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Salon: Issue 388
20 June 2017

Next issue: 4 July 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


Irreplaceable: Help Us Make the List!

In the 'Fellows and Friends' article below, the editor highlights Historic England's lastest programme, 'Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places', sponsored by the Society's own insurers, Ecclesiastical. Historic England is calling for nominations for the list:

'We want you to help us tell the story of the places that have shaped England’s story. The historical hotspots that you love or that are local to you that you want the world to know more about. Across the country there are places where important moments in history happened. There’s a tree by a house in Lincolnshire where Isaac Newton once stood, and an apple fell and lit up the future. There’s a mill in Shrewsbury that gave life to the skyscraper. Through Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places, we are giving you the opportunity to nominate places like these - big or small - that you think deserve a higher profile for the groundbreaking moments in history they have witnessed.'

We encourage our Fellows and readers to participate, sharing with Historic England the places they feel most deserve to be remembered. We hope you will consider including Kelmscott Manor among their nominations — especially as embark on our significant campaign to protect its future. Kelmscott Manor is an Elizabethan manor, the former summer home of William Morris, the setting of the great affair between Jane Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the place May Morris called home until her death in 1938, and the subject of one of the Society of Antiquaries of London's greatest conservation, preservation and research projects.

Make your nomination online today!

Stay Involved Throughout the Summer

Although our Ordinary Meetings of Fellows are currently suspended until the autumn, you will notice that we have a number of events planned for Fellows and Public audiences alike until we resume Ordinary Meetings in October. Here's a round up of what we have on offer:  

Antiquaries Journal Call for Papers

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

Please email your papers to our Publications Manager,Lavinia Porter, at

More information about submitting a proposal for the Journal can be found on our website.

The Uffington Sun-Horse

The Uffington White Horse’, writes Josh Pollard FSA in the April Antiquity, ‘is Europe’s only confirmed prehistoric hill-figure or geoglyph, and is among the oldest anywhere in the world.’ The horse was the subject of a paper by Stuart Piggott FSA (also in Antiquity, in 1931) in which he compared its outline to figures in Iron Age art, and concluded that it was ‘a monument constructed at the end of the Early Iron Age, probably in the first century B.C. Beyond this we can be sure of nothing.’
That was more or less how it stayed, until English Heritage, the National Trust and the Oxford Archaeological Unit, led by David Miles FSA, conducted geophysical survey and excavation on the hill in the 1990s. They found that Peter Grimes FSA had done a small excavation at the horse during the war, which had never been published. The records showed that the horse was not created by cutting away the turf to expose natural chalk, as had been assumed, but with a metre-deep trench. Optically stimulated luminescence dating (OSL) of layers from new excavation of this trench produced the surprising date for the horse’s creation, and still the only one that is more than guesswork, of between 1380 and 550 BC. The dating was done by Julie Rees-Jones and Mike Tite FSA at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art in Oxford, advised by Martin Aitken FSA, who died only a few days ago (see Fellows Remembered below).
Pollard brings nothing new to the question of the horse’s date, but rather to its meaning and purpose, which have been surprisingly little discussed. It was, he suggests, a sun-horse: ‘an effigy that facilitated the diurnal movement of the sun through the sky.’ The horse god would come to life when the sun crossed the horizon low behind it. Scandinavian metalwork of the same era appears to indicate a horse, which had not long joined the range of domesticated animals in north-west Europe, dragging the sun across the sky in a chariot or cart. Figured large over the landscape, says Pollard, the Uffington sun-horse was the active focus of a series of local landmarks, including three hillforts.

Honouring Kiwis

South along the chalk from the Uffington White Horse at Bulford, Wiltshire, is another distinctive animal hill figure, known as the Bulford Kiwi. It was cut in 1919 by New Zealand troops to commemorate their occupation at Sling Camp as they waited to return home after the First Word War. It was designed by Sergeant Major Percy Blenkarne, a drawing instructor who checked out the bird in the Natural History Museum, London, and created by Captain Clark, an engineer. It is, in the words of Morris Marples in White Horses and other Hill Figures (1949), ‘most carefully contrived to counteract the effects of perspective, which are considerable owing to the shallowness of the slope. The ground plan of the figure is very different from its outline as seen from level ground.’
How right she was is clear from the images at the top, on the left a view from Marples’ book, in the centre taken from the air and released by Historic England, and on the right as mapped in the new Scheduling entry. For the Kiwi has at last been Listed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England. This marks the centenary of the Battle of Messines, a week-long attack on the Western Front in West Flanders, at which New Zealand troops played a significant role.
In Staffordshire the Terrain Model of Messines, in Cannock Chase, has also been Listed (right). This was an accurate scale model of the battlefield created by the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, celebrating the victory with a training field for new recruits at Brocton Camp. It was made by German Prisoners of War using soil, concrete, bricks and pebbles to represent the town, farms and landscape as they were on the night before the battle. After years of neglect, it was recently rediscovered, excavated and recorded by archaeologists.
Roger Bowdler FSA, Director of Listing at Historic England, said in a press release, ‘These two monuments pay tribute to the bravery of New Zealand's fighting forces in the First World War and we are delighted that they are now being protected for the future. Like so much of our historic environment, these lasting reminders enable us to connect with lives and events from the past that made us who we are as a nation. One hundred years on, it is right to remember New Zealand's valour.’

Carry on Voting

I will start this piece by apologising to Helen Geake FSA, who either was too polite to tell me or hadn’t noticed (Jeremy Milln FSA did): I omitted her from the list of Fellows standing for the UK general election on 8 June. Geake (left) represented the Green Party in Bury St Edmunds, where in 2015 she beat the Lib Dem candidate into fifth place with 7.9% of the vote. This time the Lib Dems out-voted her.
In Henley John Howell FSA retained his lead for the Conservatives, taking 59% of the vote with his 22,000 majority being a little lower than before. Tim Loughton FSA (Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham) also kept his seat, taking 49% of the vote but seeing his majority fall from around 15,000 to 5,000. And in Devizes, Jim Gunter, an archaeologist standing for the Wessex Regionalists, received 223 votes.
I opened my note in the last Salon with the words, ‘The UK will have a new government when the next Salon is published.’ Who knew? Hopefully that really will be the case before the next one comes round in a fortnight (Salon, not a general election, though who …). The result which reduced the governing Conservative majority creating a hung parliament, came as a surprise to politicians and electorate alike, many of whom would have sided with the plight of Simon Jenkins FSA: his Guardian column on voting day showed him flailing to find a party to support.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is seeking an alliance with the DUP, a Northern Ireland party, to achieve a parliamentary majority. The DUP has commonly associated itself with fringe views, including Creationism and climate change denial – the latter a stance taken by a former DUP Northern Ireland environment minister. In 2012 the National Trust changed a new audio display about the origins of the Giant’s Causeway, a geological monument, after complaints supported by a DUP Minister that a Creationist perspective had not been properly represented (‘Young earth creationists believe the Causeway was formed 6,000 years ago,’ said BBC News reporting the story. ‘The vast majority of scientists say it was formed 60m years ago’). Last year a DUP representative endorsed the notion that Creationism should be taught in every school. The Chair of the DUP’s Education Committee, Mervyn Storey, is a Creationist. The Caleb Foundation, of which he is a member, lobbied the Ulster Museum in 2010 to feature Creationist theories in its displays; Caleb wanted a ‘presumably quite deliberate, error’ corrected, by noting ‘that evolution is a theory and not a fact’, in contrast to ‘the Biblical account of creation, for which there is strong scientific evidence.'
A few changes in the Cabinet have brought Michael Gove into government as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The press noted that in the past Gove had promised to deregulate to help business if necessary at the expense of environmental protections, and had apparently thought the fact of human-induced climate change should not be taught at schools. Ed Davey, a former Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said, ‘putting Michael Gove in charge of the environment is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. It’s bad news.’
Karen Bradley has been re-appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Her Ministers are Matt Hancock (Digital), Tracey Crouch (Sport and Civil Society, which includes responsibility for the National Lottery), Lord Ashton of Hyde (with responsibilities for ceremonials, DCMS business in the Lords and First World War commemorations), and John Glen (Arts, Heritage and Tourism). Glen’s responsibilities are listed as arts, culture, heritage, public libraries, museums, National Archives and tourism – and as MP for Salisbury (on right in photo), his constituency includes Stonehenge and all the proposed routes for the A303.
An early casualty of the political uncertainty is the Palace of Westminster itself. The Times reported that an already delayed decision about how to conserve and modernise the Palace, and potentially save it from burning down, becoming awash with sewage or flooded by a central heating failure, has been postponed until the length of the new parliament. Before the election, May had committed to a free vote. The Times called the decision ‘timid, wasteful and wrong’. The Palace may survive, but the restoration bill will continue to climb.
The Council for British Archaeology and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists issued a post-election statement proclaiming their vision ‘for an environment which is managed effectively, and which delivers the greatest level of protections for our archaeological heritage, maximising the benefits they bring to our communities.’ They listed four ‘steps for a healthy, productive, and protected environment’:
‘Prevent the erosion of archaeological safeguards in the planning process
‘Seek an EU exit deal that works for archaeology and the wider environment
‘Develop a world-leading approach to integrated environmental protection after Brexit
‘Champion a stable and productive archaeological sector.’
Norman Hammond FSA wrote to the Times (June 12): ‘Sir, We are in no fit state to negotiate Brexit yet. It would be a courtesy to our 27 EU partners, and benefit us, to ask for a six-month suspension of the implementation of Article 50.’

Immediately before the election, the Art Newspaper’s Gareth Harris, Editor at Large, and Javier Pes, Editor, surveyed opinions about the effect of Brexit on staffing at major London-based galleries. They write: ‘The outgoing Director of the Tate, Nicholas Serota, the Director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer FSA, and the new Director of the V&A, Tristram Hunt, a former Labour Party shadow minister, are all concerned that these institutions will find it harder to retain and recruit expert staff from across Europe, potentially damaging their world-class status.’
They quote Fischer as saying, ‘We have 132 members of staff – around 15% – who are EU nationals, spread across all areas of museum activity. We want to secure the status of existing members of staff and ensure that we can continue to attract talented staff in the future.’

Magic Stones

As preparation get underway for the start of what I think is the 14th season of excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, archaeologists have released a new guidebook to the site, and a significant academic paper about a new radiocarbon analysis of its chronology. The slow excavation of complex and deep deposits around remains of stone buildings abandoned before 2200 BC has become an event in its own right, attracting tourists – many archaeologists among them – and considerable media attention every summer.
The attractive guidebook, written by Roy Towers, Nick Card and Mark Edmonds FSA, well conveys the sheer scale of the project, and the wealth of structures, artefacts and art being recovered – and the quality of excavation and recording, not least photography (and not just from Jim Richardson working for National Geographic). Sigurd Towrie, and islander and a journalist, writes an enthusiastic and informative dig blog which should open again in July.
The article by Nick Card and several colleagues (among them Christopher Ramsey FSA, Alex Bayliss FSA and Alasdair Whittle FSA) summarises research on the site up to 2015. Finding sufficient samples for radiocarbon dating, they say, was a considerable challenge. Nonetheless they manage to present 46 dates on 39 samples in a formal chronological framework devised with Bayesian statistics. Two alternative models both indicate that piered architecture was in use by the 30th century cal BC, and that a massive building named Structure 10, not the first on the site, was also standing by then. Such activity ended around 2800 cal BC. Midden and rubble filled the buildings. The remains of some 400 or more cattle were deposited over Structure 10’s ruins in the mid 25th century cal BC, or the late 24th or 23rd century cal BC. They suggest the spectacular feasting indicated by the cattle remains may belong to a changing world coinciding with the national appearance of Beaker pottery and related artefacts, but by then it was the ‘mythic status of that building which drew people back to it’.
See ‘To cut a long story short: formal chronological modelling for the Late Neolithic site of Ness of Brodgar, Orkney,’ European Journal of Archaeology 2017. A related article is in press at Antiquity.

Elsewhere on Orkney is an ambitious exhibition at three venues (the Orkney Museum, Stromness Museum and the Pier Arts Centre, which has works by Barbara Hepworth), Entitled Conversations with Magic Stones. They are devoted to Orkney’s prehistoric stone tools, and to similar objects from around the world that somehow or other found themselves on the islands. Mark Edmonds FSA has led a project which has been documenting the region’s social history of collecting, and along with the shows has generated a website and a beautifully photographed book, from where the two shots above are taken.
Conversations with Magic Stones closes in September.

Appeal to Save Winsford Cottage Hospital

Historic buildings charity the Landmark Trust has launched an appeal to save Grade II* listed Winsford Cottage Hospital in Devon. In a press release, the Trust says the building, designed in 1899, is a unique example of an unaltered cottage hospital and the only such hospital by pioneering Arts and Crafts architect Charles F A Voysey. Though ranked in the top 6% of all listed structures for architectural importance, it has been on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register since 2009. It was closed by the North and East Devon Health Authority in 1998, despite a vigorous local campaign to keep the hospital open. A small local trust was founded to keep the building in community use but the task has now proved too great. The Trust needs to raise £355,000 in the next 12 months.
Anna Keay, Director of the Landmark Trust, said, ‘There are buildings which are architecturally important, and there are those that actually changed people’s lives. Winsford Cottage Hospital is a rare example of a structure which is genuinely both. When I first visited, I was spellbound by its beauty, and also by the fascinating and fading chapter of social history that it represents. The building is declining daily and it would be tragic if it were to go beyond repair.’ Details online.


Tribute for Alasdair Whittle

Some of those who worked on excavations at West Kennet Farm 20 or 30 years ago, students of Alasdair Whittle FSA at Cardiff University – practicing archaeologists and Fellows now among them – will seek to question the strikingly controversial results of a new radiocarbon study of the site. Whittle’s digs confirmed that a trench dug to hold oak posts in a solid palisade, revealed by pipe works in the early 1970s, was Neolithic, and part of the network of earthworks and megaliths that constitute the Avebury World Heritage Site in Wiltshire. Excavation and survey found the trench connected to a large complex straddling the young River Kennet. Two adjacent oval enclosures, one with a double palisade, are accompanied by circular structures inside and out, and straight lines of posts running out across the landscape. The layout is still not fully defined.
It was all clearly Neolithic, and there were quantities of characteristic Grooved Ware pottery. A puzzlingly wide range of radiocarbon dates, however, seemed to contradict archaeological signs of rapid construction. Relating the oak enclosures to the rest of the World Heritage Site was not made easier by the fact that most of that was poorly dated too (as Whittle and I concluded long ago, in a study that made the most of what little datable material was left from old excavations, in the absence then of any new ones).
Alex Bayliss FSA and six colleagues have gone back to the West Kennet archives, and obtained 51 new radiocarbon dates. Some of these are from animal bone associated with the pottery, and give a range of 2500–2000 BC for a large Grooved Ware settlement contemporary with the construction of nearby Silbury Hill. That improves on what we thought we already new. However, 24 samples of charcoal, from palisade posts which had burnt down, produced completely different dates, placing both enclosures into an older Neolithic era between 3400 and 3000 BC – not just centuries older than Avebury’s other major monuments, but also than any comparable timber site known in the UK. This raises questions about Avebury and nearby Stonehenge, about the origins and purposes of Neolithic palisaded enclosures, and, not least, how archaeologists should interpret rich deposits of artefacts and animal remains so common on sites of this era.
The study was conducted as a tribute to Whittle. It is published as one of many articles in a book presented to him, along with a green cake with chocolate megaliths, as a festschrift on 2 June in Cardiff University’s archaeology department. The photo at top shows Whittle (centre), with (left to right) Penny Bickle, Dani Hoffman, Josh Pollard FSA and Vicki Cummings FSA, editors of the book (The Neolithic of Europe: Papers in Honour of Alasdair Whittle), and all Whittle’s former PhD students. The dig photo by Whittle shows dark fill of decayed palisade posts in a section of trench in 1990. Simon de Bruxelles reported the research in the Times, and I have written about it in the current edition of British Archaeology.

Illustrated Books

Birmingham City University has sold a rare copy of Antiquities of the Russian Empire for £39,000. The four volumes published in 1892 were among 28 lots of some 200 rare 19th- and early 20th-century Russian books belonging to the university library, sold by Dominic Winter Auctioneers, South Cerney, Gloucestershire, on 14 June. The university, renamed in 2007, is a 1971 amalgamation of colleges dating back to 1843. Chris Albury, Auctioneer and Senior Valuer for Dominic Winter Auctioneers, said in a press release that ‘most of the varied books on art and design [in the auction] were no doubt [originally] acquired by … the Birmingham College of Art.’
Albury described the volumes as a ‘monumental, rare and influential work on Russian style’, with ‘over 500 large and vibrant chromolithographed plates of Russian artefacts including icons, crowns, costume, weapons and jewellery.’ Steve Rose, Deputy Director, Library and Learning Resources at Birmingham City University, said he would be ‘sad to see the books leave the University, but it means we can place a greater emphasis on our extensive archives, photography and rare books that have direct relevance to the University’s research activity, as well as reinvest the funds from the sale into enhancing our student experience.’
Meanwhile Leicester University is exhibiting newly discovered drawings by caricaturist John Leech (1817–64), who illustrated Punch and novels by Charles Dickens. Among the works is a copy of a Latin and Greek textbook from Charterhouse school, where Leech was educated, whose blank pages are filled with sketches and doodles. The display runs until 31 July in the David Wilson Library.


Parmigianino Leaves UK after Nearly 250 Years

A gorgeous painting by Parmigianino, on which Matt Hancock, then Culture Minister, had placed a temporary export bar in February, has gone to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Martin Bailey reports in the Art Newspaper (12 June) that no UK museum had tried to match the £24.5m price (plus VAT) offered for The Virgin and Child with Saint Mary Magdalen and the Infant Saint John the Baptist. Reviewing Committee member Aidan Weston-Lewis had said, ‘I can’t think of a more ravishingly beautiful Italian Old Master painting remaining in any private collection in the United Kingdom.’
When the J Paul Getty Museum announced its intention to acquire the painting in 2016, Timothy Potts FSA, Director of the Museum, said, ‘Paintings of this importance and in such superb condition very rarely become available on the market these days. It will make a spectacular addition to our galleries in the context of other great 16th-century paintings by Pontormo and other masters who transformed the classicizing naturalism of the Renaissance into visions of more mannered and theatrical elegance.’
Painted c 1535–40, the work was sold by the Dent-Brocklehurst family of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire. In 2009 the Daily Telegraph reported that the family were ‘planning to move out of their 15th century home … and into a cow shed after running into financial difficulties.’

Pots on the March

An ancient DNA study using human remains associated with Beaker pottery across Europe, has caused quite a stir ahead of peer-review publication. The study contains a huge amount of detail about individual burials, including one case where a young woman who died near Stonehenge around 2000 BC was shown to be the daughter of a man buried a few miles away. But the story that has caught people’s imaginations is the proposal that a substantial immigration into Britain from around 2500 BC led, within a few generations, to the almost complete replacement of the native genome.
Nature reported that ‘Ancient-genome study finds Bronze Age “Beaker culture” invaded Britain’, and the Daily Mail, ‘Intruders forced out ancient farmers that built famous relics such as Stonehenge.’ The once popular notion of one or a series of ‘Beaker invasions’ into Britain fell out of favour in the 1960s, and in recent years has largely ceased to be discussed. It has suddenly been thrown back onto the table.
Led by geneticists Iñigo Olalde and David Reich at Harvard Medical School and posted online on bioRxiv, the study benefitted from the help of many archaeologists, including Ian Armit FSA, Kristian Kristiansen FSA, Mike Parker Pearson FSA, Alistair Barclay FSA, Jacky McKinley FSA, Clive Bonsall FSA, Tim Allen FSA, Gill Hey FSA, Barry Cunliffe FSA, Chris Evans FSA and Alison Sheridan FSA.

Archaeologists will have supplied samples and advised on their context, and analysis and interpretation will be largely the work of geneticists. None of the many scientists credited for the paper has yet been able to comment ahead of formal publication. In a podcast interview for the Guardian, Ben Roberts FSA cautions that sample sizes are small. ‘Whilst this paper has got a lot of excellent, top, top archaeologists on it,’ he adds, ‘I would say that whilst they’ve made some good points on it very few of those archaeologists will start subscribing to the 90% population replacement model that’s being put forward.’

Photo shows a Beaker pot from Boscombe Down, Wiltshire (Wessex Archaeology).

Fellows (and Friends)

Martin Aitken FSA, physicist and archaeologist, died in June.
An appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains further notices on the late Abbott Lowell Cummings FSA, and the late Charles Thomas FSA and Sarnia Butcher FSA.
Henry Summerson FSA writes to say that Mrs Patricia Drummond died on 29 May on her 93rd birthday. She was not a Fellow, but she will have been known to many who worked at Fortress House, London, among the card indexes of the National Monuments Record between 1965 and 1984. Summerson says he got to know Patricia ‘through her having been the last amanuensis, research assistant almost,’ to his cousin Sir John Summerson FSA. The funeral will be at St Margaret’s Westminster on 20 June at 11 am.

Congratulations to Fellows (above) who were awarded OBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017, announced on 16 June:
Paul Bennett FSA, Director of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, for services to archaeology.
Helen Dorey FSA, Deputy Director and Inspectress of the Sir John Soane's Museum, for services to heritage.
Tom Mayberry FSA, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust, for services to heritage.

Photos Wikipedia, Sir John Soane's Museum, Newsquest.

The National Portrait Gallery, London, has received a grant of £9.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards proposals to extend gallery space into offices and rehang its entire collection. ‘Understanding our national identity is more relevant now than ever,’ said Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the gallery. The works, which will cost £35.5 million, are planned to be ready by 2022.

In the Times on 17 June Norman Hammond FSA reports that excavation at Reedham church, Norfolk, has uncovered remains of a substantial Roman brick and stone wall beneath the church on a parallel alignment. Amanda Clarke FSA, Associate Professor at Reading University and co-director of the excavation, linked the building on grounds of its scale and materials to a Roman shore fort at Brancaster, dated to the early third century AD. ‘The overall dimensions suggest the remains of a fortified watch-tower or burgus,’ says Clarke, ‘with a tower at the west end of a small, rectangular, defended enclosure, capable of housing a small garrison of around 40 men.’ Excavation followed a ground-penetrating radar survey. The church itself has an unusual amount of Roman brick and tile in its walls.
Following Edinburgh’s summary of itself in 101 objects, Historic England has launched a project to achieve a similar thing for England. Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places, courts public votes to create a list of 100 buildings and locations that can tell ‘England's remarkable story – and its impact on the world.’ Among examples offered are ‘a tree by a house in Lincolnshire where Isaac Newton once stood, and an apple fell and lit up the future,’ and Shakespeare’s house. Nominations are invited under ten themes, including ‘Power, protest and progress,’ and ‘Industry, trade and commerce.’ Duncan Wilson FSA, Chief Executive of Historic England, said in a press release, ‘We want to help people understand the many spots … that have shaped the world, creating advances in science, the arts, trade and industry.’ Mary Beard FSA is on the panel of judges.
A report to be submitted at a session of the UNESCO World Heritage Site committee in Krakow, Poland, early in July, says that the project to widen the A303 past Stonehenge should proceed with caution. However, the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM conclude that protecting the ‘outstanding universal value’ of the World Heritage Site (WHS) has not been given sufficient priority in considering options. The media has focused on a tunnel, says the report, but more attention should be given to a bypass outside the WHS, which would cause no damage. There are also benefits from extending the proposed tunnel at both ends, says the report. A suggestion that moving the eastern portal further east and closer to Countess Roundabout, referencing potential impacts on Blick Mead and Vespasian’s Camp, appears to contradict the wishes of archaeologists defending a mesolithic site at Blick Mead, including David Jacques FSA, who say any tunnel would be damaging.
The V&A has announced that it has acquired the Felix Dennis Oz Archive, marking 50 years since the first UK publication of the underground magazine, Oz. Dennis, who died in 2014, co-edited the magazine between 1967 and 1973, challenging the establishment in the spirit of 1960s and 70s counter-culture. The archive, purchased with Art Fund support, joins another archive from the Glastonbury Festival. It is being catalogued and digitised and will feature in a display about British censorship in 2018.

Michael Kyte, a recently retired Forest Service archaeologist at Tres Piedras, New Mexico, was murdered by a gunman on 15 June. Damian Herrera (21) was being chased by police after he had shot dead three family members. Kyte gave Herrera a lift after he ran out of petrol. Herrera shot him then drove Kyte’s truck to a pump, where he shot another man before being arrested.

Mario Buhagiar FSA, at the Department of History of Art, University of Malta, Msida, has written to the Times of Malta (15 June) to protest about a threat to the Gozo catacombs. ‘It is shocking’, he says, ‘to learn that the area of Tal-Gherduf Catacombs at Kerċem is under threat of a scandalous projected development of a residential unit. The site is a vitally important archaeological zone, and any disturbance unless for research purposes will be an unpardonable crime against Malta’s much vaunted cultural heritage … The catacombs, which I have discussed in several of my publications, are in spite of the mutilations they have been subjected to at several stages of their long history, of crucial importance to Malta’s late Roman and early Christian history and merit careful preservation.’
York Museums Trust has won what the Museums Association calls a landmark appeal case, over the way its business rates are calculated. The victory will save the Trust an immediate £100,000, and, according to Mike Woodward, the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, ‘should be of significant benefit to the wider sector.’ The Upper Tribunal has ruled that business rates paid by the Trust should be based on net income and expenditure, not the cost of rebuilding or the contractor’s method. The Tribunal has also ruled that the York Castle Museum shop and Yorkshire Museum and Gardens are eligible for 80% charitable relief. This will result in annual savings of some £10,000, backdated for 10 years – the duration of the dispute. The appeal case was brought by the Valuation Office Agency, which wanted shops, cafes and offices to be treated as commercial enterprises separate from charitable trusts.

Fellows Remembered

Martin Aitken FSA died on 13 June aged 95. He was elected a Fellow of the Society 55 years ago, in March 1962. Trained as a physicist at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, he was well known for pioneering scientific techniques of analysis in archaeology.
Aitken was a radar officer with the Royal Air Force (1942–46). He became Deputy Director of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art (RLAHA) soon after it was founded with Teddy Hall FSA as Director in 1955. They and colleagues were already doing enough work for Aitken to found the journal Archaeometry in 1958 (a word coined by Christopher Hawkes FSA).
Aitken and Hall began by developing proton magnetometers and fluxgate magnetic gradiometers for detecting underground archaeological features without excavation. In the early days results were impressive if imprecise and incomplete, and the research showed elements of make do and mend typical of the time. To speed things up in the field, Aitken devised an 'instant grid' made with plastic-coated clothes line that could be rolled out across a target area. It worked – until it became entangled in bushes or eaten by sheep. Magnetometry and gradiometry have been responsible for many significant archaeological discoveries, and remain key research tools.
Aitken went on to make important contributions to archaeomagnetic dating, particularly with thermoluminescence dating (TL) which he showed could be used to date ceramics, whose TL ‘clock’ had been reset by heat in the kiln. This led to one of many high-profile projects emanating from the RLAHA, when in 1969 Aitken revealed a trade in forged Neolithic pottery said to be from Hacilar, Turkey, which had duped, among others, the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre. Told about the research by Aitken when they were together on an academic cruise in the Aegean, Norman Hammond FSA had to sit on the story for two years before writing a Times report which went round the world. Luminescence dating expanded the technique into geology with the recognition that light exposure was another mechanism for resetting the clock (OSL).
Aitken was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983, and became Professor of Archaeometry in 1985. He received the Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics (1992) and the Pomerance Science Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America (1997). His books include Physics and Archaeology (1961 and 1974), Thermoluminescence Dating (1985), and Science-Based Dating in Archaeology (1990).
Simon Aitken (Martin’s grandson) says there will be a service at Vichy Crematorium, France on 20 June at 12.30 pm. All are welcome. No flowers please, but if you would like to make a donation in his memory, Martin Aitken was a strong supporter of Médecins Sans Frontières ( and, because of his great love of birds, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (


John A Fidler FSA, President and Chief Technical Officer at John Fidler Preservation Technology Inc, Marina Del Rey, California, writes with memories of Abbott Lowell Cummings FSA, who died in May:
‘Abbott and I got to know one another when invited to speak on Helen Lowenthal’s building conservation courses at West Dean College (an important adjunct to her activities on the Attingham Summer School). Besides meeting and conversing with Comrade Freddie Charles, Cecil Hewett and Richard Harris about timber frames, joints and plan forms, he was also fascinated to learn about the wide regional variation in English vernacular terminology for building materials and processes. I introduced him to the Institute of Folklore Studies and its oral history programme at the University of Sheffield: there to seek connections between New England construction terminology eg, “summer beam” and the East Anglian settlers’ “bressummer”, for example.
‘I corresponded with Abbot more recently while repairing the Gothick Survival church of St. Luke’s, Smithfield, Virginia (photos above), for which Cummings had acted as the first building archaeologist/historian in 1952 when recruited to one of the first national restoration campaigns in the States, after the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg.
‘The locals stuck to their presumption that the building dated from 1632 and was therefore the oldest church in British North America. But other evidence pointed to a later date of 1682. Abbot confessed that his early scholarship on the Church’s preservation team was pretty thin. As a “new boy” Assistant Curator for the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, his sole contribution he claimed, was simply to show the architects pictures of English parish church interiors from books in the museum’s vast library – so that they could copy details into reconstruction of the roof and windows.’

John Kenyon FSA writes to say that the recently published issue of Cornish Archaeology has long obituaries of Charles Thomas FSA and Sarnia Butcher FSA. ‘I was not aware’, he says, ‘of Thomas’ superb collection of militaria!’ The references are:
‘Anthony Charles Thomas 1928—2016,’ by Nicholas Johnson FSA, with Rosemary Cramp FSA, Peter Fowler FSA and Oliver Padel FSA. Cornish Archaeology 54 (2015), 261–81, with a photo on page 260.
‘Sarnia Anne Butcher 1930–2016,’ by Amanda Martin and Charles Johns, Cornish Archaeology 54 (2015), 283-86.
‘Remembering Sarnia Butcher,’ by Henrietta Quinnell FSA, Cornish Archaeology 54 (2015), 287-88.

Memorials to Fellows

The last word on an inscribed wall monument to Sir John Evans FSA in the church of St Lawrence, Abbots Langley, comes from Julian Litten FSA, who has deciphered it in its entirety, from Andrew Skelton’s photo and aided by Norman Hammond FSA. It reads:
Knight Commander of the Bath
Born November 17th 1823, Died May 31st 1908,
and upwards of sixty years resident in this Parish.
As a Geologist and Antiquary
he was amongst the first to demonstrate
The Vast Antiquity of Man.
His works on the Stone and Bronze Age
and on the Coins of Ancient Britons
gave academia new chapters to the History of this Island.
His general collection of Antiquities, expanded by his
wide knowledge and by his own personality
drew to his house at North Mills
Pilgrims of Science from many Lands.
He was an honorary Doctor of the Universities of
Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin and became an honorary
Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. Fellow and for
twenty years Treasurer of the Royal Society, President
at different times of the Society of Antiquaries and of
Geological and other Societies. For sixty years a member
Of the Royal Numismatic Society, for more than half that
time he was its active President and presided over the
British Association in 1897 at Toronto. For 22 years he
was a Trustee of the British Museum. He was a Co-
President of the Institute of France and a member of
many other learned societies both out and in this country.
He was Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for
the County of Herts and High Sheriff in 1881. For
many years he was Chairman of Quarter Sessions for the
St Albans Division as well as of the Herts County Council.
To his efforts was largely due the order of the county
Voting Jurisdictions of the County of Herts for the order of the
Liberty of St Albans and the safeguarding of the water
rights of the County.
For forty five years he was Master of the papermaking
industry in the valley of the Gade, established by his
uncle, John Dickinson FRS of Abbots Hill and whose daughter,
Harriet Ann, was his first wife. She died January 1st 1858
By her he had three sons and two daughters. He then
married secondly Frances, daughter of Joseph Phelps
of Madiera who died September 22nd 1890, and thirdly
Maria Millington, only daughter of Charles Crawford Lathbury
of Wimbledon, by whom he had one daughter.
The Monument was designed by the artist Sir William Blake Richmond (1842–1921), also responsible for the mosaics in the ceiling of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Wisdom of Fellows

Edward Martin FSA
has another epigraphic puzzle for Fellows. Late last year, he writes, a sword was found in Suffolk at the bottom of a pond close to the River Lark, and was reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Bury St Edmunds:
‘The sword is almost certainly a relic of the Battle of Fornham in 1173. A similar sword was found in Fornham round 1876 and is now in Moyses Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. That sword has the easily understood inscriptions NOMINE DOMINI and SCS BENEDICTUS, but the new sword has an inscription, inlaid in silver, which has so far defied explanation:
‘A bold A represents an upside-down A, and a bold H represents an H with a double crossbar.
‘The inscription may have had a break between the central T and H, thus:
‘Can anyone solve it?’
Suggestions please to Salon, or directly either to Martin at or to Anna Booth, Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer for Suffolk, at

The upper picture shows the sword before its initial conservation, and that above is an X-ray of the inscription. The latter also shows a decorative plume-like motif surmounted by a bird, inlaid in silver, which is on the other side of the sword.
The British Library appealed to the public for help with an inscription on another medieval sword in 2015. It was apparently inundated with responses, though the inscription – +NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+ – remained a mystery. The Collection Museum, Lincoln, is exhibiting Medieval swords from the River Witham as part of its commemoration of the Battle of Lincoln (1217): see Other Forthcoming Heritage Events below.

Robin Milner-Gulland FSA enjoyed an item in the last Salon by Heinrich Härke FSA, about a conference in Ukraine. However, he writes, there is more than one way to read the stories:
‘Nice to see Heinrich Härke back, amusing as ever. But I fear the samogon may have gone to the heads of some of his informants. “Heavy police presence” in Russia? In visits there in 2015 and 2016 I didn't see a single policeman, not even the once-ubiquitous traffic police (quite worrying). Maybe Ukrainians will say they've turned into “little green men”. Well, I'll be there in late June, and shall look out for them, also the “big hoardings” he mentions. “Kremlin terminology”? “Kremlin claims”? I'd like to see chapter and verse.
‘Cossack history, and Cossack approaches to statehood, are an interesting subject (and not exclusively Ukrainian), but can hardly be discussed here. The great Khmelnytsky Revolt, anyhow, led to the leader Bohdan/Bogdan (“God-given”) imploring Moscow to take over his fledgling state, which with reluctance it did with the Pereyaslavl Accord in 1654. To celebrate the anniversary of which, Khrushchov (half-Ukrainian), arbitrarily annexed Crimea to Ukraine in 1954! Hinc illae lacrimae.
‘I've known both Russia and Ukraine since the 1950s; both peoples have a well-honed sense of victimhood when it pleases them. But none of us without an axe to grind should fall for one narrative or another!’


Holly Trusted FSA, Senior Curator of Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum and lead curator of the cast courts, is puzzled by a statue of Mary Magdalen (above). ‘The V&A has a plaster cast of it,’ she writes, ‘miscatalogued as coming from Magdalen College Oxford. It was originally on display at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, before the 1936 fire. Does anyone recognize this image? Many thanks in advance for any suggestions. Please reply to Holly Trusted:’


Some Fellows reading Salon may find text written across a few images, for which I apologise. This seems to occur mostly on the web with Google Chrome, and may be resolved by using a different browser such as Safari or Firefox, though the cause is a mystery and I’m afraid is beyond my control.

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.

20 July: Private View of Blood Royal
Fellows are invited to join us on Thursday, 20 July, for a private view of the Society's summer exhibition Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy, which will open to the public on 25 July. Details (and booking information) is available at on the website.
28 July: Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Manor
Details for Fellows' Day are available on the website, and you can now book your ticket(s) online. Fellows (and family!) are invited to join us at Kelmscott Manor for a special opportunity to hear about our future plans, explore the Manor and its collections, and enjoy family-friendly activities.

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

Forthcoming Public Events

Public Lectures

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

4 July: 'Shakespeare and the Character of Kingship,' with Simon Russell Beale CBE, Prof Maurice Howard OBE VPSA and Jez Smith (film screening). Preview this captivating performance by one of the greatest Shakespeare actors of our day. DVDs are also available for purchase (so you can take home your own copy!).

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 Society has two temporary exhibitions running this summer, one at Kelmscott Manor (Oxfordshire) and the other at its Burlington House headquarters in London.

10 June - 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.

24 July - 25 August (Mon - Fri, 10.00 - 17.00): 'Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy', a free exhibition at Burlington House exploring the Tudor Dynasty. The exhibition has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Society Dates to Remember

Introductory Tours for Fellows

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

Burlington House Closures

The Library will be closed for annual conservation, cleaning and maintenance from Monday, 31 July, to Friday, 1 September (inclusive). The building will be open for the Blood Royal exhibition (24 July - 25 August), but visits to the Library will be by appointment only during this time.

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

19 September: Lecture by Prof David Neave, FSA, 'Hull and its Architectural Heritage', at Bar Convent. Save the date; details will be distributed soon (join the email list below to make sure you don't miss out).

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

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

Until 3 September: Battles and Dynasties (Lincoln)
To commemorate the Battle of Lincoln (1217), the Collection Museum is exhibiting some remarkable documents and paintings relating to royalty (through to the 20th century) never before seen in the city, sourced from various collections including  the Society of Antiquaries as well as the Royal Collection, the National Archives and the British Library. Artefacts include Medieval swords from the River Witham. At Lincoln Castle, which hosts the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta in the new vault created in 2015, the Domesday Book is on show for the first time outside London. The mastermind behind the exhibitions is Lord Patrick Cormack FSA, Chair of the Historic Lincoln Trust, and the accompanying book is written by Nicholas Bennett FSA.
June–July: Courses and Workshops in the Historic Environment (Oxford)
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education has a programme of courses at Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills for the historic environment, grounded in everyday working experience. These short practical courses are open to all, from historic environment professionals to members of the public with a keen interest in archaeology and historic buildings. The programme is endorsed by CIfA, the IHBC, the Archaeology Training Forum and FAME, and has been developed in conjunction with leading heritage practices. Courses are linked to the National Occupational Standards for Archaeology, and for Town Planning, Conservation and Building Control, and are widely accepted for continuous professional development. Details of National Occupational Standards. Full details can be found online.
20–21 June: Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessment
26 June: Archaeological Writing for Publication
5–7 July: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance.
22 June: Lidar – An Introduction (Leicester)
In partnership with Historic England the University of Leicester has developed a Heritage Practice Training Programme to deliver practical, technical and specialist skills for heritage professionals. Details online.
23 June: Innovation in Commercial Archaeology (York)
Members and non-member are invited to the annual FAME Forum (Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers), with this year’s focus on how new ways of working, new techniques and new technology are transforming how we investigate the past. Faced with demands from clients and policymakers for greater effectiveness, and with the prospect of a significant capacity gap due to major infrastructure projects, developing and investing in new techniques and technologies is more important than ever. The aim of the day is to update us all on current thinking around innovation and to generate ideas as to what individual firms and the sector need to do to support innovation. Details online.
23–24 June: The Bronze Age as Pre-modern Globalisation (Southampton)  
The 2017 Prehistoric Society Europa Conference celebrates the achievements of Professor Helle Vandkilde, University of Aarhus, in the field of European prehistory. Speakers include Kristian Kristiansen FSA, Marie Louise Stig Sørensen FSA, Ben Roberts FSA and Jo Sofaer FSA. Details online.
23–25 June: The Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland: Results, Implications and Wider Contexts (Oxford)
This weekend conference will provide an opportunity to explore some of the results of the AHRC-funded Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland project and to set these into wider contexts. Papers will be presented by members of the Atlas team as well as by colleagues working on related themes within and beyond Britain and Ireland. Members of the Hillfort Study Group, and of the Project Steering Committee have been invited to chair sessions and lead discussion. All are welcome to attend and a particular invitation is extended to those who contributed to the Citizen Science initiative associated with this project. Speakers include Eileen Wilkes FSA, Ian Ralston FSA, Mark Bowden FSA, Rachel Pope FSA, Kate Waddington FSA and Gary Lock FSA. See online for details.
24 June: Micro and Other Mosaics (London)
Mosaics remain a much-loved means of expression for artists worldwide. This International conference, in the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre at the V&A, will explore this versatile art form through the centuries, from antiquity to the present day. Mosaics hold a specific relevance within the V&A since its first Director Henry Cole promoted the art form as a signature British artisanal technique. Tessa Murdoch FSA will chair a session, and speakers will include Will Wootton FSA and Heike Zech FSA. Details online.
24 June: Memorials in the Marches (Ludlow)
St Laurence's Church houses a fine set of memorials to people associated with the Council of Wales and the Marches over the period 1550–1650. The Ludlow Palmers, who raise money for the Conservation Trust for St Laurence, an independent charity devoted to conserving the church’s fabric and treasures, are hosting a conference in the church, on the church monuments, in association with the Church Monuments Society. Fellows can obtain a 15% discount. See online for details.

28 June: What is New in Shakespeare (London)
The Georgetown Alumni Club of the United Kingdom invites Fellows to an evening presentation at the Society of Antiquaries with Michael Collins, Professor of Georgetown University, and Will Tosh, Research Fellow and lecturer at Shakespeare’s Globe. Collins will review versions of Shakespeare's plays, their various performances, and recent authorship issues. Tosh will discuss the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, an intimate venue that recalls Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre. There will be a considerable period for Q & A, and a wine reception. Details online.

28 June: Sculptural Display: Ancient and Modern (London)
A conference presented by the Hellenic Society and the Roman Society in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House. Speakers include Olga Palagia FSA, Thorsten Opper FSA and Bruce Boucher FSA, and Lesley Fitton FSA will chair one of the sessions. Details online.

29 June–4 July: Inspiring Landmarks (London)
An exhibition of art inspired by the Landmark Trust’s historic buildings, by Prue Cooper, Kurt Jackson and Ed Kluz, at 8 Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery, Spitalfields. There is an associated events programme during the week. Details online.
29 June: The Imagination is Unleashed. Meet the Artist: Kurt Jackson.
29 June: Lifting the Bell Jar: Heritage & Contemporary Art – Where Next? Debate.
30 June: Depicting the Past: The Artist in Conversation with The Historian. Meet the Artist: Ed Klutz with Caroline Stanford FSA.
1 July: The Weathers of History. Talk and book signing, Alexandra Harris.
2 July: Prue Cooper. Meet the Artist: Prue Cooper.
4 July: A Deeper Thread: Material Conversations with the Past. Artists in conversation.
30 June: Building on Philanthropy: The Modern Victorians (London)
The Heritage of London Trust’s Annual Conservation Conference will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, looking at the role of philanthropy in driving change, inspiration and lessons from the past, and realistic expectations for the future. The theme for the morning session is Victorian philanthropy and its impact, and for the afternoon, evolving models to meet today’s challenges. Speakers include Roger Bowdler FSA, Director of Listing, Historic England and Nicola Stacey FSA, Director, Heritage of London Trust. Details online.

6 July: A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909 (London)
Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society at Lambeth Palace Library, followed by a talk by Arthur Burns (King’s College, London). All are welcome, please register with not later than 5 July.
6 July: A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909 (London)
Arthur Burns (King’s College, London) gives a talk after the Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society. At Lambeth Palace Library. All are welcome, contact

9–12 July: Winchester, An Early Medieval Royal City (Winchester)
An international conference at the University of Winchester features keynote speakers Eric Fernie FSA, Barbara Yorke FSA, Martin Biddle FSA and Sharon Rowley. Topics under discussion include the intellectual life of the city, court and politics, saints and miracle stories, bishops of the city and the people of Winchester. As part of the conference, Fernie will give a public lecture at the Guildhall on the Norman Cathedral of Winchester. The conference is part of Winchester, The Royal City project, which aims to celebrate and promote the ancient city as a centre of key significance to the development of England and English culture. Details online.
17–20 July: Church and City in the Middle Ages: In Honour of Clive Burgess (Harlaxton)
The 2017 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, convened by David Harry and Christian Steer FSA, will be in honour of Clive Burgess FSA, whose work on the Church as community and institution has shaped perceptions of late Medieval religious culture. The meeting will explore the urban presence of the late Medieval Church; the relationship between lay devotion and urban regulars; clerical provision and the administration of urban parishes; distinctive patterns of worship in large towns and cities; and the material culture and music of urban spaces of worship. Speakers include Julian Luxford FSA, Elizabeth New FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Robert Swanson FSA, Jon Cannon FSA, John Goodall FSA, David Lepine FSA, Vincent Gillespie FSA, Julia Boffey FSA and Caroline Barron FSA. Details online.

17–20 July: Understanding Historic Buildings (Oxford)
A number of Fellows will be teaching at this Historic England training course at St Anne’s College, notably Adam Menuge FSA and Allan T Adams FSA. The aim is to communicate investigation and measured survey skills to the next generation. Details online.
25 August: The Contribution of Contract Archaeology to Industrial Archaeology (Northamptonshire)
A seminar organised by David Ingham FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA as a prelude to the annual conference of the Association for Industrial Archaeology at Moulton College, Northampton. Developer-funded projects in cities have greatly added to knowledge of the recent industrial past. Seven speakers include Norman Redhead FSA (Heritage Management Director (Archaeology), Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service) and Michael Nevell FSA (Head of Archaeology, University of Salford). Details online.

16 September: Suffolk Textiles through Time (Lavenham)
A day conference exploring the production of textiles in Suffolk, looking at pre-Medieval archaeological evidence; the Medieval woollen cloth industry; and the production of silk in early modern times. Speakers include Joanna Caruth FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA. There will be spinning demonstrations with Jean Rogers, and visits to Lavenham Guildhall and a walking tour of the town and church. Details online.
25 September: Canaletto & the Art of Venice (London)
In a spectacular show at the Queen’s Gallery (19 May–12 November), Canaletto’s work is exhibited alongside the Royal Collection’s other Venetian paintings from the 18th century by Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Lucy Whitaker FSA, Senior Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection, and Rosie Razzall, Curator of Prints of Drawings, give the first Venice in Peril Fund Autumn Lectures at the Society of Antiquaries. Details online.
28 September: Remembering the Reformation (London)
Launch of a major digital exhibition linked with an Arts and Humanities Research Project, at Lambeth Palace Library. Based at the Universities of Cambridge and York, the project explores how the Reformation in Britain and Europe was remembered, forgotten, contested and reinvented. The exhibition incorporates some of the treasures of the Cambridge University Library, York Minster Library and Lambeth Palace Library. The launch will include a display and demonstration of the exhibition website, and will be accompanied by short talks by the project team, Brian Cummings FSA, Ceri Law, Bronwyn Wallace and Alexandra Walsham. All are welcome, please register with not later than 22 September.
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.

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

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.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.

Call for Papers

The Georgian Group Journal
The Georgian Group Journal is a refereed academic journal appearing once a year and containing articles based on original research on all aspects of British architecture and design from c 1660–1840. Submission of illustrated articles of not more than 7,500 words is invited for Volume 26 (2018). Shorter articles are also welcomed. Please send proposals or drafts to the Editor, Geoffrey Tyack FSA ( The Journal is distributed automatically to members of the Georgian Group, and is also available for purchase through the Group’s website; it is hoped that from 2018 copies of individual articles will be available to download through the same website.
19 November 2017: Boxes of Old Rocks: New Research from Old Assemblages (Oxford)
From neatly labelled snap top bags and archive boxes accessed in climate controlled museum stores, to the dusty contents of biscuit tins and bread bags found in private lofts and garages, old lithic assemblages come in all shapes and sizes. They can provide a wealth of information about both prehistoric societies and those who have studied them in more recent times. The Lithics Studies Society invite abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute presentations at the Continuing Education Lecture Theatre, University of Oxford, on research related to any aspect of studying old lithic assemblages from museum collections and other sources. Abstracts should be sent to by 16 July.
18–19 December 2017: Citizen Cathedrals in the Middle Ages: Image, institutions, networks (Girona)
With the aim of bringing together young researchers and exchanging ideas and hypotheses regarding new trends in medieval art history, TEMPLA is organizing a scientific training session in Girona (Spain). This winter school will discuss the concept and expression of the ‘citizen cathedral’ as it has developed in European bishoprics from medieval to modern times. The school is aimed at junior pre- and post-doctoral researchers in the field of art history, history and liturgical studies. Expenses of all researchers whose papers have been accepted will be covered. Proposals before 30 July, and requests for further details to,

2–3 November: It’s Not Just About the Archaeology – or is it? (Sheffield)
The Society for Museum Archaeology’s Annual Conference will this year be in the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield. The conference offers an opportunity to network with colleagues, hear exciting papers and take part in discussions around museum archaeology. When you work with archaeology in museums, you can end up doing a huge range of activities. Whether it be the delivery of exhibitions, engagement and events, or good old-fashioned collections management, what is the role of the modern museum archaeologist? This year’s conference is an opportunity to celebrate all things good… or bad… about what we do and how we do it! Please send proposals or queries to the society’s Secretary by 31 July at


Society of Antiquaries of London

We are looking to recruit a User Services Librarian to take over from Alana Farrell, who is leaving the post at the end of July. This is an exciting time to join the Library team as we implement our strategic plan to make the Library more accessible physically and digitally, and to maintain our position as one of the leading specialist libraries in the country. The postholder will be responsible for the delivery of high quality library services to users and for producing information and guides to the library and its resources, leading on user engagement activities and supporting library events. Full details are available on our website:

Other Vacancies

The Royal Archaeological Institute is seeking a new Reviews Editor for the Archaeological Journal, to take over from Kate Waddington in 2018. Closing date for applications 31 July.
The Reviews Editor is responsible for seeing book reviews and review articles through to publication. We aim to review 40–50 books for each volume, covering, primarily, titles concerned with the British Isles and northern Europe. One review article is also published each year. Although essentially voluntary, there is a small honorarium subject to agreement with the RAI. Attendance at the RAI Editorial Committee Meetings in London (maximum of two Wednesdays a year) is expected (expenses will be met). 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.


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

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