in the World of Books
, which tells how ‘he was excluded from his Berlin school in 1936 after protesting when a teacher denounced “despicable” Jews, and it soon became evident that the family should leave Germany. While the parents went to England to establish a home, the boys were sent for education to a children’s home near St Moritz, Switzerland, rejoining them the next year in Hampstead Garden Suburb, north London.
‘At the outbreak of war, in common with most refugees from Germany, Fritz Herrmann [Frank’s father] was interned for a year on the Isle of Man. After his release as “an artist of eminent distinction” he served as an emergency ambulance driver. In May 1940 Frank went to Westminster School, which had been evacuated to Lancing, Sussex, before it moved to Exeter and later Herefordshire.’
David Viner FSA
has offered a further appreciation of Jo Draper FSA
, who died in June
‘The happy memories
of Martin Henig FSA
of the hospitality he received at Jo Draper’s house in Dorchester when undertaking research in Dorset exactly mirror my own. With husband Christopher, Jo was a beacon of information, knowledge and wisdom to anybody seriously engaged on Dorset’s archaeology and especially the history of Dorchester, a town she loved and where they made their home for nearly 40 years.
‘They could not be better placed. The Dorset Record Office (now Dorset History Centre) was just round the corner in one direction and the (then) County Library likewise in the other at the Top o’ Town. From Jo’s desk, complete with its workhorse Corona typewriter, there was a splendid view of The Keep, Dorset’s regimental museum looking especially grand when floodlit at night.
‘A summons to house-sit was always well-received, an opportunity for research and writing in the most stimulating of environments, surrounded by as many books and papers on Dorset history as one could wish for.
‘Jo was a warm and encouraging colleague, challenging always and never short of a clearly expressed view, and she seemed without effort to carry her written editorial skills into verbal exchanges, to the benefit of both. Martin is correct too about the level of sharing and of laughter; both flowed easily and encouraged a good many local people with their own work in the county.
‘Old-school, determinedly not computer literate, a devoted user of her manual typewriter, stalwart of the postal system and never far from a cigarette, Jo defied so many modern trends but nevertheless produced the enormous volume of work which stands as her memorial. Her bibliography runs to 173 entries over 39 years. Editor of the Dorset Proceedings
for 15 years (198095), to which she was also a prolific contributor, she wrote for local county magazines, produced 16 booklets accompanying museum exhibitions and collections in Northampton, Dorchester, Verwood and Lyme Regis, and will be especially remembered for her 19 books, mostly for Dovecote Press.
‘In terms of popular appreciation and I’m sure her own satisfaction, Dorset: The Complete Guide
(1986, three editions in all, 12 reprintings) is probably best known. Jo and Christopher spent three years in its research and compilation, visiting every church and every location and then repeating it all again in 2003. Updating Salon 390
, it was Dovecote’s best seller, achieving total sales of just over 25,000 when in recent weeks it finally (and ironically) went out of print for the first time in over 30 years.’
‘A manuscript for a Lost Dorset
volume survives, unpublished.’
Viner’s obituary of Jo Draper appeared in the Guardian
on 14 August.
The Wisdom of Fellows
Who was John Windham Dalling (1789–1853)? His portrait, showing a 16-year-old midshipman who had experienced the Battle of Trafalgar, has been acquired by the National Museum of the Royal Navy. In the last Salon, Paul Stamper FSA wondered in any Fellows might know what happened to him? They do.
He appears in A Naval Biographical Dictionary by William Richard O'Byrne, writes Cliff Webb FSA, where his marriage to Frances Anne Fanshawe, daughter of Edward Fanshawe, colonel in the Royal Engineers is noted. ‘What is not said there,’ adds Webb, ‘is that Frances was 24 years younger than him; indeed she did not die until 1901 aged 87. O'Byrne notes that since 1842 he has been “unemployed”. However this should not be taken to imply poverty – in the 1851 census the Dalling household had six indoor servants! Frances had brought with her £6,000 in the 3% Consols, and when she died left over £12,000, her executors were two elderly brothers, one an Admiral and one a clergyman.’
Dalling was ‘a typical member of a lucky and unlucky generation’, says Nicholas Rodger FSA, who has also been reading O'Byrne Dictionary. ‘His father was a soldier who made his reputation in the Seven Years’ War and lost it in the American War. John Windham was his youngest son by his second marriage, born when his father must have been about 60.
‘He went to sea in 1803 in the Defence, being then probably about 13, and fought at Trafalgar. Soon after he transferred to the frigate Amphion commanded by the famous Captain William Hoste, and shared in his spectacular career raiding and fighting up and down the Adriatic. It was a privileged opportunity to make a reputation under fire, and Dalling must have been a promising as well as a well-connected youth. He distinguished himself in several operations, notably the storming of Cortelazzo in 1809. Sir Samuel Hood made him Lieutenant in 1810, he made Commander just in time in 1814, and then like all his generation spent almost all of the rest of his life on half-pay.
‘He was made Post Captain in 1828, but “accepted the retirement” and never made Flag rank. The peace of 1814 left the Navy with ten times as many officers as it needed. No government or Board of Admiralty ever mustered the courage to tackle the problem, so officers of Dalling’s generation had long, tranquil (and often impoverished) “careers” ashore, or found some other profession. As the younger brother of a baronet, in a family with some money, John Windham doubtless did not need employment that urgently, the more so as he did not marry until 1844.’
Julian Litten FSA says Dalling was probably born at 17 Lower Berkeley Street, Mayfair, the London home of his father, Sir John Dalling, 1st Baronet (c 1731–98). His eldest brother, Sir William Windham Dalling, 2nd Baronet (1775–1864), inherited the Earsham, Norfolk estate in 1810 on the death of his kinsman, William Windham PC PC (Ire) of Felbrigg Hall.
George Henry Harlow’s 1805 painting is ‘a truly remarkable portrait’, says Litten, memorialising the young Dalling as a midshipman at Trafalgar. Fortunately for Dalling, he continues, ‘HMS Defence (under the command of Captain Sir G Hope) was one of the few ships of the line of the Trafalgar fleet which saw little action. Shortly afterwards Dalling was involved in some notable small boat actions in the Adriatic, he being in command of one of the boats, HMS Amphion, captained by Sir William Hoste, another Norfolk man and celebrated today as one of Nelson's commanders at Trafalgar. After the Adriatic, Dalling was posted to the Cape, and in c 1816 he was posted to Scotland in command of a sloop. It was whilst he was in Scotland that he met and befriended Sir Walter Scott. Later, Dalling commanded HMS Raleigh and HMS Dapne.
‘He retired to Earsham in 1840. Four years later he married Frances Fanshawe (b 1813). There were no children, and on his death in 1853 he was buried in Earsham church where a monument was erected to his memory.
‘No doubt,’ concludes Litten, ‘his early career was assisted by William Windham PC PC (Ire), who was Secretary at War in Pitt's government of 1794–1801 and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in Lord Grenville's government of 1806–07. So useful to have good connections.’
Jonathan Gregory writes with an appeal to Fellows who might be thinking about writing a book:
‘Antony Harwood Literary Agents are actively seeking authors with an interest in public engagement to develop ideas for books and broadcast media projects dedicated to history and archaeology. Our interest extends across all periods and disciplines, and we know there is a strong international market for serious, well-written and scholarly books that have crossover appeal to the non-specialist. We would like to hear from anyone interested in writing for this wider readership that extends beyond professional historians to the upper end of the general audience. It is possible to reach both… For further information, or if you have an idea you would like to discuss, please contact Jonathan Gregory at email@example.com.’
Peter Clayton FSA has forwarded new photos of what was once the house of Sir John Evans FSA, in the midst of a new housing development in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (above). ‘Only the portico of the house now remains of the original building and some walls,’ writes Clayton. In the original planning application, he says, it was to be have been used as a community centre, maintaining the house and its basic interior. ‘The developers have, since that stage, now changed, and so all previous arrangements and agreed planning suggestions for continued community use have been cast aside.’
The photos were taken in August by Michael Stanyon. He reports that a planning application has been submitted to Dacorum Borough Council ‘to do yet more demolition and to build a new extension in order to create eight two-bed flats and two one-bed flats. Much of the original structure has been rebuilt to correspond with the original profile, having been demolished to first floor level.’
In the last Salon I quoted concerns about the Northamptonshire Archives and Heritage Service, which had decided to greatly reduce opening times for free public access, and otherwise to charge a users fee of £31.50 per hour. An online petition asking the County Council to drop the charges attracted over 4,200 signatures.
There is good news, at least for now. No sooner had Salon been posted than the Council changed its mind. In a statement issued on 4 August, it said:
‘Northamptonshire County Council has reviewed its decision to change opening hours at its archives and heritage service after listening to the views of its regular users and supporters. The archives service will now be open for free access on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm and the first Saturday in each month, 9am to 1pm.
‘In light of financial pressures and reducing visitor numbers, there will be a review of the service ahead of the next financial year as part of the budget setting process and this will include a full consultation around any proposed changes. In 2016, the service was visited by a total of 3,500 researchers, a drop of 50 per cent compared with 2006.’
Councillor André Gonzalez de Savage promised ‘a full public consultation’.
Patrick Ottaway FSA wonders if any Fellow can identify the subject of this painting (right)? He found the small watercolour, he says, ‘unregarded and neglected in a dusty corner of my children’s school in York’.
Thanks go to those who have sent pictures and stories of memorials to Fellows, they will appear in a future edition. There will also be another piece from Heinrich Härke FSA.
Gifts to the Library April–December 2016
The Society is very grateful for the following gifts. They are, or will shortly be, available in the Library, with full records on the online catalogue. Please accept the Society’s apologies for the delay in acknowledging these much-appreciated donations.
From the author, Christopher Allmand FSA, ‘Writing History in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Goodwin's The History of the Reign of Henry the Fifth ’ in Henry V: New Interpretations, ed Gwilym Dodd (2013)
From the author, Sally Badham FSA, Seeking Salvation: Commemorating the Dead in the Late-Medieval English Parish (2015)
From the author, Ann Benson FSA, A History of Coton Manor and its Garden (2015)
From the author, John Boardman FSA, The Greeks in Asia (2015)
From the author, Ian W Brown FSA, The Red Hills of Essex: Studying Salt in England (2013)
From the editor/author Peter Brown FSA, British Cutlery: An Illustrated History of Design, Evolution and Use (2001), and The Noel Terry Collection of Furniture and Clocks at Fairfax House, York (1987)
From the co-editor, James Campbell FSA, Robert Willis: Science, Technology and Architecture in the Nineteenth Century: Proceedings of the International Symposium held in Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge UK, 16th-17th September 2016 (2016)
From the author, John Cherry FSA, Richard Rawlinson and his seal Matrices: Collecting in the Early Eighteenth Century (2016)
From the author, Hilary Cool FSA, The Small Finds and Vessel Glass from Insula VI.1 Pompeii: Excavations 1995-2006 (2016)
From Lord Cormack FSA, Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition: Treasures, Saints and Heroes edited by Nicholas Bennett (2015)
From the joint author, Max Donnelly FSA, C F A Vosey: Arts and Crafts Designer by Karen Livingstone with Donnelly and Linda Parry (2016)
From the author, Katharine Eustace FSA, Britannia: Icon on the Coin (2016)
From the joint author, Christopher Evans FSA, Twice-Crossed River: Prehistoric and Palaeoenvironmental Investigations at Barleycroft Farm/Over, Cambridgeshire (2016)
From Desmond Fitzpatrick FSA, The City’s Lanes and Alleys and a Few Streets (2016)
From the author, Lindy Grant FSA, Blanche of Castile, Queen of France (2016)
From Mark A Hall FSA, Vlijmscherp Verleden: Het Zwaard als Wapen en Symbol by Luc Amkreutz and Annemarieke Willemsen (2016)
From Norman Hammond FSA, El Capitan Guillermo Dupaix y su Album Arqueologico de 1794, by Leonardo Lopez Lujan FSA (2015)
From the co-author, R J Harrison FSA, Moncín: Un Poblado de la Edad del Bronce (Borja, Zaragoza) (1994)
From the author, Julia Kagan FSA, British Engraved Gems 14th-20th Centuries: Catalogue of the Collection in the State Hermitage Museum
From the author, Jeremy Knight FSA, Blaenavon: From Iron Town to World Heritage Site (2016)
From the editor, Kris Lockyear FSA, Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research: A Festschrift for Tony Rook (2016)
From the editor/joint author, M A Michael FSA, The Age of Opus Anglicanum (2016), and English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum (2016)
From Jacqueline Nowakowski FSA and the other authors, Archaeology and Landscape at the Land's End, Cornwall: The West Penwith Surveys 1980-2010 (2016)
From the author, Michael Rhodes FSA, Devon's Torre Abbey: Faith, Politics and Grand Designs (2015)
From Paul Robinson FSA, Schiffe auf Siegeln by Herbert Ewe (1972)
From the author, David Sherlock FSA, Monastic Sign Language in Medieval England (2016)
From the compiler, Yvette Staelens FSA, Gloucestershire Folk Map: Customs, Traditions and Glorious Folk Song (2010), Hampshire Folk Map: Customs, Traditions and Glorious Folk Song (2010), and Somerset Folk Map: Customs, Traditions and Glorious Folk Song (nd)
From Joseph Tabone FSA, Punic Antiquities of Malta and Other Ancient Artefacts Held in Private Collections, 2 by Claudia Sagona, Isabelle Vella Gregory and Anton Bugeja (Ancient Near Eastern Studies, supplement 18) (2006), History of Ornithology in Malta by Joe Sultana and John J Borg (2015), Facets of Maltese Prehistory edited by Anton Mifsud and Charles Savona Ventura (1999), and A Man of Cultural Achievements: Essays in Honour of Joseph Attard Tabone edited by Joe Sultana (2016)
From Blaise Vyner FSA, The Archaeological Library of C E Stevens (1905-1976) [sale catalogue, nd]
From the author, Chris Webster FSA, Taunton Castle (2016).
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.
19 September: Memorial for Geoffrey Wainwright, Hon. VPSA
The Society welcomes all who wish to celebrate the life of Geoffrey Wainwright to join us at Burlington House on 19 September (16.00-20.00). Please confirm your attendance by reserving your place via our website or calling 020 7479 7080.
5 October: Ordinary Meetings of Fellows resume!
There has been a change to the autumn meeting programme since we posted copies to Fellows. Graham Keevill will now give his lecture on 5 October, and Roger Bowdler will give his lecture on 2 November.
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
6 November: Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos
This conference will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. Tickets are £15 each.
Introductory Tours for Fellows
Not just for newly-elected Fellows! If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's professional staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House. Coffee is served at 10.45; tours begin at 11.00.
26 October: Tours are free, but booking is required.
1 February: Tours are free, but booking is required.
19 April: Tours are free, but booking is required.
28 June: Tours are free, but booking is required.
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.
17 October: 'A Battlefield of Books: the Cairo Genizah Collectio,' by Ben Outhwaite, FSA
28 November: 'Will Van Gogh's Flowers Ever Wilt?', by Ashok Roy, FSA.
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.
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.
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
September: Heritage Practice Training programme (Leicester)
In partnership with Historic England the University of Leicester has developed a programme of practical, technical and specialist skills for heritage professionals. This autumn’s courses include:
22 September: Archaeological report writing and writing for ‘grey’ literature
25 September: Specifying work on historic buildings (at the Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln)
27–28 September: Architecture for Archaeologists
20 September: Olga Tufnell – Life of a Petrie Pup (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture by John MacDermot at 10 Carlton House Terrace, given previously at the British Museum. Olga Tufnell FSA (1905–85) was a distinguished archaeologist born into a privileged family, whose work focused on the Middle East. She joined Flinders Petrie excavating in Egypt and at Tell el-Fara and Tell el-Ajjul in Palestine. She then joined James Starkey FSA at the excavation of Tell ed-Duweir (Biblical Lachish). She spent the last 25 years of her life in a collaborative study with William Ward on Bronze Age scarab seals from Palestine. The lecturer will attempt to convey Olga Tufnell's scholarship, commitment to her subject and her personal qualities. Details online.
20–23 September: Late Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology in Germany, Britain and Ireland (Bremerhaven, Germany)
A joint conference of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Archäologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (DGAMN) will be held at the German Maritime Museum – Leibniz-Institute for German Maritime History. SPMA and DGAMN pursue similar goals, in promoting and supporting the study of historical archaeology of the last 500 years. The main objective of this conference is to bring the two organisations and their members closer together, to facilitate future collaborations and projects. 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.
1 October: Why Is There Only One Species Of Human? (London)
Chris Stringer FSA talks at the Natural History Museum. Both the human lineage and our own species originated in Africa, but recent discoveries are revealing the complexity of our origins. Homo sapiens evolved alongside other kinds of humans, and those other species have left their mark on us in terms of our DNA, and perhaps also our behaviour. Why we are the only surviving species of human is still an unanswered question. With recent discoveries challenging so many preconceptions about our evolution, this is an exciting time to study our origins. Details online.
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.
6–7 October: The Peterhouse Chapel Conference (Cambridge)
A conference on the history of the Laudian Chapel at Peterhouse, and its future. There will be sessions on the history of the Chapel, its decoration and furnishings, as well as on the windows, the organ and the importance of sacred music in the Chapel’s history. There will also be a talk on the Peterhouse Part Books, and Blue Heron, the New England choir that has specialised in bringing the Part Books to public attention, will be performing some of the music in Trinity Chapel on the Saturday night. The aim of the conference is to examine the practicalities and the philosophical underpinnings of any future restoration project. Booking required, details online.
7 October: Finding the Past: Twenty Years of EMC (Cambridge)
Since 1997 the Fitzwilliam Museum has hosted the online Corpus of Early Medieval Coin Finds (EMC), which has recorded nearly 12,000 finds of coins dated between AD 410 and 1180. This conference at the Fitzwilliam will explore discoveries that have been made using EMC, and prospects for future work on coin finds. Speakers include Martin Allen FSA and William MacKay FSA. Details online or contact Richard Kelleher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 October: Buckfast Abbey - History, Art and Architecture (Buckfast)
Buckfast Abbey celebrates its millennium in 2018. This conference, chaired by Peter Beacham FSA, marks the launch of a book he has edited about the abbey’s history. Eight speakers, including Marian Campbell FSA, Bridget Cherry FSA, Roderick O’Donnell FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA and David Robinson FSA, will review the abbey's history ahead of tours of the abbey and its buildings, after which Delegates will be welcome to attend Vespers. Details online.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
14 October: 2017 Archaeology Conference (York)
The 2017 Archaeology Conference will feature a miscellany of reports on recent archaeological work in York and its region. The topics reflect a continuing, vigorous and wide-ranging scope of archaeological research in which new and important discoveries are being made all the time on almost every period of the past. This year's agenda includes representatives from local archaeological contractors, York University, York Museums Trust, a community group and the City Archaeologist John Oxley FSA. Details online.
16 October: Just a Certificate on the Wall? UNESCO World Heritage Status and the Battle for the City (London)
This year's SAVE lecture will be given at the Courtauld Institute of Art by Oliver Wainwright, architecture and design critic at the Guardian. How can we balance World Heritage Site protection with the demands of a living, breathing city – or are the two hopelessly incompatible? Is World Heritage status an essential brake on steroidal development, or is it, in the words of the mayor of Liverpool, 'just a certificate on the wall’? Is UNESCO listing fit for purpose, or is it an outmoded hangover from another age? Details online.
19 October: Strawberry Hill, Collectors and the Country House Library (London)
To celebrate the arrival on loan of the contents of the library of Aske Hall, Yorkshire, which has enabled the Trustees of Strawberry Hill to fill the shelves of Horace Walpole’s library, Stephen Clarke FSA has helped to arrange a conference on the Country House library, with particular reference to Strawberry Hill and the libraries of art collectors. Speakers will include Megan Aldrich FSA, Stephen Lloyd FSA, Giles Mandelbrote FSA, David Pearson FSA, and Mark Purcell FSA, and will cover the collections at Knowsley, Osterley and Blickling, other Gothic libraries (particularly Stowe), bookbinding history, and Walpole’s own library, with Mark Purcell, whose book on the Country House library is forthcoming, delivering the keynote paper. Details online or email Claire Leighton at 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.
20–21 October: New Research on Finds from South and South-Western Roman Britain (Salisbury)
The Roman Finds Group is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special conference at the Salisbury Museum, with five sessions (one of which is dedicated to brooches, in memory of the late Sarnia Butcher FSA) and 20 speakers. The price includes a special 30th Anniversary reception in Sarum College, museum entrance, and a private viewing of the Wessex galleries and Terry Pratchett: HisWorld. There is an optional pre-conference guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral. Details online, or contact Stephen Greep (email@example.com) or Jörn Schuster (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.
31 October: Pitt Rivers: Pioneer (Bournemouth)
The first Annual Pitt River Lecture will be given by Richard Bradley FSA in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University at 7 pm. Pitt Rivers, widely known as ‘The General’, was a distinguished British soldier, anthropologist and archaeologist who is often considered to be the ‘father of scientific archaeology’. The lecture launches the celebration of 50 years of archaeological and anthropological teaching and research at Bournemouth University and its predecessor intuitions, and has been organised by staff and students connected to the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology. Details online.
2 November: Remote Sensing and Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture by Robert Bewley FSA in the British Museum. The Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project is discovering, documenting and assessing threats to archaeological sites using satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The paper will present the approach, results and future strategies for the project. Details online.
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.
6 December: House, Shop and Wardrobe in London’s Merchant Community (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Merchants, Money and Megalomania, he will unearth the lost mercantile buildings of medieval London and show how influential they were. Details online.
7 December: The Sunbeam Struck the Roof – a journey of Discovery in Jerusalem (London)
Archie Walls FSA will give the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Evans Memorial Lecture at the British Museum. During a night-time visit to the Haram, by chance he turned west towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the sun rose over the Mount of Olives. Sunbeams struck the roof of the Rotunda of the Church, and illuminated the tops of two nearby minarets. As Architect to the British School of Archaeology (1968–75) and in his spare time architect to the Armenians in the Church, Walls knew these buildings well, but this was a surprise. The lecture will present the case for a conscious relationship made in stone between the three monuments, and will draw an unconventional conclusion as to how it should be interpreted. Details online.
17 January 2018: London Merchants and Their Residences (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. This is the second of two lectures with the theme Merchants, Money and Megalomania. Details online.
19 February 2018: The Forests of Essex (London)
This day conference at Gilwell Park, held in memory of Oliver Rackham FSA, will explore the cultural and natural heritage of the forests of Essex, and issues of the understanding, management and future of trees, woods and forests in the county. The conference will include a keynote session by Tom Williamson and contributions from Charles Watkins FSA. Details online.
7 March 2018: St James’s and the Birth of the West End (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks into the ingredients that went into making a court quarter there and the way it formed a blueprint for the new West End of London. 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.
18 April 2018: The Birth of Modern Theatreland: Covent Garden and the Two Theatres Royal (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the second of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks at the significance and impact of theatres on the development of London. Details online.
28 April 2018: Ancient to Modern: The Changing Landscape of Sussex (Lewes)
A day conference offering a broad overview of the changing relationship between the Sussex landscape and the people who lived there, from the earliest arrivals. The emphasis will be on how new ideas resulted in significant changes in the use of the Sussex landscape. Speakers, specialists in their periods, include Sue Berry FSA, John Manley FSA, David Martin FSA and Matt Pope FSA. Details online.
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.
7–8 February 2018: Celebrating Ten Years of New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach (Aberystwyth)
Organised by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Digital Past is a two-day conference which showcases innovative digital technologies for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of heritage sites and artefacts. As this year marks Digital Past’s 10th anniversary, we will reflect on the exciting developments over ten years of digital heritage, the lessons learnt, and the opportunities and challenges for the sector in the decade ahead. We are seeking submissions from those working on innovative projects in research or operational capacity, who may contribute made through formal presentations or workshops, or more informally through the ‘unconference’ session or a show stand, in Welsh, English, or bilingually. Details online.
The Friends of Friendless Churches seek a full-time Director to further develop the charity. Deadline for applications 11.59pm 10 October.
The charity currently owns 50 churches open to visitors and encourages use by their local community, and trustees wish to increase the number of churches that the Friends save. This is a rare and exciting opportunity for an accomplished professional who can balance a strategic role with managing a widespread portfolio of buildings. Sound leadership, management, and fundraising skills are essential. You should be friendly, efficient and effective working with Trustees, volunteers and a committed team. 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.