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Salon: Issue 428
6 June 2019

Next issue: 17 June

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 EditorSalon doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.

Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this, and an online archive where new editions are posted. You can also unsubscribe at any point, by following this link.
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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Summer Soirée

Thursday 27 June 2019


Fellows are invited to our annual summer meeting, where we will hear a miscellany of papers.

  • Unlocking a Collection:  T.E. Lawrence’s Photographs of French Medieval Architecture by Bill Woodburn FSA 
  • Falling Ball Clock paper & presentation

The Falling Ball Clock is returning to the Society following conservation and will be officially unveiled on the night in the Library. Conservation work on the timepiece was carried out at West Dean College of Arts & Conservation by Malcolm Archer FBHI and MA student Dale Sardeson.
DSCF6912Essential treatment to the clock was made possible with the generous support of The Leche Trust, the Antiquarian Horological Society, The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, Mr Andrew CH Crisford FSA and Fellows and supporters of the Society. The conservation work on the clock, given to the Society in 1850 by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy, afforded a valuable opportunity for in-depth analysis and research, with a detailed report compiled by West Dean in collaboration with Jonathan Betts FSA and Michael Wright FSA. Our thanks to all involved in the project.

No booking is required for the miscellany of papers, and admission is free for Fellows (and their guests). The meeting is followed by our Summer Soirée (with Pimm’s and wine), to which all Fellows and their guests are welcome.

Admission to the Soirée is by ticket only (£10) and can be booked through our website


Back to the beginning of the report

Fellow's Day at Kelmscott Manor

Thursday 20 June 2019

14.00 - 17.00 (Gates open at 13.30)

Fellows are invited to bring their families to join us at Kelmscott Manor for a special opportunity to find out more about our Heritage Lottery Funded project, explore the Manor and its collections, and enjoy music, cream tea and refreshments on our tea lawn. Croquet and other lawn games will be available. 

The Swing Rhythms Trio (Jazz band) will provide entertainment on the day.  


Information About Booking

Ticket Prices:

  • Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children): £40.00
  • Adult Ticket: £15.00
  • Child Ticket: £7.50

Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Use the button below to reserve a place and pay online. You may also purchase a ticket by calling Kelmscott Manor at 01367 252486.

Tickets will be posted to you after your purchase. You should receive a confirmation email from our online booking system. However, we will also post tickets in advance of the event and ask that you please bring your ticket(s) with you on the day.

Purchase Tickets >

Kelmscott Fundraising Walk for replica wallpaper in William Morris's bedroom 

Friday 26 July 2019

There will be a fundraising walk along the Thames path from Kelmscott to Buscot on Friday 26th July 2019, led by Christina Hardyment, author of Writing the Thames and Literary Trails and Richard Mayon-White, an accredited walk leader and author of Exploring the Thames Wilderness, a guide to Nature Reserves along the ThamesThe £45 ticket includes an exclusive tour of Kelmscott Manor (from 10am) and lunch, which will be served at 12pm. Participants will then enjoy a circular off-road ramble of 5 miles to Buscott Village and back to Kelmscott in time for tea. Income will go towards the cost of commissioning replica wallpaper for William Morris’s bedroom. Numbers are limited to 15. Well behaved dogs welcome!

For more information and to book please download the event flyer

Ancient Objects and New Media:Vetusta Monumenta and the Remediation of Antiquity

Monday 24 June 2019

Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House 

The Society and the editors of Vetusta Monumenta are hosting a reception and public roundtable on Monday 24 June to celebrate the launch of Vetusta Monumenta online. Session begins at 5:15pm and will be followed by a drinks reception.

There will be a roundtable discussion and demonstration of the VM vol. 1 and a program in the Lecture Room featuring an introduction to the website and remarks on the history of antiquarian visual culture by Rosemary Hill FSA, Ed Kluz, and Martin Myrone FSA. 

Please contact the organiser by email to book

Old St Paul’s, painted by John Gipkin in 1616 is now on public display


Guildhall Art Gallery ‘Architecture of London’ exhibition

The Society’s diptych of Old St Paul’s, painted by John Gipkin in 1616, is on display at Guildhall Art Gallery for the City of London’s ‘Architecture of London’ exhibition. Bringing together works from the 17th century through to the present day, the show illustrates how the ever-changing city scape of London has enthralled and inspired both visiting and resident artists for over 4 centuries.

The diptych features the medieval cathedral of St Paul’s that was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and was commissioned by Henry Farley (1575-after 1622) as a part of his ongoing campaign, directed at the Mayor, the Bishop of London, and James I, to raise funds for the renovation of the cathedral and the renewal of the spire (that had been destroyed by fire in 1561).

The illustrated panels represent a ‘dream sequence’ in which a royal procession headed by James I can be seen crossing the river headed towards St Pauls Cathedral, with the crowd gathering at St Paul’s cross to hear the preaching of a sermon promoting the cathedral’s restoration. The concluding panel shows a notional scene of the cathedral as if restored, with the new spire illuminated with golden light and flanked by trumpeting angels.

Architecture of London runs from 31 May – 1 December 2019 at the Guildhall Art Gallery

Reduced Library Services 

Temporary reduced library services

The Society is presently recruiting to fil the two staff vacancies in the library. There will therefore be reduced library services for 3 months until there is a full complement of staff.
Research visits: Research visits by Fellows will continue as usual during the Library’s normal opening times (Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm). Fellows wishing to consult material that needs retrieving by staff (manuscripts, archives, prints and drawings, and printed items on closed access) are asked to order material in advance.
External researcher visits will be limited to no more than 2 researchers per day and will be strictly by appointment only. Our Guidelines for Researchers give information on how to make an appointment.
Image services: Our image services are suspended, and we will not be accepting requests for images and licences from the library and museum collections.
This does not affect the photocopying service.
Other library services to Fellows will operate as normal (book loans and electronic resources service)
Please check our website at for dates of planned closures.

William Powell Frith to Hit Harrogate


A Private View at the Royal Academy (above), sold by Martin Beisly Fine Art in April to a private British collector for 'close to its asking price' of £10 million, will be one of the highlights of an exhibition that opens in Harrogate on 15 June.
The last great panorama painted by William Powell Frith (1819–1909), it had been owned until the sale this year by the family that bought it from its original exhibition in 1883. They were the founders of the Eldridge Pope Brewery in Dorset, and, reported Mail Online (11 April), hoped to use the sale proceeds ‘to fund education, housing and other purposes’. Among a line-up of celebrities the painting features Anthony Trollope (below left), Thomas Huxley, Oscar Wilde (below right), Lily Langtry, Ellen Terry, Gladstone, Disraeli and, lurking diffidently at the back, Frith himself (below centre).

The exhibition William Powell Frith, The People's Painter, at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate (until 29 September) features the Victorian artist whose sentimental portraits and great panoramas of life made him the most popular painter of his time. What the gallery describes as a rare showing of Frith’s works is co-curated by Richard Green FSA and Jane Sellars, who have also edited an accompanying book which includes an essay by Anne Anderson FSA.
Exhibition and book mark the bicentenary of Frith’s birth at Aldfield near Harrogate. He moved to London in 1835 to study at the Royal Academy, and soon found his metier as a narrative depicter of modern life, popular with the public and one of the most commercially successful artists of his era. During his lifetime the Royal Academy exhibited over 140 of his paintings. Harrogate has assembled some 70 paintings and prints, among them several previously unseen works, from national and private collections, descendants of the artist and its own archive.
As well as A Private View – which will join a large-scale oil sketch for it, acquired by the Mercer in 2009 – crowd pleasers will include Many Happy Returns of the Day (which the Mercer Gallery owns, detail below), Life at the Seaside (on loan from the Royal Collection Trust), The Railway Station (from Royal Holloway, University of London) and Derby Day (from Tate Britain). The book cover features a detail from Life at the Sea-Side (Ramsgate Sands), lent to the exhibition by the Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Richard Green’s preferences are for the less grandiose. When I asked which was his favourite image in the show, he replied that he was ‘torn between Frith’s small, intimate study of his first wife Isabelle reading, painted in 1845, the year of their marriage, and his wonderful piece of pictorial story-telling Scene from ‘The Bourgeois Gentilhomme’ [by Molière], of 1848, with the ridiculous Monsieur Jourdain clumsily putting into practice newly learnt rules of gentlemanly deportment.’


The British Museum Goes to Easter Island

A delegation from the British Museum (BM) arrived on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) on 4 June, responding to a visit to the museum from islanders last year. The team includes Lissant Bolton, Keeper of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and will be there for three days.
The engagement was initially stimulated by the presence of an exceptional statue in the BM, known as Hoa Hakananai'a, which was taken from Rapa Nui in 1868 and delivered to London the following year. The statue uniquely combines themes that embody the island’s complex and sometimes tragic history. As a statue, it’s unusually finely carved and well preserved: it’s made of a hard basalt-like rock, while almost all those on the island are carved from a softer volcanic tuff which is visibly degrading today. It has been recognised as one of the island’s finest carvings.
However, it has another side to it. In his A History of the World in 100 Objects, Neil MacGregor FSA felt shallow designs pecked into the back of the statue (right) were ‘feeble, fussy, diminished – a confused and timid postscript to the confident vigour of the front’ (by contrast, the sculptor Anthony Caro told him that the statue itself had ‘marvellous mass, and strength, and power’). From behind, you can see a composition of symbols which were carved some time after the original statue, and identified from records made by early European visits as related to what is known as a birdman cult.
The aesthetic contrast echoes a historical distinction that is little understood. Many archaeologists divide the island’s prehistory into a statue era (1200–1550) on the one hand, and a birdman era on the other, which lasted until profound disruption caused by European arrivals from the 18th century. The latter ultimately led to a decimation of the island population and forced changes in society, culture and politics. Following a digital study of the statue I conducted in 2012 with Graeme Earl FSA and colleagues (Antiquities Journal 2014), I suggested that the bird cult may itself have been partly a response to European ships and their cargoes.
The truth is that we don't really know how the statue relates to its fussy carvings, or what either of them meant or when they were made. Solving those aspects of Hoa Hakananai'a, then, would go a long way to understanding Rapa Nui’s ancient story. In addition, the statue has been in London for 150 years – that precise moment will occur on 8 September this year. During that time it has been seen by, and inspired responses from, a wide variety of artists, writers and others, and has become firmly embedded in modern cultural history in Europe. It is a statue for many occasions.
An island delegation came to the British Museum in November last year to request the statue’s return. ‘The moai [statues] are our family, not just rocks,’ said Anakena Manutomatoma. ‘For us [Hoa Hakananai'a] is a brother; but for [the museum] it is a souvenir or an attraction’ (Guardian). Others agreed, among them Simon Jenkins FSA. But when the delegation returned to the Pacific, Pedro Edmunds Paoa, the present controversial Mayor of Rapa Nui – and a supporter of island autonomy – raised alternative options to taking back Hoa Hakananai'a.
Commenting that there had been ‘intense debate’ on the island about whether or not the statue should be returned, Edmunds Paoa pointed to the 1,000 statues on the island that were ‘buried, ignored and discarded … [and] falling apart because they are made of a volcanic stone, because of the wind and the rain.’
‘We need global technology for their conservation,’ he added, saying it would be better to leave Hoa Hakananai'a in London, ‘where six million people come each year to visit it’. In return, perhaps the British Museum could offer a financial commitment, reported Sky News (11 December): ‘It would not be an economic agreement,’ said Edmunds Paoa, ‘it would be an agreement to help Rapa Nui in what needs to be done in Rapa Nui for conservation.’
John Bartlett, a journalist based in Santiago and on Rapa Nui as I write, reported in the Guardian (4 June) that Carlos Edmunds, President of the Council of Elders, wanted Hoa Hakananai’a back: ‘It embodies the spirit of an ancestor,' he said, 'almost like a grandfather.’ The two parties, says Bartlett, ‘will discuss preservation of the moai and the island’s rich cultural history ... as well as the place of Hoa Hakananai’a in its collection.’ Sonia Haoa, a Rapa Nui archaeologist, told Bartlett that she was concerned about the island’s eroding statues. ‘A lot of people see [Hoa Hakananai'a] at the British Museum,’ she said. ‘it is the face of Rapa Nui abroad. Our culture is all we have for an economy. We rely entirely on tourism, which is brought here by our history and archaeology.’
• Sue Hamilton FSA, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology (right), has been interviewed for UCL’s Ask an Academic column (30 May). She is Principal Investigator of the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Landscapes of Construction Project, involving four UK universities and the Chilean Council of Monuments, MAPSE (the island’s museum) and the indigenous communities of Rapa Nui. They started work on the island in 2009, studying the sites and artefacts of the statue-building period (AD 1200–1550) as an interconnected, integrated whole, on a landscape scale. Fieldwork has included excavation, mapping of monuments, assessment of threats to preservation and studies of the island’s ancient and present environment.
‘The local indigenous community is highly politicised,’ she tells Sian E Gardiner, ‘so all sorts of major internal events continually happen. If you have just a few months away it’s likely there will be completely different ground rules when you get back.’
‘There are currently about 6,000 islanders and 75,000 tourists go there every year,’ Hamilton continues. ‘But this means that there are things that we might think are best for Rapa Nui’s extraordinary archaeology that might not be so good for tourism. We need to take things slowly and take care in giving opinions as “privileged academics”, and not for example just leap in with a comment because someone says that’ll make a great quote in a national or international newspaper.
‘You have to remember it’s not your past, it’s their past, and I think it’s particularly so on Rapa Nui because it’s living heritage – the statues and associated monuments still have an active meaning to the Rapanui; they are not ruins of a now dead past. So a living heritage is something you can’t dabble with and think it won’t affect people.’

Sue Hamilton photo from UCL, others are mine (Mike Pitts).

Appeal for View of Newstead Abbey

In 2014 the Thoroton Society gave an entire volume of its Record Series to Newstead Abbey: a Nottinghamshire Country House: its Owners and Architectural History 1540-1931, by Rosalys Coope FSA and Pete Smith FSA. Within days of the book’s publication, the Curator of Newstead Abbey, Haidee Jackson, contacted the authors to say that a previously unknown painting of the abbey had been offered to Nottingham City Museums for £5,000.
Rosalys Coope died in December 2018, aged 97. She was, wrote Maurice Howard FSA in Salon, ‘One of our longest-serving Fellows, elected to the Society as part of a group of relatively young female scholars promoted and celebrated by the President of the day, Joan Evans FSA. Rosalys’s life was one of extraordinary scholarly achievement across a number of spheres of art and architectural history … [and] a constant source of encouragement and advice to so many of us in the art-historical community.’
Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery’s paintings are in storage while the site is refurbished (due to re-open in 2020). The City Council declined to buy the new abbey view, which is currently on loan to Newstead. Pete Smith writes that he hopes to raise the picture’s purchase price, so it can be presented to the Council ‘for restoration and eventual exhibition at Newstead in memory of Rosalys Coope and all she did for Newstead Abbey’.
‘Restorers suggest that the picture will clean up well,’ says Smith, ‘and that the cuts have not damaged any of the more interesting areas of the picture. The present owners Sir James and Lady Halina Graham of Norton Conyers have very generously agreed to reduce the price to £4,500 as an incentive to the scheme.’
Coope and Smith earlier wrote about the painting:
‘This large oil painting from Norton Conyers in Yorkshire is a view of the Abbey from across the Upper Lake. It is not in good condition, in fact, it is in desperate need of cleaning and professional restoration. The picture is not of the highest artistic quality and the composition is somewhat stagey. It appears to be either by a provincial journeyman artist or an amateur.
‘The most likely candidate would appear be the Reverend Richard Byron, a younger brother of the 5th Lord Byron whose view of the East Front painted in 1758 and presented by him to his nephew, the Earl of Carlisle at Castle Howard, now hangs in the West Gallery at Newstead (purchased in 1998 from a private collection in Yorkshire). This large canvas may therefore have been painted, possibly from memory, by Richard Byron who had known Newstead in his youth but spent most of his adult life in County Durham and in Yorkshire. This would help to explain some of the obvious inaccuracies in the buildings portrayed. For example, the west front of the Abbey itself is shown with four tall bay windows whereas we know from many other visual sources that the house had only three tall bay windows before 1818. The picture appears to show an external staircase leading from one of these bay windows, something not shown in any of the contemporary views of the west front. The picture also shows Kennels Castle which was probably built around 1760 indicating that this painting was painted soon after this date.
‘As with all the known images of Newstead Abbey this picture adds significantly to our knowledge of the history of the Abbey and particularly its surrounding landscape. This painting appears at first sight to be yet another view of the west front of Newstead seen from across the Upper Lake. In fact this painting is taken from much further back (west) than most other views and includes a detailed representation, in the foreground, of the two arched gateways which led to the open ground in front of Folly Castle. These two gateways are shown in some detail. Their distinctly red colour suggests that they were built of brick (a rarity at Newstead). They may have had Gothic-style decoration like that found on Folly Castle itself, though the condition of the picture means that these details cannot be distinguished at present. Restoration and cleaning would allow us to see these gateways in far more detail.
‘Between these gateways is a low battlemented wall with cannons on red-painted gun carriages pointing out across the lake. Whether this gun emplacement ever existed is open to question. There is no other evidence for it, and a drawing by S H Grimm which shows the gateways is too distant to be able to make it out. The artist may have conflated the Battery – which still exists at the water’s edge – into this new position in order to emphasise the foreground, where a lady and gentleman promenade.
‘The couple’s costume confirms a mid-18th century date for the picture. The gentleman – in what might be termed naval attire – appears to be looking across the picture with either a telescope raised to his eye or a horn to his lips! Perhaps they are the 5th Lord and his wife, Elizabeth, and perhaps he is watching or signalling to the ships on the lake. The prominence given to the cannon and the ships on the lake suggests that the subject of this picture may be linked to the naumachia or mock sea-battles which the 5th Lord, a former naval officer, is known to have staged at Newstead. Such nautical pastimes were indulged by a number of English aristocrats in the 18th century.
‘This fascinating and problematic painting needs expert cleaning and restoration. This process may well reveal many answers to some of the questions raised about Newstead Abbey. It will, we are sure, transform this picture back to the significant image which it once was.’
Smith has opened a bank account for the appeal (in his name) with £250, ‘so’, he writes, ‘our target is now £4,250! Any contributions however small will be much appreciated.’ Details for electronic banking are The Co-operative Bank, Sort Code 08-91-04, Account No. 11378035 (please use your name for the Reference, unless you wish to remain anonymous). Or make cheques payable to Peter Smith and send them to 17 Villa Road, Nottingham NG3 4GG.

• In 2015 Newstead Abbey acquired a 16th-century portrait of Sir John Byron, after it had been spotted by Philip Mould in an auction where it had been listed as a portrait of an unidentified gentleman.

What Actually is Archaeology?

'What you study at sixth form or college,’ says the Russell Group, a lobby organisation for UK universities, ‘can affect your options at university and your future career.’ So the group has set up a new website to help school pupils choose wisely (especially if you intend to go to one of their 24 universities). It replaces previous advice, reported the BBC (23 May) that focused on a list of traditional subjects, such as the sciences, maths, English and languages. This had been criticised for sidelining arts and variety. Instead the website provides suggestions for 71 different subjects. Archaeologists were not happy with the result.
If you want to study History of Art, Russell Group/Informed Choices says, ‘There are usually no essential subjects’ – a typical refrain – ‘but these subjects may be useful’: and there follows a list of useful A Levels. There are 31, ranging from Ancient History to Urdu, taking in Classical Civilisation, English Literature and many languages. History has 32 similar subjects, and Classical Studies has 27. But things look different is you are thinking of going into less arty areas.
For Geology/Earth Sciences, for example, two of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics ‘are usually essential’, and three others (including Geology) ‘could also be useful’. You need Maths and Physics A Levels to study Physics, and just Chemistry, Computing and Further Mathematics would also help.
This antiquated divide between arts and science, between the educated and the trained, between the generalist and the specialist, plumps archaeology firmly into … well. It’s not clear which. On the one hand there are only seven A levels which ‘could be useful'. On the other none of them is a science.
The full list (see top left) is: Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Geography, History, Latin and Religious Studies. Archaeology isn’t there because the examining boards removed the last chance to study that at A Level in 2018.
Richard Jones FSA was not impressed.
‘The list of “useful” A Level subjects for those wanting to read Archaeology at university,’ he tweeted on 23 May (@rlcjones), ‘demonstrates that @russellgroup advisors have absolutely no idea about our discipline. Archaeological scientists, you should be up in arms about this!’
‘One wonders how the original consultation process worked,’ wrote David Petts FSA (@DavidPetts1), who is Senior Lecturer in the Archaeology of Northern England at Durham University. ‘Says they consulted admissions teams - we certainly weren't approached...’
‘Woeful, inept,’ tweeted Terry O'Connor FSA (@osteoconnor). ‘Geography is more or less the only useful one on the list.’
Archaeologists offered their views on useful subjects.
‘Art, technology and design,’ said Jones, ‘all the natural and earth sciences, all languages (dead or otherwise), mathematics, fashion and textiles, food technology, anthropology. The list could go on and on!’
‘I’d add A Levels in Geology, Philosophy and Critical Thinking to that list,’ suggested Hilary Orange FSA (@HilaryOrange). ‘Also, the International Baccalaureate (as not everyone does A Levels in FE) has an Anthropology option.’
Matt Pope FSA (@MatthewPope) thought ‘English Lit. V. Useful, esp critically comparing Apocalypse Now to Heart of Darkness. Geography. V Useful. I’m basically an ancient human geographer now who targets oxbow lakes, raised beache stack and arch features for evidence. Modern History. V.useful. We need a revolution.’
Naomi Sykes FSA (@NaomiSykes1), telling the Russel Group, ‘Um, you know nothing of our work,’ proposed adding ‘environmental science and geology (two of my A’levels), chemistry, physics, art, history of art, computer science, English, biology...the list goes on.’
Then she asked: ‘Twitter archaeologists - your A’levels please?’
And back they came. Within a couple of days Sykes (who is a zooarchaeologist and Lawrence Professor of Archaeology at the University of Exeter) had tabulated responses into a chart, pictured top right. It shows, she wrote, ‘What A levels @RussellGroup recommends you take if you want to do an archaeology degree Vs what A levels actual archaeologists (UG students through Profs) took. RT and use at your Open Days - Archaeology spans the Arts-Science spectrum!’
It’s not a huge sample (114 archaeologists who had taken 414 A Levels or equivalents between them), but. it is, I think, the first time any such exercise has been conducted in recent times. I thought it was worth highlighting some of the features, for the light it throws on archaeology for those unfamiliar with the field, a group that would seem to contain some highly educated people.
I turned Sykes’ figures into subject percentages (below). These graphs are a sort of proxy for what is happening in archaeology. Though they show choices made at school, any archaeologist would recognise in them the world in which they now work.

The Russell Group sees archaeology as a library-based historical subject, Geography presumably getting in more for its human than scientific side. In my experience this is how many people, not least politicians and media editors, see it. The educational reality is that archaeology is a wide-ranging mix of arts and science subjects, of literary research, lab work and field expedition, with a significant nod to the contemporary world: among A Levels actually taken, Latin, which the Russell Group rates as one of seven relevant subjects, scores the same as ICT and Politics, and below Economics, Business Studies, Law, Sociology and Psychology. More archaeologists have A Level Music than they do Latin. The top three subjects include two sciences.
Archaeologists didn't waste time asking the Russell Group to rethink its assessment. ‘I sent them a pointed email,’ tweeted Susanne Hakenbeck FSA (@shakenbeck). ‘I can confirm that a formal reply will be being made to @russellgroup about this by University Archaeology UK,’ wrote Petts. ‘it will be shortly circulated to all heads of Arch Depts in the RG for comment. Highlight lack of engagement with science and message it sends about widening particip.’ Jones offered a redesigned web page:

And the response was swift.
‘A few people have raised concerns over the guidance given on our new Informed Choices website to pupils considering an archaeology degree,’ tweeted Russell Group (@RussellGroup, 24 May). ‘Thanks for bringing this to our attention @rlcjones @DavidPetts1 @shakenbeck. Please bear with us while we look into it. We’re running the site under an open beta test until September&all feedback can be sent to’ The web page’s standfirst has already been changed. What started as ‘material and environmental remains from the past’ now reads ‘historical sites, structural remains, bones, tools and other artefacts’, and a note has been added: ‘some universities may say … a science subject may be useful’. Helpful, perhaps, but could try harder.
Sympathetic Fellows might like to offer their own suggestions to the Russell Group. As important may be the need to address wider society about what archaeologists really get up to.

Fellows (and Friends)

Antony Carr FSA, historian of medieval Wales, died in April.
Jenny Price FSA, specialist in Roman glass, died in May.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below.
Derek Renn FSA, castles historian and a former Treasurer at the Society, died on 31 May. There will be an appreciation in the next Salon.


On 15 May Jennifer Wexler FSA announced that she had been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain by the Home Office. I wrote about Wexler’s predicament in Salon in late 2017, after UK Visas and Immigration told her that she had exceeded the number of days she was permitted to be outside the UK, and should return to the US. She is an American citizen, but had been in continuous UK residence for over a decade, with a British-born husband, and had travelled abroad in connection with her research and her work at the British Museum, where she has a full-time job. Various people took up her cause, and Andrew Wilson ran a campaign on Her case went through ‘multiple rounds of Appeal’, writes Wilson, ‘to finally get to the Upper Tier Immigration Tribunal. In the final hearing the Home Office decided to wave Jennifer's case through as clearly it was not worth fighting any longer – they eventually said that they had no further objections to her case.’
Therese Martin FSA has edited The Medieval Iberian Treasury in the Context of Cultural Interchange, a special issue of Medieval Encounters (25, nos. 1-2, 2019). The articles in this double issue, selected from papers presented at a conference held at Princeton University in 2017, centre around the treasury of San Isidoro de León to address wider questions about the meanings of cross-cultural luxury objects and textiles in royal-ecclesiastical collections during the central Middle Ages. Two of the articles are available on open access: ‘Caskets of silver and ivory from diverse parts of the world: strategic collecting for an Iberian treasury,’ by Therese Martin, and ‘Textiles from the Museum of San Isidoro (León): new evidence for re-evaluating their chronology and provenance,’ by Ana Cabrera Lafuente. The photos show details of the Crucifix of Fernando and Sancha, c 1063, León (Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, by Therese Martin).

On 5 June Chris Skidmore FSA (@CSkidmoreUK) celebrated six months as Universities Minister – a veteran in current circumstances. He reviewed the time – or ‘fantastic opportunities’ – in a long series of tweets. He learnt first-hand that two-year courses ‘aren’t about cramming learning - but allowing greater flexibility for learners either coming from the workplace or studying degrees such as theatre production to be able to access work swifty’. He went to Bristol (where he taught history as a Teaching Support Assistant in 2009) to discuss robotics and a proposed Temple Quarter Campus. He made his first speech as Minister at RADA, and another at LSE (on the need to support postgraduate study and early career researchers). And so on, ranging through compound semi-conductors, creative arts and fashion, disabled students, VR and gaming, photography and journalism, mental health, space technology, music scholarships, visual impairment and more. He somehow found time to think about politics as well. ‘No one can claim to represent One Nation Conservatism and proactively support No Deal,’ he tweeted on 4 June. (he had earlier said that he’d attended ‘every ministerial meeting in Brussels possible’ to make the case for maintaining ‘the closest association into Horizon Europe’). The next day he was interested in investing in R&D to tackle climate change and clean growth #WorldEnvironmentDay.

Susan Oosthuizen FSA has written The Emergence of the English. She takes a critical approach, says the blurb, to the assumption that the origins of the English can be found in fifth- and sixth-century immigration from north-west Europe – that is, in Anglo-Saxon settlement. She evaluates the primary evidence, and discusses the value of ethnicity in historical explanation. She then proposes an alternative model that sets events and processes in the context of the longue durée, illustrated here through the agricultural landscape. She concludes that the origins of the English should rather be sought among late Romano-British communities, evolving, adapting, and innovating in a new, post-imperial context. In the process, the book explores universal themes: of the role of immigration in culture change, of the importance of landscape as a mnemonic for such change, and of the utility of a common property rights approach as an analytical tool.

Ian Baxter FSA, Director of the Confucius Institute at Heriot-Watt University, has worked with the Heritage Alliance and the Built Environment Forum Scotland to produce an eight-page listing of websites that offer opportunities for those seeking employment in the heritage sector. Heritage Careers Guide 2019–2020 can be found at the Heritage Futures website. ‘This is a resource which has been developing over a number of years,’ writes Baxter, ‘and as we approach graduation and job-hunting time it is the perfect time to signpost the best places to start looking for work. Since the soft-launch of the guide on 10 May, I am delighted that it has already been downloaded over 400 times, and has received positive comments from colleagues at some of the organisations listed as good places to look for vacancies.’
Christopher Whittick FSA, President of the Wealden Iron Research Group, writes about the group’s new publication, Adventure in Iron by the late Brian Awty. Whittick and Jeremy Hodgkinson FSA co-edited the two-volume work, which is subtitled The Blast Furnace and its Spread from Namur to Northern France, England and North America, 1450–1640; a Technological, Political and Genealogical Investigation. Making extensive use of British and continental archival and published sources, many previously unexplored in this context, the study based on half a lifetime’s original research describes how the early history of the indirect ironmaking process in England is integrated into the parallel story on the continent. It provides a detailed biographical approach to the migration of ironmasters and workers from the continent to south-east England. It is published in an edition of 350 copies.
Charlotte Higgins FSA spoke to Sarah Mallet and Dan Hicks FSA for an article in the Guardian (16 May). Mallet and Hicks are archaeologists who worked on Lande: The Calais ‘Jungle’ and Beyond, an exhibition at the Pitt Rivers Museum about the refugee camps, and about which I wrote in the last Salon. ‘Perhaps most striking’, writes Higgins, ‘is the way Hicks and Mallet place the Calais camp in the context of a long line of oppressive, dehumanising border arrangements, from the peace walls of Northern Ireland separating Catholic and Protestant areas to the putative US-Mexico wall … It is no coincidence, argues Hicks, that most of the people who came to the camp, all desperate to get across the Channel, were from parts of the world that came under a British sphere of influence or protection in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The origins, they say, go back centuries, right back to that time when England lost Calais – and slowly embarked on acquiring an empire.’

Shawms Around the World, the most recent book from Jeremy Montagu FSA, is available as a free download from his website. It tells the history of the shawm from antiquity to the present around the world, and is illustrated with photographs of 69 shawms in his own collection along with other material. After historical essays, the book covers the shawm in Europe and Central America, the Ottoman Empire and Africa, South Asia, South-East Asia and Indonesia, and China, with a concluding chapter on cylindrical-bore shawms. The book joins a long list of Montagu’s earlier musical studies, two of which – The Conch Horn (2018) and The Industrial Revolution and Music (2018) – are also available as free downloads.

Tim Loughton FSA, MP and Chair of the British Museum All Party Parliamentary Group, and Jonathan Tubb FSA, Director of the Iraq Scheme, British Museum, were among speakers at an event in Parliament on 20 May. Hosted by the Coalition For Global Prosperity, the British Council and the British Museum (Hartwig Fischer FSA gave an opening address), Global Britain: How The UK is Protecting Cultural Heritage in Fragile States was chaired by Kirsty Lang, a Trustee of the British Council as well as a journalist and broadcaster. The other speakers were Tom Tugendhat MP (Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee), Lord Collins of Highbury (Shadow International Development Minister), Shoshana Stewart (CEO, Turquoise Mountain) and Steve Stenning (Director, British Council). Britain’s overseas aid, said Loughton, ‘is a key means of soft power and has big investment and business advantages to us all’. It was important to take a long-term view, he added, to protect a nation’s identity: the key to the future can be the rebuilding and rescuing of past cultural heritage. Fischer expressed the BM’s determination to fight illicit trade in artefacts, and damage to cultural heritage. Britain is good at archaeology, said Tubb, who explained that detailed, painstaking archaeological techniques were needed in Iraq and that the BM responds there to local requests.

Sethy I, King of Egypt: His Life and Afterlife is about the king (also transcribed as Seti, Sethi and Sethos) who ruled for around a decade in the early 13th century BC. Aidan Dodson FSA shows how his lifetime coincided with a critical point in Egyptian history, following the ill-starred religious revolution of Akhenaten, and heralding the last phase of Egypt’s imperial splendour. Sethy was the second scion of a wholly new royal family, says the blurb, and his reign did much to set the agenda for the coming decades, both at home and abroad. He was a great builder, apparently with exquisite artistic taste, to judge from the unique quality of the decoration of his celebrated monuments at Abydos and Thebes. This richly illustrated book tells the story of Sethy’s career and monuments, in his own era and in more recent times, and the impact of his legacy on today’s understanding and appreciation of ancient Egypt.

Fellows Remembered

Before he joined the staff of University College of North Wales, Bangor, and long before being elected a Fellow of the Society, Antony Carr made national news as the youngest winner of a BBC radio quiz programme known as Brain of Britain – an honour he retained until his death. It was 1956 and he was 18, working as a paper boy and apparently smoking a pipe (above); reading the headlines, he later said, kept him well-informed about current affairs. That year he also won the Brain of Brains competition, beating the previous two years’ Brain of Britain winners, and in 1962 he was crowned the Top Brain of Britain having beaten all winners since the start of the radio series.
Antony David Carr FSA died on 30 April aged 81. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1980. At the time of his ultimate radio triumph, he was Assistant Archivist at the Essex Record Office, between his History degree at Bangor (1959), and his MA for a study of the gentry of Edeirnion 1282–1485 (1963). He joined the staff at the Department of History and Welsh History in 1964, rising to Senior Lecturer in Welsh History, and finally Professor of Medieval Welsh History, along the way completing his PhD on the Mostyn family and their estates in North Wales 1200–1642 (1976). He retired in 2002 as Emeritus Professor at the School of History and Archaeology, Bangor University (now the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences).
His publications included Medieval Anglesey (1982, 2nd edition 2011), Owen of Wales: The End of the House of Gwynedd (1991), Medieval Wales (1995) and The Gentry of North Wales in the Later Middle Ages (2017). He was a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (2001–11), and for many years President of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Editor of their Transactions. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
‘Professor Antony Carr was a well-known scholar in the field of Medieval History in Wales,’ said Peter Shapely, Head of the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences at Bangor University, on BBC Wales (quoted in Welsh, with the photo on left). ‘He continued to be active with his research and with local associations such as [the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates] and the Anglesey Antiquarian Society. He was a kind gentleman with a great sense of humour and the University will miss him greatly.’
The press cutting was posted online by the Essex Record Office in 2012.

Jennifer Price FSA died on 17 May aged 79. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1978, and later served on Council. Justine Bayley FSA has kindly written this appreciation for Salon:
‘For some fifty years, Jennifer Price made substantial contributions to studies of Roman glass, not only in Britain, but across the Roman world. Her contributions extend way beyond her own writings; many of those now active in glass studies have benefited from Jenny’s insights into their material and its interpretation. She was one of the founding members of the Association for the History of Glass, and served both it and l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre as President.
‘Jenny came from a family of glassmakers in Stourbridge, Worcestershire and joined an evening class in archaeology while still at school, excavating local sites under Graham Webster FSA. However, on leaving school she joined the Civil Service, working for the Inland Revenue, while studying law. Soon after being called to the Bar in 1963 she resigned and spent three years working on excavations in southern Italy and in Israel, notably at Masada where one of her tasks was the reconstruction of some of the glass vessels. In 1966 she enrolled at University College Cardiff, University of Wales, for a BA in Archaeology, and on graduating in 1969 spent a further three years travelling and collecting material for her PhD on Roman Glass in Spain.
‘Jenny worked briefly in the British Museum before returning to Cardiff to teach prehistory. She then became Keeper of Archaeology in the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, until in 1980 she was appointed as Lecturer in Archaeology in the Adult Education Department of Leeds University. She remained there for ten years, teaching adults in West and North Yorkshire, and also established the very productive English Heritage-funded Romano-British Glass Project. Jenny then moved to the Department of Archaeology at Durham where she taught Roman provincial archaeology and archaeological glass studies, was promoted to a personal chair and spent three years as Head of Department, retiring in 2005.
‘To mark Jenny’s retirement the Association for the History of Glass organised a conference in her honour, the papers from which were subsequently published as Glass of the Roman World edited by Justine Bayley FSA, Ian Freestone FSA and Caroline Jackson FSA, who noted in their preface that ‘Jennifer Price’s knowledge of glass, from many historical periods and geographical regions, not only Roman, is impressive. However, her work is also firmly established in the archaeological roots of the discipline.’ The volume includes a full bibliography up to 2014; notable publications include Roman Vessel Glass from Excavations in Colchester, 1971–85, with Hilary Cool FSA (1995), Glass Vessels in Roman Britain: A Handbook, with Sally Cottam FSA (1998), and the edited volume Glass in Britain and Ireland, AD 350–1100 (2000). In addition, anyone opening an excavation report on a Romano-British site will like as not come across one of her contributions.
‘Her funeral will be at York Cemetery, 30 Cemetery Road, York YO10 5AJ at 1.30 pm on Monday 10 June. Any friends who wish to attend are welcome but are asked to contact Sue Hardman, Jenny’s partner, to ensure adequate catering is available afterwards (’
• The Association for the History of Glass notes that Price joined the Board in 1979, was President from 1996–2003, and was President of l’Association Internationale pour l'Histoire du Verre from 1998–2003. She was an editorial advisor to the Journal of Glass Studies and a Trustee of the Bomford Collection of Ancient Glass in Bristol Museum.

The photo left shows Jenny Price (on right) and Caroline Jackson watching Mark Taylor and Bill Gudenrath at the Roman glassmakers experimental furnace in 2005 (Justine Bayley).

Memorials to Fellows

David Clark FSA, Secretary of the Oxfordshire Buildings Record, sends this photo of a memorial to Arthur Edwin Preston FSA (1852–1942) in St Nicolas Church, Abingdon.
‘His Fellowship of the Society’, writes Clark, ‘is displayed prominently at the start of the inscription. Preston was (and still is) an inspiration to those working on the history of Abingdon.
‘A major cause célèbre at the moment is the uncertain future of the important Old Abbey House, that Preston got the Town Council to acquire for their offices in 1923. It now stands empty and boarded up – with lead stolen from its porch roof – and with no plan for its future.’

Preston, who was a prosperous chartered accountant and leading local historian and archaeologist, also has a blue plaque in the town, unveiled at his former home at Whitefield, now an Abingdon School house, in 2015. He made an extraordinary contribution, says the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Scheme, ‘both as a borough and county councillor and as an antiquarian who preserved the record of Abingdon’s history and restored its ancient buildings. The appearance and amenities of the town today owe much to his dedication, vision and benefactions.’

Summer Closure

The Society apartments and library will be closed from Monday 29 July to Monday 2 September.

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager (

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

  • 19 July: Research Showcase: Elements You are invited to join us for an engaging afternoon and evening event, providing our grant recipients the opportunity to present their work at Burlington House through table-top displays, talks and interactive workshops.
  • 21 September: Open House London Join us for Open House London. We participate in this city-wide event every year, welcoming visitors into our apartments in Burlington House to learn about the architecture. 
  • 25 October: Postgraduate Open Day Spend the day learning about our collections and resources that can help you with your research. Hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their fields. Network with other postgraduate students and early-career researchers. Spend time in the Library, exploring our collections.
  • 26 October: New Researchers Conference This conference is on the history of collecting and the role of the antiquary. The conference is part of our public outreach programme with a specific focus on engaging with ‘new’ researchers, postgraduate and early career academics. Key note speaker: Professor Arthur McGregor FSA
  • 1 November: Publishing The Staffordshire Treasure: Impacts and Implications, organised by Dr Leslie Webster FSA, Dr Sam Lucy FSA & Dr Tania Dickinson FSA 

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.

Welsh Fellows

  • 11-13 October 2019: Weekend visit to the Pembrokeshire area. Programme to be arranged.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.

York Fellows

Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.

Other Heritage Events

6–7 June: Fibres in Early Textiles, from Prehistory to AD 1600 (Glasgow)
The Early Textiles Study Group will be holding its 16th conference at the University of Glasgow, on the theme of textile fibres. There will be a full programme of 23 papers, with posters, practical demonstrations and an optional excursion to places related to the textile heritage of Scotland on 8 June. The subject matter includes fibre sources and their preparation techniques; excavated evidence from Europe, Asia, the Americas and New Zealand, from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages; ethnographic material; and modern analytical methods of fibre identification. An international panel of speakers includes Margarita Gleba FSA and Penelope Walton Rogers FSA. Details online.

15–16 June: Tour of South Somerset and Dorset Churches (Sherborne)
This two day coach excursion with the Church Monuments Society will visit some of the finest churches in the South-West – Trent, Montacute, Hinton St George, Sherborne Abbey, Melbury Sampford, Dorchester St Peter, Puddletown and Milton Abbey – containing some of the finest monuments in England. Details online.
24 June: Delivering Public Benefit through Archaeology (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course looks at how we can plan projects to deliver public benefit consistently, how to communicate that benefit effectively, and how to evaluate the impact of our work. It is designed for all those responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work in our sector that aim to deliver public benefit. Course Director: Kate Geary, Head of Professional Development and Practice, CifA. Tutors: Taryn Nixon, independent archaeologist and heritage adviser, formerly Chief Executive of MOLA (1997-2017); Rob Lennox, CIfA, whose PhD research looked at heritage and politics in the public value era. Details online.

28 June: Lord Stewartby – The Numismatic Legacy (London)
Lord Stewartby FSA (1935–2018) was a leading figure in British numismatic scholarship in the second half of the 20th century. At this all day Symposium at the British Academy, structured around topics with which Lord Stewartby was deeply engaged, leading figures who place the use of numismatic evidence at the forefront of historical and archaeological interpretation will explore recent work which builds on his contributions to numismatic scholarship. Four sessions will cover Britain AD 300–400, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Viking England 800–1100, the British Isles 100-1150, and Scottish Coinage 1140–1707. Details online.

29 June: Jewels in Portraits: Portraits in Jewels (London)
The Society of Jewellery Historians will be holding a one-day conference at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, exploring the complementary themes of jewellery in portraits and portraits in jewellery. Renowned national and international speakers, including Mark Dennis FSA, Jack Ogden FSA and Claudia Wagner FSA, will present papers on a range of subjects that delve into the representation of jewellery in various visual media and jewels and engraved gems that incorporate portraits. Details online.
1 July: A Woman of Taste: Mrs R A Workman’s Collection of Modern French Painting (London)
Frances Fowle, Professor of Nineteenth-Century Art, University of Edinburgh and Senior Curator of French Art, National Gallery of Scotland, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
2 July: Excellent Women: The Tradition of Anglican Female Novelists (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. What do novelists Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte M Yonge, Dorothy L Sayers, Rose Macaulay, Barbara Pym, Iris Murdoch and P D James have in common? These women, and others, were inspired to write fiction through their relationship with the Church of England. This talk by Judith Maltby and Alison Shell FSA, co-editors of an essay collection, Anglican Women Novelists: From Charlotte Brontë to P D James, will explore the relationship between Anglicanism, fiction and women’s writing, and will be followed by the book launch. Details from or 020 7898 1400.
3–4 July: Understanding and Conserving Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. An increasing number of historic gardens and landscapes are opening their doors to the paying public. Owners and managers, reliant on tourist income, are seeking to widen their visitor base. Such development can sometimes be at odds with the conservation needs of historic sites, and this course will provide the tools for balancing the needs of developing tourist attractions with conservation and care. For trustees, volunteers and staff responsible for managing or working in a historic garden or designed landscape. Course Director: John Watkins, Head of Gardens and Landscape at the English Heritage Trust. Speakers to include: Brian Dix, Linden Groves, Emily Parker, Robin Copeland, David Lambert. Details online.

8 July: Why Study the History of the Church? Reflections on English History from the 17th to the 19th Century (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. A public lecture by Stephen Taylor (Durham University) will follow the Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society. Details online, or contact or 020 7898 1400.

17 July: Translating Becket: New Themes, New Meanings in the Life and Afterlife of St Thomas of Canterbury 1170-2020 (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. The talk by Nicholas Vincent FSA will follow the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library. He has published widely on English and European history in the 12th and 13th centuries, most recently on King John and Magna Carta. This lecture anticipates the 850th anniversary of Becket’s martyrdom next year and will be accompanied by a display of manuscripts from the Library’s collections. Details from or 020 7898 1400.

22–25 July: The Medieval Book as Object, Idea and Symbol (Harlaxton)
The 2019 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium 2019, convened by Julian Luxford FSA, will address books as cultural artefacts, ie objects that are recognised and understood in particular ways and defined according to given criteria. Why, for example, is ‘book’ generally equated with ‘codex’ to the exclusion of single-sheet documents (OE boc, bec), rolls and fascicles? On what grounds are major distinctions drawn between ‘library’ books and ‘non-library’ books? Why, historically, did books and rolls signify differently? While many papers will have a later medieval focus, earlier material will also be included, and the object domain is not restricted to Britain. Lucy Freeman Sandler FSA will give the inaugural lecture in memory of Pamela Tudor-Craig FSA, on 'It’s an open book: Archbishop Thomas Arundel's copy of the gospel commentary of William of Nottingham'. Other speakers include Jessica Barker FSA, Alixe Bovey FSA, Clive Burgess FSA, Brian Cummings FSA, Elizabeth Danbury FSA, Tony Edwards FSA, Vincent Gillespie FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Nigel Ramsay FSA, Kathryn Smith FSA and Jenny Stratford FSA. Contact Christian Steer FSA, or find details online.
29 July: ‘The Great Joss and his Playthings’: George IV as a Print Collector (London)
Kate Heard, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust, speaks in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
18 September: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce recent guidance to PX, and review the essential components of assessment and updated project design. In the afternoon we will review examples from current practice and consider how far they meet their purpose and justify funding decisions. The course is designed for those in supervisory, junior management or specialist roles who will be compiling and contributing to PX assessments, and those in consultancy and curatorial roles who commission and evaluate them. Course Director: Leo Webley, Head of Post-Excavation, Oxford Archaeology South. Tutors: Edward Biddulph, Senior Project Manager and Roman pottery specialist, Oxford Archaeology South; Sarah Wyles, Senior Environmental Officer, Cotswold Archaeology. Details online.

21 September: Suffolk by the Sea (Southwold)
The 5th Wheeler Conference of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History will consider the impact of the coast on Suffolk’s heritage from prehistory to medieval times. Topics include exploring Doggerland, crossing the North Sea and Scandinavian ships, Medieval trade, underwater archaeology at Dunwich, and Southwold museum (Museum of the Year 2017). Speakers include Brian Ayers FSA, Paul Constantine, Vince Gaffney FSA, David Sear and Simon Loftus. Details online.
25–27 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. Significance assessment is a key part of management and of development within the historic environment. This course will introduce the process, show you what is involved in preparing assessments of significance, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore the ways in which they can be used. Open to all, but of particular interest to heritage asset managers and advisers, planners, historic environment professionals and architects, surveyors and others who do not specialise in heritage but may need to understand assessments and their value in guiding change. Course Director: Stephen Bond, Director of Heritage Places and joint author of Managing Built Heritage. Course Co-Director: Henry Russell, Course Director of the programme in Conservation of the Historic Environment, Reading University. Details online.

27 September: Maritime Archaeology (Chatham)
This will be Chatham Historic Dockyard’s first course, with three morning talks covering themes on the history and work of the dockyard at Chatham, the built heritage and conservation of maritime architecture at Portsmouth dockyard, and marine archaeology across east Kent. Lunch will be provided, followed by a guided tour of the dockyard, introduced by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and led by Peter Kendall FSA of Historic England. Details online.
30 September: ‘The Aura of Popularity’: The Rise and Fall of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in the Nineteenth-Century British Art Market (London)
Isabelle Kent, Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Assistant, The Wallace Collection, speaks in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

10 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The course will be of interest to all those who are currently (or hope to be) involved in the commissioning or production of desk-based assessments. It is targeted towards new entrants to the profession and those who would like to develop skills in this area. Course Directors: Jill Hind (formerly Senior Project Mgr Oxford Archaeology) and Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, County Archaeologist for Wiltshire. Details online.

28 October: Architectural Salvage from Cairo to London: The Pivotal Role of the Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 (London)
Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, and Mercedes Volait, Research Professor at CNRS, based at InVisu, INHA, Paris, speak in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

29 October: Fire: Friend or Fiend in Human History? (Bournemouth)
The Third Annual Pitt Rivers Lecture at Bournemouth University will be given by the internationally renowned anthropologist Ruth Tringham (University of California at Berkeley). She will explore how archaeologists can and do act as arson investigators centuries or millennia after the event, focusing on the burned houses of Neolithic Southeast Europe, and earlier examples in Neolithic Anatolia (Çatalhöyük, Turkey), in order to consider how fire has been managed and controlled, and why fire is chosen as a means of destroying places, urban or rural, public or domestic. Details online.
31 October: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce the standard types of published reports currently produced by archaeologists, and how the scope and content of a report is planned. The course will then focus on two key components, the stratigraphic narrative and the discussion, and the most effective and successful ways of approaching the planning, writing and illustration of these. This will include a critical review of a number of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements that apply to writing in a professional and academic context. The course will involve some preparatory reading before the training day. Course Director: Elizabeth Popescu, Post-Excavation and Publications Manager, Oxford Archaeology East. Details online.

15 November: Curating Decay (Waltham Abbey)
This will be Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills’ first course, with three morning talks covering a range of issues in the management of vulnerable heritage sites, and reimagining how we might adopt an ethical stance that allows us to collaborate with natural processes and decay, rather than fighting against them. Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills exhibition and a guided tour of the site led by Wayne Cocroft FSA. Details online.
25 November: A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883-1961), Dealer and Curator (London)
Barbara Lasic, Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

27–29 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
A short course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is a practical workshop carefully designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called upon to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. It will present the terms of procedure, the roles of the participants and the general feel of a Public Inquiry. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study. Training for potential witnesses will be given in how to prepare evidence for a Public Inquiry, how to produce proofs of evidence, and to experience them being given and tested under realistic conditions. You will be allocated a role to play in the Inquiry and asked to prepare a proof of evidence to fit this role. Active participation limited to 14 participants. There will also be a limited number of places available for observers. Course Directors: Roger M Thomas, Barrister and Archaeologist; George Lambrick, Independent Archaeology and Heritage Consultant. Planning Inspector: Richard Tamplin. Advocates: David Woolley QC and Allan Ledden, Solicitor. Details online.

Call for Papers

18 January 2020: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The tenth conference on New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for 30-minute papers. While the emphasis remains on new developments in architecture, we welcome proposals on related themes, such as decorative arts, gardens, sculpture and monuments. The proposals should be submitted by 31 August 2019, to and, and the final programme will be announced in September. Please include a short biography with your proposal.


The City of London Archaeological Trust (CoLAT) announces grants for projects in the archaeology of London and its environs. 2019 deadline for applications 20 September.
The Trust is concerned with the archaeology of the City of London and any matter relating to the City’s development and the prehistory of its area. There is no specific geographical boundary to define the City’s environs, and work on all periods is eligible. CoLAT will consider applications to fund survey and excavation, the investigation of standing buildings, research and publication, equipment for volunteer and youth groups, preparation and curation of archaeological archives, digitisation of records and older archaeological publications, and exhibitions. The current Trustees also wish to encourage the introduction of young people to archaeology; the commissioning of educational schemes for work on archaeology in schools; and work to help guides on historic sites.
Details online. Further information from the Secretary of CoLAT, John Schofield FSA,

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.

Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.


Follow the Society of Antiquaries on Twitter for news and event updates: @SocAntiquaries

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