Salon: Issue 429
19 June 2019
Next issue: 2 July
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 doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.
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From the Desk of the General Secretary
I am very sad to inform you that Heather Rowland, Head of Library and Collections, has handed in her letter of resignation, and her last day will be on August 23rd.
Heather has been at the Society for 11 ½ years, and since I have been General Secretary she has given me unswerving support and advice through difficult times at Burlington House and Kelmscott Manor. It is true to say that I would not have been able to do my job without Heather’s support. In many ways I cannot imagine coming into work and not seeing Heather in the Library and it will take some time for all of us to adjust to her not being here.
Heather has made a wonderful contribution to the Society, bringing the Library and Collections well and truly into the 21st century; a process that has been far from easy. Her various initiatives (such as Post-Graduate Open Day) have gone on to become mainstays of what the Society does. In particular, Heather’s expertise with collections has meant that we have been able to pioneer the concept of summer exhibitions at Burlington House, to widespread acclaim from the public and Fellows alike.
Heather has decided to seek out a quieter life and move out of London to be closer to her parents. Although I feel very sad that she has chosen to leave and I will miss her enormously, I entirely understand her decision.
I really hope Heather enjoys her new life away from the stresses and strains of the Society and London and I hope that she will keep in touch with all of us at Burlington House and Kelmscott: we will all miss her.
Thursday 27 June 2019
Fellows are invited to our annual summer meeting, where we will hear a miscellany of papers followed by our soirée.
Schedule for the evening:
16-16:20 – Ballot for election of Fellows in the Meeting Room. Visitors will not be admitted to the Meeting Room during the ballot.
16.15 – Tea (Fellows and Guests welcome)
17.00 – Summer Miscellany
- Unlocking a Collection: T.E. Lawrence’s Photographs of French Medieval Architecture by Bill Woodburn FSA
- Falling Ball Clock paper & presentation by Dale Sardeson
- Introduction to the Lewis Chessmen by Alexander Kader FSA
18.00 – Reception (Fellows and Guests welcome)
The Falling Ball Clock is returning to the Society following conservation and will be officially unveiled on the night in the Library. Conservation work on the timepiece was carried out at West Dean College of Arts & Conservation by Malcolm Archer FBHI and MA student Dale Sardeson.
Essential treatment to the clock was made possible with the generous support of The Leche Trust, the Antiquarian Horological Society, The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, Mr Andrew CH Crisford FSA and Fellows and supporters of the Society. The conservation work on the clock, given to the Society in 1850 by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy, afforded a valuable opportunity for in-depth analysis and research, with a detailed report compiled by West Dean in collaboration with Jonathan Betts FSA and Michael Wright FSA. Our thanks to all involved in the project.
No booking is required for the miscellany of papers, and admission is free for Fellows (and their guests). The meeting is followed by our Summer Soirée (with Pimm’s and wine), to which all Fellows and their guests are welcome.
Admission to the Soirée is by ticket only (£10) and can be booked through our website.
Lewis Chessman on display at the Society
The Society is delighted to announce that the newly discovered Lewis Chessman will be displayed at the Society for our soirée on Thursday June 27.
Thanks to the generosity of Sotheby's and Alexander Kader FSA, Senior Director Co-Worldwide Head of European Sculpture & Works of Art, Sotheby's, the chess piece will be on display in our library for the evening. Fellows who are attending the soirée will have the opportunity to see the piece up close before it goes to auction. This is a rare opportunity to see the Warder which is the first of the its type to emerge since the 'discovery' of the hoard in 1831. The piece, dated 13th Century, has been attributed to The Lewis Chessmen Workshop, probably Norwegian, Trondheim. It is one of the highlights of the Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art auction at Sotheby's on July 2.
The Lewis Chessman are the most famous and largest medieval hoard of chess pieces to be discovered. The intrigue and mystery surrounding the chessmen is infamous and we at the Society are elated to be able to showcase one of these rare artefacts within our walls.
You can read more about the chess piece and the auction on Sotheby's website.
Sotheby’s London, 2 July 2019, European Sculpture & Works of Art,
Attributed to The Lewis Chessmen Workshop, Probably Norwegian, Trondheim, 13th Century
Fellow's Day at Kelmscott Manor
Fellows day has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. If you have purchased tickets and have not yet received a refund please contact Kelmscott Manor on email@example.com or Tel: +44 (0) 1367 252486
Ancient Objects and New Media:Vetusta Monumenta and the Remediation of Antiquity
Monday 24 June 2019
Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House
The Society and the editors of Vetusta Monumenta are hosting a reception and public roundtable on Monday 24 June to celebrate the launch of Vetusta Monumenta online. Session begins at 5:15pm and will be followed by a drinks reception.
There will be a roundtable discussion and demonstration of the VM vol. 1 and a program in the Lecture Room featuring an introduction to the website and remarks on the history of antiquarian visual culture by Rosemary Hill FSA, Ed Kluz, and Martin Myrone FSA.
Please contact the organiser by email to book firstname.lastname@example.org
The British Museum’s next big show will be about Troy – the artistic and archaeological legacy of stories from the Trojan War, with Schliemann and Hollywood playing major roles. A controversial sponsor might also get a walk-on part.
Troy: Myth and Reality, the first major exhibition of its kind in the UK, is being curated by Alexandra Villing, Vicky Donnellan and Lesley Fitton FSA, the former Keeper of Greece and Rome who, I am told, has been integral to the project from the beginning, and is staying on as a historical advisor.
Troy is an intellectual challenge to archaeology. A literary myth at the heart of Western culture is twinned with 19th-century excavations, that even at the time were notorious, by an ambitious, brilliant and imaginative-verging-on-fantasist German businessman: myth and archaeology remain impossible objectively to reconcile, yet are equally hard to separate. Heinrich Schliemann’s story continues to be debated by archaeologists, and it has unsurprisingly been turned into novels – including recently by Peter Ackroyd, in The Fall of Troy (2006).
Many Fellows have been involved with Troy over the years, among them Anthony Snodgrass FSA, who once commented that a new biography – Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit, by David A Traill (1995) – had ‘proved beyond argument that Schliemann, if not a complete psychopath, was an unsavoury character, egocentric, a bully to the weak and a sycophant to the powerful, and, above all, profoundly dishonest’ (Nature 2 November 1995). And there is the dilemma: ‘Yet Schliemann's discoveries,’ added Snodgrass, ‘however much embroidered and added to by his dishonesty, were real enough: the buildings at least, even older than he himself thought them, are there for all to see.’
The BM will exhibit nearly 300 outstanding objects, it said in a press announcement on 18 June, drawing on its own collections (Odysseus and the Sirens on an Athenian jar, c 480BC, above right) and including significant loans. The Ashmolean Museum will lend a Roman sarcophagus lid (photo detail at top) with a wheeled wooden horse wearing a helmet and shield – suggesting the Greek warriors squeezed inside. Chatsworth House will lend Filippo Albacini’s (1777–1858) marble sculpture, The Wounded Achilles; the gilded arrow in Achilles’s heel has been restored especially for the exhibition (below, 1825, photo © the Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth, reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees).
Beside the ancient remains will be more recent exhibits, among them responses to key objects in the exhibition created with participants from two charities, Crisis and Waterloo Uncovered, to highlight how the experiences of characters in the story resonate with displaced people and soldiers today. Artist Eleanor Antin’s Judgment of Paris (after Rubens) imagines Helen of Troy’s response to being used as a bribe (bottom, 2007, from "Helen's Odyssey" © Eleanor Antin, courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York).
The exhibition is supported by BP, a long-term sponsor at the British Museum whose presence has attracted recent criticism. In February BP Or Not BP’s largest protest at the museum to date focused on allegations that BP had lobbied the UK government to gain access to Iraq’s oil reserves ahead of the war in 2003. With the sudden growth in public awareness of global climate change driven by fossil fuel use, it will be interesting to see how both BP and the BM respond to the inevitable objections.
The BP exhibition Troy: Myth and Reality runs from 21 November 2019 to 8 March 2020 in the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery.
Lesley Fitton FSA and Alexandra Villing have written about ‘the reality behind the myth’ of Troy in a British Museum blog.
Chris Skidmore MP FSA on the Value of Arts and Humanities
On 6 June Chris Skidmore MP FSA spoke in Burlington House at a meeting hosted by the Society of Antiquaries and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and introduced by Paul Drury FSA. ‘I gave a speech on the importance of the humanities in modern society,’ he tweeted (@CSkidmoreUK) soon after the event, ‘to @SocAntiquaries @ahrcpress tonight. At over 5,000 words long, certainly the longest speech I’ve given as Universities Minister, but it needed to be said.’
To an audience whose expertise was well revealed in the subsequent discussion, Skidmore talked about the value of arts and humanities to universities and to contemporary society. The last time he had spoken at the Society, he said, was in 2013, when he launched his book, Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors. He was an academic historian aged 29 when, ‘to [his] surprise [he] was elected as the Member of Parliament for Kingswood. That brought to a sudden end any hopes [he] might have had of [his] first career path of choice, and dream of entering academia’ (he apologised to the Arts and Humanities Research Council that he never finished the DPhil it had funded). Nonetheless, he continues to write history – not for money, ‘but because, like many of you here this evening, I am drawn by that overwhelming desire to understand, to comprehend, how different, how similar, previous generations are to our own, and to understand them on their own terms, for their own sake.’
He has always been keen, he said, to build bridges between his two portfolios, of higher education as a Minister in the Department for Education, and of science, research and innovation as a Minister in the Department of BEIS. Speaking for the first time since the publication of an independent post-18 review of education and funding (the ‘Augar review’), he said he wanted to consult with the higher education sector on the proposals. High-quality education in a range of subjects ‘is absolutely critical for our public services’, he said, ‘and is culturally enriching for our society. But we must be careful not to confuse high-quality with high-value, for they are two different concepts, with two very different outcomes.’
In its current form, data ‘cannot measure everything. And until we have found a way to capture the vital contribution that degrees of social value make to our society – degrees like Nursing or Social Care – then we risk overlooking the true value of these subjects. The same goes for the Arts and Humanities.
‘Although some people around us may argue that the contribution of these disciplines to society may be less tangible, their influence is all around us. I challenge the critics to imagine a world without art, without music, without literature. Without people who can think outside the box or challenge ideas. All this comes from the critical thinking that knowing about different cultures, philosophies and languages provides us.’
The full text of the speech is on the Government website, and Skidmore can be seen delivering it in a recording made at the time.
Photo at top shows, left to right, Chris Scull FSA, the Society’s Director, Paul Drury FSA, President, Chris Skidmore MP FSA, Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and John Lewis FSA, the Society’s General Secretary.
Queen’s Birthday Honours
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, published on 8 June, as usual recognised several people who have made public contributions to our heritage and culture, among them those listed here with their citations and notes:
Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Julie Ann Kenny, CBE
Chair, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. For services to Heritage.
Julie Kenny is one of the founding members and Chair of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, one of the most important country houses in England and without her determination and perseverance it would undoubtedly have been lost. While many people were concerned about the future of Wentworth Woodhouse, she put in the hard graft to develop local and national support for taking on the house from the previous owners. She led in the negotiations to acquire the property and secured funds for emergency repairs. This included £3.5m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and over £7m from government. The Trust acquired the house in 2017 and she is now fundraising and overseeing the implementation of a master plan to secure the long term future of Wentworth Woodhouse. Her commitment to hard work and determination is based in her experience of founding and leading a security equipment business which now exports to over 70 countries. She has received several awards recognising her role as a champion and exemplar for entrepreneurs, businesswomen and the importance of investing in the workforce. She has served as a Commissioner on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and as a board member and Chair of Yorkshire Forward. She was High Sheriff of South Yorkshire for 2012/13, Branch President of the NSPCC and as an Intervention Commissioner, appointed by the Secretary of State to improve governance at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
Nigel Martyn Carrington
For services to Higher Education and the Creative Industries. (London)
Nigel Carrington has played a pivotal role in higher education and the rise of the UK creative industries since 2008, transforming UAL from a disparate set of well-known colleges into Europe's leading and largest creative university. He is a founding director of the Creative Industries Federation and is entrusted with official reviews for the Government. He joined UAL as vice-chancellor in 2008, after a career in law and business. He refocused the academic portfolio to enrich the student experience and develop UAL's institutional standing. It is among the most diverse elite universities at 34% working class and 29% BAME students 2017. Since 2016, UAL has worked with the GLA to create the Fashion District in East London as part of the Olympic legacy. UAL's renewal programme includes the £69m redevelopment of Camberwell College, with upcoming projects for London College of Fashion and London College of Communication. He chaired the Challenge Group for the FCO as part of the Government Triennial Review of the British Council in 2013. In 2017 he delivered the report and recommendations for DCMS on strengthening the process for retaining national treasures. He founded and chairs the Creative Industries Federation's Higher & Further Education Working Group. Nigel chairs Advance HE, the Henry Moore Foundation, and Burgh House and Hampstead Museum. He previously chaired Jeans for Genes and the English Concert, with non-executive roles at UCLH NHS Foundation Trust; Independent Opera; Crisis UK; and International Students House.
Dr Samir Shah, OBE
Chief Executive and Creative Director, Juniper Television. For services to Television and to Heritage. (London)
Professor Malcolm Russell Airs FSA
Lately Director, Kellogg College, Oxford. For services to the Historic Environment, Conservation and Education. (Wallingford, Oxfordshire)
Ptolemy Hugo Dean FSA (above right)
For services to Heritage and Design. (Wadhurst, East Sussex)
John Mark Gibson
Founding Trustee, Dumfries House and Founder and Trustee, Scottish Dark Sky Observatory. For services to Heritage. (Dalmellington, Ayrshire and Arran)
Bettany Hughes FSA (left)
Historian, Author and Broadcaster. For services to History. (London)
Dr Anna Keay (below)
Director, Landmark Trust. For services to Heritage. (Maidenhead, Berkshire)
Richard Ovenden FSA
Librarian, Bodleian Library. For services to Libraries and Archives. (Wolvercote, Oxfordshire)
Dr Christopher Geoffrey Wakeling
Chairman, Historic England's Places of Worship Forum. For services to Heritage. (Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire)
Thomas Alfred Evans
For services to Farming Heritage. (Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys)
Mark Philip Horton
Chief Executive Officer, Ballinderry Rivers Trust and All-Ireland Director, The Rivers Trust. For services to Conservation
Linda Barbara Lloyd Jones
Head of Exhibitions and Loans, Victoria and Albert Museum. For services to British Culture
Journalist, Historian and Presenter. For services to History. (Exbury, Hampshire)
Head of Engagement, Museum of London. For services to Culture and Diversity. (London, N4)
Dr Jean Lesley Wilson FSA
President, Church Monuments Society. For services to Heritage. (Cambridgeshire)
Valerie Jane Hepworth
For services to the Yorkshire Gardens Trust and Conservation. (Richmond, North Yorkshire)
Harold Clifford Panton
For services to Heritage in Lincolnshire. (Spilsby, Lincolnshire)
Carole Ann Ryan
Lately Listing Adviser, Historic England. For services to the Historic Environment, Conservation and Cultural Heritage. (Kent, BR6)
DIPLOMATIC SERVICE AND OVERSEAS LIST
Ian Richard Hodder (left)
Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University, USA. For services to archaeology and UK/Turkey relations
Dr Giuseppe Vito Albano
Curator, Keats-Shelley House, Rome, Italy. For services to UK/Italy relations
Fellows (and Friends)
Bernard Hamilton FSA
, historian of the Crusades, died in May.
John M Lewis FSA
, archaeologist of medieval Wales, died in June.
Claire Donovan FSA
, art historian art historian and specialist in medieval manuscripts, died in June.
Erla Hohler FSA,
historian of Scandinavian medieval art, died in June.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains further notices on the late Derek Renn FSA
, the late Arthur ApSimon
and the late Antony Carr FSA
As I write archaeologists are tweeting from a conference in St Helier, Jersey, held to celebrate the achievements of Alison Sheridan FSA
, Principal Archaeological Research Curator at National Museums Scotland, in the field of European prehistory. The theme of the Prehistoric Society Europa Conference 2019, Neolithic Connections: Britain, The Channel Islands and France
, is central to Sheridan’s research. Speakers include Chantal Conneller FSA
, Andy Jones FSA
, Lesley McFadyen FSA
, Chris Scarre FSA
and Fraser Sturt FSA
. The meeting was opened by Clive Gamble FSA
, President of the Prehistoric Society, and Sheridan was presented with that Society’s Europa prize. She has collaborated on many international research projects, among them the Beaker People Project (led by Mike Parker Pearson FSA
), Projet JADE and Projet JADE2 (led by Pierre Pétrequin), studying prehistoric marine resources via biomarker proxies in pottery (led by Richard Evershed), Touching the Past (led by Linda Hurcombe FSA
) and the Gristhorpe Man Project (led by Chris Knüsel FSA
, Nigel Melton and Janet Montgomery). She is analysing the results of excavations at Les Fouaillages, Guernsey, by the late Ian Kinnes FSA
Michael Carter FSA
has written The Art and Architecture of the Cistercians in Northern England, c 1300-1540
, described by the blurb as a major reappraisal of Cistercian art and architecture in the late Middle Ages. Northern England’s Cistercian abbeys offer some of the finest monastic remains in all of Europe, and much has been written on their 12th- and 13th-century architecture. In the first in-depth analysis of its kind, the book questions many long-held opinions about the Order’s perceived late Middle Age decline among northern houses and nunneries. Extensive works were conducted then at well-known abbeys such as Byland, Fountains, Kirkstall and Rievaulx, and also at lesser-known houses and at many convents of Cistercian nuns. This study examines the motives of Cistercian patrons and the extent to which the Order continued to enjoy the benefaction of lay society.
‘History as Pastime’: Jean de Wavrin and his Collection of Chronicles of England
, by Livia Visser-Fuchs FSA
, tells the story of the Burgundian long known to historians, says the blurb, but not always regarded as important. Visser-Fuchs has reappraised Jean de Wavrin’s life and achievement in this substantial volume of over 700 pages. Wavrin (c 1400–1477) served in the Anglo-Burgundian army, then married a rich widow and settled down to a quieter life in Lille, where he composed his massive compilation of the histories of England. At the same time he became a supplier of romances to Philip the Good, and an avid collector of books himself. This major book studies his life, as soldier and civilian, ambassador and courtier, and his library and interests. The many beautiful manuscripts of his works are catalogued and analysed and his use of sources, purpose in writing and the value of his achievement are fully treated.
Charlotte Higgins FSA
has received another accolade for her book Red Thread: On Mazes & Labyrinth
, winning the 2019 Arnold Bennett Prize for her exploration of the labyrinth story’s Classical origins and its afterlife in European culture. The prize is for printed books of any genre by a North Staffordshire writer, or set in North Staffordshire. The book has been well reviewed. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst called it ‘playful and gorgeously written’ in the Guardian
; Ian Sansom described it as a ‘serious, substantial, scholarly and yet also highly personal book’ in the Spectator
; and Stuart Kelly, writing for the Scotsman
’s Books of the Year, named Higgins ‘a nimble thinker’ who links ‘the ancient stories of the Minotaur to archaeological fabrication in the Edwardian era and to Arnold Bennett and the Potteries,’ in one of ‘the most interesting books this year’. It is also, wrote Natalie Haynes in the Observer
, ‘a deeply personal exploration of the role of the labyrinth in Higgins's own life.’
June 2020 will mark the centenary of the teaching of archaeology at Cardiff University, making it the oldest archaeology department in Wales and among the oldest in Britain. Mortimer Wheeler FSA
started it off, sharing a post with what is now Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. He and his wife, Tessa Verney Wheeler FSA
, conducted major excavations in Wales and elsewhere, a tradition which Cardiff University and the Museum have continued. Throughout 2020 the Department of Archaeology and Conservation will be organising celebratory public events, joined by colleagues at the National Museum and Cadw as well as by speakers from alumni. Alan Lane FSA
, Jacqui Mulville, Paul Nicholson FSA
and David Watkinson FSA
write to say that over the weekend of 5–7 June there will be an event especially for alumni, who they hope will contact them and help with further contacts for contemporaries and other archaeology and conservation graduates and past staff. Please write to email@example.com
Our Fellow at Guardian Opinion
has judged the Conservative Party leadership competition as revealed in a debate on Channel 4 TV. ‘With the nation’s farming, food, engineering and pharmaceuticals industries just four months from massive disruption,’ writes Simon Jenkins FSA
(17 June), ‘and with billions of pounds being wasted on no-deal preparation, it is appalling that Britain’s ruling party can do no better than this’ – ‘this’ being one candidate who declined to turn up, three who ‘simply lied’, a fifth who would ‘rather support no deal [to leave the EU], chaos and all’, and Rory Stewart, ‘a rank outsider [who] was not so much the winner as the only honest man standing.’ The winner, he suggests, will be whoever’s ‘record of double-talk, about-turn and mendacity will prove the most robust’.
A revised and expanded edition of The Archaeology of Afghanistan
, edited by Warwick Ball FSA
and Norman Hammond FSA
, was launched at Burlington House on 28 May, in the presence of the Society's Patron, HRH the Duke of Gloucester FSA
, His Excellency Said Jawad, the Ambassador of Afghanistan and others from the Embassy, as well as contributors to the volume and many scholars who have worked in Afghanistan over the years. The original book was edited by the late Raymond Allchin FSA
and Norman Hammond FSA
in 1978, but, says Hammond, ‘after 40 years and despite many wars, Afghanistan had still yielded enough fresh knowledge to make a new edition imperative’. The book, he adds, weighs 3 kilograms.
Helen Fulton FSA
has published The Cambridge History of Welsh Literature
, co-edited with Geraint Evans, Swansea University. ‘Appearing in the prestigious Cambridge University Press series of national literary histories,’ writes Fulton, ‘this is the first comprehensive single-volume study of the literature of Wales, from post-Roman Britain to the present day. The book is also the first to consider literature in Welsh alongside Welsh writing in English, bringing together two traditions which are usually considered separately, and emphasising the continuous tradition of bilingualism that has marked Welsh cultural practice since the earliest written records. Structured as a series of chronological periods, each section of the book is prefaced by a historical introduction, showing how literary production in Wales is very much a product of its historical and social context.’ The photo shows (right to left) Evans and Fulton in conversation with Gillian Clarke and Jon Gower at the Hay Festival in May.
Members of the Richard III Society receive the Ricardian
as a benefit of membership. It was established in 1961 as a newsletter with historical notes, and issued quarterly; since 1974 it has contained historical articles only. Thanks to James Petre, Anne F Sutton FSA, Christian Steer FSA
and Livia Visser-Fuchs FSA
, the articles, notes and reviews in volumes 3–20 (October 1974 to 2010) are now available as PDF downloads free of charge to all
. Future volumes will be added to the online series after a minimum of five years. Contributions include detailed biographies of men and women whose lives were directly relevant to Richard III, such as relatives, officials and servants, merchants, craftsmen, artists and scholars whose careers add to our general knowledge of fifteenth-century society. There are discussions of aspects of social life, political and economic issues, important events, including battles, crucial texts, heraldry, works of arts and archaeological finds. Specific Ricardian issues include the controversial portraits of Richard III, his favourite saints, the princes in the Tower and the issue of Edward IV’s marriage.
Over the past decade the house at Knole, Kent, has been the focus of the National Trust’s largest conservation project, supported by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. Major work has been carried out on the fabric and environment of the Jacobean treasure-house in order to conserve internationally significant collections housed at the property, allowing the Trust to explore and better understand the largest country house in England
. Knole Revealed: Archaeology and Discovery at a Great Country House
, by Nathalie Cohen FSA
and Frances Parton, shares the discoveries made through detailed archaeological recording and conservation.
A Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery at Andover Airfield, Penton Mewsey, near Weyhill, Hampshire: Excavations 2007–10,
by Isca Howell with Lyn Blackmore FSA, Jon Cotton FSA
and Michael Henderson, describes excavation by MOLA on a chalk downland site that revealed funerary activity from the Chalcolithic (Beaker) period to the Late Bronze Age. A single inhumation became the focus for later cremation burials, which were succeeded by two isolated barrows and a barrow cemetery, in turn attracting further urned and unurned cremation burials. In all, 43 burials are detailed in a comprehensive study of a classic Bronze Age funerary landscape. In addition, a 5m-deep Middle Bronze Age shaft produced an assemblage of animal bone, possibly the remains of feasting.
James Stevens Curl FSA
writes to say that he has just returned from a lecture-tour to promote his recent book, Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism
, in several states in the USA, following his acceptance of an Arthur Ross Award for Excellence from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art of America. The photo shows Stevens Curl giving his acceptance speech in the University Club, New York City, during a Gala Dinner for 400. He was subsequently the guest of several Chapters of the ICAA, in Philadelphia, Washington DC, New Orleans, Denver Colorado and Boston Mass. A paperback of Making Dystopia
is due out this summer.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, has awarded the National Trust Independent Research Organisation status (IRO). This will enable the Trust to apply directly to the Research Councils for funding, and to collaborate further with researchers across culture, history and the natural environment. The new IRO status, said the Trust in a press release, is a step towards the Trust’s ambition to embed research excellence at the heart of all its activities. It joins other research-led organisations with IRO status including the V&A, Historic England and the RSPB.
Nigel Llewellyn FSA
has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Heritage Science Forum (NHSF). The Forum brings together leading heritage science organisations in the UK, demonstrating the public benefit of heritage science and working through its members to improve partnerships; a new strategic framework
for UK heritage science was launched last December. Llewellyn was an academic-sector art historian, and was Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, until he moved to Tate in 2007 where he established the research department and developed a research strategy for the museum across all sites. He was Programme Director of the AHRC Research Centres Scheme (2003–05) and has been involved in many other research council roles.
Bernard Hamilton FSA
died on 20 May aged 86. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1980.
In a long career at the University of Nottingham Bernard F Hamilton focused on the Crusades and medieval Christianity, especially the eastern Mediterranean between around AD 1050 and 1300, but ranging more widely in his extensive research and writings. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Crusading History.
He was President of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, which tweeted (@latineast) that ‘Among his many distinctions of character, his exceptional scholarship, kindness, and support for young scholars will be fondly remembered and very much missed.’ Many of his books become staples of undergraduate reading lists, and some of his articles were collected into two volumes, Monastic Reform, Catharism, and the Crusades (900-1300)
(1979) and, picking up on the following 20 years, Crusaders, Cathars and the Holy Places
His other books include The Latin Church in the Crusader States: The Secular Church
(1980, 2016), The Medieval Inquisition
(1981), Religion in the Medieval West
(1986), The Crusades
(1998), The Leper King and his Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem
(2000) and The Christian World of the Middle Ages
John France and William G Zajac FSA
edited a collection in his honour, The Crusades and their Sources: Essays Presented to Bernard Hamilton
(1998). In his introduction, France wrote of ‘a fine scholar and a kind and considerate person. Bernard has worked in many fields, as the bibliography of his works indicates, but his interest in the crusades has been an abiding theme. It is a mark of the contribution which he has made and continues to make in this field that so many scholars have been happy to write essays for this volume. Amongst them are a number of his pupils: Bernard has advanced learning not only by his own research but also by his teaching which has so often inspired a lasting interest in the crusades.’
Hamilton was himself fulsome in his thanks to those institutions and individuals who helped him with his research. ‘My children’, he wrote in his study of Baldwin IV, ‘spent their adolescence to the sounds of early drafts of this work being torn up. To them, and to my wife, who has shared her marriage for the past 17 years with the court of crusader Jerusalem, this book is affectionately dedicated.’ On another occasion he wrote of his wife, Janet, that he had ‘specially valued her good humour when confronted by the moodiness which so often, at least in my case, seems to accompany book production’, and, elsewhere again, of ‘the antisocial hours and moods in which writing this book has involved me’.
Bernard Hamilton was also a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and of the Royal Historical Society.
Derek Renn FSA
died on 31 May aged 89. He was a Lifetime Fellow of the Society, having been elected in March 1966.
After education at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Barnet, Derek Frank Renn entered the Civil Service through an open executive competition and became a Government Actuary, in a life’s work rising to Senior Actuary and Establishment Officer. He tutored in demography, friendly societies, life interests and reversions at the institute of Actuaries, and edited their Journal.
He edited Life, Death and Money: Actuaries and the Development of Social and Financial Markets
(1998). He was a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Actuaries, and received a CBE in 1992 for his work at the Government Actuary's Department.
That might seem career enough, but most Fellows will have known Renn more for his work on castles and as a committee member and chair of archaeological organisations – and not least as a member of Council and Treasurer of this Society.
He said that his interest in castles began early with a visit to Caesar’s Camp on Castle Hill, Folkestone, a medieval castle mound and ringwork first investigated by General Pitt-Rivers FSA
in 1878. In subsequent decades he wrote 11 guides to help other castle visitors across England and Wales, among them to Clifford’s Tower (York), Old Sarum, Portchester, Pevensey, Goodrich and Caerphilly.
He was awarded a Reginald Taylor Medal by the British Archaeological Association for an essay on Anglo-Norman keeps in 1959, and his cataloguing bore fruit in Norman Castles in Britain
(1969, 1973). This was the basis for his doctoral thesis at the University of Southampton, The Development of Fortification in England 1166–1236
(1977), for which he was supervised by Barry Cunliffe FSA, David Hinton FSA
and Colin Renfrew FSA
. He was a founder member of the biennial Colloques du Chateau Gaillard and of the Castle Studies Group (CSG), and he co-authored (with John Kent FSA
and the late Anthony Streeten FSA
) a report on extensive excavations at South Mimms Castle, Hertfordshire.
The CSG held a conference in his honour in 2018 at the Society, and to launch a Festschrift, Castles: History, Archaeology, Landscape, Architecture and Symbolism
, edited by Neil Guy FSA
, with essays from Philip Dixon FSA, Anthony Emery FSA, Neil Guy FSA, Robert Higham FSA, Matthew H Johnson FSA, John R Kenyon FSA, Jeremy K Knight FSA, Neil Ludlow FSA, Pamela Marshall FSA, Peter Purton FSA, Rachel Swallow FSA
and the late Rick Turner FSA
. Renn’s ‘clear, concise analysis’, wrote Neil Guy in the Preface, ‘was an inspiration … Derek made himself accessible to all with a relaxed congeniality, ready to share his knowledge and always making time to consider, review and readily accept new concepts and ideas, especially when a greater emphasis was placed on the residential, symbolic and landscape aspects of castle studies from the late 1980s onwards.’
In addition to his many publications on castles, Renn found time for other topics, from letterboxes in Leatherhead and a flint axehead from Hampshire to scratch dials in Surrey churches. He sat on the Council of the Surrey Archaeological Society, he was President of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society and of the Leatherhead and District Local History Society, and he was Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Statistical Society.
John Kenyon FSA
is among those inspired by Renn, as he tells Salon
‘My boyhood interest in castles was reawakened in 1969 when I passed Berkhamsted castle on the train, en route to my interview at the Society. Just after Christmas that year, I began work as the assistant to the indefatigable John Hopkins, the Society’s Librarian. I soon discovered the bay in the Main Library that held numerous volumes on castles, and it was not long before John introduced me to a Fellow who made regular visits to the Library in his lunch hour from his work as a government actuary. This was Derek Renn, who guided me in my reading, keeping me abreast on recent work, and answering numerous questions fired at him as soon as he set foot in the Library. I owe Derek a huge debt, as I mentioned at the conference that I organised last October at the Society held in Derek’s honour, although he could not attend. It was through Derek’s kindness and friendship, and those of several others such as Arnold Taylor FSA, Andrew Saunders FSA
and members of the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments in particular from the early 1970s, that I have managed to make some mark in the field of castle studies over the last 40 years.’
Ann Renn writes that her husband ‘was always a very active member of the Society having served as Treasurer for several years, and up until his death was still enjoying borrowing books from the library on a regular basis. After living in a care home for the past 18 months his passing at the end was quick and very peaceful. Thank you to the Society for the pleasure it gave Derek over many years.’
The funeral will be on Monday 24 June, at 1.15 pm at Randalls Park Crematorium, Leatherhead.
Photo of Derek Renn in 2012 by Neil Guy.
John M Lewis FSA
died on 4 June aged 92. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1969, a few months over 50 years ago.
John Masters Lewis was Assistant Keeper, Medieval and Later Antiquities at the National Museum and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff. He wrote The Medieval Tiles of Wales
(1999), part of a UK-wide census of medieval tiles, and A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales
(2007, with Mark Redknap FSA
). A number of guides for the National Museum include Welsh Monumental Brasses
(1974), Welsh Medieval Paving Tiles
(1976), White Monks in Wales
(1976, with David H Williams FSA
), Mediaeval Pottery and Metalware in Wales
(1978) and The Ewenny Potteries
(1982), and he wrote a guidebook to Carreg Cennen Castle.
Blaise Vyner FSA
and Stuart Wrathmell FSA
edited a collection of essays in his honour, Studies in Medieval and Later Pottery in Wales
(1987), and Lewis himself edited (with George C Boon FSA
) a tribute to H N Savory FSA
upon his retirement as keeper of Archaeology, as Welsh Antiquity
David Lewis writes:
‘The funeral service will be at 2.15 pm on Friday 28 June at St. Stephen's Church, Worcester (St. Stephen's Street, Worcester WR3 7HS). This will be followed by cremation at Worcester Crematorium at 3.15. Afterwards there'll be some tea at a hotel in Worcester. No flowers, but if people wish to make a contribution to a charity in lieu of flowers we would suggest Calibre Audio Library in Aylesbury, which our father relied on a lot in recent years.’
Photo of John Lewis in 1971 by Blaise Vyner.
Claire Donovan FSA
died on 5 June following a short illness, aged 71. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1995. She was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Royal Historical Society. Sandy Nairne FSA
has kindly written this tribute for Salon
‘Claire M Donovan was a valued member of the Society’s Kelmscott Campaign Group, where she contributed thoughtfully to discussion about how to attract more people to support the conservation and regeneration of Kelmscott Manor. Claire worked closely with Dominic Wallis, Head of Development, on an application to the Wolfson Foundation, which subsequently granted significant support towards the conservation of the Manor house. Most recently she led the initiative to collaborate with the Oxfordshire branch of the Royal Society of Arts (of which William Morris FSA
had been a Fellow) in order to stage an event on 28 March in the chapel of Exeter College Oxford where Morris was a student. Claire’s contribution focused on Morris’s love of books and medieval manuscripts, and she included illustrations of books Morris owned while at Oxford (which he had rebound) and his later collecting of important early books which fed into the creation of the Kelmscott Press.
‘Educated in Oxford, Claire studied English and History of Art at the University of London, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma at University of Oxford, and then completed her PhD at the University of East Anglia – with a thesis topic on The Early Development of the Illustrated Book of Hours in England 1240-1350
. Among her academic appointments she was Dean of Academic Development at Southampton Solent University from 1991 to 2002, and Deputy Principal of Dartington College of Arts from 2002 to 2008.
‘More recently she was an Honorary Research Fellow in the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter, a Council member of the Devon History Society, a Trustee of Poltimore Trust and Chair of the South West Association of Preservation Trusts. She was currently working on a research project on the Winchester Bible.’
Claire Donovan’s sons, Giles Baker and Dunstan Baker, write:
‘Claire's funeral will be held on 28 June at Littlehempston Church, Littlehempston, Totnes, TQ9 6LY, at 2 pm. There will be food served in the church and churchyard afterwards. Claire was deeply attached to so many people. She was fuelled by human connections, throughout her life and during these last few weeks. Let's make her funeral a huge celebration of those connections, and create many more for the future. If you are planning to attend, please send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know how many will attend. If you want to share any other thoughts, feel free to do so.’
Photo of Claire Donovan earlier this year at Exeter College by Dominic Wallis.
Erla Bergendahl Hohler FSA
died on 9 June aged 81. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1991 as a distinguished Norwegian archaeologist and art historian.
Born in Oslo, Erla Karine Bergendahl came to London to study at the Courtauld Institute after graduating from the University of Oslo. Fellow Courtauld students included Sabrina Harcourt-Smith FSA
and Eric Fernie FSA
, and in 1961 Bergendahl married their Tutor for Medieval Studies, the late Christopher Hohler FSA
. She began a career at the University of Oslo in 1975 as Assistant Professor at the Institute of Art History. She became Keeper of the Medieval Department at the University Museum of National Antiquities in 1987, and finally Professor of the Department of Archaeology, Art History and Numismatics in 1993. In 1994 she received a Professorship in Art History at the University of Tromsø, and was elected a Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
She published extensively on medieval art and architecture, and helped many others with their own researches. Major works include Norwegian Stave Church Carving
(1989) and Norwegian Stave Church Sculpture
(1999). She co-authored Painted Altar Frontals of Norway 1250–1350
, a three-volume study, with Nigel Morgan, Anne Wichstrøm and Unn Plahter (2004). In 2007 the Norwegian Academy held a conference in her honour on the theme of Stave Churches and Their Decoration
. She was an Overseas Representative for the British Archaeological Association.
The photo is by Nina Aldin Thune/Wikimedia.
, who died in April
, can be seen talking about the Institute of Archaeology (now UCL) and his archaeological career, in a video
recorded by Stuart Laidlaw FSA
at an institute Oral Histories day-conference in November 2009; he speaks highly of Frederick Zeuner FSA
and Kathleen Kenyon FSA
. He is introduced by the late David Harris FSA
, and is sitting with fellow speakers the late Peter Gathercole and the late Beatrice de Cardi FSA
Frances Lynch Llewellyn FSA
adds this interesting detail to my earlier piece about Antony Carr FSA
, who died in April
‘Antony Carr was born in Dover, the son of a customs officer whose work later took him and his family to the Falkland Islands for nine years and then to Mauritius. The family returned to Anglesey, his mother’s home, in 1951 where Tony was educated at Beaumaris Grammar School. It was while he was still a schoolboy that he first came to national prominence as the youngest ever Brain of Britain – an honour topped when he became Brain of Brains. He had a phenomenal memory which never left him!
‘At the Department of History and Welsh History at the University College of North Wales at Bangor he built up Welsh History at a time when others, such as Rees Davies and Ralph Griffiths at Oxford and Swansea, and Ogwen Williams and Keith Williams Jones alongside him at Bangor, were bringing the subject to wider international attention.
‘In 1976 he completed his PhD on the Mostyn family and their estates in North Wales 1200–1642, using the important resources of the Archive Department at the university, where he and Alyn Giles Jones FSA
developed a very successful MA course in Archive Administration. The following decade was a fruitful period; he published a lot of notable work and was made Senior Lecturer and later Professor of Mediaeval Welsh History in 1999.
‘His book The Gentry of North Wales in the Later Middle Ages
(2017) made great use of family papers, of which Bangor has a very notable collection, and this type of detailed, but wide-ranging social history was always his first love. He was particularly pleased to support the foundation in 2013 of the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates at Bangor University. At the time of his death he was planning a new book on the mediaeval Welsh worker.
‘In 2007 he became President of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society, having been editor of their Transactions
for no less than 40 years. This work was a labour of love because he believed fervently in the importance of local history and the need for academic historians to support enthusiastic history societies. In 2008 he was President of the Cambrian Archaeological Association.’
The Wisdom of Fellows
Michael Hare FSA
, while sending details for forthcoming 'Other Heritage Events’ below about the next annual Deerhurst Lecture, has a useful proposal. ‘The events listing’, he writes, ‘is often quite lengthy, and as a user I would find it helpful if new entries to the list could in some way be highlighted. Just a suggestion to be ignored if you don’t like it!’
But I do, and from this edition I will mark newly listed events with a photo of the face that adorns the keystone over the entrance into the Society's premises – recognising not necessarily an event’s venue, but its first appearance in Salon
In the last Salon I wrote about exams
. The Russell Group of Universities had offered advice to those sitting A Levels: which should they choose if they wished to take an archaeology degree? Archaeologists were not impressed with the recommendations, and Naomi Sykes FSA
conducted a small online survey among archaeologists who listed those they had actually taken to get where they are now. Here is how three Fellows progressed, and what they studied at school (spoiler: only one has A Levels).
‘On the subject of A levels for Archaeology (where prospective applicants in general seem to receive bad advice from their teachers who know nothing of the subject)’, writes James Whitley FSA
, currently Professor in Mediterranean Archaeology at Cardiff University, ‘what the Russell Group have prepared is simply a disgrace. Virtually all Archaeology departments struggle to recruit, and are not helped by the “two cultures” mentality that still persists among teachers in schools – you are either in the humanities or the sciences. Archaeology, perhaps uniquely, requires both. And not all archaeologists in academic posts have A levels. I have none, simply six Scottish Highers (in Ancient Greek, Latin, History, English, French and Maths).’
Norman Hammond FSA
, on the other hand, has four. He is a Senior Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University; an Associate in Maya Archaeology at the Peabody Museum, Harvard University; and Archaeology Correspondent for the Times
‘I was fascinated to see in Salon'
, writes Hammond, 'that the four A Levels I sat as an accidental mélange in 1961 and 1962 were among the top five actually taken by recent students. (I had been ejected from the A Level Maths class for inability to understand the concept of calculus, and from the Physics class for a similar problem with the refractive index: I was at the time intending to read Medicine, for which three science A Levels were mandatory.)
‘So I took History – and have found it invaluable for understanding the importance of documentary evidence as a complement to material culture; Chemistry – for giving an understanding of the language of science that enabled me to liaise with hard-science collaborators in fields far beyond my expertise; Geography – because one needs to understand how landscapes evolve in order to evaluate human impact on them; and English Literature – because it taught me how to write comprehensibly: vital for publishing reports (remember Wheeler’s dictum that an unreported dig had been better not done).
‘All four of my serendipitous A Levels have proven so continuously useful that I habitually recommend them (as I do foreign languages – as many as possible – at GCSE, to open up the technical literature of archaeology across the world).’
And here is a comment from someone who arrived in the UK ready-educated:
‘Many thanks for the interesting piece on the subjects studied by archaeologists at A Level,’ writes Jörn Schuster FSA
, a consultant archaeologist, finds specialist and translator. ‘Naturally, I can’t really comment on the English system as I went through the German one to Abitur
(I finished in 1987), which required a wider range of subjects to be studied up to the age of 18/19, and continuing into a German University (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/M). All I wanted to say is that the responses Naomi Sykes and you have so expertly illustrated in graph-form confirmed how I have always described archaeology or an archaeologist:
‘An archaeologist is an organ player of life: he or she might not need to be an expert in every field, but they should know which register to pull in order to combine it all into the tune they play on the keyboard.’
Mark Samuel FSA
has another call for help:
‘One of the problems of present-day research is the large number of images reproduced on the internet without any information, let alone correct citation. This image of a Roman sarcophagus came up in a routine search. The elephant is unusually realistic and for this reason important. I am using “extrascientific evidence” to try and determine the nature of the extinct North African elephant (with the kind help of Professor Adrian Lister and others). Incredibly no (?published) fossil of the North African (Holocene) elephant has ever been found. The Mediterranean Dusty Grouper (fish) has recently been studied through Roman mosaic depiction, so a certain respectability now attends the use of this evidence. Call it “inter-disciplinary” if you will.
‘Can anyone identify this sarcophagus?’
The Society apartments and library will be closed from Monday 29 July to Monday 2 September.
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager (email@example.com).
Forthcoming Public Events
Conferences and Seminars
- 19 July: Research Showcase: Elements You are invited to join us for an engaging afternoon and evening event, providing our grant recipients the opportunity to present their work at Burlington House through table-top displays, talks and interactive workshops.
- 21 September: Open House London Join us for Open House London. We participate in this city-wide event every year, welcoming visitors into our apartments in Burlington House to learn about the architecture.
- 25 October: Postgraduate Open Day Spend the day learning about our collections and resources that can help you with your research. Hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their fields. Network with other postgraduate students and early-career researchers. Spend time in the Library, exploring our collections.
- 26 October: New Researchers Conference This conference is on the history of collecting and the role of the antiquary. The conference is part of our public outreach programme with a specific focus on engaging with ‘new’ researchers, postgraduate and early career academics. Key note speaker: Professor Arthur McGregor FSA
- 1 November: Publishing The Staffordshire Treasure: Impacts and Implications, organised by Prof Leslie Webster FSA, Dr Sam Lucy FSA & Dr Tania Dickinson FSA
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.
- 11-13 October 2019: Weekend visit to the Pembrokeshire area. Programme to be arranged.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.
Reduced Library Services
Temporary reduced library services
The Society has recruited two new staff members in the library, they will take up their appointments in July. We are still operating with reduced library services which is expected to continue until October.
Research visits: Research visits by Fellows will continue as usual during the Library’s normal opening times (Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm). Fellows wishing to consult material that needs retrieving by staff (manuscripts, archives, prints and drawings, and printed items on closed access) are asked to order material in advance.
External researcher visits will be limited to no more than 2 researchers per day and will be strictly by appointment only. Our Guidelines for Researchers give information on how to make an appointment.
Image services: Our image services are suspended, and we will not be accepting requests for images and licences from the library and museum collections.
This does not affect the photocopying service.
Other library services to Fellows will operate as normal (book loans and electronic resources service)
Please check our website at https://www.sal.org.uk/library/ for dates of planned closures.
Other Heritage Events
24 June: Delivering Public Benefit through Archaeology (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course looks at how we can plan projects to deliver public benefit consistently, how to communicate that benefit effectively, and how to evaluate the impact of our work. It is designed for all those responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work in our sector that aim to deliver public benefit. Course Director: Kate Geary, Head of Professional Development and Practice, CifA. Tutors: Taryn Nixon, independent archaeologist and heritage adviser, formerly Chief Executive of MOLA (1997-2017); Rob Lennox, CIfA, whose PhD research looked at heritage and politics in the public value era. Details online.
28 June: Lord Stewartby – The Numismatic Legacy (London)
Lord Stewartby FSA (1935–2018) was a leading figure in British numismatic scholarship in the second half of the 20th century. At this all day Symposium at the British Academy, structured around topics with which Lord Stewartby was deeply engaged, leading figures who place the use of numismatic evidence at the forefront of historical and archaeological interpretation will explore recent work which builds on his contributions to numismatic scholarship. Four sessions will cover Britain AD 300–400, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Viking England 800–1100, the British Isles 100-1150, and Scottish Coinage 1140–1707. Details online.
29 June: Jewels in Portraits: Portraits in Jewels (London)
The Society of Jewellery Historians will be holding a one-day conference at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, exploring the complementary themes of jewellery in portraits and portraits in jewellery. Renowned national and international speakers, including Mark Dennis FSA, Jack Ogden FSA and Claudia Wagner FSA, will present papers on a range of subjects that delve into the representation of jewellery in various visual media and jewels and engraved gems that incorporate portraits. Details online.
1 July: A Woman of Taste: Mrs R A Workman’s Collection of Modern French Painting (London)
Frances Fowle, Professor of Nineteenth-Century Art, University of Edinburgh and Senior Curator of French Art, National Gallery of Scotland, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
2 July: Excellent Women: The Tradition of Anglican Female Novelists (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. What do novelists Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte M Yonge, Dorothy L Sayers, Rose Macaulay, Barbara Pym, Iris Murdoch and P D James have in common? These women, and others, were inspired to write fiction through their relationship with the Church of England. This talk by Judith Maltby and Alison Shell FSA, co-editors of an essay collection, Anglican Women Novelists: From Charlotte Brontë to P D James, will explore the relationship between Anglicanism, fiction and women’s writing, and will be followed by the book launch. Details from email@example.com or 020 7898 1400.
3 July: Saving Ancient Treasures for the World (London)
The Hellenic Society and the Roman Society are hosting this day-conference at Senate House, University of London. Speakers include Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, Issam Al Hajjar, Roger Bland FSA and John Curtis FSA, and Jen Baird FSA, Andrew Burnett FSA, Philip Kay FSA and Jonathan Tubb FSA will chair sessions. Judith Mossman will offer closing words. Details online.
3–4 July: Understanding and Conserving Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. An increasing number of historic gardens and landscapes are opening their doors to the paying public. Owners and managers, reliant on tourist income, are seeking to widen their visitor base. Such development can sometimes be at odds with the conservation needs of historic sites, and this course will provide the tools for balancing the needs of developing tourist attractions with conservation and care. For trustees, volunteers and staff responsible for managing or working in a historic garden or designed landscape. Course Director: John Watkins, Head of Gardens and Landscape at the English Heritage Trust. Speakers to include: Brian Dix, Linden Groves, Emily Parker, Robin Copeland, David Lambert. Details online.
8 July: Why Study the History of the Church? Reflections on English History from the 17th to the 19th Century (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. A public lecture by Stephen Taylor (Durham University) will follow the Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society. Details online, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7898 1400.
17 July: Translating Becket: New Themes, New Meanings in the Life and Afterlife of St Thomas of Canterbury 1170-2020 (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. The talk by Nicholas Vincent FSA will follow the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library. He has published widely on English and European history in the 12th and 13th centuries, most recently on King John and Magna Carta. This lecture anticipates the 850th anniversary of Becket’s martyrdom next year and will be accompanied by a display of manuscripts from the Library’s collections. Details from email@example.com or 020 7898 1400.
22–25 July: The Medieval Book as Object, Idea and Symbol (Harlaxton)
The 2019 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium 2019, convened by Julian Luxford FSA, will address books as cultural artefacts, ie objects that are recognised and understood in particular ways and defined according to given criteria. Why, for example, is ‘book’ generally equated with ‘codex’ to the exclusion of single-sheet documents (OE boc, bec), rolls and fascicles? On what grounds are major distinctions drawn between ‘library’ books and ‘non-library’ books? Why, historically, did books and rolls signify differently? While many papers will have a later medieval focus, earlier material will also be included, and the object domain is not restricted to Britain. Lucy Freeman Sandler FSA will give the inaugural lecture in memory of Pamela Tudor-Craig FSA, on 'It’s an open book: Archbishop Thomas Arundel's copy of the gospel commentary of William of Nottingham'. Other speakers include Jessica Barker FSA, Alixe Bovey FSA, Clive Burgess FSA, Brian Cummings FSA, Elizabeth Danbury FSA, Tony Edwards FSA, Vincent Gillespie FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Nigel Ramsay FSA, Kathryn Smith FSA and Jenny Stratford FSA. Contact Christian Steer FSA, firstname.lastname@example.org or find details online.
29 July: ‘The Great Joss and his Playthings’: George IV as a Print Collector (London)
Kate Heard, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust, speaks in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
14 September: Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians (d 911) and his Deerhurst Connections (Deerhurst)
Barbara Yorke FSA will give the Annual Deerhurst Lecture in St Mary's Church, Deerhurst, Gloucestershire. Details online.
18 September: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce recent guidance to PX, and review the essential components of assessment and updated project design. In the afternoon we will review examples from current practice and consider how far they meet their purpose and justify funding decisions. The course is designed for those in supervisory, junior management or specialist roles who will be compiling and contributing to PX assessments, and those in consultancy and curatorial roles who commission and evaluate them. Course Director: Leo Webley, Head of Post-Excavation, Oxford Archaeology South. Tutors: Edward Biddulph, Senior Project Manager and Roman pottery specialist, Oxford Archaeology South; Sarah Wyles, Senior Environmental Officer, Cotswold Archaeology. Details online.
21 September: Suffolk by the Sea (Southwold)
The 5th Wheeler Conference of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History will consider the impact of the coast on Suffolk’s heritage from prehistory to medieval times. Topics include exploring Doggerland, crossing the North Sea and Scandinavian ships, Medieval trade, underwater archaeology at Dunwich, and Southwold museum (Museum of the Year 2017). Speakers include Brian Ayers FSA, Paul Constantine, Vince Gaffney FSA, David Sear and Simon Loftus. Details online.
25–27 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. Significance assessment is a key part of management and of development within the historic environment. This course will introduce the process, show you what is involved in preparing assessments of significance, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore the ways in which they can be used. Open to all, but of particular interest to heritage asset managers and advisers, planners, historic environment professionals and architects, surveyors and others who do not specialise in heritage but may need to understand assessments and their value in guiding change. Course Director: Stephen Bond, Director of Heritage Places and joint author of Managing Built Heritage. Course Co-Director: Henry Russell, Course Director of the programme in Conservation of the Historic Environment, Reading University. Details online.
27 September: Maritime Archaeology (Chatham)
This will be Chatham Historic Dockyard’s first course, with three morning talks covering themes on the history and work of the dockyard at Chatham, the built heritage and conservation of maritime architecture at Portsmouth dockyard, and marine archaeology across east Kent. Lunch will be provided, followed by a guided tour of the dockyard, introduced by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and led by Peter Kendall FSA of Historic England. Details online.
30 September: ‘The Aura of Popularity’: The Rise and Fall of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in the Nineteenth-Century British Art Market (London)
Isabelle Kent, Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Assistant, The Wallace Collection, speaks in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
10 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The course will be of interest to all those who are currently (or hope to be) involved in the commissioning or production of desk-based assessments. It is targeted towards new entrants to the profession and those who would like to develop skills in this area. Course Directors: Jill Hind (formerly Senior Project Mgr Oxford Archaeology) and Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, County Archaeologist for Wiltshire. Details online.
28 October: Architectural Salvage from Cairo to London: The Pivotal Role of the Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 (London)
Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, and Mercedes Volait, Research Professor at CNRS, based at InVisu, INHA, Paris, speak in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
29 October: Fire: Friend or Fiend in Human History? (Bournemouth)
The Third Annual Pitt Rivers Lecture at Bournemouth University will be given by the internationally renowned anthropologist Ruth Tringham (University of California at Berkeley). She will explore how archaeologists can and do act as arson investigators centuries or millennia after the event, focusing on the burned houses of Neolithic Southeast Europe, and earlier examples in Neolithic Anatolia (Çatalhöyük, Turkey), in order to consider how fire has been managed and controlled, and why fire is chosen as a means of destroying places, urban or rural, public or domestic. Details online.
31 October: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce the standard types of published reports currently produced by archaeologists, and how the scope and content of a report is planned. The course will then focus on two key components, the stratigraphic narrative and the discussion, and the most effective and successful ways of approaching the planning, writing and illustration of these. This will include a critical review of a number of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements that apply to writing in a professional and academic context. The course will involve some preparatory reading before the training day. Course Director: Elizabeth Popescu, Post-Excavation and Publications Manager, Oxford Archaeology East. Details online.
9 November: Sunrise Over the Stones: Recent Research into Neolithic and Chalcolithic Wessex (Bournemouth)
The CBA Wessex 2019 Annual Conference will be held at Bournemouth University. Roland Smith FSA will give the welcome address, and other speakers include Tim Darvill FSA, Mike Parker Pearson FSA, Josh Pollard FSA, Julian Richards FSA, Miles Russell FSA, Alison Sheridan FSA and Ann Woodward FSA. Details online.
15 November: Curating Decay (Waltham Abbey)
This will be Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills’ first course, with three morning talks covering a range of issues in the management of vulnerable heritage sites, and reimagining how we might adopt an ethical stance that allows us to collaborate with natural processes and decay, rather than fighting against them. Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills exhibition and a guided tour of the site led by Wayne Cocroft FSA. Details online.
25 November: A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883-1961), Dealer and Curator (London)
Barbara Lasic, Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
27–29 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
A short course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is a practical workshop carefully designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called upon to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. It will present the terms of procedure, the roles of the participants and the general feel of a Public Inquiry. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study. Training for potential witnesses will be given in how to prepare evidence for a Public Inquiry, how to produce proofs of evidence, and to experience them being given and tested under realistic conditions. You will be allocated a role to play in the Inquiry and asked to prepare a proof of evidence to fit this role. Active participation limited to 14 participants. There will also be a limited number of places available for observers. Course Directors: Roger M Thomas, Barrister and Archaeologist; George Lambrick, Independent Archaeology and Heritage Consultant. Planning Inspector: Richard Tamplin. Advocates: David Woolley QC and Allan Ledden, Solicitor. Details online.
Call for Papers
18 January 2020: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The tenth conference on New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for 30-minute papers. While the emphasis remains on new developments in architecture, we welcome proposals on related themes, such as decorative arts, gardens, sculpture and monuments. The proposals should be submitted by 31 August 2019, to Claire.email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and the final programme will be announced in September. Please include a short biography with your proposal.
2020: Seminars in the History of Collecting (London)
This series of seminar was established as part of the Wallace Collection's commitment to the research and study of the history of collections and collecting, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries in Paris and London. They are normally held on the last Monday of every month, excluding August and December, and are open to curators, academics, historians, archivists and all those with an interest in the subject. Papers are generally 45-60 minutes long and all the seminars take place at the Wallace Collection between 5.30 and 7 pm. If interested, please send short text (500-750 words) and brief CV, and indicate months when you would not be available to speak, to email@example.com by Friday 6 September 2019. Details online.
The City of London Archaeological Trust (CoLAT) announces grants for projects in the archaeology of London and its environs. 2019 deadline for applications 20 September.
The Trust is concerned with the archaeology of the City of London and any matter relating to the City’s development and the prehistory of its area. There is no specific geographical boundary to define the City’s environs, and work on all periods is eligible. CoLAT will consider applications to fund survey and excavation, the investigation of standing buildings, research and publication, equipment for volunteer and youth groups, preparation and curation of archaeological archives, digitisation of records and older archaeological publications, and exhibitions. The current Trustees also wish to encourage the introduction of young people to archaeology; the commissioning of educational schemes for work on archaeology in schools; and work to help guides on historic sites.
Details online. Further information from the Secretary of CoLAT, John Schofield FSA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (email@example.com), the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.