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Salon: Issue 393
3 October 2017

Next issue: 17 October 2017 

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

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

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

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary


Photo of Richard Barber FSAFellow Richard Barber Urges Support for Kelmscott & Morris: Past, Present and Future

Richard Barber FSA writes:

'William Morris is outstanding among the Fellows of the Society for his wide range of interests, from ancient buildings and the founding of SPAB (of course) through his literary pursuits to his practical interests. The index to his biography lists under craft skills "brass rubbing, calligraphy, cooking, clay modelling, dyeing, illuminated ms, painting and drawing, paper making, stone carving, tapestry, textiles, wood carving and engraving". And of course there are the connections with the Pre-Raphaelites, as well as the haunting and haunted figure of Jane and the love triangle with Rossetti. Kelmscott Manor was the centre of his life for many years, and its stillness is a wonderful contrast with the energy he put into his many pursuits. Of his four houses, it is the one that is most evocative of him.

'As a very amateur letterpress printer, the Kelmscott books are a particular joy to me. He was certainly much more than ‘the idle singer of an empty day’ as he described himself in the prologue to The Earthly Paradise.

'It seems to me entirely appropriate to support the appeal when we have so many things to thank him for, particularly as it will hopefully put his achievements before the next generation, and encourage new enthusiasts for the house and what it represents.'

Conserving and developing the Manor is our shared inheritance and responsibility, and as Fellows, we can ensure its long-term security. Please support our appeal as a Benefactor (£5,000), or as a Companion (£500). You can make payments in monthly or annual installments. If you would like further information about how to support this project, please contact Head of Development Dominic Wallis at

Read more about our current appeal and how to support Kelmscott Manor here.

Palaeo2020 - Continuing the Conversation From Our 2016 Seminar

Following last year's Palaeo 2020 seminar at Burlington House, organised by Fellows Matthew Pope and Clive Gamble, we are delighted to announce an initiative emerging as a direct result from the meeting. Several speakers and attendees raised the issue of effective networking and how to seek advice or quick responses to emerging situations as one of the problems in the effective management of the Palaeolithic resource. Furthermore, there was seen to be a lack of standardisation or harmonisation in the way the early prehistoric records were being dealt with at a national level. In order to improve this situation and provide a framework for more effective information sharing, the conference organisers have established a Jiscmail group and are inviting heritage professionals from a wide range of sectors to join. The group is run entirely through email and, while simple and low tech, could form the basis for future initiatives to foster good practise and support research and public engagement. If joining this group sounds useful to you or your organisation, simply subscribe by emailing the words 'subscribe PALNETUK' to

Please note that this group is not and will not be run by the Society of Antiquaries of London; it has been set up by the organisers of the Palaeo2020 conference, Fellows Matthew Pope and Clive Gamble.

Read more about the group here.

News of The Antiquaries Journal

The forthcoming print volume (97) of The Antiquaries Journal will publish in November 2017. If you cannot wait until November, you can access the latest papers in FirstView via the Fellows’ Area of the Society’s website.

Phil Harding FSA was in Bury St Edmunds recently, giving a presentation on work at West Kennett Farm, near Avebury. To an enthusiastic audience, Phil spoke about the discovery of a massive, fan-shaped flint core found at the site and which he, with co-author John Lord, discusses in the latest paper to be published online by The Antiquaries Journal, ‘Thoughts on Massive Flint Cores from Wiltshire and East Anglia, the Movement of Flint and its Role in Late Neolithic Britain’. The paper considers the implications of this discovery at the site (where nodules of this type are absent) with others from East Anglia, linking them with the movement of flint across Britain, and concludes by discussing the role of these ‘mega-cores’ with current thinking on the function of stone in Neolithic Britain.

In Bury St Edmunds, the topic generated a lot of interest – so much so that Phil has since received an email from a colleague in East Anglia 'telling me of another large core of exactly the same type, of which I was unaware. That’s life I’m afraid, although it would have been nice to have included it. Sadly, it pushes West Kennett Farm into fourth place!'

Phil would also like to point out that the enclosures at West Kennett Farm were thought to be of Late Neolithic date when the paper was written. However, since then the enclosures have been re-dated to Middle Neolithic by Bayliss et al in The Neolithic of Europe: Papers in Honour of Alisdair Whittle, edited by P Bickle, V Cummings, D Hofmann and J Pollard (Oxbow 2017).

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

We hope to see Fellows back at Burlington House for our first autumn Ordinary Meeting on 5 October. Please note that the lectures for 5 October and 2 November as advertised in the recent Meeting and Events card (posted in July) have been switched! See details below.

Postgraduate Open Day: 20 October 2017

The Society has the largest antiquarian library in the country, with a collection spanning items from the 10th century to present day, reflecting 300 years of research and scholarship into the history and material remains of Great Britain and other countries.

Aimed at early-career researchers and students currently undertaking or about to begin postgraduate studies, participants will spend the day learning about our collections and resources that can help them with their research. They will hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their respective fields and have the opportunity to network with other early-career researchers and postgraduate students. The Library will be open late to encourage participants to spend time exploring our collections.

Please share this event with colleagues or students who may be interested. More information about the day, including how to register, can be found on our website ( Lunch provided! Free, but advanced registration is required.

Click here for a printable A4 flyer.


Visible Identities


Symbolic Codes From Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos
A Public Symposium by the Society of Antiquaries of London (6 November)

This conference will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. The opening address will be delivered by Dr Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada. In this 150th anniversary year of the nation’s confederation, Dr Boudreau will explore how Canada has integrated imperial, European, and native emblems to help establish its own visual symbolic identity. Dr Boudreau will also discuss the challenges facing the Canadian Heraldic Authority with regard to competing forms of symbolic identity in the 21st century. The formal part of the proceedings will end with a round-table discussion (including Elizabeth Roads, Snawdoun Herald at the Court of the Lord Lyon) on 'Branding or Blazon? Examining the Role of Heraldry in a Corporate World Dominated by Logos'.

There will be an opportunity to view a special display of the Society of Antiquaries of London’s rare heraldic manuscripts and to buy some of its heraldic publications. Lunch will be provided and the day will end with a wine reception.

More information, including booking, is available on our website:

Celebrating May Morris

On Saturday the William Morris Gallery opens what it calls a landmark exhibition about May Morris (1862–1938), the younger daughter of William Morris FSA and a strong presence in the Society’s current affairs. The show sets out to explore her life and work as one of the most significant artists of the British Arts and Crafts movement. The Society of Antiquaries has lent some key exhibits, including this 1871 pastel portrait of May by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (right).
May Morris, a significant embroiderer and silversmith, worked closely with her father, running the Morris and Co embroidery section. She was the first Honorary Secretary of the Women’s’ Guild of Arts and Crafts, and a founder signatory of the Socialist League Manifesto in 1885.
May Morris: Art & Life, says the William Morris Gallery, is the most comprehensive survey of her work to date, with over 80 pieces from collections around the UK, many never publicly displayed before. Works include wallpaper, embroidery, jewellery, dresses, book designs, sketches and watercolours, focusing in particular on May’s development of art embroidery and her influence on others. Among items displayed for the first time is a hand-painted Valentine card she made for George Bernard Shaw, recently found in an uncatalogued album in the British Library.
May Morris established the Society’s William and Jane Morris Fund for the repair of historic places of worship, and as a result of her will, the Society owns Kelmscott Manor, the Morris country home in Oxfordshire. This is the focus of a Heritage Lottery Fund-supported capital improvement project (see the 2013 Conservation Management Plan prepared by John Maddison FSA and Merlin Waterson FSA).
May left Kelmscott to Oxford University, which let it out from 1939. Her will stipulated that it should be a place of rest for artists and writers, and a memorial to her father, paid for by proceedings from the estate and tenants. The university couldn’t make economic sense of it, so issued a summons against the Society, which Morris had named as residuary legatee. The outcome, in 1962, was that the Society acquired the property without the restrictions. Nonetheless, had not Susan Minet FSA, niece of Joan Evans FSA, given the Society £350,000 (of which £40,000 was spent on repairs), the house would have been sold.
May Morris: Art & Life is at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London E17, from 7 October 2017 to 28 January 2018 (details online).

May Morris: Arts & Crafts Designer, by Anna Mason, Jan Marsh, Jenny Lister, Rowan Bain and Hanna Faurby is published by Thames and Hudson.
Kelmscott Manor is open until 28 October (details online). Entrance is free to Fellows.


Ukraine Threatens Russian Archaeologists

Heinrich Härke FSA has twice before commented in Salon on the Russian annexation of the Crimea, and problems it has created for archaeology and museums (in April 2014 and January 2017). As he now writes, in the confusing world of occupation in which the peninsula is administered as two Russian federal subjects (the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol), events have taken a chilling turn for archaeologists. And they are Russian, including eight from the Hermitage Museum, which has made significant loans to the British Museums’ current major exhibition, Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia. It started online, writes Härke:
‘A Ukrainian Facebook group, Arkheolog I Kompaniya, has, on 18 July 2017, posted a list which contains the names of 35 Russian archaeologists who have been doing archaeological work in the Crimea since the occupation. The list originates in the State Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (now operating in exile from mainland Ukraine), where it has been compiled with a view to start “criminal proceedings against citizens of the Russian Federation, who since 2014, in violation of international conventions and Ukrainian legislation on the protection of monuments, have conducted excavations on the territory of Ukraine.” The Prosecutor is considering to issue international arrest warrants for them, and to ask for sanctions against them.
‘The list is potential dynamite, because these are not the names of illicit treasure hunters: these are professionals and academics from reputable Russian institutions. Of the 35 archaeologists named, eight are from the Hermitage Museum (St Petersburg), two from the Lomonossov University (Moscow), nine from the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), and five from the Institute for the History of Material Culture (St. Petersburg) – the top addresses for archaeological research in the Russian Federation. The problem is that the excavations of their staff have been carried out on territory which, in Ukrainian law and in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of the international community, still belongs formally to Ukraine, and Ukrainian authorities have not issued permits for these excavations.
‘Whatever one’s own view on the legal status of the Crimea today, the Ukrainian initiative raises a number of tricky questions. If international arrest warrants are issued, would these colleagues no longer be able to attend conferences outside Russia? Should western institutions consider ceasing scholarly cooperation with their respective Russian institutions? And should I now drop the contribution of a listed colleague (and friend) from the book I am putting together at the moment?
‘At a personal level, I have some understanding for Russian archaeologists who want to top up their meagre salaries by taking on a rescue dig in the Crimea – and there is no bigger or better-paid rescue archaeology going on right now than at the building sites for the bridge across the Kerch Straits, a political and strategic high-priority project of the Putin government. But I also have Russian friends who, in spite of a monthly basic salary of $400 (which is not really enough to live on in Moscow) would never consider working on the Kerch Bridge sites, let alone in the occupied Crimea, even if they could triple their monthly income there.
‘A final thought. It was in German-occupied Ukraine that German and Dutch archaeologists carried out excavations at the Dniepr bend in 1943, looking for evidence of Goths, while some of their Ahnenerbe and Amt Rosenberg colleagues [at these Nazi archaeological organisations] plundered museums in the same region, including the Crimea. It is a worrying historical precedent – and one that Russian and Ukrainian colleagues are well aware of (or should be).’

Photo at top shows recent excavation at Kulchuk in the Crimea, by the Russian Academy of Sciences. A temple is said to have been found used by both Greeks and local Tavrsky tribes around 100 BC.

Tracking Antiquities

Lord Renfrew FSA says he believes the key to stopping the export trade in illicit antiquities is for museums to ‘agree not to buy and to not accept as gifts antiquities that have been exported illegally from their country of origin after 1970, the year set down by the UNESCO convention’ (Salon 392). Such co-operation is needed from private buyers, too, and especially perhaps the sellers.
On 20 September Wooley and Wallis held a Tribal Art and Antiquities sale in Salisbury. Among items shifted were those pictured above (left to right): a ‘Neolithic Vinca figure 5000–4000 BC … Provenance German collector, acquired in the 1990s’ (sold for £140); a ‘Teotihuacan mask, Mexico’, no provenance given (£600); and an ‘Egyptian faiance group of Isis and Horus Late Period, circa 664–332BC … and an Egyptian faience Shabti’, no provenance (£350). There is no reason to think any of these pieces are anything but legitimate, but prehistoric dates seem easier to obtain than the names and dates of modern collections.
In the same sale there was one piece that did have a quite specific provenance: the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol. It was described as ‘A Benin leopard, Nigeria, bronze … 48cm high, Exhibited Breaking the Chains, 2007, Bristol’. It had an estimate of £7,500–8,500 and went for a hammer price of £14,000 (left).
Wooley and Wallis had listed the same item at a sale in February 2016, with an estimate of £7,500. It was described then as a ‘replica’, and though not thus in 2017, the price obtained suggests that that was understood.
The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum (BECM) had a brief but complex history, opening in 2002 and closing six years later shortly before its Director was dismissed with allegations of unauthorised disposals. He denied accusations and was not charged, saying money raised went back into the museum and that the trustees had approved sales. Sir Neil Cossons FSA, Chairman of the Trustees, told the BBC at the time that the latter was not the case. Media investigations tracked down some pieces which were returned to their private owners or the museum, and the collection is now at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and at Bristol Archives.
Sue Giles, Senior Curator World Cultures at Bristol Museums and responsible for the BECM collection, tells me that around 100 to 150 pieces were sold. She has tracked a few, and knew of the Benin leopard, but there is no list. She is keen to hear from Fellows should they come across anything described as having come from the former museum, to help her build a record of the original collection.
Today – when issues of empire and materiality are much in the air, not least in Bristol – the Empire and Commonwealth collection is mostly in store. However, says Giles, intensive work on the collection is due to start soon, and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has just opened a display of photographs from Bristol Archives. Twenty seven people – including development workers, artists, photographers, historians and relatives of the photographers – have each chosen one from some 500,000 photos dating mostly from the 1880s to the 1960s. ‘Please note’, says the Museum, ‘that the exhibition may contain some challenging images.’
Empire Through the Lens is open until 31 August 2018, and in due course will be online as a digital exhibition.

Ready for Work

This photo – which comes with an equally evocative typed list of identifications – shows the team with which Walter Godfrey FSA set out 70 years ago to list buildings of architectural and historic interest after the Town and Country Planning Act was passed in January 1947. There are almost certainly others, but I can see three Fellows (Godfrey himself is not there): Peter Spencer Spokes FSA (Oxford, second row second from left), S J Garton FSA (HQ, centre of second seated row, with glasses), and John Harvey FSA (Leatherhead, third row second from right).
The photo and its key are reproduced by Deborah Mays, Head of Listing Advice, introducing Historic England’s third Heritage Online Debateon the built environment. The List today has some 400,000 entries, from windmills (710) and pigsties (514) to fairground rides (2) and rockets (1), and can be searched and read online. The Debate succeeds HE’s paper Conservation Bulletin. This one includes 10 articles about planning, urban heritage and buildings, and online comment is invited.
Photo reproduced by permission of Historic England, TEL01/01/001.


Westminster Hall

Scaffolding has been going up at Westminster Hall, where a major conservation and refurbishment project began in May (the photo above was tweeted by Leachs, a scaffolding safety supplier; the view below is by Coventry Scaffolding). The hall, a Grade I-listed building in the Westminster World Heritage Site, is to be treated to better lighting, internal conservation of the hammer-beam roof, improved fire safety and repairs to a lead-covered lantern at its southern end. The project is expected to be completed in early 2019.
Westminster Hall featured in the British Archaeological Association’s Westminster conference transactions (2015), edited by Warwick Rodwell FSA and Tim Tatton-Brown FSA. Roland Harris FSA and Daniel Miles FSA wrote about the original Romanesque hall and roof, and Julian Munby FSA described the hall’s late-14th century rebuilding. It was this work, conducted in the last year of Richard II’s reign, which bequeathed the present hall’s extraordinary roof, whose ‘double motif of arch and hammer-beam’, says Munby, ‘created an interior that must have been as astounding when it was first seen as it remains today.’
The roof carpentry was recorded by Frank Baines, senior architect at the Office of Works, early in the last century. Since then there have been various works and damages, and a huge growth of interest and new analytical techniques; dendrochronology, for example, has not been applied. There was a major structural study in the 1960s, but the roof, writes Munby, ‘still awaits a full re-examination at close quarters’, and its ‘mechanical function’ remains uncertain. The present project provides the long-anticipated chance to study the roof, to inform conservation and to enhance public understanding. That is not, however, happening. No one really seems to know why not.
The Times published a letter about the matter on 26 September, signed by Lord Renfrew FSA and Tim Loughton FSA, Co-Chairmen of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archaeology, John McNeil FSA, Secretary of the British Archaeological Association, Mike Heyworth FSA, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, and myself. ‘An investigation,’ they write, ‘would not only shed light on a host of matters, including the question of how the roof was originally constructed and assembled, but it is absolutely essential if repairs are to be undertaken properly without the attendant risk of damaging this invaluable structure.’ ‘It is a huge disappointment’, they add, ‘that Parliament has decided not to take advantage of the opportunity, which would have greatly enhanced public understanding of one of the world’s most famous buildings.’
In the same paper, Jack Malvern reported that ‘a parliamentary spokesman said that the experts would cause delays to building work that would lead to unnecessary expense. “A proposal was put forward to use the opportunity of scaffolding in Westminster Hall to undertake an archaeological survey of the roof and the supporting timbers. However, this proposal, which was outside the scope of the programme … was rejected as it would have required an additional £135,000 of public money outside of the project’s budget and delayed the wider work in the hall.” Archaeologists responded that a survey would take only a few days and need not cause any delay if they were allowed access to the scaffolding while builders were working on a different part of the project.’
Malvern quoted one of the experts, Julian Munby. Nobody knew whether the hammer beams or the gothic arch held up the roof, he said. “It’s the first time in 100 years that we have a chance to look at it. Some of it could be done quite rapidly, in a matter of days.”
More letters followed. The next day, Jacques Heyman FSA wrote that new examination ‘would be of great value, and would be quick and easy while the scaffold is in place.’ The day after, John Gillingham wrote that ‘As the most recent biographer of William II, I too find it incredible that archaeologists are not to be allowed to examine the roof of Westminster Hall… [It] is the most extraordinary secular building to survive from medieval England – the biggest hall built in Europe since Roman times, so wide (over 20 metres) that the question of how it was roofed has long baffled experts. It should not take long to discover whether or not bits of the original roof were re-used ... An opportunity like this comes along once in a century – if we’re lucky – and to spurn it on the patently unconvincing grounds of costs and delay is crazy.’
And finally, on the fourth day, Tatton-Brown wrote about the cost of an archaeological survey: ‘When I first suggested to the Parliamentary Estates Directorate, over two years ago, that a full archaeological record be made … two estimates were required. I found one: a skilled archaeological building recorder to record, in detail, each truss when the scaffolding was erected (£32,000). The other was for 2D drawings of each side of the 13 enormous trusses; reputable sources tell me this would cost £50,000. Why does the parliamentary spokesman quote the figure of £135,000?’ Why is the roof restoration, he concludes, ‘to be undertaken by a facilities management company, Mitie, without any archaeological oversight?’
I hoped Ian Ailles, Director General of the House of Commons, might be able to explain the quoted figure of £135,000. He was too busy, but External Communications at the House of Lords told me the £135,000 ‘includes £80,000 for the archaeologists, contractor supervision, 20% contingency and 20% VAT’. £80,000 broadly matches the figures estimated by Tatton-Brown. £22,500 (the VAT) is money that would be collected by a government department.
Nonetheless, many would consider the bill to be trivial (the lighting alone is said to be costing £1 million), and archaeological study of the roof an essential public responsibility. I’d be pleased to hear what Fellows feel about this, not least if they are in any way involved.
• The original letter to the Times concluded, ‘The story of archaeology in Parliament is a series of lost opportunities: from Wyatt’s destruction of the paintings of St Stephen’s chapel to the failure to undertake a proper excavation when the five-storey car park was constructed in New Palace Yard in the 1970s. The House of Commons recently modernised its management structure. It is a great pity that the attitude to archaeology has not changed. We urge Parliament to reverse this decision while there is still time.’
Public confidence in Parliament’s estate management will not have been raised by the knowledge, released late on a Friday ahead of a week whose political news will be dominated by the governing Conservative Party’s annual conference, that the estimated cost of repairs to the Elizabeth Tower has risen from £29m–45m to £61m. When work began earlier this year, Members of Parliament – including the Prime Minister – were less concerned about the cost, than the fact that Big Ben (the tower's famous clock bell) would be silent during the works. Even the revised estimate is a small fraction of the cost of disputed proposals for a Restoration and Renewal Project for the greater Westminster Palace. The original estimate was £3.5–4 billion. Politicians have yet to decide how to proceed.

Fellows (and Friends)

Philip Bennett FSA, archaeologist, died in September.
Robert Thompson FSA, librarian and numismatist, died in September.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains a further notice on the late Robert Hardy FSA.
The Guardian has published an obituary of Kate Hamlyn, writer, activist and chair of the Thanet branch of Stand Up to Ukip, and wife of Mark Samuel FSA. She died in July. ‘Though not a Fellow,’ says Samuel, ‘she was a driving force in my career, active editor and co-author in historical works and a Classics graduate (UCL 1979).’
The funeral of Stephen Croad FSA will be at Taunton Crematorium, at noon on Monday 9 October. Those intending to go are asked to tell for catering purposes for a reception afterwards.

Three distinguished Fellows have ben honoured by the British Academy. James Curl FSA (right), Professor at the School of Architecture and Design, University of Ulster, has received the Academy’s President’s Medal 2017 for his ‘contribution to the study of the history of architecture in Britain and Ireland’. John Gowlett FSA, ‘the leading UK archaeologist actively researching in the internationally competitive world of our earliest African origins’ and Professor of Archaeology and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Liverpool, was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. Eszter Bánffy FSA, Director of the Romano-Germanic Commission, German Archaeological Institute, was elected a Fellow of the British Academy for her work on ‘the archaeology, bioarchaeology and geoarchaeology of Neolithic Europe, research into historic landscapes and cultural heritage preservation.’

Peter Marsden FSA was admitted to the Freedom of the City of London in September, says Philippa Glanville FSA, who was a colleague at the Museum of London ‘many years ago, and I have always admired his energy and creativity’. ‘I conducted the ceremony’, writes Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court. ‘Peter read his declaration very well indeed. The Freedom today is largely symbolic, but it remains as a potent slice of London history as its origins date back to the 13th century. It was presented to Peter as a means of recognition for his long and distinguished association with the Museum of London Archaeology Service. He was nominated by Vivienne Littlechild CC, the Chairman of the City of London Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee and by Sara Pink, Head of Guildhall and City Business Library and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.’

Yorkshire West Riding: Sheffield and the South, by Ruth Harman FSA and Nikolaus Pevsner FSA, is the latest title from Yale in their updating of Pevsner’s Buildings of England series. ‘Major examples of every period of English architecture are represented,’ says the blurb, ‘from Selby Abbey to the palatial country house of the Earls Fitzwilliam at Wentworth Woodhouse, and from Halifax Town Hall to Sheffield’s Park Hill flats and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield.’  In a review in the Times (September 30), Marcus Binney FSA writes, ‘this volume describes one of the great architectural treasure grounds in Britain. While it is perceived as urban and industrial, the area contains much natural beauty, ranging from the Pennine moors, to deep-cut valleys and marshes beyond, abounding too in fast-flowing rivers great and small.’

A variety of Late Bronze Age items, including bronze armrings, ring money, pottery, worked bone and quantities of human remains, mostly of children, has been retrieved from the Sculptor’s Cave, Covesea in Moray; archaeologists have suggested, after analysing the remains, that human heads were displayed at the entrance. At the foot of a rugged coastal cliff, the cave has now been digitally recorded. Archaeologists at Bradford University have used laser scanning and structured-light scanning to build a 3D model, which will be used for research and museum displays; an animation of passages and Pictish wall engravings can be seen online. The model ‘ensures that we can preserve the cave and the carvings digitally for future generations to study’, said Ian Armit FSA in a statement. Rebecca Jones FSA, Head of Archaeology & World Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland, said, ‘It’s such a valuable resource as the cave can often be difficult to access.’

Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations, by Simon Jenkins FSA, is, says his publisher, ‘The perfect new gift, from the bestselling author of Britain's 1000 Best Churches’ and ‘the foremost expert on our national heritage’. In a book that is ‘Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout, this joyous exploration of our social history shows the station's role in the national imagination; champions the engineers, architects and rival companies that made them possible; and tells the story behind the triumphs and follies of these very British creations.’ Despite Gavin Stamp FSA’s feeling that ‘some of the railway history is dodgy’, in his review for the Evening Standard he writes that Jenkins is ‘the perfect person to [tell the story] because, in 1984, he founded the Railway Heritage Trust, which has done so much to cherish and restore the best examples of our railway architecture.’

David Attenborough FSA is gently promoting Blue Planet II, a new TV series to be broadcast by the BBC. He told the Guardian that when he first joined the BBC, ‘you had to be guarding against propaganda or guarding against grinding axes’. Now he feels more relaxed about expressing his views. ‘Thirty years ago people concerned with atmospheric pollution were voices crying in the wilderness,’ he told Unearthed. ‘We aren’t voices crying in the wilderness now.’ How do we stop climate change? It can only be done globally. ‘You have to work by and large with politicians, or through politicians, and it’s up to us all in a democratic society to do what we can to persuade our politicians to do something about the dangers which we see.’ ‘All we have to do’, he adds, ‘is go along declaring the facts as we see the facts and producing the evidence whenever we can. The trouble is that there are a lot of vested interests and a lot of people who it suits, economically, to deny it.’ He is also concerned about Brexit. ‘The decision to call a referendum for a Brexit was an abrogation of the principles of parliamentary democracy in my view, because we didn’t know the facts. We weren’t presented with the facts. I still don’t know the facts really!’
Billed as ‘the first full biography of Richard III in over fifty years by “one of our brightest young historians” (David Starkey FSA)', Richard III: Brother, Protector, King, by Chris Skidmore FSA, follows his book on the battle of Bosworth (2013), which was described by Leanda de Lisle in the Spectator as ‘the definitive account of the battle’. In the biography, says the blurb, Skidmore ‘strips back the legends that surround Richard's life and reign, and by returning to original manuscript evidence, he rediscovers the man as contemporaries saw him’. This is a traditional historian's book, with no reference to recent archaeological work on the battlefield and in Leicester. Ahead of his talk at BBC History Magazine's Winchester History Weekend on 8 October, Skidmore was asked by History Extra, ‘What job do you think you would be doing now if you weren’t a historian/author?’ ‘My history writing is now my hobby,’ he replied: ‘my real full time job is actually as Member of Parliament for Kingswood near Bristol, and as minister for the constitution in the Cabinet Office.’
Cormac Bourke FSA draws our attention to an early medieval iron hand-bell, which was stolen from the church at Fortingall, Perthshire, in early September. The bell is said to date from around AD 800 and to have belonged to St Adamnan, the biographer of St Columba, who came to the area from Iona as a missionary: taken at face value, for this to be possible Adamnan would have to have lived for over 150 years, but there seems little doubt that the bell has been associated with Fortingall for many centuries. It had been kept near the front of the church in a metal-fronted alcove. The door had been opened with something like a screwdriver, leaving no obvious damage. ‘The Fortingall bell is of significant local, regional and national importance,’ said David Strachan, Director of Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust. ‘Its loss is tragic, and while it has little financial value, in terms of our shared heritage, it is priceless.’
The roads close to Stonehenge have been in the news again. On 11 September Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced that, following a public consultation, it had been decided to adopt the principle of a dual-carriageway tunnel aligned near the existing A303; the proposed scheme brings the tunnel closer to that road. Historic England, the National Trust and English Heritage welcomed the news, saying they ‘remain committed to working with and constructively challenging Highways England to deliver a final design that protects and enhances the World Heritage Site.’ David Jacques FSA told the Radio 4 Today Programme that the project would compromise the ‘unutterably precious’ archaeology. Andy Rhind-Tutt, President, Salisbury and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, wrote in the Times that £1.6 billion was to be spent to ‘save less than eight minutes on a 100-mile journey’, and that the better solution was to route the A303 in a 20-mile diversion back. The next day Tom Holland, President, Stonehenge Alliance, told the Times that ‘Future generations will not forgive us for desecrating the most significant prehistoric landscape in Europe.’ Over the following few days the paper published a further five letters on the topic. The tunnel, said Peter Saunders FSA, ‘will not “destroy one of the world’s great landscapes”, as claimed by Andy Rhind-Tutt, but enhance, protect and reunite it to the benefit of archaeology, biodiversity and public enjoyment.’

Lavinia Porter, the Society’s Publications Manager and Editor of the Antiquaries Journal, has news of a book by Alasdair Hawkyard FSA, The House of Commons 1509–1558: Personnel, Procedure, Precedent and Change. In this, she writes, the author presents ‘a ground-breaking study of the English House of Commons in the mid-Tudor period, using new scholarship, archival research and never-before-published images to aid understanding. Chapters deal with all aspects of the institution, including elections and electoral practices, membership, organization, the House in session, and legislation. Turbulent though it was frequently, with outbursts that sometimes brought business to a standstill, the Tudor House of Commons emerges as a major element in 16th-century government, a dynamic body evaluating and addressing issues as they arose, with a capacity to adapt and change whenever necessary.’

The Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, has announced an exhibition dedicated to the 20th-centruy English artist Edward Bawden, to run between May and September 2018. ‘This will be an ideal summer show here in the idyllic setting of Dulwich Picture Gallery,’ said Jennifer Scott FSA, Sackler Director of the gallery. ‘Following in the footsteps of our spectacular Eric Ravilious exhibition in 2015, visitors can expect to be transported through Bawden’s extraordinary works to a characterful world full of humour and innovation.’ An extensive full-colour catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Nicholas Orme FSA has written The History of England’s Cathedrals. His story begins in Roman times (the first map shows cathedrals up to AD 800), and ends with the 20th century. ‘The Cathedrals of England are institutions older than the realm itself,’ writes Diarmaid MacCulloch FSA in the blurb, ‘and are perhaps more cherished and flourishing now than they have ever been, as this richly enjoyable volume makes clear. There can be no-one better qualified than Nicholas Orme to present the full range of their long history.’ The book, continues the publisher, provides the first rounded account of the whole of their 1700 years, explaining the layout of their buildings, the people who ran them, their worship and music, their links with learning and education, and their outreach to society. It relates their history to the history of England and shows how they adapted to change and weathered disasters.

Jonathan Musgrave FSA has donated 15 fragments of a 13th-century manuscript to the University of Bristol Library’s Special Collections. The pieces have quite a story, as the delighted university explains. Musgrave’s sister gave him one as a birthday present in February 2013. Intrigued, Musgrave went to the source, Steven Harmer, an antique dealer in Eye, Suffolk, where he discovered there had originally been eight matching leaves in a coffer bought in the Midlands; all had been sold. He managed to track down all but one of the leaves, which had been torn or cut from a larger sheet. Teresa Webber FSA, Reader in Palaeography at the University of Cambridge, identified them as having come from Book I of an abbreviated copy of Gratian's Decretum, a canon law text compiled in the mid-12th century: an English or French 13th-century manuscript had been dismembered and used in a bookbinding. In 2014 the coffer’s original owner offered the dealer eight more leaves, which Musgrave also acquired.
In September Dan Hicks FSA was presented with the Royal Anthropological Institute’s 2017 Rivers Medal. It was founded in 1923 in memory of William Halse Rivers, and is awarded annually to mark a recent body of work making a significant contribution to social, physical or cultural anthropology or archaeology. Hicks, who is Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Associate Professor in the Archaeology of the Modern Period, and is currently on secondment as the Junior Proctor of the University of Oxford, received the medal in recognition of his ‘wide contributions across the fields of archaeology and anthropology’. The medal recognises ‘the continued validity of understanding Archaeology and Anthropology as mutual enterprises,’ said Hicks in a statement. ‘The ongoing task of refreshing and re-imagining the cognate nature of our two disciplines is reflected in this intellectual tradition. This task is what lies at the heart both of my own research, and also of how we teach Arch and Anth as a joint degree at Oxford.’

Architecture That Speaks: S C P Vosper and Ten Remarkable Buildings at Texas A&M, by Nancy T McCoy and David G Woodcock FSA, was published in September. The book describes the building of the Land Grant University that opened in 1876, and the design of ten Depression Era buildings created between 1929 and 1934. Vosper was a Beaux Arts-trained architect from New York, who developed an exuberant and occasionally witty approach through his work on theatre design. The buildings for what was then called the A&M College of Texas, reflect the college's agricultural and mechanical background, and specifically draw on the functions of the individual buildings. Vosper’s exterior use of tile, stone and ornamental metals, and faux finishes on the interiors continue to inspire to this day. The book is lavishly illustrated, says the blurb, by colour photographs by Carolyn Brown, an architectural and art photographer from Dallas, Texas. ‘Texas A&M University’, writes Woodcock, ‘is now a Tier One Research institution with over 60,000 students, a far cry from Vosper’s time when it had 2,000 enrolled, but the “ten remarkable buildings” are still in use and much admired.’

A collection of essays by Adrian Leak FSA, Nebuchadnezzar’s Marmalade Pot, and Other Reflections, is drawn from his time as a country parson. ‘Brilliantly observed,’ says Roger Lockyer FSA in the blurb, ‘his reflections will appeal not only to Anglicans, including lapsed ones, but also to the large number of people who, while they have not been blessed with the gift of faith, care deeply for the Church of England.’ As a parish priest Leak wrote many monthly ‘letters’ for the Withyham and Blackham Parish Magazine, inspired by the wide and colourful experience of life as a country parson. The book consists mostly of edited versions of those letters, as well as a few adapted sermons.

Fellows Remembered

Philip Bennett FSA died on 11 September aged 60. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in February 2006, listing his interests as ‘prehistoric Britain and prehistoric woodland management’. Until he was made redundant in 2016, he had been Culture and Heritage Manager at the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, where he was actively involved with the area’s archaeology and community for many years.
Phil Bennett was archaeological manager of Castell Henllys Iron Age hillfort, a unique project where several round houses have been reconstructed in wood, thatch and mud in the footprints of excavated prehistoric structures. As he explained to Phil Harding FSA in a Time Team Special in 2008 (Swords, Skulls, and Strongholds), they are the longest-standing experimental Iron Age house in Britain, originating in the early 1980s. He presented a film about Castell Henllys, A Celtic Fort In The Iron Age, issued as a DVD (2009). The hillfort was also the setting for the BBC’s Surviving the Iron Age (2001), a seven-part series in which ‘volunteers attempted to live for seven weeks as their Iron Age ancestors did over 2,000 years ago in authentic roundhouses’. The reconstructed houses, he told the BBC, ‘are very efficient buildings, and are capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions when more modern buildings nearby suffer structural damage.’
After school in Norwich, Bennett studied Welsh language, Ancient History and Archaeology at Cardiff University (1987–91).


Robert Thompson FSA died in late September aged 71. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1997. Librarian to both the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society, he was presented with the latter’s Sanford Saltus Medal in 1999. He had been elected to the society as a junior member, and had written his first numismatic texts as a schoolboy, when, he said at the presentation, he had ‘badgered’ the Keeper of Archaeology at the National Museum of Wales, Hubert Savory FSA on the subject. He found George Boon FSA, who arrived as Assistant Keeper of Archaeology in 1957, more sympathetic.
Peter Clayton FSA writes:
‘Our Fellow Robert Thompson was recently found dead in his home. Robert was a Chartered Librarian who spent most of his professional working life with Hackney Borough Council, retiring as Reference Librarian. He was an eminent numismatist, a member of the British Numismatic Society, especially noted for his expertise and research on 17th-century British tradesman’s tokens and a prolific author of papers on the series and the issuers’ backgrounds. He was the author (with M J Dickinson) of the eight-volume catalogue of The Norweb Collection: Tokens of the British Isles 1575–1750 (Sylloge of the Coins of the British Isles, Spink 1984–2011). This was the largest private collection of British 17th-century tokens and, as the collection was dispersed after the publication of each volume, the British Museum was gifted many examples to augment the national collection. Robert left a number of research projects he was working on, notably on David Ramage, responsible for producing the dies for many of the 17th-century tokens.’

Andy Brown and Paul Stamper FSA would like to add ‘a short addendum’ to Salon’s appreciations of Robert Hardy FSA, who died in August:
‘In 1994, prompted in part by the construction of the A14 across the Naseby battlefield, English Heritage set up its Register of Historic Battlefields to give a measure of protection to England’s principal battlefields. Support and advice came from a panel of expert supporters, among whom, from the outset, was Robert Hardy. He was urbane, charming, enthusiastic and genuinely an expert: Andy remembers him in memorably fine form when the panel visited the battlefield of Homildon Hill on the border with Scotland, where the English longbow had featured largely. He served on the panel for almost 20 years; quite exceptional, and selfless, service.’


The following lists obituaries of Fellows published in recent journals. I would be pleased to hear of such references for inclusion in future Salons.
Christopher Brooke FSA: Northamptonshire Past and Present 69 (2016), 89–91.
Ronald Brunskill FSA: Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society 16 (2016), 1–4.
Sarnia Butcher FSA: Cornish Archaeology 54 (2015), 283–88.
Rosamond Hanworth FSA: Surrey Archaeological Collections 99 (2016), 299–301.
Ivor Noel Hume FSA: Transactions of the English Ceramic Circle 27 (2016), 213–14, and London Archaeologist 15.1 (2017), 8–9.
Gerard Leighton FSA: Somerset Archaeology and Natural History 159 (2016), 313–14.
Ken Neale FSA: Transactions of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History 6 (2015), 2–4.
Charles Thomas FSA: Cornish Archaeology 54 (2015), 261–81.
Randolph Vigne FSA: Huguenot Society Journal 30 (2016), 592–94.
Geoff Wanwright FSA: Wiltshire Studies 110 (2017), vii–viii.
Archaeology International 19 (2016), 12–17, features short notices on Beatrice de Cardi FSA, Juliet Clutton-Brock FSA, Sheppard Frere FSA, Nancy Sandars FSA and Charles Thomas FSA.

Fellows’ Memorials and Bookplates

Martyn Webster has written about Edward Knocker FSA (1804–84) in the September 2017 edition of the Journal of the Kent Family History Society, vol 4. Edward was the first in a succession of three Knockers who held the office of hereditary Town Clerks in Dover between 1860 and 1935. He married, and was widowed, three times in his lifetime. At the time of his election to Town Clerk, as well as being a local solicitor, he was Clerk of the Paving Commission, Clerk of the Local Health Board, Register and Clerk of Dover Castle, Seneschal of the Grand Court of Shepway (Cinque Ports), Registrar of St James’ Burial Board, Clerk of the Commissioners of Property and Income Tax, and Treasurer of Dover Hospital, the Church Missionary Society and the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society. He was elected Mayor in 1870–71, in which capacity he attended the opening of the Royal Albert Hall by Queen Victoria.
Edward Knocker is buried in Torquay cemetery, Devon. The inscription records his death at Torquay on Christmas Day 1884, aged 80 years. His name also appears on the memorial of his son, Sir Edward Wollaston Nadir Knocker, at St James’ Cemetery, Dover. Both inscriptions record his Fellowship of the Society, to which he was elected in 1874, having deposited his printed works on Dover to the library where they can still be seen. It was said that whenever anything was discovered of historic interest in any excavations in Dover, Knocker was the first to investigate, and subsequently to place his observations on record.

Leslie Smith FSA writes about a window (detail above) in St Margaret's Church, Bethersden, Kent, which commemorates Canon Nicholas Hugh MacMichael FSA (1933–85). It was installed in 1989 and made by John Corley of Deal, Kent. MacMichael had been Keeper of Muniments at Westminster Abbey since 1967. ‘I don't know about the heraldry’, says Smith, ‘apart of course from those of Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral (for his father).’ Can any Fellow help?


David Breeze FSA sends pictures of three signs – a bookplate, a gravestone and a commemorative plaque – of John Collingwood Bruce FSA (1805–1892), a nonconformist minister and school master remembered today for his researches on Hadrian’s Wall, and particularly his Handbook to the Roman Wall, which remains the primary academic guide to the monument.
Recent research by Adrian Allan, archivist of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeology Society, has brought to light Bruce’s bookplate. The design, writes Breeze, ‘is attributed to William Collard of Newcastle upon Tyne (information from Rosemary Gall). Bruce was elected a Fellow of the Society in 1852, and shortly afterwards attended its Centenary Dinner. The first edition of The Roman Wall had been published the year before his election; he went on to produce two further editions and the first three editions of the Handbook to the Roman Wall, now in its 14th edition. Bruce was buried in Jesmond Old Cemetery in Newcastle (photograph David Sherlock).'

The plaque (above right) is in the Haymarket, Newcastle, marking the site of Bruce's school, the Percy Street Academy (photo Grace McCrombie).

Continuing the wall theme is David Breeze’s own bookplate (left), designed by Peter Connolly and commissioned by his wife as a present about 40 years ago.


The Wisdom of Fellows

In the last Salon, we showed a watercolour of a church which Patrick Ottaway FSA hoped Fellows might be able to identity (right). The painting, says Bruce Bailey FSA, 'has striking similarity with St Matthews Church, Northampton, designed by the Northampton architect Matthew Holding, who trained for a period with J L Pearson. The only major difference is that the spire is not over the south porch but at the opposite, ie north-west corner.’ ‘Matthew Holding’ he adds, ‘was a competent water colourist, so it could be an early scheme.’

Mea Culpa. In the last Salon I noted a German book containing a chapter on the late Beatrice de Cardi FSA. I gave the wrong title: it should have been 100 Jahre Leben: Welche Werte Wirklich Zählen, by Kerstin Schweighöfer (Hoffmann and Campe 2015). Two books were apparently published in Germany in the same year featuring interviews with centenarians.

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Our programme of Ordinary Meetings will resume in October.

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

5 October: Ordinary Meetings of Fellows resume! 'Hidden Treasures at Rochester Cathedral', by Graham Keevill.(There has been a change to the autumn meeting programme since we posted copies to Fellows. Graham Keevill will now give his lecture on 5 October, and Roger Bowdler FSA will give his lecture on 2 November).

12 October: 'Hidden Mental Origins of Material Gothic', by John B Onians FSA.

19 October: 'Archaeoacoustics and Postpalaeolithic Art', by Margarita Díaz-Andreu FSA and Tommaso Mattioli.

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


6 November: Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos
This conference will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. Tickets are £15 each.

Introductory Tours for Fellows

Not just for newly-elected Fellows! If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's professional staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House. Coffee is served at 10.45; tours begin at 11.00. 

26 October: Tours are free, but booking is required.
1 February: Tours are free, but booking is required.
19 April: Tours are free, but booking is required.
28 June: Tours are free, but booking is required.

Forthcoming Public Events

Public Lectures

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

17 October: 'A Battlefield of Books: the Cairo Genizah Collection,' by Ben Outhwaite FSA

28 November: 'Will Van Gogh's Sunflowers Ever Wilt?', by Ashok Roy FSA.

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

The Big Draw at Kelmscott Manor

25 October: Join us for a day of family fun at Kelmscott Manor, as we will participate in the Big Draw, the world's biggest drawing festival! Activities appropriate for ages 3 to 103 (included in the price of admission to the Manor). Find out more about visiting and what's on at


Until 28 October: 'Mary Lobb – From Cornwall to Kelmscott: A Life Revealed', a free exhibition (admission is included in entry ticket for the Manor) in partnership with the National Library of Wales and supported by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.Visit the Manor every Wednesday and Saturday through the end of October.


Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

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

Welsh Fellows

22 October: Weekend Meeting in Criccieth. Save the date; details will be distributed soon!

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

York Fellows

30 November: the Society of Antiquaries of London will hold a meeting for York Fellows with a lecture by Dr Hannah Russ, 'Understanding Life in the Roman Town'. Save the date; more information on the Society's website at

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

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

5 October: Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (London)
A talk at Lambeth Palace Library by Lyndal Roper (University of Oxford) will be accompanied by a small exhibition of material relating to Martin Luther and the Reformation, and will be followed by a drinks reception. A joint event with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. All are welcome, but please register with not later than 29 September.

6–7 October: The Peterhouse Chapel Conference (Cambridge)
A conference on the history of the Laudian Chapel at Peterhouse, and its future. There will be sessions on the history of the Chapel, its decoration and furnishings, as well as on the windows, the organ and the importance of sacred music in the Chapel’s history. There will also be a talk on the Peterhouse Part Books, and Blue Heron, the New England choir that has specialised in bringing the Part Books to public attention, will be performing some of the music in Trinity Chapel on the Saturday night. The aim of the conference is to examine the practicalities and the philosophical underpinnings of any future restoration project. Booking required, details online.
7 October: Finding the Past: Twenty Years of EMC (Cambridge)
Since 1997 the Fitzwilliam Museum has hosted the online Corpus of Early Medieval Coin Finds (EMC), which has recorded nearly 12,000 finds of coins dated between AD 410 and 1180. This conference at the Fitzwilliam will explore discoveries that have been made using EMC, and prospects for future work on coin finds. Speakers include Martin Allen FSA and William MacKay FSA. Details online or contact Richard Kelleher at
7 October: Buckfast Abbey - History, Art and Architecture (Buckfast)
Buckfast Abbey celebrates its millennium in 2018. This conference, chaired by Peter Beacham FSA, marks the launch of a book he has edited about the abbey’s history. Eight speakers, including Marian Campbell FSA, Bridget Cherry FSA, Roderick O’Donnell FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA and David Robinson FSA, will review the abbey's history ahead of tours of the abbey and its buildings, after which Delegates will be welcome to attend Vespers. Details online.
7 October: Recent Discoveries in Lincolnshire Archaeology (Lincoln)
A day conference organised by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. Speakers will include Stuart Harrison FSA on Lincoln monasteries, and Mark Knight on the Bronze Age Village at Must Farm, Cambridgeshire. Contact 01522 521337 or
7 October: Ledgerstones: A Workshop (York)
Discover how to record valuable archives in our churches in a workshop in St Martin-cum-Gregory run by the Ledgerstone Survey of England and Wales. Speakers include Julian Litten FSA, Chair of the LSEW, and the day features a tour of the church and demonstrations of recording and uploading data onto the web. Email Jane Hedley for details at
8 October (provisional): Concert in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace Library (London)
Pre-Reformation polyphonic music from the Peterhouse partbooks (originally intended for use at Canterbury Cathedral), performed by Blue Heron. Details and ticket price to be confirmed, see the Library website and Please register your interest with

14 October: 2017 Archaeology Conference (York)
The 2017 Archaeology Conference will feature a miscellany of reports on recent archaeological work in York and its region. The topics reflect a continuing, vigorous and wide-ranging scope of archaeological research in which new and important discoveries are being made all the time on almost every period of the past. This year's agenda includes representatives from local archaeological contractors, York University, York Museums Trust, a community group and the City Archaeologist John Oxley FSA. Details online.
16 October: Just a Certificate on the Wall? UNESCO World Heritage Status and the Battle for the City (London)
This year's SAVE lecture will be given at the Courtauld Institute of Art by Oliver Wainwright, architecture and design critic at the Guardian. How can we balance World Heritage Site protection with the demands of a living, breathing city – or are the two hopelessly incompatible? Is World Heritage status an essential brake on steroidal development, or is it, in the words of the mayor of Liverpool, 'just a certificate on the wall’? Is UNESCO listing fit for purpose, or is it an outmoded hangover from another age? Details online.
19 October: Strawberry Hill, Collectors and the Country House Library (London)
To celebrate the arrival on loan of the contents of the library of Aske Hall, Yorkshire, which has enabled the Trustees of Strawberry Hill to fill the shelves of Horace Walpole’s library, Stephen Clarke FSA has helped to arrange a conference on the Country House library, with particular reference to Strawberry Hill and the libraries of art collectors. Speakers will include Megan Aldrich FSA, Stephen Lloyd FSA, Giles Mandelbrote FSA, David Pearson FSA, and Mark Purcell FSA, and will cover the collections at Knowsley, Osterley and Blickling, other Gothic libraries (particularly Stowe), bookbinding history, and Walpole’s own library, with Mark Purcell, whose book on the Country House library is forthcoming, delivering the keynote paper. Details online or email Claire Leighton at
19 October: Clarendon, Salisbury and Medieval Floor Tiles in Wessex (Salisbury)
Christopher Norton will present the Annual Clarendon Lecture in Sarum College, Salisbury Cathedral Close. Norton's research centres on seventh–16th-century French and English art and architecture. He is the foremost expert on the Wessex decorated floor tile industry, which commenced in the mid 13th century and whose traditions spread to the West Midlands, Wales and beyond by the early 1300s. The Wessex Industry’s distinguishing characteristics can be traced directly to a pavement made for Henry III’s queen, Eleanor of Provence, at Clarendon Palace 1250–52. Details online.

20–21 October: New Research on Finds from South and South-Western Roman Britain (Salisbury)
The Roman Finds Group is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special conference at the Salisbury Museum, with five sessions (one of which is dedicated to brooches, in memory of the late Sarnia Butcher FSA) and 20 speakers. The price includes a special 30th Anniversary reception in Sarum College, museum entrance, and a private viewing of the Wessex galleries and Terry Pratchett: HisWorld. There is an optional pre-conference guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral. Details online, or contact Stephen Greep ( or Jörn Schuster (
21 October: From the Cotswolds to the Chilterns: The Historic Landscapes of Oxfordshire (Oxford)
A joint conference hosted by the Society for Landscape Studies and the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Speakers include Helena Hamerow FSA, David Clark FSA and Trevor Rowley FSA. For details email Brian Rich:
21 October: The Long Sunset: the Country House c 1840–1940 (Lewes)
Sue Berry FSA introduces this conference on the theme of how the country house and its setting changed in design and function between 1840 and 1939, comparing the grand houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with their formal gardens and large staff, with the more intimate houses and gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent developments. Speakers include Michael Hall FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA. Visits related to the conference are planned throughout 2017. See online for details.

28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
31 October: Pitt Rivers: Pioneer (Bournemouth)
The first Annual Pitt River Lecture will be given by Richard Bradley FSA in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University at 7 pm. Pitt Rivers, widely known as ‘The General’, was a distinguished British soldier, anthropologist and archaeologist who is often considered to be the ‘father of scientific archaeology’. The lecture launches the celebration of 50 years of archaeological and anthropological teaching and research at Bournemouth University and its predecessor intuitions, and has been organised by staff and students connected to the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology. Details online.
2 November: Remote Sensing and Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture by Robert Bewley FSA in the British Museum. The Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project is discovering, documenting and assessing threats to archaeological sites using satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The paper will present the approach, results and future strategies for the project. Details online.
17–19 November: Arras 200 – Celebrating the Iron Age (York)
This year’s Royal Archaeological Institute conference is in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Museum. The conference will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first excavations on the Middle Iron Age cemetery at Arras in East Yorkshire, and will coincide with a special exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum displaying artefacts from those excavations. Twelve speakers will discuss recent excavations and other current research. There will be an optional field visit to the site of the Arras cemetery and Hull and East Riding Museum, which holds finds from other important Middle Iron Age ‘square barrow’ cemeteries. Details online.
6 December: House, Shop and Wardrobe in London’s Merchant Community (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Merchants, Money and Megalomania, he will unearth the lost mercantile buildings of medieval London and show how influential they were. Details online.
7 December: The Sunbeam Struck the Roof – a journey of Discovery in Jerusalem (London)
Archie Walls FSA will give the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Evans Memorial Lecture at the British Museum. During a night-time visit to the Haram, by chance he turned west towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the sun rose over the Mount of Olives. Sunbeams struck the roof of the Rotunda of the Church, and illuminated the tops of two nearby minarets. As Architect to the British School of Archaeology (1968–75) and in his spare time architect to the Armenians in the Church, Walls knew these buildings well, but this was a surprise. The lecture will present the case for a conscious relationship made in stone between the three monuments, and will draw an unconventional conclusion as to how it should be interpreted. Details online.

17 January 2018: London Merchants and Their Residences (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. This is the second of two lectures with the theme Merchants, Money and Megalomania. Details online.

20 January 2018: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The eighth conference in its series, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, takes place at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Speakers include Paul Holden FSA (the Lanhydrock Atlas 1696), Pete Smith FSA (the English Country House and the Civil War) and Adam White FSA (the Banqueting House and Grotto at Skipton Castle). Details online.
19 February 2018: The Forests of Essex (London)
This day conference at Gilwell Park, held in memory of Oliver Rackham FSA, will explore the cultural and natural heritage of the forests of Essex, and issues of the understanding, management and future of trees, woods and forests in the county. The conference will include a keynote session by Tom Williamson and contributions from Charles Watkins FSA. Details online.
7 March 2018: St James’s and the Birth of the West End (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks into the ingredients that went into making a court quarter there and the way it formed a blueprint for the new West End of London. Details online.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.

18 April 2018: The Birth of Modern Theatreland: Covent Garden and the Two Theatres Royal (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the second of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks at the significance and impact of theatres on the development of London. Details online.

28 April 2018: Ancient to Modern: The Changing Landscape of Sussex (Lewes)
A day conference offering a broad overview of the changing relationship between the Sussex landscape and the people who lived there, from the earliest arrivals. The emphasis will be on how new ideas resulted in significant changes in the use of the Sussex landscape. Speakers, specialists in their periods, include Sue Berry FSA, John Manley FSA, David Martin FSA and Matt Pope FSA. Details online.

Call for Papers

7–8 February 2018: Celebrating Ten Years of New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach (Aberystwyth)
Organised by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Digital Past is a two-day conference which showcases innovative digital technologies for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of heritage sites and artefacts. As this year marks Digital Past’s 10th anniversary, we will reflect on the exciting developments over ten years of digital heritage, the lessons learnt, and the opportunities and challenges for the sector in the decade ahead. We are seeking submissions from those working on innovative projects in research or operational capacity, who may contribute made through formal presentations or workshops, or more informally through the ‘unconference’ session or a show stand, in Welsh, English, or bilingually. Details online.


The Friends of Friendless Churches seek a full-time Director to further develop the charity. Deadline for applications 11.59pm 10 October.
The charity currently owns 50 churches open to visitors and encourages use by their local community, and trustees wish to increase the number of churches that the Friends save. This is a rare and exciting opportunity for an accomplished professional who can balance a strategic role with managing a widespread portfolio of buildings. Sound leadership, management, and fundraising skills are essential. You should be friendly, efficient and effective working with Trustees, volunteers and a committed team. Details online.


Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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