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Salon: Issue 312
20 January 2014

Next issue: 3 February 2014

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website. News and feedback for publication in Salon should be addressed to the Editor, Christopher Catling.
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Inside this issue

New Year Honours 2014

Despite combing the New Year Honours list assiduously for the names of Fellows, Salon’s editor managed to miss the fact that our Fellow Richard Dorment, elected just six weeks ago on 7 November 2013, has another reason to celebrate: being created a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). Our congratulations to Richard, who has been Chief Art Critic for the Daily Telegraph since 1986.

Forthcoming meetings

Tea is served from 4.15pm, and meetings start at 5pm

30 January 2014: ‘The archaeological and social history of an English country house: Boynton Hall, Yorkshire East Riding’, by Richard Marriott, FSA, Adrian Green, FSA, and Tim Schadla-Hall, FSA

The Social History and Archaeology of an English Country House will be published later this year and Fellows are invited to hear about the team’s findings in advance, looking at the development of the house from the fifteenth century, including considerable documentary evidence for the management of the estate and the discovery of a hitherto unknown formal garden by William Kent.

6 February 2014: ‘The triumph of music and time: George Frideric Handel and musical clocks by Charles Clay’, by Tessa Murdoch, FSA, and Anthony Turner

This lecture complements the current exhibition at the Handel House Museum (until 23 February 2014). Historian Anthony Turner provides a contextual and biographical introduction to the work of Charles Clay; Fellow Tessa Murdoch will then provide a curatorial overview of the exhibition.

13 February 2014: ‘The Iona Abbey Research Project: a new understanding of Scotland’s most sacred place’, by Peter Yeoman, FSA

This lecture will focus on recent research into the abbey’s archaeology and collections, carried out as part of the Historic Scotland project to help the visitors and pilgrims who come to Columba’s isle from all over the world to achieve a better understanding of the unique contribution that Columba’s monastery made to European Christian scholarship, theology, creativity and law-making. One result is a new permanent exhibition of the largest and most important collection of early medieval high crosses and cross slabs in Britain and Ireland. The completion of this project formed part of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Iona Community, as well as the 1450th anniversary of the arrival of St Columba on 19 May AD 563.

Public lectures

The Society’s public lectures take place between 1pm and 2pm and are free, though tickets must be reserved in advance by using the Society’s Eventbrite web page.

28 January 2014: ‘“Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”: the medical history of King Henry VIII’, by Robert Hutchinson, FSA

7 February 2014: ‘Medieval graffiti: the hidden history of the parish church’, by Matthew Champion

Meeting of the York Fellows

The next York Fellows’ evening is on Tuesday 4 February in Room K/159, Kings Manor, York, with refreshments from 6pm and the lecture from 6.30pm on ‘Nappa Hall, a fortified medieval house in Wensleydale’, to be given by our Fellows John Warren, architect, David Went, of English Heritage, and Adam Menuge, Cambridge University Faculty of Architecture. Please let Stephen Greep, Hon Secretary of the York Antiquaries, know if you are going to attend the meeting (for catering purposes) and the meal afterwards at a local Italian restaurant. The next meeting will be a Fellows’ evening (similar to the last two years) on 18 March 2014: more details in due course.
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From the desk of the General Secretary

Fellows may recall that Salon 307 reported on the Society’s autumn 2013 activities, including the ‘Political Policies and Archaeology’ discussion, held in conjunction with The Archaeology Forum (TAF) in October 2013. During the event, the political panellists presented their views about archaeology and government, and then answered questions from audience members. The Rt Hon Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, invited The Archaeology Forum and the Society of Antiquaries to take the lead in developing and submitting a report to Government on the concerns, needs and expectations of the archaeology sector.

Following the event, the Minister reiterated his invitation by writing to Lord Redesdale, FSA, and John Howell, MP (who is standing for election to the Fellowship in February), with these words: ‘Following the success of the Political Policies and Archaeology discussion ... I would be delighted if you would take up this invitation to jointly undertake a review into the future of local government archaeological services.’ He went on to say: ‘These services have traditionally played a key role in the identification, protection, conservation and investigation of England’s rich archaeological heritage — including sites of undisputed international or national importance ... However, recent research has confirmed that they are under sustained and increasing pressure.’

Lord Redesdale and John Howell have accepted the challenge. They have issued a call for written evidence in the form of a questionnaire, accompanied by a briefing document (which can be downloaded from the Society’s website. Evidence must be submitted by completing the questionnaire and returning it to TAF by 14 February 2014. Following a review of the written submissions, contributors will be selected to participate in oral evidence sessions, to be held at the Society’s Burlington House apartments in March.

It is my sincere hope that Fellows of the Society will take this opportunity to share their valuable opinions and help shape the future of archaeology and heritage protection in this country.

The panellists at TAF’s ‘Political Policies and Archaeology’ discussion in October 2013 included Jenny Jones (Green Party), Lord Stevenson (Labour Party), Lord Redesdale (Liberal Democrats), Peter Hinton (Institute of Archaeologists) and The Rt Hon Ed Vaizey, MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries (Conservative Party). You can watch a recording of the event on the Society’s website.
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Library Services

Fellows can now access the digital versions of the Antiquaries Journal, and the Society’s historic journals Archaeologia and the Proceedings,through the Athens gateway (as well as via the Fellows’ side of the Society’s website). Heather Rowland, Head of Library and Collections, explains: ‘if you are one of the 370 Fellows who have already signed up to Athens, you will now be able to access the Society’s journals alongside the other online journals available from the Library without having to go to the Society’s website and sign in to a different system’. If you have not already signed up to Athens, please contact Assistant Librarian Jo Carter to register. Further details regarding Library services for Fellows can be found on the Society’s website; you can also contact us with specific questions by email.
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The British Museum’s record year

Above: the banner that greeted Google users worlwide on 15 January 2014, the 225th anniversary of the museum's opening. In the early days of Google's development, the company would interview prospective employees at the museum, using the objects on display as conversational aids.

Where heritage travel was once the prerogative of wealthy aristocrats (see ‘The Jacobean Grand Tour’ below), the whole world now flocks. The British Museum has marked the start of its 225th anniversary year by announcing that 2013 was the busiest year in its history, with more than 6.7m people passing through its narrow doors, surpassing the previous record of 5.9m visitors set in 2008.

Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, made a speech two years ago stating that the Government expected a return for its investment in culture and heritage. She now has her answer. If we estimate, conservatively, that each person visiting the British Museum spends £100 on ancillary services (accommodation, food, transport and souvenirs), the British Museum’s value to the economy works out at £670 million. To put that in perspective, Next has just overtaken Marks & Spencer to become the UK’s largest clothing retailer, having enjoyed its most profitable Christmas ever; its pre-tax profit forecast for 2013 is £684m, or just a shade more than the British Museum generates.

The difference is that the British Museum operates on a shoestring: in its 2012—13 accounts, the BM reports receiving £42.7 million from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (which includes a ring-fenced allocation of £1.4 million for the Portable Antiquities Scheme). That, Secretary of State please note, represents a return of 150 per cent on the Government’s investment; Next and Marks & Spencer aim for a return of between 8 and 12 per cent and most stock market investors would be very happy with a return of 10 per cent in today’s tough economic climate.

OK, these are crude calculations and comparisons, but they make a key point: there is massive under-investment in the heritage in this country by comparison with its value to the economy. Well done the British Museum for achieving so much for so little, but perhaps the time has come to say ‘enough miracles until you stop the cuts and invest more’.

Whereas entry to the British Museum remains free, the Musée du Louvre charges €12 for entry. Far from deterring visitors, the Paris museum attracted 9.2 million visitors in 2013, 3 million more than the British Museum or New York’s Metropolitan Museum, which has a recommended admission price of US$25.

Stonehenge visitor centre opens to record crowds

Evidence of what can be achieved with the right level of investment comes from the newly opened Stonehenge Visitor Centre, offering visitors a proper introduction to one of the world’s most important monuments for the first time. English Heritage says that it has witnessed huge interest in Stonehenge since the opening of the new facilities on 19 December 2013. Since that date, Stonehenge has already received more than 50,000 visitors, an increase of 26 per cent from the same time last year. On one day alone the site welcomed 5,000 people to the site — equal to the numbers usually seen in the peak summer season.

This interest has been generated despite the fact that the new facilities are located some 2km from Stonehenge; visitors can either take a 10-minute ride to the monument or walk; walkers are rewarded by much improved interpretation along the route and paths that will take them to see the Cursus and the impressive bowl- and bell-shaped mounds of the Cursus barrows. At the visitor centre itself, the permanent exhibition area opens with a 360-degree audio-visual presentation of the stone circle culminating in sunrise at the summer solstice, while additional screens show the evolution of the Stonehenge landscape and present various theories about the uses of the monument. A further area devoted to special exhibitions is currently showing how Stonehenge has been interpreted over the centuries.

At the monument itself, the most striking change is the closure of the former A344 road. The road has been grassed over so effectively that you would never guess it had ever been there; the Heel Stone and the Avenue now feel intrinsic to the whole monument, rather than standing the other side of a busy highway.

Visitors taking the land train have been less happy with their experience: the Daily Mail came out with the headline ‘Moanhenge’ after visitors unhappy at having to queue for up to 90 minutes for transport left critical reviews on the travel website TripAdvisor. Kate Davies, General Manager of Stonehenge, said ‘on the busiest days there have been some issues with the new transport system resulting in delays for some of our visitors getting to the Stones, but we are working hard to resolve these issues’.
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Lake District nominated by the UK as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape

Two decades and more in the preparation, the official nomination of the Lake District for World Heritage Site status has been submitted to Unesco. If the nomination is successful, the Lake District will be inscribed in the Unesco list as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape in 2016. The Forth Bridge has been nominated for 2014 and Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar, for 2015. The nomination will be scrutinised and evaluated by Unesco and its advisory body, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, with a decision expected in July 2017.

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park, is in no doubt about the economic value of WHS status: ‘‘World Heritage inscription will boost the international profile of the Lake District’s unique awe-inspiring landscape, which has evolved over thousands of years’, he said, ‘we believe it is possible to strike the balance between conserving our historical cultural roots at the same time as encouraging regeneration to meet the needs of a thriving, modern region. World Heritage designation can help us meet this tough challenge, attracting valuable international cultural tourism will also being a catalyst for increased investment in heritage, culture and farming to help us make the most of our greatest asset, the spectacular cultural landscape.’

Wales to be different: Cadw and RCAHMW are not to merge (for now)

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport in the Welsh Government, has announced that Cadw is not, for the present, going to merge with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW). Such a merger, he said, would lead to ‘financial costs, organisational risks and disruption to the sector at a time when public resources are scarce’. Instead the Minister has opted for a ‘wait and see’ approach, ‘allowing for a more thorough analysis of the options and the approaches adopted by Scotland and England to be properly assessed in the light of Wales’ particular needs’.

The Minister’s statement said: ‘The consultation response to the proposals to merge Cadw and the Royal Commission was mixed and having carefully considered these views, in addition to the evidence and analysis undertaken by my officials, I have decided that both organisations will remain separate for the time being. This avoids the financial costs, organisational risks and disruption to the sector at a time when public resources are scarce.’

He said that the level of response to the consultation demonstrates the importance of the historic environment to the people of Wales, adding that ‘there was strong support to extend protection where needed, to increase flexibility and improve accountability and transparency. Improved guidance was also seen as important as the proposed changes to legislation’.

Responding to these points, he said: ‘I have asked officials to develop proposals for the establishment of regular strategic plans for the historic environment and for the establishment of an independent advisory panel. Both the plans and panel will support a strong overarching strategic framework within which Cadw can continue to provide leadership for the historic environment sector at a national level and use its sponsorship relationship with the Commission to promote and reinforce mutual priorities.’ Work will begin on the development of proposals shortly; a consultation document will be published later this year and any necessary legislation on the historic environment will be introduced to the National Assembly in 2015.


British Archaeological Awards 2014

Would you like to be able to describe yourself as an ‘award-winning author or archaeologist’? If so, you need to make sure that you have entered your book, project, community project, public presentation, discovery or innovation to the British Archaeology Awards. The deadline for the 2014 awards is noon on Friday 28 February 2014, and the awards will be presented by our Fellow Loyd Grossman at the British Museum on Monday 14 July 2014. For information on the award categories and criteria, and for guidance on how to make a nomination, see the BAA 2014 website.

‘No strike’ database

The Times reported last week on the work of our Fellow Peter Stone in developing a database of heritage sites for use by the military in times of war. The database contains co-ordinates that can be fed into military guidance systems and used to keep missiles away from archaeological sites and museums. Called Arches, the database has been developed in partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute and the World Monuments Fund. The scheme began as a reaction to the depredations in Iraq and the destruction by US and Polish forces of large parts of ancient Babylon.

Peter Stone is convinced that a digitised database will help to avoid similar catastrophes. He says that the military made ‘massive mistakes’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he has learned ‘not to talk to them about heritage as an academic resource or about the development of civilisation because they just glaze over’. What does work, apparently, is ‘persuading them that by looking after these places they will not antagonise the local population and not give the enemy great PR that can be used against them. They have begun to acknowledge that by protecting cultural property they are more likely to win the hearts and minds of occupied populations, or at least not to alienate them.’

Building a global inventory will be a lengthy process, however. The Times reports that ‘it was only recently that the UK, even with the assistance of English Heritage, was able to provide detailed boundary data for some of the country’s larger World Heritage Sites such as Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall.’

Silchester’s huge pre-Roman timber hall

The same issue of The Times contained Fellow Norman Hammond’s report on the discovery of one of ancient Britain’s largest prehistoric buildings. Dating from the decades before the Roman conquest of AD 43, the timber structure found at Silchester was more than twice the length of a cricket pitch, and is ‘without parallel in Iron Age Britain’, according to our Fellow Mike Fulford, Director of the Insula IX Town Life Project, now approaching its final season in 2014.

Part of the huge building was exposed in 2012; this year it was found to extend for at least 44m; the north-eastern end has still not been located. ‘Whether we shall establish its complete plan within the limits of our excavation trench remains to be seen’, said Professor Fulford. The huge hall is one in a succession of large buildings on the same spot. The first was a rectangular hall, 15m by 4.5m, dated by associated finds to after 20 BC. This was soon replaced by the 44m hall, which was itself replaced by one measuring 23m by 11m. Even the last building did not last long: it was covered by a cultivated soil for some twenty years before the Roman conquest and the foundation of Calleva Atrebatum on the site of the Iron Age community. Even more surprising, in between the two last construction phases, a modest round house of 5m diameter was constructed. It was, however, associated with luxury goods, including imported continental tablewares, suggesting an elite residence.

‘These belong within the timespan of one or two generations’, Professor Fulford said. ‘One implication is of intense rivalry and political turbulence among leading members of the Atrebates, marked by the seizure of property, and the conspicuous taking down and replacement of significant buildings.’ Atrebatic coinage shows a succession of four rulers, all claiming close affiliation with the world of Rome. The last king, Verica, may have shifted the focus of his kingdom to West Sussex. Professor Fulford wonders whether this coincides with the abandonment of the last of the great timber halls, and even perhaps with a takeover of the region by the Catuvellauni tribe who lived farther north and east.

Building a replica of the Sutton Hoo ship

Salon’s editor learns from the January 2014 issue of Saxon, the newsletter of the Sutton Hoo Society, edited by our Fellow Nigel Maslin, that there are plans to build a full-sized replica of the early seventh-century ship-form burial in Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo. The ‘Anglo-Saxon Ship Build’ project is in its early stages, but hopes to raise the money to begin building the sea-going replica in 2016 at a site on the waterfront at Woodbridge, and to launch it in 2018.

The project is part of a scheme to redevelop Whisstocks Boat Yard and Nunn’s Mill, in Woodbridge, sites that have been vacant for sixteen years; planning approval has now been granted for flats and holiday homes, a waterfront restaurant and bar and a Heritage Hub to house Woodbridge Museum and a 5,500 sq ft ship shed, where the replica will be built.

The building of replica ships is common practice in Scandinavia: one sailed from Norway to Chicago as early as 1893 and in 2007 the Viking replica Sea Stallion was sailed and rowed from Roskilde to Dublin and back. More recently, the replica of the fourth-century AD Nydam ship was launched in Denmark last August.

And reconstructing a flat-packed Viking ship

The picture above comes from the London Evening Standard’s report on the Viking longship that will be the centrepiece of the British Museum’s special exhibition, Vikings: Life and Legend, that opens on 6 March 2014. The photograph shows not the ship itself, but the 500 steel supports that will support the remains of the ship, discovered on the banks of the Roskilde fjord in Denmark in 1997 and dating from AD 125. The Standard made much of the fact that the ship itself arrived from Scandinavia in ‘flat-pack’ form: 150 pieces of wood packed into twenty-five boxes that are now being assembled into the keel and hull of a royal battleship, once capable of carrying a hundred people.

The second picture, from the Guardian, shows the war machine at a more advanced stage of re-assembly. The figures given in the Guardian report suggest a certain amount of mathematical confusion: the Viking ship (Roskilde 6) is 36m long, do it cannot be ‘almost 37 metres longer than ships built centuries later, including Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose’. Since Mary Rose measures 38.5m, the two ships are vitually the same size, give or take the odd couple of metres.

News of Fellows

Fellow Sarah Staniforth is giving up her post as Museums and Collections Director at the National Trust, though she will continue to work for the Trust for two days a week helping properties with their ‘Spirit of Place’ work (defining what is distinctive and significant about the property as a basis for presenting and interpreting the property), as well as giving more to her pro bono and non-executive responsibilities. Sarah’s post is now being advertised (see ‘Vacancies’, below): ‘think of it, she says, ‘as my museums and collections job plus gardens’ — by any definition, this has to be one of the most rewarding, if challenging, jobs in the heritage!

Some people give up alcohol for January; some start new blogs. In the latter category is our Fellow Ian Friel, who shares his thoughts on what we can learn from history in a blog called ‘In with the Old!’.

Our Fellow Fr Jerome Bertram has donated his antiquarian collections, including well over 2,000 brass rubbings, to a new library that has opened on the upper floor of the parish centre at the Oxford Oratory (25 Woodstock Road). As well as books on theology, scripture, church history and philosophy, the Library holds a number of rare manuscripts, parish records from the late eighteenth century, and many letters and notes from personalities as diverse as Gerard Manley Hopkins and Napoleon III. There is also the Chesterton Library, comprising all G K Chesterton’s own copies of his published works, his journal, G K ‘s Weekly, manuscripts and paintings and the scenery and characters for his famous toy theatre.

Fellow John Titford writes with an interesting story about a west gallery manuscript that he recently bought, and his efforts to track down its provenance. ‘For several years now I’ve earned my living as a professional genealogist and also as a desultory participant in the antiquarian book trade. This is a funny old trade, and no mistake: books and manuscripts seem to rise up from the primeval sludge, gasping for air, blinking as the sunlight shines upon them, but all too often they keep much of their deeper provenance hidden from view.

‘It was about two years ago that I felt it was high time I began to keep my eyes open for a particular kind of elusive item, scarcer than a great auk’s egg: could I find an original manuscript compilation of west gallery music? Well, yes and no; I could occasionally catch a fleeting glimpse of such a treasure, only to see it snatched away by a determined purchaser with deeper pockets than I.

‘Eventually, at the London Book Fair, I caught sight of an open book of manuscript music lying on a table. The seller had no real clue as to what it was, though the carefully constructed geometric patterns drawn in ink on some pages had clearly caught his attention, and so – typically – he was asking an eye-watering price for it, which is what dealers often do if they don’t want to let a poorly understood but potentially valuable item slip away by default. I knocked the price down to something slightly less eye watering, made the purchase, and can now report the nature of the fish I landed.

‘To aid me in my quest, I turned to The Old Church Gallery Minstrels: an account of the church bands and singers in England from about 1660 to 1860 (1948), by the Revd K H MacDermott, and learned that most west gallery bands and singers “had manuscripts of their own making ... adorned with simple but effective zigzag lines, dots and scroll-work, betokening a labour of love as well as of necessity ... cherished and well-used possessions ... frequently ‘begun’ at both ends, the psalm-tunes being written at one end and the anthems at the other, the book having been turned upside-down for the latter purpose.”
‘That exactly described the book I had bought: it contained 153 pages of anthems at the front of the book and twenty-five pages of hymns and psalms written “upside down”, as it were, at the back. The last few pages of anthems have been enlivened by geometric and other patterns.

‘The leather-bound book was marked in large faded letters “J. Edwards. Chalfont”, while the inside front cover was inscribed: “John Edwards his book. 1785”. So who was John Edwards of Chalfont? “John Edwards” is just the kind of name that genealogists dread; how many men so-named have there been throughout history? Yet here we can narrow research down to a specific period in history (the 1780s) and to a specific place (Chalfont). To cut a long story short, John Edwards is commemorated on a gravestone standing near the vestry door of the parish church of Chalfont St Peter where he was parish clerk for thirty-four years; he died on 7 June 1826, aged sixty-five years, while his widow, Susanna, lived on until the age of eighty-eight, dying on 19 November 1848. In the eighteenth century, the clerk would lead the choir from the front, and for that he would need a powerful, melodious voice and the ability to set the pitch for choir and congregation to follow. That is how we can now imagine John Edwards, parish clerk of Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, grasping his finely written leather-bound book of music, which has now been saved for posterity.’

This is an edited version of a longer article that first appeared in the newsletter of the West Gallery Music Association. Fellows interested in knowing more or obtaining a copy of the original article should send an email to John Titford.

Planning dilemma

Fellow John Nandris is looking for advice from Fellows who are familiar with planning policy on how he goes about opposing a development in his village that involves constructing nine houses in a field immediately behind Merton Church, 4 miles (6.4km) south of Bicester in Oxfordshire. The church, he says, is 1310-ish, Grade I, and much admired by Pevsner; the Templar’s Manor and Preceptory stands close by and there are earthworks in the fields concerned, as can be seen from the MoD aerial photo alongside, showing the crop marks of the Merton Grange in 1905, with the manor house and courthouse centre right. There is a rich ecology too that includes salamanders. John asks ‘what bodies should I turn to for help and what legislation should I invoke?’

Fight to save Leicester Square Odeon

The Odeon West End in Leicester Square is set to disappear if developers have their way. Westminster Council will decide next week whether or not to allow the art deco cinema and buildings on the south west of the square to be replaced by a ten-storey block housing a Radisson Edwardian hotel, spa and a two-screen cinema. English Heritage says the project ‘strikes at the heart of the heritage significance of the conservation area’, while the Cinema Theatre Association said the cinema was of ‘significant architectural merit’. The Ancient Monuments Society, the Twentieth Century Society, the Theatres Trust and the Victorian Society also oppose the plan, as does the Greater London Authority.

Invitation to speak in Sydney

Fellow Michael Turner sends greetings from sunny Sydney, and asks that any Fellow travelling to Australia in 2014 (or 2015 indeed) to consider giving a talk in the Nicholson Museum in Sydney while they are there. The museum, founded in 1860, is home to the largest collection of antiquities in the southern hemisphere. Talks are welcome on any topic. Michael says that ‘Fellow Nathalie Cohen gave a marvellous talk in the week before Christmas on her work with the Thames Discovery Programme, attended by over 100 eager Sydneysiders. In 2012, Fellows Frank Sears and Norman Palmer spoke and in February 2014, Fellow Monica Jackson will be speaking about the Castellani family and Etruscan jewellery. There are still vacant spots, however, should anyone be travelling this way. It’s a great venue!’

Fellow Henrich Härke’s ‘Letter from Central Asia’

In the second half of 2013, I had occasion to visit three Central Asian countries for various archaeology-related activities: Kazakhstan for fieldwork, Uzbekistan mainly for excursions and Turkmenistan for a conference. While, from a safe distance, all these countries appeared similar, I discovered significant differences from an archaeologist’s perspective, and will report on these in this and the next edition of Salon.

Our August fieldwork in western Kazakhstan, in the deserted early medieval town of Dzhankent east of the Aral Sea, goes well enough, despite our lack of a western grant this year and despite the efforts of a senior archaeologist from Almaty who continues to open undocumented trenches so as to prevent the extension of our own trenches. We are working with a committed team of Moscow volunteers, and an enthusiastic group of Kazakh history students several of whom this year state their intention to pursue a career in archaeology. This has to be an effect of the new Centre for Archaeology which was founded in 2011 at the regional University of Kyzylorda, as a direct result of a project we had run that year. On the way from the site to Kyzylorda, we visit Dzhety Asar (which is Kazakh for ‘Seven Fortresses’, but in reality there are more like seventy), an archaeological landscape with scores of fortified elite dwellings and enclosed sites. This impressive settlement network of the first seven centuries AD at the edge of the Kyzyl-kum desert has hardly been explored so far — small wonder given its east-west extent of some 150 km (90 miles). Preliminary discussions at Kyzylorda University for a project there quickly identify a big obstacle: the new Kazakh visa rules which impose a time limit of 30 days for each visit. This had already been a problem for this year’s fieldwork, limiting the actual season to less than four weeks. The University’s International Coordinator holds out the hope that the visa requirement may be scrapped for EU citizens — but I have heard that about the Russian visa requirement for the last twenty years, and we still have it.

At Kyzylorda, we board the ‘Gastarbeiter’ train (as the Russians call it) from Moscow to Tashkent for our onward journey to neighbouring Uzbekistan, land of cotton, gorgeous fruit and state-sanctioned child slave labour. Most Uzbek passengers appear to be travelling without regular tickets and leave the train at an unscheduled stop just short of the Kazakh-Uzbek border to travel on by taxi or coach. For us remaining passengers, the border controls are like crossing the Iron Curtain again. The Uzbek border guard inspecting my luggage for banned items sternly asks me what the book in my bag is about, and I have to explain who Schliemann was. This is a police state, and no mistake about it.

At Tashkent station, we are met by a local archaeologist who later describes the situation of, and prospects for, Uzbek archaeology in very pessimistic terms: no funding for research and fieldwork, no career opportunities, and therefore no student interest in the subject. What a difference to the student enthusiasm I had encountered in Kazakhstan! Our Tashkent colleague confirms that archaeology in Kazakhstan is infinitely better off in terms of funding and careers. To outsiders, this is an interesting contrast because the past is used extensively in both countries for propaganda purposes. The entrance hall of the Museum of History in Tashkent is graced by a chauvinist quotation of the Uzbek President, Islam Karimov. And the museum display of the wonderful finds from Hellenistic Bactria and the Silk Road towns is dominated by huge wall paintings interpreting the archaeological and historical past in romanticizing, nationalist terms.

The same uncertainty about the future of Uzbek archaeology is prevalent at Nukus, capital of the culturally distinct, self-governing region of Karakalpakstan on the banks of the Amu-Darya (the Oxus of classical antiquity). Here, the Academy of Sciences Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnology is one of only two such regional research institutes in Uzbekistan which survived last year’s cut in government funding — before that, there were fifteen. We learn this at the end of a twenty-hour train journey the length of the country to its western end where the base of the legendary Khorezmian Expedition was located, the longest-running and most successful of Soviet-period archaeological ventures. The base has been razed to make way for a college, and there is no archive material left here. But there are still the amazing sites discovered before and after World War Two by the expedition and its charismatic director, Sergej Tolstov, the Russian answer to Indiana Jones. A three-hour trip by taxi takes us through part of the Kara-kum desert to Toprak-kala, a huge Kushan fortress (third to fourth century AD) where the grid of Wheeler-type excavation squares still graces the citadel, and to Ayaz-kala, an Achaemenid border garrison (fifth to third century BC), its massive walls and semicircular bastions turning red in the evening light.

The conclusion of our pilgrimage is celebrated with a warm vodka (day temperatures are above 40 degrees centigrade) in the tourist yurts at the foot of the Ayaz-kala hill. This camp is one of several indicators of efforts being made to develop heritage tourism in this remote part of Uzbekistan, of all places. There is also a small Australian tourist group at the base of the long-running Australian-Karakalpak Expedition where we spend the night, switching from warm vodka to cold beer (as you would expect). Here, among sand dunes which threaten to overrun their site, Alison Betts (University of Sydney) and her Nukus colleagues have been excavating the enclosed Hellenistic site of Akshakhan-kala (third century BC to first century AD) since the early 1990s, with impressive results and some outstanding discoveries (such as the wall paintings found in 2007).

I meet other foreign archaeologists in Samarkand where the French celebrate twenty-five years of their involvement in Uzbek archaeology with an exhibition, and a conference on ‘Cultural Transfer’ organized and sponsored by the UNESCO International Institute for Central Asian Studies. Continuing the German tradition of dropping in uninvited on the French, I turn up in the company of Russian colleagues who have been working with the French in Uzbekistan for decades and who are miffed because they haven’t been invited either. The exhibition is in the Afrasiab Museum, within the Hellenistic to early medieval predecessor of Samarkand destroyed by Dzhingis Khan. Samarkand itself, with its mausolea, mosques, minarets and medressas of the Timurid dynasty (fourteenth to fifteenth centuries), looks like a dream from Arabian Nights, but its current presentation is post-Soviet. The intention to attract heritage tourism has been successful, but it was achieved at the price of razing entire quarters of the old town centre, thereby destroying much of its oriental atmosphere. On the outskirts of town, I conclude another pilgrimage by visiting the early fifteenth-century observatory of Ulug Beg, to my knowledge the only astronomical observatory (in the scientific sense of the word) which has been excavated archaeologically (in 1908); the excavator Vyatkin is buried on the site.

Leaving Uzbekistan turns out to be even more difficult than entering it. Because of the heinous crime of spending the last night at the house of a colleague (which is verboten — foreigners have to stay in hotels and provide proof of it), a zealous border police captain threatens to keep us until our plane has left. We are let off five minutes before boarding time. What did that Kyzylorda University colleague say when I told him about our travel plans? ‘Uzbekistan? I’ve been there once — that’s enough.’


Lives remembered: David Harris, FBA, FSA (1930–2013)

David Russell Harris, elected a Fellow on 7 January 1982, died on 25 December 2013. David succeeded our late Fellow John D Evans as Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology in 1989, serving until his retirement in 1996; he will be greatly missed by his many students, friends and colleagues. He was made an Honorary Fellow of UCL in 2000 in recognition of his service to the university and at the time of his death was Emeritus Professor of Human Environment at the Institute.

David read Geography at the University of Oxford in the 1950s, then joined UCL as Reader in the Department of Geography before moving to the Institute of Archaeology in 1980 as Professor (and Head) of its then Department of Human Environment. Under his Directorship environmental archaeology, and specifically archaeobotany, flourished, but perhaps the most enduring legacy of David’s directorship was the establishment of the Wolfson Archaeological Science Laboratories at the Institute in 1991 following an extensive fundraising campaign, and the development of these laboratories into the world-renowned archaeological science facility that they are today.

His impressive publication record includes books on The Origins of Agriculture in Western Central Asia: an Environmental−Archaeological Study (2010), The Origins and Spread of Agriculture and Pastoralism in Eurasia (1996), The Archaeology of V Gordon Childe: contemporary perspectives (1994) and Foraging and Farming (1989). Following his retirement, David (with Peter Ucko) instigated the creation of Archaeology International, produced annually to reflect the broad geographical, theoretical and methodological scope of research being undertaken at the Institute of Archaeology.

This is an edited version of a longer tribute to David that can be read on the Institute’s website.


Salon’s editor miscounted the number of fascicules making up the just-completed Medieval Latin Dictionary: Fellow Duncan Harrington points out that the final volume is the seventeenth, not the sixteenth, as stated in the last issue.

Fellow Alastair Maxwell-Irving, who contributed the note on Robert Burns, Riddell of Glenriddell and Francis Grose in the last issue of Salon, says that ‘quite by chance, I have just seen via email from the National Library of Scotland (NLS) that they are having an exhibition of Robert Burns’s Glenriddell Manuscripts from 22 January to 30 March this year’: these are, says the NLS, ‘among the greatest treasures at NLS’.

Fellow Mark Samuel says that he read ‘with regret but interest that David Mawson has died, my eldest son being presently housed in one of the “flats” at the University of East Anglia that our late Fellow designed for the student village; he loves the view across the grassy vale to the theatre but none of us liked the oven-like heat generated on the hot day we dropped him off in October due to the greenhouse-like design of the accommodation block. The kitchen/communal area of each flat is evidently popular (see Facebook) though not perhaps in the way that Mawson envisaged!’

Fellow David Heath thought that Salon readers might be interested in an unsolicited testimonial to the diligence of members of our Society contained in the blog of ‘The Gentle Author’ (Paul Godfrey), who writes about Spitalfields life. For his 4 January blog, The Gentle Author chose as his subject the antiquarian forgeries of William Smith and Charles Eaton — better known as Billy and Charley. Between 1856 and 1870, these Thames mudlarks sold artefacts they claimed to have found in the Thames in Shadwell, fooling collectors into thinking they were buying medieval pilgrim badges and trinkets. For more than a decade they pursued a lucrative trade, making these badges from lead alloy, cast in plaster of paris moulds and bathed in acid to simulate the effects of age. Eventually the ‘the bottom fell out of the market when a sceptical member of the Society of Antiquaries visited Shadwell Dock and uncovered the truth’.

Fellow Helen Geake wonders whether the creation of a ‘special policy area’ to protect the art dealers of the Bond Street area is necessarily to be applauded: ‘many of these art dealers specialise in “ancient art” (i.e. archaeological objects)’, Helen says, ‘and it’s the trade in this, much of it through the London art market, that fuels the traffic in looted objects that Salon so often fulminates against. Some historic character is best consigned to the past!’

Fellow John Smith says that he was also ‘a little concerned to read the report in the last issue of Salon of the conservation of the Martyn monuments in Puddletown church, Dorset. An established conservation principle is that one should conserve as is, rather than take the nineteenth-century position of restoring to some uncertain state in the past. At first glance the former arrangement of the 1460—70 Martyn monument at Puddletown, set in a corner with two side panels mounted higher so they could be seen, might suggest an ignorant Victorian restoration. However, it is an intriguing possibility that the arrangement might have been part of the early seventeenth-century reordering, controlled by a conscious antiquarian mindset.

‘Puddletown is a most outstanding example of an early seventeenth-century arrangement of a medieval church. The reordering of 1635 included complete re-pewing, a new pulpit, gallery, screen, painted wall texts and chancel furnishings, much of which survives. Although the present chancel dates from 1910, the rails around the communion table, presently three sided, are seventeenth century and the evidence of blocked mortise holes on their eastern newels suggests the rails originally encompass all four sides, as in the contemporary 1638 example at Lyddington in Rutland. This would make the Puddletown’s liturgical arrangements more moderate than the hard line reforms of Archbishop Laud.

‘A most plausible theory is that the Martyn monuments were moved from the body of the church to the Athelhampton chapel in 1638 to make way for the re-pewing. Information in the church mentioned a forthcoming investigation of the floor to see if the 1460—70 Martyn monument was originally freestanding there, but the lack of any mention of this in Salon suggests a negative finding. This in itself reinforces the theory of a 1638 move. The deliberate effort made to make the whole of the tomb in its corner position visible suggests that serious thought was given to the exercise, and it is exactly at this time — the early seventeenth century — that English antiquarianism was beginning to establish itself. The result was not only romantic, but an effective piece of preservation that made all the salient parts of the monument visible. If this were the case, it was a unique example of early antiquarian thought influencing the preservation of a monument from an earlier age and the presumption should have been for retaining the status quo.

‘That the 1460—70 Martyn monument was in its pre-2010 position before 1774 is established by the reference in the first edition of Hutchins’ The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset. There it is described as being “under the south wall” and the side panels with angels “on the wall” (as shown above in a photograph taken in 1996). This piece of evidence alone should have rung warning bells as to the possible historical significance of the arrangement, for the seventeenth century is a much more likely time for the re-siting than the eighteenth.

‘Enquiry has produced a spirited defence of the recent programme from members of the Puddletown advisory team, but their case for the 1460—70 Martyn monument is based entirely on its parlous physical condition. Little consideration seems to have been given to the historical significance of the repositioning. All that is conceded is that it was not in its original position. It is claimed there was no alternative to moving, but as the conservation member on Lincoln DAC for almost a quarter of a century, joint monuments adviser to Peterborough DAC, together with my experience as Conservation Secretary at the Council for the Care of Churches, I am used to assessing conservation proposals for monuments and know that most things are possible if there is a will, but not if a major aspect of a case has not been taken into consideration.

‘Of course, preserving the monument and minimising further deterioration was of utmost importance, but conserving the “as was” state would have been preferable. Modern conservation philosophy favours passive control and maintenance for the very reason that it prevents destruction of elements unknown at the time of conservation. In this case passive control — bringing the backing wall up to an optimum standard, soil removal, porous mortar pointing, modifying downpipe arrangements, etc — together with the intervention techniques of dismantling, cleaning, desalinating and re-erecting against the backing wall with an intervening damp proof barrier would have probably saved the day. Conservation grounds alone cannot therefore be a justification for moving the monument.

‘I put all the above points to the parish and Salisbury DAC in 2010 but, apart from an acknowledgement from a churchwarden, there was no reaction. The DAC did not bother to reply at all. The sad thing in this case is that by not following the accepted modern practice of minimum intervention a possibly unique, thought-out, precious seventeenth-century arrangement may have been destroyed.’



22 January 2014: ‘What matters and why: fun with heritage!’, by Fellow Kate Clark, 4.30pm. This and the other spring term seminars hosted by the UCS Heritage Unit, in Ipswich, is open to all; to confirm attendance, email Julie Barber. For the full list of speakers and topics (including HLF Chief Executive Carol Souter on ‘The future of heritage: what are we leaving for coming generations?’ on 30 April and Dr Sean O’Reilly, Director of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, on ‘Conservation infrastructure in the UK: why, what, how ... and when?’ on 21 May), plus times and venue, see the UCS website.

23 January 2014: ‘The resilience of World Heritage Cultural Landscapes’, by Susan Denyer, World Heritage Adviser, ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), and Secretary ICOMOS-UK, 6 pm, UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building, UCL Main Campus, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT; please email John Cosgrove if you are able to attend.

Since 1992 when the World Heritage Cultural Landscape category was introduced to reflect the interaction between nature and culture, eighty-five cultural landscapes have been inscribed on the World Heritage List. Many of these reflect complex interactions between people and their environment that have persisted over time and also demonstrate remarkable resilience in terms of their internal dynamism and adaptability. Resilience as a notion is more commonly applied to natural systems rather than cultural systems, but is now increasingly being considered as a way of understanding how cultural landscapes might be supported and sustained. The lecture explores this inter-disciplinary subject through case studies of World Heritage cultural landscapes inscribed in the last decade. It also considers the significant challenges facing their conservation.

27 January 2014: ‘André-Charles Boulle as a collector of Old Master drawings’, by Mia Jackson, of Queen Mary, University of London, at 5.30pm, in the Lecture Theatre, The Wallace Collection.

André-Charles Boulle (1642—1732) was the most renowned ébéniste of his time, giving his name to the marquetry of turtle shell and brass that he brought to such perfection. He was also a voracious collector of works on paper and despite the success of his furniture, he died in debt. This is unsurprising, given that the great collector, Pierre-Jean Mariette, his near-contemporary, said of him: ‘there was never a sale of prints and drawings at which he was not present and buying, often without having the means to pay’.

This seminar will focus on the types of drawings that Boulle collected, the role drawings may have played in the production of his furniture and the importance of his collection in relation to those of his contemporaries and clientele. This will reveal a collection much more complex than the source délicieuse beloved of furniture scholars, that included not only the works of his fellow illustres in the Louvre, but also works by artists such as Raphael, van Dyck, the Carraccis and a much-regretted lost theoretical notebook by Rubens.

Admission is free and booking is not required; more information and details of future History of Collecting seminars can now be found on the Wallace Collection’s website.

1 February 2014: Bridge Chapels, an Ecclesiological Society Conference to be held at Queen’s College, London W1, chaired by Fellow Tim Tatton Brown, with papers from Fellow Bruce Watson on ‘Medieval bridge chapels: an introduction to their form’, David Harrison on ‘Religious buildings and institutions associated with medieval bridges’ and Peter McKeague on ‘A national survey of bridge chapels’. Further details can be found on the Ecclesiological Society’s website.

7 and 8 April 2014: ‘The politics and ethics of conservation, restoration and the design of new stained glass in historic buildings’, being the British Society of Master Glass Painters annual conference, to be held at Glaziers Hall, 9 Montague Close, London SE1 9DD.

The art, craft and conservation of stained glass should be inextricably linked. In the last decade these disciplines have become separated, particularly divorcing the artistic dimension of stained glass from its conservation and restoration. The content of this conference reflects the policy of the British Society of Master Glass Painters to resist this trend and to reinvigorate relationships between client, artist, artisan and conservator. Further information from the BSMGP website.

9 to 11 April 2014: The IfA 2014 Conference and Training Event: research in practice; booking is now open for the 2014 IfA Conference, to be held at the Marriott Hotel, 500 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8RR. For further information, see the IfA website. The conference includes three days of discussion sessions, training workshops and networking events. Delegates will explore how research is incorporated into current archaeological practice, how archaeological research informs communities, shapes policy and interacts with politics, as well as discussing how archaeologists contribute new knowledge to a wider understanding of the human past.

Professional Training in the Historic Environment 2014

Once again English Heritage has teamed up with the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education to present a wide-ranging programme of professional training courses for 2014. Altogether, eighteen different one-, two- and three-day courses are being put on between February and July, covering techniques (aerial photography, Lidar, stable isotope analysis of human and animal bone, analysing and recording historic buildings), public archaeology (social media in the historic environment, developing participation in community archaeology), planning and development control (environmental assessment and the cultural heritage, heritage values and the assessment of significance, the setting of heritage assets and places, giving evidence at public inquiries, marine development and the historic environment) and specific periods or fields of study (conserving and enhancing historic designed landscapes, investigating First World War archaeological and architectural legacies).

All courses will be held at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford. Full details of each course can be found on the OUDCE website.

The Jacobean Grand Tour

Written by Fellow Edward Chaney and Timothy Wilks, this book is concerned with the early history of the Grand Tour defined not just as ‘English aristocrats doing the Continent’ but specifically as an itinerary focused around antiquities, art and architecture, and their educational potential. The framework of the book is provided by the diary kept by William Cecil, Viscount Cranborne (later the 2nd earl of Salisbury), who set off in 1608 to travel in France and Italy. Youthfully naive that diary might be, but it contains important information about dates and routes that has enabled the authors to establish that Cranborne was accompanied by Inigo Jones (Jones’s own journey was previously known about but thought to have been unconnected), as well as John Finet and Matthew Lister.

The book traces the various ways in which the experiences of Jones and his three companions were later to influence English architecture, art and court culture, but what is of equal interest to Chaney and Wilks is the fact that the journey foreshadows ‘that most remarkable educational phenomenon of the post-Renaissance world: the Grand Tour’. Moreover, they were not the only English aristocrats travelling to broaden their minds: seven sons of the hugely wealthy Thomas Howard, earl of Suffolk, followed similar itineraries, though their diaries (if they kept any) have not survived. Their example played a significant part in establishing the respectability of what became the Grand Tour, and their cousin, Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel, was responsible for the tour’s specific association with art collecting.

What makes all this all the more fascinating is what the authors call ‘shifts in the perception of self’ that can be traced in travellers’ responses to the tour. One hundred years previously, pilgrimage was the dominant reason for travelling abroad, and this, in theory at least, is to do with penitence, subjugation of the self. By contrast, Jacobean travellers were seeking self-improvement, the cultivation of the self, the enlargement of the traveller’s mind and personality: faith and subjugation to larger will is here giving way to reason and it will lead to Romantic emotion and sensibility, the stimulation of the senses and the exercise of the imagination. This highly readable book is thus concerned not just with travel but with the transition from a medieval to a modern mentality.

The Jacobean Grand Tour: early Stuart travellers in Europe, by Edward Chaney and Timothy Wilks; ISBN 9781780767833; I B Taurus, 2014

Brooks’s 1764—2014: the story of a Whig club

Brooks’s today is a deliciously anachronistic establishment: real fires burn in the grates, the decor and the paint colours belong to another century and the library, with its portraits of members of the Dilettanti Society, is a haven of tranquillity. It wasn’t always thus, as Fellows Charles Sebag-Montefiore and Joe Mordaunt Crook make clear in this history of the club, produced for its 250th anniversary. Indeed, when the club was formed, it was notorious for the prodigious sums of money gambled of an evening, and (according to Horace Walpole, himself a founder member) for the ‘unrestrained conversation of the highest persons’, which ‘alarmed the Highest of all’ (the capitalisation here suggesting that George III himself was informed and aware of what went on up the road from his own palace of St James). Walpole goes on to say that on ‘opposite sides of the street, White’s and Brooks’s were the headquarters of the Court and Opposition Camps’.

Walpole probably counted himself as one of the ‘bright young men’ who frequented Brooks’s in its early days, setting the Town a-ringing with ‘their bons mots and bold invectives’, though the historian Philip Ziegler, in his essay in this volume on ‘Brooks’s and Whiggery’ pricks such pretensions by saying that Whiggish philosophy ‘as manifested by the group of young aristocrats who founded the club ... consisted of little more than a conviction that they, rather than the Hanoverian monarchs, were the proper people to govern Britain’. It was not until the ‘time of Lord Grey and the Reform Bill’ that Whiggery began to emerge from Brooks’s as a distinctive political cast of mind.

What would the founders think of today’s club? It is no longer political in any sense. Its members (quite a few Fellows among them) like to be thought liberal (small ‘l’), generous of mind, with a sense of social responsibility and a cultivated interest in the finer things of life. From Hugh Johnson’s chapter on the club’s wine cellar we learn that the finer things included new wines and exotic drinks: having examined the club’s cellar books, Johnson tells us that the members were the vanguard of favouring port over Canary sack (the tipple of choice of the previous generation) and wines from Poland, Italy and Greece (partly, one suspects, because of the high tax on French wines); and that they imported their champagne in barrels, decanted into bottles with string-tied corks to finish fermenting.

With chapters on food, on gambling (with extracts from the betting book), on Brooks’s architecture and decor, and a fully illustrated catalogue of the club’s art collection, this is not just a book for nostalgic club members, but one that opens a window into the fast and furious lives of the ruling classes of Georgian, Regency and early Victorian England.

Brooks’s 1764—2014: the story of a Whig club, edited by Charles Sebag-Montefiore and Joe Mordaunt Crook; ISBN 9781907372612; Paul Holberton Publishing, 2013

Medieval and Later Ivories in the Courtauld Gallery

Fellow John Lowden’s complete catalogue reveals the riches of a largely unknown aspect of the Courtauld Gallery’s collections: twenty-eight ivories bequeathed to the Courtauld in 1966 by Mark Gambier-Parry from the art collection formed by his grandfather, Thomas Gambier Parry (who died in 1888). Gambier Parry is best known for his richly painted Gothic Revival church interiors, including Ely Cathedral’s octagon, but he was also a collector with a perceptive eye, as this collection demonstrates. The objects range in date from c 1100 to c 1700 and they include secular objects carved with scenes from romance, a marriage casket, writing tablets and an ivory beaker adapted for use as a tankard as well as reliefs of the life of Christ and fragments of altarpieces, diptychs and triptychs. The book contains an introduction on the subject of ivory carving, on the radiocarbon dating of ivories, and a discussion of Parry as a collector and a reconstruction of the ivories dispersed from his collection before it came to the Courtauld.

Medieval and Later Ivories in The Courtauld Gallery: complete catalogue, by John Lowden; ISBN 9781907372605; Paul Holberton Publishing, 2013

Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes

Paul Holberton is rapidly becoming the publisher of choice for the fine and decorative arts; here is another fine example, edited by our Fellow Jeremy Warren with the assistance of Leda Cosentino, presenting the results of a symposium on Italian and French Renaissance and baroque bronzes held on 18 and 19 June 2010 in association with the exhibition held at the Wallace Collection in 2010 called Beauty and Power: Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Peter Marino Collection.

The papers reflect themes running through the Marino collection: the grip of the ancient world on the imaginations of artists and patrons from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century, the increasing internationalism of artists themselves and the discourse between artists within the developing nation states of Paris, Florence and Rome.

Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes: in and around the Peter Marino Collection, edited by Jeremy Warren and Leda Cosentino; ISBN 9780900785481; Paul Holberton Publishing, 2013

The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome

The cemeteries of expatriates have a special kind of poignancy that comes from the idea of dying far from home. The cemetery that is the subject of this book is no exception, a lovely romantic spot that rewards the visitor with its epitaphs — potted biographies of diplomats and dancers, sculptors and sailors, poets, historians and even an archaeologist or two — and the rich variety of tomb design and sculpture. For the author of this guide, our Fellow Nicholas Stanley-Price, researching and writing the cemetery’s history has been a labour of love, as has helping to manage the beautifully planted plot, leading guided tours and fending off threats to its very existence, including plans to build a new road across the oldest graves.

More details about the book can be found on the cemetery’s website, which is also packed with information on the history and origins of the cemetery, a burial database and maps to help you locate notable graves. It also has back issues of the Friends’ Newsletter, which Nicholas now edits, as well as visitor information and — should you pay a visit and decide that this is where you would like your ashes to lie for eternity — how to secure a spot for the interment of a cremation urn, for the cemetery remains an active burial-place as well as an integral part of the history of the Eternal City.

The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome: its history, its people and its survival for 300 years, by Nicholas Stanley-Price; ISBN 9788890916809; Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome, 2014

Lottery money for parks and cemeteries

On the subject of cemeteries, the Heritage Lottery Fund has just announced that the Grade-I registered Brompton Cemetery, in West London, is to be restored following an award of more than £3.7 million of Lottery funding. The burial place of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, John Keats’ muse, Fanny Brawne, and of Sir Henry Cole, first director of the South Kensington Museum, today’s V&A, is one of the first cemeteries to receive funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund’s Parks for People programme and is amongst fifteen historic parks across the UK to receive such grants in the latest round; for more on this, see the websites of the HLF and Brompton Cemetery.

Roman Yorkshire: people, culture and landscape

Fellow Patrick Ottaway’s new book is intended to be an introduction to the Roman period in the historic county (pre-1974 boundary changes) and it is based on the archaeology not only of York itself and such well-known sites as Catterick and Aldborough, but also of the rural hinterland, from which a vast amount of new evidence has emerged from development-led fieldwork since the early 1990s. These enable Patrick to write about the environment, settlement, agriculture, technology, the visual arts, religion and burials between the late Iron Age and the early fifth century, a story not only of the soldiers and emperors who usually figure so prominently in accounts of the Roman period but also of the lives of the ordinary citizens, ploughing their fields, tending their cattle and spinning their cloth as they had done for centuries past and would continue to do until the modern era.

Roman Yorkshire: people, culture and landscape, by Patrick Ottaway; ISBN 9781906259334; Blackthorn Press, 2013

The Parisi: Britons and Romans in eastern Yorkshire

On a similar theme, Fellow Peter Halkon has drawn upon the results of recent fieldwork (including his own excavation of one of Britain’s largest Iogboats and his research into the region’s prehistoric iron industry) to paint a picture of the people who occupied eastern Yorkshire during the Roman period. The ancient geographer Ptolemy tells us that they were known as the Parisi, with intriguing echoes of the name of the Parisii mentioned by Julius Caesar, after whom the French capital is named. The book examines the evidence for possible continental connections, but is mainly concerned with the region’s hundreds of settlements, and the insights they give into the lives of these people.

The Parisi: Britons and Romans in eastern Yorkshire, by Peter Halkon; ISBN 9780752448411; The History Press, 2013

The Iron Age on the Northumberland Coastal Plain

Moving up the coast a short way, Fellow Nick Hodgson along with Jonathan McKelvey and Warren Muncaster have summarised the results of recent development-funded excavations which they say have been especially fruitful for opening up new perspectives on the Iron Age in the area north of Newcastle upon Tyne. Excavating ahead of mining work, around Shotton, Blagdon Park and East and West Brunton, they have found evidence for large numbers of open settlements, of large, oft-replaced roundhouses, in the early to mid Iron Age, giving way to enclosed rectilinear settlements in a densely occupied and exploited landscape in the last two centuries BC.

Where once such enclosures might have been taken as signs of society under stress, making themselves secure against expected hostility, the often impressive arrays of inner and outer banks and ditches are here interpreted as expressions of status, power and wealth. The internal subdivisions are analysed for evidence as to their use: some inner enclosures seem to house separate families, some are for segregated functions, such as metalworking, grain storage or for herding cattle. Posthole evidence opens up the intriguing possibility that some of the massive circular houses of both periods might have had a suspended floor and a large upper chamber, with cattle accommodated below in winter.

These large earthwork enclosures are so numerous and closely spaced (occurring at intervals of 1km) that, in the words of the authors, ‘if they represent the upper stratum of society, this was obviously a numerous and widespread nobility’. Intriguingly, the lack of pottery or carbon dates after about AD 120 to 140 suggests the sudden cessation of farming in the region and the abandonment of settlements. The authors examine a number of reasons why this might be, and admit that archaeologists want to see continuity after the construction of Hadrian’s Wall; if so, sites occupied after the middle of the second century are impossible to see archaeologically, so they are either absent, or the building traditions and the lifestyle of the late Iron Age have gone and the lifestyle of the local people has become very much poorer. The possibility that the immediate Wall zone was deliberately cleared is one of a number of questions to be followed up in future research.

The Iron Age on the Northumberland Coastal Plain, by Nick Hodgson, Jonathan McKelvey and Warren Muncaster; ISBN 9780905974903; Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums Archaeological Monograph No 3, 2013

The Round Tower at Roscrea

Fellow George Cunningham is seeking pre-publication subscribers to a new book about Irish round towers, especially that at Roscrea. The 300-page book features a large number of full colour antiquarian illustrations, many never published before. For €50, you will be listed in the publication, receive a copy of the signed, numbered, limited hardback edition and an invitation to the launch; €30 buys the same but the paperback edition. The offer ends on 31 January 2014: further details from George Cunningham, who adds that most of his publications are new scarce collectors’ items, selling for many multiples of their original published price!

Of Sirens and Centaurs

Recently elected Fellow Alex Woodcock is an archaeologist with a PhD on medieval architectural sculpture who decided that the best way to learn more about medieval sculpture was to train as a stone carver, and he is now a stonemason at Exeter Cathedral. From this double perspective — academic and practical — he has written a highly informative book about the cathedral’s medieval architectural sculpture, in wood (misericords) and in stone (tombs, chantry chapel screens, roof bosses, corbels and capitals). He takes us right up close to carvings that are normally inaccessible, especially the cathedral’s colourful roof bosses, which we poor groundlings only see in the dim distance, even with binoculars.

The bosses have been repainted on a number of occasions, but original medieval polychromy survives in some places, and from these Alex is able to deduce from the direction of flow of the paint drips (upwards) that the bosses were primed on the ground before being lifted and fixed in place. Alex has some interesting and well-researched thoughts on the craftsmen of all kinds who worked on Exeter Cathedral during its main construction phase (1299 to 1342), their names, their status, how much they were paid, and the emergence of the sculptor ('ymaginator' or 'imager') as a specialist distinct from the stone mason ('cementarius' or 'lathomus').

But best of all are the photographs of such details as a maybug emerging from under a leaf, cats and rats, an elephant (a more naturalistic likeness than those in medieval bestiaries, raising the intriguing possibility that the carver had seen the elephant given to Henry II by Louis IX and kept in the Tower of London), mermaids, centaurs and leaping salmon, the murder of Thomas Becket and an orchestra of angels playing organ, trumpet, bagpipes and viol. Viewed up close, these normally distant swirls of colour and foliage surrounding vaguely discernible figures turn out to be crisply carved, vividly expressed works of sculpture that deserve to be called works of art.

Of Sirens and Centaurs: medieval sculpture at Exeter Cathedral, by Alex Woodcock; ISBN 9781907605437; Impress Books, 2013

Architectural History after Colvin

Our late Fellow Sir Howard Colvin (1919—2007) was one of the most important historians of the twentieth century. His major works — A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600—1840 and The History of the King’s Works — have transformed the study of architectural history in Britain (the publication of the first was greeted by Hugh Honour as ‘an event which calls for a triumphal arch’; the completion of the second, said Geoffrey Elton, was ‘an occasion which calls for trumpets’). That is why some of the UK’s leading architectural historians came together for a symposium in 2011 under the aegis of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) to assess Colvin’s legacy and achievements and to consider the future direction of the discipline.

All but one of the nine papers in the resulting volume was contributed by a Fellow (in order of appearance: William Whyte, John Harris, Frank Salmon, Anthony Geraghty, Andrew Saint, Alan Powers, Malcolm Airs, Simon Thurley, and Joe Mordaunt Crook). William Whyte’s introduction contains a good summary of the contents: praise for Colvin’s imaginative reconstruction of unbuilt projects, for his pioneering efforts in establishing The History of the King’s Works, for his unsung labours to secure the conservation of historic buildings, mixed with awareness of the negative aspects of his legacy: an unhealthy focus on the biographies of individual architects, a disappointingly narrow view (at times) of architectural history, little interest in modern architecture, little engagement with the concerns of practising architects, driving a wedge between practical architects and academic architectural historians.

The book thus contains not a paean of unmixed praise, but an interesting debate about the post-Colvin development of the discipline, its practices, concerns and methods; Colvin’s heroic labours are acknowledged and admired, while the reactions to his approach are shown to have been as important to the health of architectural history as those who have followed devotedly in his footsteps. Beyond that, there is much interesting discussion of the place of architectural history within the broader discipline of history (ditto about the place of archaeology within both), and about changing fashions in history (‘fact-finding' versus 'story-telling').

Fellow William Whyte ends his introduction with a rallying cry: ‘if it is to survive, architectural history needs to ... re-engage with the architectural profession ... persuade other historians that it has something to teach them ... [and] it needs a clarity about its subject matter and about the distinctiveness of its methodology that it currently lacks ... the great lesson of Colvin’s career is surely this: that it is indeed possible to reshape a subject.’

Architectural History after Colvin, edited by Malcolm Airs and William Whyte; ISBN 9781907730320; Shaun Tyas, 2013

Remembering C A Ralegh Radford and George Zarnecki

Two biographical memoirs of late Fellows have just been published in volume XII of the British Academy series, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows. Copies can be ordered from Oxford University Press, but they can also be consulted for free via the British Academy website.

Fellow Roberta Gilchrist’s paper on Courtney Arthur Ralegh Radford (1900—98) hails him as ‘one of the major figures of archaeology in the mid-twentieth century’ and says ‘his intellectual contribution to the discipline is rated by some as being comparable to giants such as Mortimer Wheeler, Christopher Hawkes and Gordon Childe. Radford is credited with helping to shape the field of medieval archaeology and in particular with inaugurating study of the “Early Christian” archaeology of western Britain.’

Fellow Paul Crossley says that George (Jerzy) Zarnecki (1915—2008) was ‘among the last of that generation of art historians forced to flee Nazi tyranny from 1933 and who found refuge in this country. He was also one of the most influential and distinguished of these so-called ‘Hitler Emigrés’ — those remarkable intellectuals and artists who stayed here after the war, and who brought with them their own distinctive Central European intellectual culture. It was as a scholar of Romanesque art and sculpture that George made his international reputation; and as deputy director of the University of London’s Courtauld Institute he presided over what some have called the golden age of the institute’s history, when its position as the premier centre for the study of art history in England went largely unchallenged.’

Constable at Petworth

Fellow Karen Hearne commends this exhibition at Petworth House, West Sussex (National Trust; but also the home of our Fellow Max Egremont), which is on until 14 March 2014. Curated by Andrew Loukes, it provides an opportunity to see forty watercolours and drawings made around Petworth by John Constable during his two visits to the house in 1834.

Constable’s host at Petworth, the third earl of Egremont, championed British art in a spirit that uniquely extended beyond purchases and commissions. Under his tenure, Petworth became an unofficial academy; British artists, including Turner and Constable, were welcomed as guests and invited to derive inspiration from Petworth’s natural surroundings and its magnificent art collection (including works by Titian, Ruisdael, Claude, Wilson, Gainsborough and Reynolds).

Constable’s first visit was a day trip made in July 1834, after which he wrote ‘I have thought of nothing since but that vast house and its contents’. He returned for a fortnight in September, and the third earl made a carriage available to him so he could explore the locality; the result is the group of views he made of landscapes around Petworth, including several sites of antiquarian interest, such as Chichester Cathedral, Cowdray House and Arundel Castle. These are now on show in Petworth’s newly refurbished gallery; visitors can also see three of the showrooms in Petworth House, hung with paintings that the artist enjoyed while a guest in the great mansion. Also open, by guided tour, is the Old Library — not normally accessible to visitors — where major artists such as Constable and Turner were able to socialise, study and work.


National Trust: Curatorial Director
Salary: £85,000; closing date 31 January 2014

The Curatorial Director provides strategic leadership in the presentation, interpretation, conservation and stewardship of the Trust’s built and outdoors properties, collections, artefacts and archives. Candidates should be at the forefront of curatorial and heritage management thinking and debate so as to oversee a proactive research programme in this area, developing links with research institutes and building on the Trust’s reputation for academic integrity, interpretation, accessibility and education.

For further information, see the National Trust’s website.

Church of England: two vacancies for Church Buildings Caseworkers
Salary £36,000; closing date 31 January 2014

This is an opportunity to work across the Church Buildings Division, supporting the Church of England’s 16,000 parish churches. One post will concentrate on advice on major faculty applications by churches in use and one on advising on closed and closing churches. You will produce reports on the archaeological, art historical, ecological and architectural significance of church buildings and the potential for adaptation, and provide advice and training for those responsible for church buildings at diocesan and parish level. There will be ample opportunity to work as part of the team to deliver faculty simplification, develop the national church database and work on Initiatives such as improving the visitor experience, funding and education. For more information please visit the Church of England website.

Chair and Trustees of the South West Heritage Trust
Closing dates respectively 3 and 28 February 2014

Somerset and Devon County Councils are seeking a chair and up to seven trustees to lead an important new charity. To be called the South West Heritage Trust, the new organisation will help to protect and celebrate the rich heritage of Somerset and Devon. The trust will deliver the heritage services currently provided by the two councils, with guaranteed funding of £10m over five years. Successful applicants will use their experience and passion for the heritage of Somerset and Devon to lead and shape the trust. Its role will include managing the Museum of Somerset in Taunton and Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury, curatorial care of more than three million museum objects ranging from Bronze Age gold to modern art, caring for and making available the written evidence of Somerset and Devon history from the eighth century to the present day, and protecting Somerset’s historic environment.

An open evening for potential candidates will be held on Monday 27 January 2014 at the Museum of Somerset. A briefing pack can be downloaded using this link.

English Heritage Historic Environment Placements: photographic traineeship
Stipend: £17,607 pa; closing date 3 February 2014

An eighteen-month professional work placement is available under the English Heritage Extended Historic Environment Placements scheme. It is designed for those with some experience of photography, but who have not yet had the opportunity to develop more specialist skills and competencies in photography in the historic environment. The placement is supervised by English Heritage and based in the head office in London with the majority of work being undertaken for the Survey of London. For further information see the English Heritage website.

National Trust: Architectural Panel members
Voluntary posts; closing date 12 February 2014

The National Trust is looking for new members to join the Architectural Panel with specific professional skills, in-depth knowledge of and experience in one of the following areas: an architect with experience in the conservation of historic buildings, the sensitive adaptation of historic buildings to new uses and / or the design of sustainable contemporary architecture; a landscape architect with experience of conserving historic landscapes and designing sensitive interventions within important landscapes.

For further information about the role and work of the Architectural Panel, please contact Dr Edward Diestelkamp, the Panel Secretary. To apply, please email a brief CV and covering letter to Becci Shanks, Panel Administrator.

Wells Cathedral: Cathedral Archaeologist
Closing date: 24 February 2014

Wells Cathedral is seeking a Cathedral Archaeologist to take up post as soon as possible. Responsibilities include: advising the Chapter on archaeological policy and offering advice upon the archaeological implications of any works recommended by the Cathedral Architect or the Clerk of the Works; following the guidelines produced by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) with regard to archaeological process — particularly providing the brief for any programme of archaeological work, including a statement of the aims and objectives of the work; and liaising with staff and external bodies as appropriate.

Applications are welcomed from those with a postgraduate degree in archaeology or a closely related discipline, and considerable proven experience in the study of and understanding of historic buildings, monuments and archaeological sites, in particular with regard to those aspects relating to church archaeology of churches.

The post is structured around the standard activities defined in the CFCE guidelines, including attendance at the Cathedral’s Fabric Advisory Committee meetings, for which a retainer will be paid. The level of retainer and rates for other activities will be agreed with the successful candidate.

For an application pack, see the Wells Cathedral website.

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Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 5pm) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 1pm).

We welcome papers based on new research on themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past.

You can view our current lecture programme in the News and Events section of our website.


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