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Salon: Issue 383
4 April 2017

Next issue: 25 April 2017 

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.

Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor

Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary


Join Us for the Anniversary Meeting: 27 April

The Anniversary Meeting of the Society will be held in the Meeting Room, Burlington House, on Thursday, 27 April 2017 at 15.30 (Fellows only). The Ballots for President, Treasurer and for three Ordinary Members of Council are uncontested this year and therefore will not take place. The Fellows who are candidates for the vacant posts are:
  • As President for a second term: Gillian Margaret Andrews, BA, MCIfA
  • As Treasurer: Stephen Lloyd Dunmore, OBE, BA
  • As Ordinary Council Members: (1) Alan Brian Lloyd, BA, MA, DPhil; (2) John Michael Maddison, BA, PhD, Hon Dr of Arts; (3) Elizabeth Mary Hallam Smith, CB, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS
Tea will be then be served to Fellows and guests at 16.15, and will be followed at 17.00 by the presentation of the Society Medal to Fellow Adrian Babbidge and the President’s Anniversary Address. Our Anniversary Meeting Reception will be held afterwards in the Library, where Fellows and guests will be invited to enjoy drinks, refreshments and the most recent displays of material from the Library's collections. Please reserve your place for the Reception (£10.00) by 20 April (book online or by contacting our Executive Assistant Jola Zdunek at 020 7479 7080).

Meet Our New Collections Manager

On 3 April, Lucy Ellis joined the staff as Museum Collections Manager with responsibility for managing the museum collections at Burlington House. Lucy has come to us from the British Museum, where she was Assistant Collections Manager with responsibility for the care and access to objects in the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory, and she is already familiar with many of our objects that are on long-term loan to the British Museum. Previously, she also worked at Winchester Museums Service on the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and Sussex Archaeological Society as Finds Liaison Assistant. Lucy has a Bachelor's in Ancient World Studies and a Master's in Artefact Studies.

Research Grants 2017

We are are very pleased to announce that the three-year Research Grant made possible by the generosity of Dr Edward Harris FSA has been awarded to Prof Roger Matthews FSA (Reading University) to support the project Early Neolithic in Iran: Excavations at Sheikh-e-Abad. The project will investigate the transition from mobile hunter-forager to sedentary farmer-herder at one of the earliest Neolithic sites in Iran, Sheikh-e Abad, Kermanshah. Excavation will focus on the early stages of a 10m-deep sequence of Pre-Pottery Neolithic occupation, dated ca. 9800 BC to 7600 BC, which provides a unique opportunity to investigate early herding and domestication of animals such as wild goat, and plants such as cereals, as well as the transition from seasonal mobility to year-round sedentism and early architecture.

The Society awarded 20 research grants and five travel awards amounting to £81,000 (including the three-year award above). We continue to support the study of hominin remains in South Africa, the landscape of Old Sarum and the dating of old Welsh houses. We are also supporting, among others, the study of Lindisfarne in its European context, prehistoric Gower, innovative work on supplying water to Rome and European Men’s Clothing 1600-1850.

For a full list of recent recipients, please visit our website. There, you can also find information on applying to the programme for 2018.

Antiquaries Journal Call for Papers

Papers are sought for the Antiquaries Journal, especially on industrial archaeology, urban architecture from the Tudor period onwards, and the influence of antiquarianism on public heritage policy, ethics and practice. Papers should take an overview of a particular period, issue or set of problems, be based on primary research, and be no more than 10,000 words. Please email your papers to Lavinia Porter via

Policy Committee Seeks Fellows' Input for New Response

The Society is currently considering submitting a response to the National Policy Statement on Aviation, which is open for comment until 25 May. This is a high-level consultation around the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, where the Government’s preferred solution involves the loss of 17 listed buildings, two scheduled monuments and two conservation areas as well as 167 non-designated assets in the land-take and a big impact on buildings or sites in the immediate area. More information, including links to the consultation and relevant documents, can be found on our website

It is a challenge to decide how the Society can best respond to this consultation. We invite Fellows interested in helping to shape the Society's response to please get in touch. The Society must receive your response no later than Friday, 5 May, to allow us time to consider all subissions and form a coherent response. Please send to the General Secretary, John Lewis, who will circulate responses to the Policy Committee (

Unlocking Our Collections: Medieval Seal Matrix

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

Our current 'Unlocking Our Collections' feature is by Dr Elizabeth New, FSA, who explains the significance of one of the seal matrices in our collection, focusing on the matrix of 'Robert Son of John'.

Screenshot of Unlocking our Collections video

Fellows, We Need Your Help!

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

William Morris Fruitcake Easter Offer


Kelmscott Manor Receives £5.50 for Each Order

Award-winning artisan baker Ursula Evans follows Morris’s fruitcake recipe almost to the letter, soaking the vine fruits in brandy, baking slowly in her AGA. ‘The luxury glace fruits used in the original William Morris fruitcake mixture are used as a topping now’, she says, ‘but otherwise, these are the cakes that the Morris family enjoyed for tea in the 1880s.’
Each order supports the future care and development of Kelmscott Manor, Morris's 'heaven on earth'. Christmas sales of these special cakes raised more than £270 to support conservation at the Manor. This Easter, you can choose between a cake topped with glace fruit (like the Christmas cake) or a festive marzipan topping.

To enjoy a William Morris fruitcake with family and friends this Easter, please place your order  via the My Cottage Kitchen website.

The Mystery of Marengo

Ahead of the Grand National on 8 April – an annual race in which betting odds rarely have much relevance to which jockeys survive the unusually large fences – I thought I’d start this Salon with two stories about horses.
Marengo, said to have been one of Napoleon’s favourite stallions, features in new displays at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London, which re-opened on 30 March after a three-year, £23.75 million development. The horse's remains have been restored by Arianna Bernucci at the Natural History Museum (below).
A least two of Napoleon’s horses are said to have survived, and both have a curious and not entirely clear afterlife. Le Vizir is skin and hair, now in the Army Museum in Paris (having been smuggled out of the country in a suitcase in 1839, remounted for display in Manchester’s Natural History Museum, and returned to France in 1868). Marengo is a skeleton, and two errant feet. One hoof apparently lives on as a silver snuffbox and is in the Household Cavalry Museum, loaned by a private owner; the other may be owned by the Foot Guards, though it’s strangely difficult to pin down these famous feet.
The official line is that Napoleon acquired Marengo, a light grey Arab stallion, from Egypt in 1799. The horse was captured 16 years later at Waterloo (where records suggest the Emperor may not have been riding him), and shown to the public in London. He died in 1831.
Meanwhile in Ireland, two villages, Buttevant and Bartlemy, lay separate claims to the horse, on the grounds that Napoleon had bought it not in Egypt, but at a fair in Co Cork – a story that goes back to the 19th century. Alternatively, Jill Hamilton wrote in her book Marengo: The Myth of Napoleon's Horse (2000) that Marengo surfaced only in London, perhaps at the hands of enterprising impresarios; she could find no contemporary record of it in France. Visites Privées made a short film about the horse last year. Olivier Chebrou-des-Lespinats, standing in the grand Marengo Room of the Chateau de Malmaison et des Bois, Paris, notes the curious absence of official references to the horse, or any grand portraits: but, he says, he certainly existed and was a mount prized by the Emperor.

Simon Parfitt, an archaeological faunal specialist at the Natural History Museum, suggested to me that possible war wounds and isotopes from the teeth could throw significant light on the National Army Museum’s steed and its origins. Comparison between the skeleton and portraits could also be productive – including this oil by Antoine-Jean Gros (1801, top), sold by Sotheby’s in 2012 and said to show Marengo (Wikimedia/Sotheby’s). And also, perhaps, ‘a massive mural of the famous painting of the white charger, rearing up with Napoleon on his back,’ which once covered the end wall of the former Barry’s pub in Buttevant. The mural has been painted over, but should still be there.

The Pocklington Ponies

The remains of a pair of horses have been found in East Yorkshire, lying on their sides with their skulls facing each other and their front legs apparently intertwined, in a shallow grave in Pocklington. They have not yet been scientifically dated, but they were probably buried between around 400 and 100 BC. Barring a remarkable coincidence, they had been sacrificed to accompany the body of someone who had once driven them in front of a chariot. The remains of both rider and two-wheeled cart, as some archaeologists would prefer to call it, were also found in the grave, which is so shallow it may be that a mound, since gone, was raised over the funerary arrangement placed on the surface of the ground.
This is not the first grave of this age to have been excavated at Pocklington. Ahead of a large new housing development, David Wilson Homes commissioned MAP Archaeological Practice to investigate archaeological remains identified in evaluations conducted as part of the planning process. To date some 75 square-ditched barrows have been excavated, and the remains of 150 people; the ponies (these are not large beasts) were found in February, at the start of the second stage of the development.
Such cemeteries are distinctive of this era in East Yorkshire, which was identified by classical writers in the second century AD as the territory of the Parisi. The similarly named Parisii, who gave their name to the modern French capital city, occupied a territory in France where chariot burials are also found, and archaeologists agree that there must have been some form of link between the two areas in late prehistory, though no one has much idea about how it operated. (Archaeological visitors to Tate Britain’s popular David Hockney exhibition – which closes on 29 May – may recognise some of Hockney’s huge, bright landscapes as iron age cemetery settings.)
In a press release, Paula Ware, managing director at MAP, said the chariot is the 26th to have been excavated in Britain. Melanie Giles FSA (author of A Forged Glamour: Landscape, Identity and Material Culture in the Iron Age) told me that only one other British chariot is known to have been accompanied by two horses. It was excavated exactly two centuries ago in Arras, East Yorkshire, at a site known as the King’s Barrow. The illustration above shows Aaron Watson’s vision of a ceremony at a (horseless) chariot burial for a woman, whose remains were excavated at Wetwang Slack in 2001 (courtesy Melanie Giles).
Peter Halkon FSA, who with his colleague at Hull University Malcolm Lillie FSA is academic consultant to the Polkington project, told me that the grave had been damaged by medieval ploughing, which had apparently taken out one of the cart’s wheels and part of the human remains. The individual’s gender is not yet known.
Halkon’s photo (left, courtesy MAP) shows Mark Stephens, MAP’s Site Director (in white hat), with visitors John Dent FSA (on left) and Sheelagh Stead and Ian Stead FSA, all of whom have made significant contributions to the understanding of these curious iron age burials in Yorkshire. Writing about the find in the Independent, David Keys quotes Giles and Halkon.

And if you’re thinking about the Grand National, a horse called Wounded Warrior may seem an appropriate punt. This is not a tip.

What it takes to be a female historian

A couple of years ago Salon considered the low ratio of women to men among Society Fellows. Before 2000, I found, from a sample of 517 Fellows in two groups, 75% elected were male, and 25% female. From 2000 to the present 68% have been male and 32% female. ‘From a quarter to a third is an impressive rise,’ I wrote, ‘but still far from a balanced gender representation.’
Rob Attar, editor of BBC History magazine, has been leading a debate about women historians in magazines. On 30 March History Extra published a fascinating podcast in which Ellie Cawthorne discussed the wider issues with Joann Fletcher, Anna Whitelock, Janina Ramirez and Fern Riddell (left to right in the photo).
They talk about children, the higher demands made of women compared to men, online hate based on appearance, and the origins of TV history as a male preserve (men talking about men at war – and still now, writing books about men at war). Fletcher says that facing southern snobbery as a northern Englander is even more problematic for her than being female. Our favourite male historians on TV, says Riddell – ‘the Dans, Greg Jenner’ – do not have PhDs (like John Romer, says Fletcher): but all the women do, and she has been told that, without her doctorate, she could appear as an expert, but not a presenter. In answer to a question from Cawthorne, Ramirez says more men submit articles to BBC History because they have more time; she was able to write a book only once her children had gone to school. Yes, women need to be put back into the historical narrative, says Whitelock, but why does it have to be women who do this? Women political historians don't get the media profile. Shouldn’t it all be integrated?
Positive change is happening, says Ramirez, and it’s affecting men as well as women. Judging from the discussion, however, change has a lot to achieve. A shorter cut (still 28 minutes long) can be watched in a video. Well worth seeing.

Moving Art and Antiquities

Like much else that was in the public eye before Brexit, the migration disaster of people fleeing parts of the Middle East and north Africa has received less media attention that it once did. Some notable new artistic exhibits may encourage continuing engagement with the complex issues.
Shabtis: Suspended Truth opened at the Manchester Museum on 1 April (where it will be until 30 June). To date Zahed Taj-Eddin, a Syrian-born artist working in the UK, has been especially concerned with archaeology and ancient technology: on LinkedIn he describes himself as a ‘sculptor & archaeologist/ conservator’, and he is an honorary research associate at UCL Institute of Archaeology, where he took his MA.
For this new commission (right) Zahed Taj-Eddin has placed quantities of his own blue faience Shabti figures around the main Ancient Worlds gallery space, where their apparently playful accessories quickly reveal a darker message. ‘The focus of the installation,’ says the museum, ‘is to reflect the experience of migrants on a boat travelling across the Mediterranean towards a new existence. Zahed said: “For this new installation I decided to suspend my ‘Nu’ Shabtis in the Museum galleries. They are taking a new journey into time and space; suspended between the past and the present, searching for a new truth, different from the one they were made for. The display invites visitors to think about ancient and modern human issues such as the beliefs and actions that lead us to venture into the unknown and explore a better life beyond.’ ‘Wonderful’, tweeted Nick Merriman FSA, Director, Manchester Museum.
Elsewhere in the museum, a bright red refugee’s lifejacket from the Greek island of Lesvos has recently graced the main entrance. ‘Our mission is to promote understanding between different cultures,’ commented  Bryan Sitch FSA, ‘and to work towards a more sustainable world … We hope that this work will help us to reach out to Syrian members of the community as well as other diaspora communities.’
On 21 March the winner of Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth commission for 2018 was announced as Michael Rakowitz, an Iraqi-born artist working in the US. The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist will be an imaginative recreation in London of a Lamassu destroyed by IS at Nineveh. Rakowitz, working with antiquities, has long explored ideas about migration, homelessness and war in the Middle East.
Meanwhile in New York, Michael Secunda, a British artist, is exhibiting miniaturised Greek and Assyrian reliefs riddled with gunshot at the Thomas Jaeckel Gallery (6 April to 6 May). Visiting Iraq, says Secunda, antiquities were in inaccessible war zones, so he cast bullet damage in nearby walls, and back home worked the shatter holes into more casts of ancient sculptures. His work has an immediate beauty of colour and texture, but he is not, he says, making political statements, just recording. ISIS Bullet Hole Paintings is the latest in a series of related projects.

Archaeology: a Voice for Ruins

British Archaeology, says Graeme Barker FSA, is an extraordinary success story. The wonderful thing about it, adds Charlotte Roberts FSA, is that it attracts people from cradle to grave. Barker and Roberts are Fellows of the British Academy, and can be heard talking about ‘Archaeology's Biggest Challenges’ in a podcast recorded on the day of a meeting at the Academy on 29 March. The event was the launch of a report ‘calling for action to safeguard the future of UK archaeology, so it can continue to lead the way in groundbreaking discoveries – such as the 2013 discovery of the remains of Richard III in Leicester’ (though Barker was concerned that the public should know that finding things was not what most engaged archaeologists).
Last year the British Academy convened three seminars ‘to celebrate the significant strengths in UK archaeology, and honestly reflect on the challenges it needs to tackle if it is to continue to thrive.’ Invited participants successively discussed, ‘What archaeology is, what it does and how it tackles global challenges and global questions;’ ‘The educational landscape of archaeology across the life course’ (I spoke at that one); and ‘Speaking for the discipline.’ A steering group made up of Barker, Roberts, Christopher Gosden FSA and Kate Welham FSA has now produced a summary report, Reflections on Archaeology.
At the launch a panel, led by Barker, responded to issues raised by the report. The latter emphasises, says the British Academy, ‘the need for a single authoritative voice for the discipline and recommends that as a matter of urgency the major stakeholder organisations come together to find a solution to the problem that in its considered view threatens the future health of the discipline.’ The report notes that in 2003 the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group recommended that archaeologists form a ‘single non-governmental organisation to lobby for archaeology’.
None of Barker’s speakers, however, seemed to be convinced that this was necessary, or at least possible. For the Society of Antiquaries, Christopher Scull FSA noted that archaeology needs a common voice, but not necessarily a single champion. Peter Hinton FSA, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, thought a single voice was difficult to achieve and probably not necessary: archaeology needs ‘a coherent message from many voices.’ Mike Heyworth FSA, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, expressed a similar view: do not archaeologists already ‘put aside organisational divides’ in the cause of advocacy, he asked? Kate Welham, Chair, University Archaeology UK, noted a great desire in universities to work together: ‘but we have a fragmented resource.’
The report, which highlights the strength of both achievements and challenges, can be downloaded here.

Fellows (and Friends)

Roy Martin Haines FSA, historian, died in February.
John Wilkins FSA, Classical historian and archaeologist of Italy, died in March.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains a further notice on the late Geoffrey Wainwright FSA.

Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister, informed the European Council on 29 March that the UK will leave the European Union, turning the Referendum vote in 2016 into an all but irreversible action. The Heritage Alliance has produced Brexit and Heritage Briefing, proposing that it is important to think now about the implications of leaving the EU. ‘Time is needed,’ it says, ‘to develop and put in place measures that replace and improve on those resulting from EU funding and regulation [which will be lost]. This needs to be planned for.’
CHERISH, led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) with Irish and Welsh partners, is a good example of how EU money is contributing to UK heritage. Officially launched on 23 March, during its five years the project will receive €4.1 million. It plans to investigate the coastal risks of climate change, focusing on Pembrokeshire, Cardigan Bay and the Llŷn Peninsula, and sites in south and east Ireland. The project will fund new archaeological excavations, records of environmental change, marine mapping and landscape modelling, and analyse coastal and island archaeology and maritime heritage sites affected by coastal erosion, storms and rising sea levels. On 30 March they announced a scheme to capture laser maps of coastal locations in the Irish Sea. The data will complement other work by the CHERISH Survey Team, said Toby Driver FSA, Senior Investigator at RCAHMW, in a press release, including 3D photogrammetry from aerial photography and drone surveys, and ground-based laser scanning and archaeological survey using differential GPS. ‘This is an exciting new project,’ added Christopher Catling FSA, Secretary of RCAHMW, ‘bringing a strong partnership of archaeologists, geoscientists and maritime specialists to bear on the significant challenges posted by climate change.’

Bernard Nurse FSA has compiled London: Prints & Drawings before 1800, featuring over a hundred images from the Gough collection in the Bodleian Libraries, many published for the first time. The original items, Nurse tells Salon, are from the fine collection on British topography which belonged to the Society's former Director, Richard Gough FSA. At his death in 1809, the collection went to the Bodleian Library after the British Museum had turned it down. This volume covers the Greater London area, and Nurse is now working on the rest of the country for another one. ‘However,’ he adds, ‘you should warn any members of the London Topographical Society who might be interested not to purchase it as they will receive a copy with this year's subscription.’

On 20 March François Hollande, President of France, and Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice Premier Minister of the Emirates, launched a new cultural heritage fund at the Louvre. The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas has a target of $100 million. In the UK, the Department for Culture Media and the British Council launched a £30 million fund with similar goals last year.

On 22 March at 3.15 in the afternoon, for those able to receive Cardiff programmes, Dr Cyril Fox FSA spoke on the radio on the subject of Saxon Forts, Norman Castles, Homestead Moats. The broadcast was over 90 years ago, so it’s unlikely you heard him, even though the talk was for school children. In Sheffield the following year (1927) listeners might have heard Mr F A Holmes, Chairman of the Buxton Archaeological Society, talk about Beautiful Dovedale-I, The Upper Dove and Beresford Dale. Heraldry was a popular topic, with talks by Archibald G B Russell FSA and Mrs Richard Berry (accompanied by an orchestra relayed from the Bungalow Café, Southampton) among others. Stanley Casson FSA read his talk on Digging up Old Stamboul. Iorwerth Peate FSA, V E Nash-Williams FSA, Bernard Ashmole, W P Yetts and Louis Leakey FSA, and of course Gordon Childe FSA – among many others – can also be found in Radio Times listings. An online archive has now been augmented with issues from the 1920s. The picture shows David Attenborough FSA on a front cover from 1956.
The only other Fellows to be honoured with a Radio Times cover photo are, I think, Michael Wood FSA in the 1980s, and Lucy Worsley FSA in 2013. ‘Sometimes it seems’, says a profile in the Observer on 2 April, ‘as though Lucy Worsley is single-handedly keeping BBC4 in business.’ As well as that, writes Sarah Hughes, she presented a series on the six wives of Henry VIII on BBC1 late last year, her book on Jane Austen comes out in May (Jane Austen at Home: A Biography) with a TV series due later in the year, her second historical novel for children (My Name is Victoria) was published in March to strong reviews, and it has been announced that she is to head a major two-part series on the history of opera for BBC2. And she has a job, joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces. ‘When it comes to history I am shameless,’ Worsley has said. ‘I will do whatever it takes to get people involved.’
David Butterfield, Director of Studies in Classics at Queens’ College, Cambridge, has been helping people with tattoos written in Latin, reports the Times (28 March), ahead of the full story in Spectator Life magazine. Butterfield had supplied a translation service, but had decided to stop as he became disillusioned with the practice. ‘Asked whether he had to be diplomatic when telling people about indelible errors,’ reported the Times, Butterfield replied, ‘If a woman has got a self-referential tattoo describing her in the gender of a man, that needs raising, however gently the news is passed on.’ ‘It was never worthwhile beating unduly about the bush,’ he added.
Human footprints in Norfolk studied by Fellows feature in a new exhibition in Room 3 at the British Museum, along with an Iraqi artist’s sketchbook and clips from a film about the Caribbean. The book, Ali’s Boat, was made by Sadik Kwaish Alfraji in 2014, inspired by an incident with his 11-year-old nephew on a visit to Iraq from the Netherlands, where he now lives: Ali gave him a drawing, saying, ‘I wish this boat takes me to you.’ Excerpts from a documentary film, One World in Relation, express the impacts of slavery, colonialism and racism on Caribbean culture. Directed by Manthia Diawara, the film follows Édouard Glissant, a Martinique poet and philosopher who finds hope in emerging cultural ‘multiplicity’. In the centre of the room is a wooden box – half immigration gate, half beach shower-room – onto the floor of which is projected images of footprints in the hardened million-year-old mud of Happisburgh beach. The prints were found after storms in 2013, close to the site of continuing excavations of an early hominin site, and described by a team of scientists including Nick Ashton FSA and Chris Stringer FSA. Moving Stories: Three Journeys, an Asahi Shimbun Display, is open until 30 April.
BBC Four has commissioned a third series of Detectorists, a gentle and popular comedy about metal-detector users in Suffolk. Six episodes will be filmed in the summer, for broadcast later this year.

‘Champagne will flow,’ says the invitation to the launch of a new book by Richard Wendorf FSA. Wendorf, who is Director of the American Museum in Britain, Bath, and an art historian and former librarian, will be hosting a reception for Fellows at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, London on 9 May at 6–8 pm. Copies of his Growing Up Bookish: An Anglo-American Memoir can be purchased and inscribed. RSVP (acceptances only, please identify yourself as a Fellow when responding) to The American Museum in Britain’s current temporary exhibition is 1920s Jazz Age: Fashion & Photographs (until 29 October). It features over 100 fashion objects, including flapper dresses, evening capes, lame coats, couture, and ready-to-wear garments, and candid celebrity portraits by James Abbe.
New at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London (until 23 September) is an installation of figurative sculpture by Marc Quinn. Drawn from Life features ten fragmentary-looking fibreglass works based on casts, made with Quinn’s partner, Jenny Bastet, who is a dancer. ‘The completion of our seven-year restoration has enabled us to undertake new and exciting projects and collaborations,’ said Bruce Boucher FSA, the museum’s Director. ‘Soane wanted his astonishing collection to inspire, and its breadth and depth mean that it appeals as much to a contemporary artist, as an architectural historian or the curious first-time visitor.’ Marc Quinn will be the first of a series of ‘contemporary creatives invited to engage with this remarkable collection in their own very personal way.’ Quinn is well-known to Londoners for his popular Alison Lapper Pregnant, which occupied the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2006.

Seb Choudhury reported on objections to the proposed Stonehenge road tunnel in Inside Out West on BBC TV on 31 March. He looked at artefacts in the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes, from bronze age graves close to Stonehenge, and even closer to the proposed western tunnel portal. Farmer Rachel Hosier drove him out to Bush Barrow, where she describes her horror at the planned road. ‘It’s a total catastrophe’, said David Jacques FSA of the road, showing Choudhury Blick Mead, site of a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer excavation. The dig is close to the present A303, where it passes in a busy dual carriageway.
Paul Holden FSA has edited New Research on Cornish Architecture: Celebrating Pevsner, the proceedings of a conference marking a newly revised county guide, first published in 1950. Nikolaus Pevsner FSA opened his Buildings of England series guide with the words, ‘Cornwall possesses little of the highest aesthetic quality though much that is lovable and much that is moving.’ The conference championed the Cornish built environment, proving that Cornwall has a rich and varied architectural heritage and examples of some of the most important building types in the country. Contributors include John Allan FSA, Peter Beacham FSA, Paul Holden FSA, Jo Mattingly FSA and Alex Woodcock FSA.
On 8 April the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, re-opens after a six-month redevelopment. The Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust has launched a ten-year plan to raise £15 million and transform the ten museums and 36 scheduled monuments in its care.
As reported by the Sun, it sounded like a possible April Fools' story. ‘Britain’s last known woolly mammoths’, said the paper, ‘died about 14,000 years ago after they fell into a hole left by melting bocks of ice.’ But now archaeologists had found a ‘huge horn’ in Essex. The object was in fact a 2m-long mammoth tusk, found on 30 March by volunteers with the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN) off Mersea Island, in muddy gravel during unusually low tides. ‘We want to get suitable community groups right the way down the British coast,’ Gustav Milne FSA told the Times. ‘We want them all around the country looking out for coastal heritage assets — they are coastal history before it’s washed away.’ A 3D model of the find, which was left in situ, can be seen on the CITiZAN website.
As I noted in the last Salon, several Fellows have expressed public concern over the future of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and its records and equipment. On 21 March Stephen Clarke, Trustee, United Kingdom Building Preservation Trust, wrote to the Times to say that he had approached the foundry owner ‘to explore the possibility of acquiring the business and assets at market value, thus saving them for the nation. All the archives, fixtures and fittings would be retained in their original place.’ Comparing his proposal to the recent saving of Middleport Pottery, Stoke, the oldest continuously working china factory in the UK, he said that opportunities to retain original businesses in their heritage buildings for the nation are ‘exceedingly rare’. • The foundry, which closes in May, cast its last bell for the Museum of London. It will join a bell it made in 1573 already in the museum’s collections. The foundry records are being given to the London Metropolitan Archives.

A spectacular carved wooden ship’s rudder (right), raised from the Swash Channel outside Poole Harbour, Dorset, in 2013, has gone on display in Poole Museum. At the opening of a new gallery on 23 March the source wreck’s identity was announced as a Dutch merchant vessel named The Fame, which sank in a storm in 1631. Timbers and a cannon were raised by a Dutch dredger in 1990, and survey by Bournemouth University archaeologists in 2004 found the remains of an impressive late 16th- or early 17th-century ship. Nothing from the site, however, labelled the Swash Channel Wreck, offered any clues as to the ship’s name. Ian Friel FSA has now established that she was the Fame of Hoorn, en route to the West Indies. ‘The showcasing of this rudder,’ said Bournemouth University marine archaeologist Dave Parham FSA in a press release, ‘is a chance to give this project to the public so that they can engage with it too.’
The then Department of Urban Archaeology of the Museum of London ran four excavations between 1974 and 1981 around the north end of London Bridge: at Swan Lane and Seal House, upstream of the present bridge and its Medieval and Roman predecessors, and at New Fresh Wharf and Billingsgate Lorry Park, downstream of the crossing. All four sites were in the reclamation zone of the Thames’ north bank. Roman and late Anglo-Saxon waterfronts have been published. The City of London Archaeological Trust (CoLAT) is now working on the later waterfronts (1100–1666); excavation recovered thousands of artefacts and several hundred kilos of pottery as well as riverside structures. The project is directed by John Schofield FSA, who writes to draw attention to an online archive which includes everything from magazine features to detailed context descriptions. CoLAT has also produced a new index to archaeological monographs produced by a variety of outfits working in the London area. • CoLAT is advertising the availability of its grants for archaeological work of all kinds (‘except bailing out developers’) in the City of London or connected places. Grants are available for one year only from April 2018; the closing date for applications is 22 September 2017, and the Trust meets to decide the grants in December. Details online. Photo shows the 13th/14th-century Billingsgate trumpet, found in 1984 (Andy Chopping/MOLA).
An inscribed Roman lead ingot found at a weekend metal-detecting rally near Wells, Somerset was offered for sale by Bonhams, London last year. Bidding for the ingot, estimated to realise £40–60,000, stopped at £38,000, below the reserve price. The piece was finally sold by Hansons Auctioneers, Etwall, Derbyshire on 22 March, at a hammer price of £25,000. The inscription names Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. who ruled as co-emperors from AD 161 until the death of Verus in AD 169. Sale details noted that the ingot was recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme as SOM-23F798. The auctioneer’s photo (right half, the left half being from the PAS record) suggests something strong might have been used to clean the object.
Some University of Bristol students have launched a petition to remove the Wills name from the Wills Memorial Building, on the grounds that it commemorates a tobacco business built on slavery. In 1908, writes Dan Glaister in the Observer (2 April), Henry Wills promised £100,000 to fund a university, and became its first chancellor; his sons opened the grand neo-Gothic building in 1925. ‘It’s good that we have these little debates,’ comments Mark Horton FSA, ‘there’s nothing students like better than a political controversy, but the slavery connection isn’t that strong with Wills. The truth is that we may never know.’ However, Horton adds, the city should do more to recognise its history. In West Africa and the Caribbean, heritage sites acknowledge slavery. But in Bristol, ‘the organising fulcrum of this horrifying trade, there is nothing, and yet around us, from 1700 to 1806, around 565,000 Africans were ripped out of their homeland and put on ships funded by Bristol merchants. Some 450,000 survived.’ Photo Wikipedia.

Deborah Howard FSA has co-curated Madonnas and Miracles (open until 4 June) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, with Mary Laven and Maya Corry. Victoria Avery FSA was the Museum’s internal curator. The exhibition, says the Fitzwilliam, exposes a hidden world of religious devotion in the Italian Renaissance home. Jewellery, ceramics, books, sculptures and paintings invite us into a domestic sphere charged with spiritual significance. Materials from across the Italian peninsula juxtapose fine works of art with humble and everyday artefacts. Transforming our understanding of a period that is often cast as intensely worldly and secular, the exhibition also offers a new appreciation of the relationship between the material and the divine. Howard, Laven and Corry have edited a catalogue.

Fellows Remembered

Roy Martin Haines FSA died on 1 February, aged 92. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1967, a month short of 50 years ago. He was, writes F Donald Logan FSA, ‘a scholar whom I greatly admired.’
According to his Wikipedia entry, Roy Martin Haines, after school in Otford and Bromsgrove, received a Diploma in Education at St Chad's College, University of Durham. He returned to St Michael's Preparatory School, Otford as Master (1947–54). Beyond the standard curriculum, be taught heraldry, architecture and medieval warfare (demonstrating motte-and-bailey castles with sand and matchsticks). He was later a history master at Westminster School, and Assistant Editor of the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire.
He moved to Canada in 1966, first to Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, and then in 1967 to Dalhousie University, where he later became Professor of Medieval History. In 1978–80, as Canada Council Killam Senior Research Scholar, he researched in the Vatican Archives.
His books included Ecclesia Anglicana: Studies in the English Church of the Later Middle Ages (1989), Death of a King: An Account of the Supposed Escape and Afterlife of Edward of Caernarvon, formerly Edward II, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine (2002), and Archbishop Simon Mepham, 1328–1333: A Boy Amongst Men (2012).
Haines obtained a DPhil at Worcester College, Oxford in 1959 (published in 1965 as The Administration of the Diocese of Worcester in the First Half of the Fourteenth Century). In 1987–88 he was Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge and was appointed a Life Member of the College in 1990. In 2010 the University of Oxford awarded him a DLitt on the strength of his publications. He returned to the UK after retiring.

John Wilkins FSA died on 8 March, aged 81. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1991. He was Director of Accordia, from whose biography I have edited the following:
John Wilkins was a classical scholar at Kings College, Cambridge, studying Mycenaean civilisation with John Chadwick. He was a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, where he went with plans to work with Massimo Pallotino on the Etruscan civilisation. However John Ward-Perkins FSA, then Director of the School, introduced him to the School's excavation at Veii, and thereafter he remained an inter-disciplinary archaeologist and classical historian.
In 1988, when he was Head of the Department of Mediterranean Studies at Queen Mary and Westfield College (now Queen Mary University of London), he founded the Accordia Research Institute. The Institute (now based at UCL Institute of Archaeology and the Institute of Classical Studies) promotes research into all aspects of early Italy.
Wilkins’ principal research interest was the development of pre-Roman Italy, with a particular interest in early Italy’s sociolinguistic landscape. He was co-Director (with Ruth Whitehouse FSA) of the Botromagno excavation, and (with Armando de Guio and Whitehouse) of the Alto-Medio Polesine – Basso Veronese field survey. Most recently, based at UCL Institute of Archaeology, he was co-Director (again with Ruth Whitehouse) of two successive research projects: Developmental Literacy and the Establishment of Regional and State Identity in early Italy; and Etruscan Literacy in its Social Context, 8th–5th centuries BC.
Geoff Wainwright FSA, who died in March, was a stalwart Fellow and a leading archaeologist of his time. It is no surprise that several archaeologists have written with fond memories of a man who made an era of his long working life.
• Andrew Pike FSA:
‘Both before and during his presidency of the Society, I had met Geoff a number of times. But it was when I became involved with the Welsh Antiquaries (though I live just in England, Wales is much closer to south Shropshire than London!) that I got to know him well. He came to many of our study weekends, lunches and social events. In 2014 I rashly offered to organise our autumn study weekend, based in and around Ludlow. In the days leading up to the weekend, I was getting anxious that the occasion would meet the approval of so many distinguished Fellows. Geoff was really supportive and helpful throughout and, when we arrived at Mitchells Fold – one of Shropshire's two stone circles – he gave us an impromptu lecture and description of the site. In the week after the meeting, I received a letter from Geoff thanking me for organising “such an enjoyable weekend” and congratulating me on choosing a wide range of interesting sites. I immediately felt that all the hard work in arranging the event had been so worthwhile. And I shall miss those evenings and the chats in the bar, which often continued well into the small hours!’
• Kevin Brown FSA:
‘Like many, I encountered Geoff at several stages during my career: as an applicant for a post in the Central Excavation Unit (CEU), when he was its head; at conferences, where he spoke authoritatively about his work and the new excavation techniques he was employing; as a new regional director at English Heritage’s south-west office; in his role as Chief Archaeologist; and latterly as one of the many Stonehenge project directors. As a young archaeologist his formidable reputation as an excavator made him intimidating. Many years later when I joined the then English Heritage, encounters with Geoff always left me suspecting that I had been an unwitting player in a game of chess: I the pawn and he the bishop; all manoeuvres conducted with good humour. By the time I took on Stonehenge (2003), Geoff had already retired as Chief Archaeologist but he was always present whenever there was a significant moment in the life of the project. Still keen to see a solution, but perhaps more sceptical about what was being proposed at that time, his wry observations on the politics of such an intractable project were kindly intended as gentle warnings to the innocent abroad.
‘Tim Darvill wrote of Geoff's mischievousness in his Guardian obituary and I saw this at first hand. The discovery of an inscribed stone during Christopher Morris' excavations at Tintagel caused great media excitement, not least because the name ARTOGNOV it bore set off resonances of a certain medieval folk-hero. Keen not to sensationalise the find, the excavators and regional team were, nevertheless, encouraged to hold a “media event” at the site, with the Chief Archaeologist as one of the spokespersons. Before the press arrived, on-site briefings of all involved stressed the dangers of speculating about the identity of the person behind the name, and common agreement on an appropriate response to the inevitable question was reached. Whilst I and the excavators stood rigidly to the line that more analysis was needed before a definitive reading of the inscription could be given, on the other side of the site Geoff, beaming broadly, was reported as declaring that Arthur might well be the person named on the stone. He always had an eye for a good story in his keenness to popularise archaeology. Of course what was reported and what was said were subtlety different: “ARTOGNOV might possibly be the name of someone called Arthur” was what I heard.
‘It's a sad loss.’
• Deborah Hodges:
‘I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Geoff Wainwright. I cannot claim to have known him well, but to a young aspiring archaeologist he was an inspiration, with his combination of great skills and knowledge of the ancient landscape, whilst I well recall his sense of fun. He also appeared quite frequently in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton where I was a student.
‘The photograph of the Balksbury team c 1973 brings back some interesting memories as I am sure it does for others, not just of the excavations which Geoff masterminded on this impressive site, but the great sense of bonhomie which existed among the group. I am seated precariously on the roof of the caravan and clearly enjoying the moment.’
• Jeremy Knight FSA:
‘Geoff and I were two of the three founding students of the Department of Archaeology at Cardiff University. Previously Victor Nash Williams FSA held the joint posts of lecturer at the University and Keeper of Archaeology in the National Museum. Lectures were held in a small room in the museum. On his untimely death in December 1955, the end of our first term, the separate roles were taken over by his assistants, Leslie Alcock FSA and Hubert Savory FSA. Later, Geoff and I shared an office in the Inspectorate offices in London. After I returned to Wales, Geoff was someone I frequently ran into, in Cardiff, the Antiquaries, Soho pubs and on the train to west Wales.
‘Latterly, Geoff and Judith were regular attenders at the autumn weekends held in different parts of Wales by the Welsh Fellows, but if an excursion clashed with a Welsh Rugby international, Geoff would quietly disappear to the hotel television room. It was fitting that at his funeral, displayed among the flowers and wreaths was a Welsh Rugby shirt signed by the entire current international team (though I'm not sure that Geoff would have been happy with their form this season).
‘Above all Geoff, like many Welsh people, combined a deep love of his native county – Pembrokeshire – with a strong belief in international values.’
• Francis Pryor FSA:
‘Without Geoff we wouldn’t have discovered Flag Fen or excavated Etton, and Must Farm would still be unknown. Geoff got us the money (from some English Heritage fund) to do the initial dyke survey, which revealed Flag Fen, in November 1982. He then funded more survey and the first seasons at Flag Fen. I know for a fact that he did this on his own initiative. He had also been an enthusiastic supporter of our earlier work at Maxey and Etton, where he helped us get additional research funding from the British Museum (thanks to Ian Longworth FSA).
‘He was also a keen advocate of the early use of micro-computers and slipped us £10,000, at the end of a financial year in the mid-80s, to buy a state-of-the-art Cromemco hard-drive computer, for which we had to write our own relational database, to house all the Etton records. I think Etton was the first completely digital rescue excavation. Sadly, the hard drive eventually crashed, but we had everything backed-up on 5 1/4-inch floppy disks! Geoff was a huge supporter of our work with digital recording and I know it affected his early thoughts on what was later to appear as the MAP2 project management scheme. A very great man and a good friend. Maisie [Taylor FSA] and I have already drunk to his memory – several times.’
• Stewart Bryant FSA, and on behalf of Jan Wills FSA, Bob Croft FSA and Ken Smith FSA, all of them former Chairs or Secretaries of the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO):
‘Geoff Wainwright was undoubtedly one of the most important figures in English archaeology since the Second World War. He was also probably the most influential single figure in terms of the development of local government archaeology between 1980 and 2000.
‘He saw from the early 1980s that strategically the national/local partnership between English Heritage and local authorities was a key to making the important changes to the sector he thought were necessary. The most significant of these was the move away from the state funding of archaeological investigation, and its replacement by developer funding – eventually to many times the level of state funding – following the publication of PPG 16 in 1990, which he also had a key role in producing. Geoff saw that good local government planning advice was a key ingredient to the success of PPG 16, and provided the means for this to happen though financial support for new posts within local government archaeology services.
‘In addition, he was the mastermind behind numerous strategic projects undertaken in partnership with local authorities that have had lasting benefits to the sector, including the Monuments Protection Programme (MPP) to increase the numbers of statutory protected Scheduled Monuments, Urban Archaeology Databases and Extensive Urban Surveys, and crucially, the creation of a national network of local Sites and Monuments Projects (SMRs, now called HERs). Importantly, he also made this happen through the financial support for new SMR posts.
‘The publication of another key Wainwright strategic project, the Monuments at Risk Survey (MARS) in 1995, led to the next phase of local authority partnership through the programme of financial support for new local authority countryside advisor posts (HECAs) to better manage archaeological remains in the countryside. At the same time Geoff provided important support for the Association of County Archaeological Officers (ACAO), the national body for local authority services which then developed further when ALGAO was created in 1996, and has since became a major source of funding for ALGAO projects over the past 15 or so years. As Chairs of ALGAO we all attended some very memorable meetings with Geoff in Fortress House, Savile Row.
‘Without Geoff’s influence, local government archaeology (HERs, agri-environment advice and planning advice) and much of what is now taking place in the commercial sector of archaeological contractors and consultants, would not be happening. The archaeological profession, and local government in particular, owes him a considerable debt of gratitude.’

• Peter Fowler FSA:
‘Exploiting my acquaintance with Geoff, in 1966 I persuaded him to agree to record a piece from Durrington Walls for a new BBC radio series The Changing Past. Roy Hayward, the producer, and I arrived, tape recorder and mike in hand, at what were visually truly remarkable excavations. I tried to put over some of this sense of wonder, but Geoff wouldn’t play: he said, tersely, as much as he thought was needed and not a word more. He told me later that his job as an Inspector was to excavate the site as well as possible, full stop. It took him some time to accommodate that narrow, professional view (which I shared for a time) with the wider demands of public archaeology in the later 20th century.
‘In 1975 I went with, inter alia, the late Andrew Saunders FSA, then Chief Inspector and Geoff’s boss, to an epoch-making archaeological conference at Dallas, Texas. There for the first time we heard about “public archaeology”, “the conservation ethic” and how to go about creating a professional body of archaeologists. Andrew opined before leaving that “Well, there’s nothing new there – we’ve been doing that for years.” However, many years later Geoff confided to me, in a rare moment of candour, that a note I had written about the conference for Antiquity had been a revelation to him. I muse sometimes that perhaps it planted one of the seeds from which sprang PPG 16.
‘Much more characteristic of our relationship was disagreement. Knowing, for example, that I had devoted much time during the 60, 70s and 80s to the Council for British Archaeology, Geoff once told me in a crowd at Burlington House, apparently not without some considerable pleasure, that he was proud of never having served on a CBA committee. Indeed, he held that body in contempt. Equally, he knew that I disagreed profoundly with what he was trying to do with the Society of Antiquaries. Yet such was the calibre of the man that, as President, he commissioned from me a painting to mark the Society’s 400th anniversary in 2007.
‘Despite our many differences, we sometimes found ourselves on the same side, and to good effect. One day in the mid 90s I guided the Prehistoric Society round Fyfield and Overton Downs, Wiltshire, including excavated sites of prehistoric, Roman and Medieval date. Geoff was in my audience. The following day he wrote to me on official notepaper. Impressive though the field archaeology was, he opined, what really impressed him was the size of my excavation backlog; and he hoped I would not be affronted if, given that the whole landscape was a single Scheduled Monument, he tentatively offered me financial support in tackling it. You bet I was not affronted: that single letter led to me resigning my Chair, a starting job for half a dozen of my recent graduates who formed my in-house post-ex team, a big contract for Wessex Archaeology and, five years later, Landscape Plotted and Pieced (published by the Society of Antiquaries, 2000).
‘I know Geoff was as influential in many other publications; and so I remember him, not just as “ruthless, demanding and unapologetic”, as an obituary described his Chairman-hero, Sir Jocelyn Stevens, but also as shrewd, discerning and supportive, with an aptitude for doing the right thing at the right time. I and many others owe you a lot, Geoff: thanks.’

The Wisdom of Fellows

In the last Salon, I noted that two late Fellows – Geoff Wanwright FSA and Ivor Noël Hume FSA – had been warned early in their lives that archaeology was no way to earn a living. Catherine Johns FSA writes to say that it was not unreasonable that young people were told this in the 1950s: she was told exactly the same thing by a great-uncle, when she was a student in Cardiff not long after Wainwright.
‘I don't think that the older people who warned us,’ she says, ‘were being deliberately discouraging or elitist: it was perfectly true that there were very few job opportunities. Treating archaeology as a specific academic discipline in itself, rather than as an adjunct to Classics, history, anthropology etc, was still quite new. Until the vast expansion of urban rescue archaeology arising from wartime destruction and the subsequent building boom of the 1960s, and the setting up of undergraduate archaeology courses in universities additional to Edinburgh and Cardiff, local museums were the main employers of those with archaeological skills, and the salaries were extremely low by the standards of the time for young graduates. The people who warned us, whether archaeologists themselves, like the formidable Dame Kathleen [Kenyon FSA], or ordinary middle-class observers like my great-uncle, who was a history teacher, had never encountered practising full-time archaeologists who were not from a wealthy and privileged background. They didn't know that things were changing.’

Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Unless indicated otherwise, tea will be served at 16.15, and the Meeting will commence at 17.00 precisely. Online ballots close at noon at the date of the scheduled ballot. At Ordinary Meetings, ballots open at 16.00 and close at 16.20. The results are read at the beginning of the Meeting.

27 April: Anniversary Meeting
The Anniversary Meeting will begin at 15.30 and is open to Fellows only. Tea is served at 16.15, followed by the President’s Address (including ballot results) at 17.00, and concludes with a Reception at 18.00. Guests are welcome to Tea, the President’s Address, and the Reception. Entry to the Reception is by ticket only (£10.00 per person). Please book in advance for the Reception. You may book online, call 020 7479 7080 or email

11 May: Miscellany of Papers and Summer Soirée
Fellows are invited to our annual summer meeting, where we will hear a miscellany of papers celebrating historic Fellows and Antiquarianism, followed by our Summer Soirée (with Pimm’s and wine). Admission to the soirée is by ticket only (£10, including VAT). Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling 020 7479 7080.

20 July: Private View of Blood Royal
Fellows are invited to join us on Thursday, 20 July, for a private view of the Society's summer exhibition Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy, which will open to the public on 25 July. Details (and booking information) will be available soon at

28 July: Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Manor
Details for Fellows' Day will be available on the website soon. Fellows (and family!) are invited to join us at Kelmscott Manor for a special opportunity to hear about our future plans, explore the Manor and its collections, and enjoy family-friendly activities.

Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager ( Please note that lecture programmes are planned between 6 and 12 months in advance.

Forthcoming Public Events

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

25 April: 'Hands Across Time: Medieval Fingerprints in Wax Seals' by Fellows Elizabeth New and Philippa Hoskin

16 May: 'The Vulliamy Clockmakers: Two Clocks in the Antiquaries’ Collection' by Fellows Jonathan Betts and Roger Smith

6 June
: 'The Library of Saint Thomas Becket' by Fellow Christopher de Hamel

Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.

Society Dates to Remember

Introductory Tours for Fellows

Join us for an introductory tour of Burlington House to learn more about the Society and its resources. Whether you're a new Fellow or just haven't been to Burlington House, this is a great opportunity to learn more about your Society, your Fellowship benefits, and ways to become more involved. Tours are free for Fellows, but booking is required: 11 May, 29 June.

Burlington House Closures

Please note that the Society will be closed for the Easter holiday from 14 to 18 April 2017 (inclusive), for the May Bank holidays on 1 May and 29 May 2017.

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at:

Welsh Fellows

9 June 2017: Join us for lunch at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, followed by a talk by Fellow David Jenkins (Principal Curator, Transport at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea) on his lates book, I Hope to Have a Good Passage (the Business Letter Book of Captain Daniel Jenkins, 1902-1911). Contact Bob Child FSA ( for information.

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

York Fellows

4 April 2017: Ivory: The Real Thing? The Roman Ivories from York and Brigantia by Fellows Stephen Greep and Sonia O'Connor. (18.00, Bar Convent, York.) Contact Stephen Greep, FSA, at for information.

Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at:

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

3–6 April: Objects and Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World, 1200–1800 (Southampton)
Objects and possessions define us, yet in many ways we know little about them from a historical perspective. This interdisciplinary conference, which takes place at the University of Southampton’s Avenue Campus, looks at material culture across a long timeframe in order to explore the worlds of goods and objects across Europe and its overseas colonies, the connections and relationships facilitated by the exchange of goods, the importance and interpretation of the inheritance of goods and objects, and the ways in which goods brokered relationships between Europe and the wider world in the period. The aim is to deepen our understanding of how goods ‘worked’ in a variety of social, economic and cultural contexts. A closing keynote address will be given by Chris Woolgar FSA. For details see online.
April–July: Courses and Workshops in the Historic Environment (Oxford)
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education has a programme of courses at Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills for the historic environment, grounded in everyday working experience. These short practical courses are open to all, from historic environment professionals to members of the public with a keen interest in archaeology and historic buildings. The programme is endorsed by CIfA, the IHBC, the Archaeology Training Forum and FAME, and has been developed in conjunction with leading heritage practices. Courses are linked to the National Occupational Standards for Archaeology, and for Town Planning, Conservation and Building Control, and are widely accepted for continuous professional development. Details of National Occupational Standards. Full details can be found online.
5–6 April: The Setting of Heritage Assets and Places
11 April: An Introduction to GIS for Archaeologists
8–10 May: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings
15–16 May: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field
18 May: Stratigraphic Analysis in Archaeology
24 May: Project Management in Archaeology: an Introduction
7 June: Photographing Historic Buildings
20–21 June: Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessment
26 June: Archaeological Writing for Publication
5–7 July: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance.
7 April: Design for Cornwall (Truro)
The Cornish Buildings Group, Cornwall Council, Royal Institute of British Architects and the Cornwall Architectural Trust present new and challenging papers at a one-day conference based around the topic of architectural design. See online for details.
19 April: S J Parris and Tracy Borman in conversation (London)
Prophecy writer S J Parris (the pseudonym of journalist, author and literary critic Stephanie Merritt) will swap Elizabethan stories with historian and author of The Private Lives of the Tudors Tracy Borman in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace. On display will be the execution warrant of Mary Queen of Scots, with other Elizabethan books and manuscripts from the collections of Lambeth Palace Library. See online for details.
19–21 April: Archaeology: A Global Profession (Newcastle)
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists’ Annual Conference will cover three broad themes: professionalism, protection and discovery. Archaeology should be without borders, and professional archaeology must be without borders. The conference will provide an opportunity to report on some of the progress made and to explore both the opportunities and difficulties of professionalising across borders. Confirmed sessions include ‘A Broader Vision for Brexit’, ‘Built Heritage in Conflict’ and ‘Archaeology and UK Soft Power’. See online for details.
20–22 April: Queen’s House Conference 2017: European Court Culture & Greenwich Palace, 1500–1750 (Greenwich)
Royal Museums Greenwich and the Society for Court Studies are pleased to announce a major international conference to mark the 400th anniversary year of the Queen’s House, Greenwich. Designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 and completed in 1639, this royal villa is an acknowledged masterpiece of British architecture and the only remaining building of the 16th and 17th-century palace complex. Today the Queen’s House lies at the centre of the World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, where the conference will be held. Keynote speakers will include Simon Thurley FSA. Full details online.

22 April: Late Iron Age Oppida (Reading)
A day conference at the Henley Business School, University of Reading Whiteknights Campus, which will examine current understanding of British Iron Age oppida. Ten invited speakers representing some of the most exciting and up to date research projects on Iron Age towns and their environs will present their thoughts and recent findings. There will also be discussion and debate on present and future directions for research in this area. Speakers include Michael Fulford FSA, Tom Moore FSA, Colin Haselgrove FSA, David McOmish FSA, Philip Crummy FSA and Stewart Bryant FSA. See online for details.

25 April: North and South of the Loire: The Culture of Copying and the Rebirth of Sculpture (London)
The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland requests the pleasure of your company at its Annual Lecture at 5.30 pm at the Courtauld Institute of Art, to be given by Deborah Kahn FSA of Boston University. In one of his last articles George Zarnecki FSA, Deputy Director of the Courtauld from 1961–74, surveyed the iconographic kinship between the earliest Romanesque sculptures at Saint-Benoit-sur-Loîre, Bayeux and Toulouse. These far-flung similarities revealed a culture of copying that led to what may be regarded as a rebirth of architectural sculpture in these regions. The article still serves as the basis for further exploration of the visual relationships between the earliest monumental architectural sculpture and the role of copybooks and loose sketches in the transmission of motifs and iconography. The lecture will be followed by a reception hosted by the Research Forum of the Institute, sponsored by John Osborn. RSVP to Agata Gomolka at
5–7 May: Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Reappraisals and Revisions (Oxford)
As the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's birth comes round in 2017, this weekend course at Rewley House combines reappraisal and contextualisation of his work from leading scholars, including the nature and extent of his impact in Britain from the 1920s to the present. This raises general questions about the nature of influence in architecture, the identification of national character in the modern period, and continued capacity of Wright to surprise us with his multiplicity of faces. A distinguished list of speakers includes Alan Powers FSA, and Paul Barnwell FSA is Director of Studies. See online for details.

6 May: The Foundations of Archaeology (Dinton)
This conference at Dinton Village Hall, Salisbury will explore the modern legacy of pioneering Cranborne Chase archaeologists Sir Richard Colt Hoare FSA, William Cunnington FSA and General Pitt-Rivers FSA. Speakers include Mike Allen FSA. The project is working with volunteers to help further investigate and evaluate archaeological sites associated with these pioneers in South Wiltshire and North East Dorset. Details online.

6 May: The Fruitful Body: Gender and Image (London)
The Women’s Studies Group 1558–1837 holds its annual workshop at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ. Karen Hearn FSA, keynote speaker, will talk on ‘Women, agency and fertility in early modern British portraits.’ Early modern painted portraits are constructs (like literary texts). They result from choices – to include, to exclude – and were made for specific contexts and purposes. Hearn’s paper will consider 16th- and early-17th-century British portraits of women, and will address the types of information that they offer today. All participants are invited to prepare a contribution of no more than five minutes, from any discipline related to the speaker's subject, with 30 copies of any handouts.  See online for further information.
May: Heritage Practice Training Programme
In partnership with Historic England the University of Leicester has developed a programme to deliver practical, technical and specialist skills for heritage professionals. Details online.
8 May: Specifying works on Historic Buildings: Conservation Approaches (at the Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln Castle).
8–9 May: Managing our Military Heritage (at the University of Leicester and RAF Alconbury).
15–16 May: Digital Data & Archaeology (at the University of Leicester).
19–20 May: Thomas Rickman's Liverpool (Liverpool)
2017 marks the bicentenary of the printing (in Liverpool) of a ground-breaking book: An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of Architecture, by Thomas Rickman FSA. This best-seller of its day popularised the visual analysis of architecture, dating by style and terms still used in the study of English medieval architecture: Norman, Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular. The book is being celebrated by exhibitions at the University of Liverpool’s Archives and Special Collections (May–August 2017) and Liverpool Central Library (November–December 2017), and with walks and talks (see online for further details). A conference will critically evaluate Rickman’s work and its influence in the context of the town where he lived and worked, and seek to encourage a deeper understanding of Liverpool, and its social and architectural environment 1808–1821. Keynote speakers include Megan Aldrich FSA, Rosemary Hill FSA and Rosemary Sweet FSA. Details online.

20 May: The Eleventh Century Church of Chithurst and its Architectural Context (Midhurst)
Eric Fernie FSA will give an illustrated lecture at 7 pm at St George’s Church, Trotton (GU31 5EN). By this date, work should have commenced on re-roofing the church, handsomely grant-aided by the Listed Places of Worship and supported by many local donors. RSVP Nicholas Hall FSA, Churchwarden, at

20 May: Lectures on Medieval and Post-Medieval Effigies (Lichfield)
A Church Monuments Society Study Day at Lichfield Cathedral will include consideration of effigies by Chantrey, Epstein, Hollins and Westmacott. See online for details.

31 May–2 June: The Jutland Legacy Conference (Portsmouth)
An anniversary conference charting the legacy of the Battle of Jutland, which was fought over 36 hours from 31 May to 1 June 1916. Both Britain (who lost 6,094 sailors) and Germany (losses 2,551) claimed victory in what was considered the defining naval battle of the First World War. Yet even today, the battle's results and aftermath are still being debated. The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s first three-day international conference will feature leading historians and archaeologists who will explore the legacy and wider impact of the battle. Evening activities include a reception with a view of the blockbuster exhibition, 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War; an opportunity to dine on-board HMS Victory; and a screening of Die Versunkene Flotte, a German film about the battle made in 1926. Details online.
2–4 June: Medieval and Tudor Gardens (Oxford)
Gardens were an important part of the medieval and Tudor world, but have been difficult to understand owing to poor survival. There has been a new upsurge of interest in them, and this weekend course at Rewley House will present a selection of current research and new thinking, based on archaeological, art-historical, historical, and literary sources. There will be a coach trip to Kenilworth Castle, and much standing and walking over uneven ground. Speakers include James Bond FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, and Paul Barnwell FSA is Director of Studies. See online for details.

6 June: Liturgical Books and the Medieval Library (London)
It has long been conventional in the history of books and book collections of the Middle Ages to draw a distinction between liturgical books and library books. In practice, however, the distinction was less clear-cut. Tessa Webber FSA will examine the evidence to question how far the conventional bi-partite categorisation of books as 'liturgical' and 'library' reflects the way in which books were conceived during the Middle Ages. at Lambeth Palace Library. At Lambeth Palace Library. Contact

7 June: Fifty Years of Conservation Areas (London)
In the last of a series of free lectures as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, Simon Thurley FSA joins Desmond Fitzpatrick FSA at the Museum of London to talk about Conservation Areas. They were designated in 1967, and today at the golden anniversary there are some 10,000 sites. The presentation will explore their origins, variety and challenges for the future. Details online.
17–18 June: Norwich and the Medieval Parish Church c 900–2017: The Making of a Fine City (Norwich)
A conference hosted by the Medieval Parish Churches of Norwich Research Project (undertaken at the University of East Anglia and funded by The Leverhulme Trust). All 58 churches, existing, ruined or lost, are included in the project, which seeks insight into how the medieval city developed. The conference (supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art and Purcell) will present the churches in their immediate local context and in the broader framework of urban churches in Britain and northern Europe. Subjects will include documentary history, the architectural fabric of the buildings and their place in Norwich topography, the development of architecture and furnishings, the representation of the churches and their post-Reformation history. Speakers will include local and international scholars, as well as the UEA research team, Brian Ayers FSA, Clare Haynes, T A Heslop FSA, and Helen Lunnon FSA. Details to be announced.
23–25 June: The Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland: Results, Implications and Wider Contexts (Oxford)
This weekend conference will provide an opportunity to explore some of the results of the AHRC-funded Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland project and to set these into wider contexts. Papers will be presented by members of the Atlas team as well as by colleagues working on related themes within and beyond Britain and Ireland. Members of the Hillfort Study Group, and of the Project Steering Committee have been invited to chair sessions and lead discussion. All are welcome to attend and a particular invitation is extended to those who contributed to the Citizen Science initiative associated with this project. Speakers include Eileen Wilkes FSA, Ian Ralston FSA, Mark Bowden FSA, Rachel Pope FSA, Kate Waddington FSA and Gary Lock FSA. See online for details.
24 June: Memorials in the Marches (Ludlow)
St Laurence's Church houses a fine set of memorials to people associated with the Council of Wales and the Marches over the period 1550–1650. The Ludlow Palmers, who raise money for the Conservation Trust for St Laurence, an independent charity devoted to conserving the church’s fabric and treasures, are hosting a conference in the church, on the church monuments, in association with the Church Monuments Society. Fellows can obtain a 15% discount. See online for details.
6 July: A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909 (London)
Arthur Burns (King’s College, London) gives a talk after the Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society. At Lambeth Palace Library. All are welcome, contact

21 October: The Long Sunset: the Country House c 1840–1940 (Lewes)
Sue Berry FSA introduces this conference on the theme of how the country house and its setting changed in design and function between 1840 and 1939, comparing the grand houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with their formal gardens and large staff, with the more intimate houses and gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent developments. Speakers include Michael Hall FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA. Visits related to the conference are planned throughout 2017. See online for details.

28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.

Call for Papers

20–22 September: New Directions and Approaches for Late Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology in Germany, Britain and Ireland (Bremerhaven)
The focus of a joint conference of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) and its German counterpart Deutsche Gesellschaft für Archäologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (DGAMN), will be the similarities and differences in approaches practised on both sides of the North Sea. Papers will offer opportunities to engage with the current state of research and future directions for the archaeology of the late Medieval and post-Medieval (including modern) periods. Suggestions should relate to one (or more) of the following core themes: Theoretical and methodological approaches; cultural heritage management; material culture studies; and maritime archaeology. Call for papers closes 30 April. Details online.


The Fulham Palace Trust is looking for a non-Executive Chair. The role is voluntary. Closing date for applications 18 April 9.00 am.
The Trust, which manages, restores and promotes Fulham Palace and Gardens, seeks someone who is passionate about the importance of heritage, who will lead the Trust to deliver its objects and will further the Trust’s mission to engage the community in the history and horticulture of this historic site. Following two major restoration projects in 2005–06 and 2010–11, the Trust has just begun a further capital project, to be completed in 2019, to restore the Tudor section of the building, provide enhanced public access to the Tudor rooms, reintroduce historic planting and improve site wide interpretation. 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.


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