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Salon: Issue 403
20 March 2018

Next issue: 3 April

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

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

Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this here, but failing all else there is an online archive where new editions go live at the same time as the mailing. Every Salon lists the publication date of the next edition at the top.
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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

The Heritage of Minority Faith Buildings in the 20th Century

On behalf of the Society, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Linda Monckton FSA, Historic England, and all who attended, participated, and spoke at the Heritage of Minority Faith Buildings in the 20th Century event on 12 March. With over 80 attendees, the event was a great success with some very lively discussion and debate.

You can watch recordings of all the day's lectures here >

Did you know that you can find recordings of all our Ordinary Meetings and Public Lectures (sorted by playlist) on the Society's YouTube channel?

Dates for your diary

Remember to book your tickets for both the Anniversary Meeting Reception (Gill Andrews' last Anniversary Meeting as President) and our Summer Soirée. You can find information on all forthcoming events (including those for Fellows, the public, conferences, and special events) on the Society's website >

William Morris Windows on Guernsey Seek Help

These lovely windows were made by William Morris FSA and his partners for St Stephen’s Church, Guernsey. The church wants to restore them, and hopes to raise £85,000 for the purpose. The work will be carried out by Holy Wells Glass, a firm that has conducted similar projects at Winchester, Exeter, Wells and Worcester Cathedrals.
The windows, says St Stephen’s, were one of the firm’s earliest commissions, for a church designed by George Frederick Bodley, ‘a superb example of a Victorian interpretation of Gothic architecture of the early 13th century, with long narrow windows and tall arches.’ Of 13 Morris windows, nine were executed by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co (1861–75) and four by W Morris & Co Westminster Ltd (1875–1940).
The photos across the top show details (left to right) of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah and Josiah (by William Morris), and the Virgin Mary (designed by Edward Burne-Jones using Jane Morris as a model) and St John the Baptist (based on Morris). The large Tree of Jesse windows (1865, left) are at the west end. Morris also modelled depictions of St Peter and St Bartholomew in the east windows, which feature late-Medieval style roundel-glazing, based on 15th and 16th century Dutch paintings.
John McCormack FSA says Steve Clare is giving a talk run by the Art Fund about saving the Tree of Jesse. The photos are from the William Morris Windows Restoration Campaign’s Facebook page


Stone Circles to Mosques: Landscapes of Faith

‘The face of England is radically changing’: by 2050 20–30% of the population will be ‘from non-white backgrounds.’ The heritage sector, meanwhile, addresses ‘largely one segment of society’ by telling ‘one story’ that has ‘no room for diversity’. There is a problem with that story: ‘it doesn’t reflect reality.’
This striking message was delivered at the Society of Antiquaries on 12 March by Noha Nasser, Director of Mela Social Enterprise, a consultancy specialising in helping public spaces engage with diversity. Her keynote speech opened a conference co-sponsored by the Society and Historic England, and organised by Linda Monckton FSA, on The Heritage of Minority Faith Buildings in the 20th Century. Nasser’s talk, along with nine others given on the day, can be watched on YouTube.
Historic England, said Nasser, is aware of the challenges of diversity, and is seeking to improve things by recognising ‘everybody’s heritage’. Guidance notes on ‘contested heritage’ advise on how to handle changing interpretations of history, which may sometimes be ‘painful, shameful and challenging’. However, defined as ‘under-represented heritages,’ such interpretations can misleadingly remain secondary to an unchallenged traditional story. Unlike the arts sector, heritage remains ‘compartmentalised in its representation of Englishness’.
Nasser’s speech was based on a piece she wrote in 2016 for Historic England’s first Heritage Online Debate, Why is a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace Essential for the Heritage Sector? Duncan Wilson FSA introduces other texts, which can all be read online.
The conference coincided with news of mosques being listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Historic England’s advice. The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent’s Park (1970–77) is listed Grade II*. The Fazl Mosque, Southfields (1925–26) is Grade II (right). Britain’s first purpose-built mosque, the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking (1888–89), is upgraded to Grade I (photo at top), and a guesthouse on the site newly listed. The home to Britain’s first functioning mosque, 8 Brougham Terrace in Liverpool, is upgraded to Grade II*.
The listings are informed by research for a new book, The British Mosque: An Architectural and Social History, by Shahed Saleem and published by Historic England. It is described as ‘the first overview of Muslim architecture in Britain, from the earliest examples in the late 19th century, to the mosques being built today. The analysis focuses on the way in which the mosque has adapted into the existing urban fabric of Britain's towns and cities, and how this new building type has then impacted its urban landscape, socially, culturally and architecturally.’
Not long ago, it feels, the heritage sector’s particular engagement with religion beyond Christianity was with a narrow, sometimes eccentric area of modern Paganism, embodied, perhaps, by Arthur Pendragon. This former biker, free festival veteran, Neo-Druid and white-robed, sword-wielding reincarnation of King Arthur, has been fighting a long battle against authority for unrestricted access to Stonehenge ‘for everyone’.
At the conference in Burlington House Richard Gale used surveys to argue that ‘landscapes of faith in the UK are in a profound process of change’. He showed new data from Barking and Dagenham in east London – figures, he said, which reflect a wider pattern of change. This change is driven significantly by immigration, bringing not just more of the old minority faiths, but new religions as well (the 2011 census for the borough revealed 72 non-English languages as the main household idiom). Diversity embraces Christianity: Gale found 109 Christian groups, of which 70 were ‘newer’ (such as Pentecostal). In east London, however, there seem to be few Druids claiming ownership of Stonehenge.

More Lecturers Down PowerPoint

The most erudite of strikes (‘I haven’t seen people this mad since we tried to give Derrida an honorary degree,’ tweeted Nicholas Guyatt from Cambridge) continues. University staff are objecting to proposed changes in their pension arrangements, which would remove the current guarantee on levels of retirement income. The changes are supported by Universities UK (UUK), which says the rising cost of pensions is up against a £6.1 billion deficit. The University and College Union (UCU), representing staff, says annual pension payments would be cut by nearly £10,000.
The first round of protests ended on 16 March, after 64 (or 65) universities had staged strikes over two- to five-day periods. Talks led to a proposed deal from UUK which UCU rejected on 13 March. UCU called for external examiners to give up their agreements with other universities, and announced plans to stage a second round of strikes during final year exams.
This affects many Fellows, directly or indirectly – one of the strikers’ claims is that if implemented the proposed changes would affect universities' ability to recruit new, younger staff. Please write to Salon if you would like your thoughts about any of this to be heard. I have conducted no systematic survey, but here are a few responses from Twitter, starting at Cambridge (photo top, from Susanne Hakenbeck FSA), with ‘#downingstreetpicket spontaneously breaking into song. “Solidarity for ever”,’ Susanne Hakenbeck is on strike @shakenbeck. The two details below are from Aidan Baker @AidanBaker ('Banner by archaeologist John Robb’) and Augusta McMahon @Augusta_McMahon:

Howard Williams FSA (‘I feel very sad and upset it has come to this, but I can't justify continuing in this role while the dispute goes on,’ @howardmrw) and Greg Woolf FSA were among those

announcing their resignation from external examining. So was Rachel Pope FSA, who featured in a BBC News video from Liverpool University showing divided student opinion on the strikes (‘Im not being paid today’, says Pope in a ‘teach-out’ to a room of students, ‘as I’m on strike’). ‏These photos (above, left to right) are from @AidanBaker, @Augusta_McMahon (2) and @Codicologist. We end with a shot of archaeologists at Oxford University, from @joe_graystone:


St Columba, with his Bones

Peter Yeoman FSA has published ‘A house-shaped shrine in a Carolingian setting, as depicted in the oldest portrait of St Columba in Cod Sang 555’ (Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 146, 153–65). The paper describes Yeoman’s research into an image of St Columba in a copy of Adomnán’s Vita sancti Columbae created in the mid-ninth century in the monastery at St Gallen in Switzerland. Jane Geddes FSA, Yeoman tells Salon, has responded with a companion paper to be published in PSAS at the end of this year; it will be an art historical analysis of the same image, placing it in context of the St Gallen scriptorium.
‘Finding the oldest surviving image of St Columba in a Swiss library came as a great surprise,’ says Yeoman. He was seeking early images of the Saint as part of the research project for the new museum of the high crosses at Iona Abbey (see ‘The Hut that St Columba Built’, Salon July 2017). He identified the oldest as the one added at the back of a copy of the Saint's Vita, made around 850 in the great Carolingian scriptorium at St Gall, founded by the Irish monk Gallus in 612, a disciple of Columbanus. Supported by a Society of Antiquaries of Scotland travel grant, he went to Switzerland for a close examination of the illustration facilitated by the Stiftsbibliothekar Cornel Dora.
He there spotted ‘an intriguing group of objects shown on an altar beside Columba, which included a house-shaped shrine.’ Digital enhancement further revealed a processional cross among the objects atop the altar. The shrine box, says Yeoman, is most likely of insular type, the best comparator being the Irish-Pictish example now in Bologna dated to around 800. ‘The Saint’, he concludes, ‘therefore appears to be standing beside his altar in the great church of St Gallen, adjacent to a reliquary containing his own bones.’

‘Colleagues in the Stiftsbibliothek St Gallen’, continues Yeoman, ‘have taken a great interest in this research, which has been incorporated into their new exhibition, The Cradle of European Culture: Early Medieval Irish Book Art’ (13 March–4 November). An accompanying lecture series will include a joint presentation by Yeoman and Geddes on 'The Shrine and its Presence: The Earliest Portrait of St. Columba' (9 April).
‘Irish (and presumably Pictish) monks,’ adds Yeoman, ‘made a significant contribution to the flourishing monastic culture of the region which played a key role in the cultural development of Europe from the 6th to 9th centuries, while helping create a widespread interest in the cult of St Columba. The Abbey Library houses the finest collection of early medieval Irish manuscripts in Continental Europe.’

Mudlark or be Damned

Anna is a mudlarker, a licensed searcher of the Thames foreshore where she finds the detritus of centuries of Londoners, which she photographs for her Instagram account. On 17 March she tweeted her shock at an article in the Telegraph, which described how looters had taken part of a Tudor jetty at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich, and the keel of the Prince Frederick, a Napoleonic era warship, from Rotherhithe. However, it was not just the thefts which upset archaeologists. It was also the paper’s headline: ‘Guidebook directs looters to artefacts on Thames shore’.
The ‘guidebook’ is ‘The River’s Tale’: Archaeology on the Thames Foreshore in Greater London, by Nathalie Cohen FSA and Eliott Wragg, with Jon Cotton FSA and Gustav Milne FSA. It is the first book published by the Thames Discovery Programme, a community and public archaeology project hosted at MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) and celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The Thames foreshore – what the project likes to call ‘London’s longest open-air archaeological site’ – provides evidence for past environments and structures from prehistory to the present, including fish traps, ferry points, barges and bridges. Volunteers working across Greater London with the Thames Discovery Programme, and its predecessor the Thames Archaeological Survey, record the fast-changing archaeology of the capital’s beaches before it is washed away forever.
Detailed publication of their research has long been a contentious issue for archaeologists – mostly because of a history of 20th-century excavations that were tardily analysed or published, not infrequently by others after the original excavators’ deaths. The over-riding philosophy is that archaeological remains are part of the national heritage, and their study (especially through destructive excavation) should be made available to the public. Nonetheless, publication of information about certain finds – notably by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which typically restricts information about discovery locations for fear of attracting illicit metal-detectorists – is sometimes grudgingly, and controversially, withheld.
MOLA was not impressed by the Telegraph piece. ‘It’s in MOLA’s DNA’, Nicola Kalimeris, MOLA’s Head of Communications wrote to me, ‘to create new knowledge and share it with the world, and in this digital age there’s so much access to information online.’ Nathalie Cohen was not too pleased, either, tweeting, ‘So, where to start with this article in today’s @Telegraph? Well, an attribution to the photographer (me) would have been good. The intention of the @ThamesDiscovery authors’, she added, ‘was to inform and hopefully entertain readers about the projects work. Not to provide a ‘guide for would be thieves’. Note that locations of features recorded by TDP are already with @HistoricEngland and are thus part of public record. As they should be.’
MOLA has written a blog about the issues, ‘that will hopefully open up debate’, says Kalimeris. It’s headed Are archaeologists putting heritage sites at risk by talking about their work? What do Fellows think?
Photos by Anna@foreshoreseashore.

Fellows (and Friends)

John Wilkinson FSA, scholar-priest, died in January.
Ian Stewart, Lord Stewartby FSA, government minister and medieval coin specialist, died in March.
Peter Davey FSA, architectural historian and editor, died in March
Valerie Cromwell, Lady Kingman FSA, parliamentary historian, died in March.
Philip Priestley FSA, inventor and antique watch specialist, died in March.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains further notices on the late Jane Laughton FSA and the late Ray Sutcliffe FSA.

Ten new Fellows were elected on 15 March:
Graham Barker (coinage of the Emperor Carausis, founder member of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars)
Jonathan Benjamin (early prehistory, and coastal and underwater archaeology)
Peter Berridge (Mesolithic and Neolithic archaeology of the West Country, Wales and Essex)
Robert Densem (archaeology of London)
Mary E Harlow (the ancient life course, dress, textile production and dyestuffs)
James Hodsdon (history of Gloucestershire and surrounding area)
Visa Aleksis Immonen (medieval material culture in the Nordic countries, especially Finland)
Katie Meheux (librarian, researching Vere Gordon Childe)
Timothy Purbrick (British Army officer responsible for delivering a Military Cultural Property Protection capability)
Ian Shaw (ancient Egyptian landscape, ethnicity, technology, innovation, material culture and urbanisation)
For details see Ballot Results. Further details can be seen in the Ballot Archive (Fellows only).

Women & Power: A Manifesto, by Mary Beard FSA, was listed as the UK’s best-selling hardback in the Sunday Times (18 March), having sold 4,115 copies in the previous week (bringing the total sold to 106,530). Her other new book, Civilisations: How Do we Look/The Eye of Faith, linked to the BBC’s TV Civilisations series, came in on the same list at number seven. ‘I’m surprised, in a way,’ wrote Michael Bird in the Telegraph (18 March) of the second book, ‘that Beard agreed to put her name to this slight, rather mixed-up spin-off, in which the breadth of her understanding and the depth of her feeling for classical civilisation get short-changed by the have-it-all eclecticism of the Civilisations series concept.’ People seem to like it, though.
In late January the Canterbury Archaeological Trust’s archives were upended by thieves who took ancient artefacts and modern tools. On 16 March Kent Police reported that they had recovered much of the loot: ‘Responding to information received, and working with the Rural Task Force, officers from the Canterbury Community Policing Team attended a property in Military Road, Canterbury on Thursday 15 March and recovered the items, which includes most of the 2,000 archaeological finds stolen from the Kingsmead store.’ No arrests have been made, and the police are asking the public for help.
Blick Mead: Exploring the 'First Place' in the Stonehenge Landscape, by David Jacques FSA, Tom Phillips and Tom Lyons, describes excavations at Blick Mead, Wiltshire, between 2005 and 2016. The book, says the blurb, ‘charts the story of the Blick Mead excavations, from the project’s local community-based origins to a multi-university research project using the latest cutting-edge technology to address important new questions about the origins of the Stonehenge landscape.’ With contributions from many specialists, the monograph reports evidence for human activity beside the river Avon. Seventeen radiocarbon dates ‘present the longest Mesolithic sequence of dates of any Mesolithic site in Britain’. They range between around 7800 BC and 4800 BC, but stratigraphy could not separate different eras. Large amounts of flint artefacts, burnt flint and fragmentary bone (of which aurochs constitute 57% of the identifiable large animal assemblage) occur in a layer of wet alluvium, formed from floodwater sediment and valley side colluvium. A significant layer of late neolithic/bronze age peat was identified in boreholes south of the excavations.
Francis Pryor FSA blogs about ‘Archaeology, rural life and the lessons of history’ as Francis Pryor – In the Long Run. Never short of a word or two – 14 books listed down the side include his latest novel, The Way, the Truth and the Dead (2017) and Paths to the Past: Encounters with Britain's Hidden Landscapes (2018) – his blogs typically feature personal musings on his work and life, but few have been more intimate than his latest of 15 March. ‘My own prostate problems began in my mid-sixties’, he writes, launching into a world of biopsies, scans and bodily functions (the title of his ‘eventual autobiography,’ he decides, will be Six Prostate Biopsies and Still Cycling to Work). ‘Signs of prostate problems MUST be taken seriously,’ he concludes: ‘PLEASE don’t cover them up, or pretend they’re not there.’

Historic England’s March Heritage Online Debate is on the subject of Heritage Crime, with a focus on metal theft. Texts include ‘Government has reviewed the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. Now what?’, and ‘The development of the Heritage Crime Programme in England,’ both by Mark Harrison FSA, and ‘Protecting heritage at sea’, by Mark Dunkley FSA.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman came to London on 7 March on a three-day official visit, showcasing Saudi art, music and film in the face of protests about Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Yemen and unease about the Kingdom’s attempts to curtail free speech. Anna Somers Cocks FSA took an original line in the Art Newspaper (8 March), describing her tour of Mada’in Saleh, the southernmost settlement of first century AD Nabateans. The site, she writes, ‘has hardly been excavated yet, but 111 tombs rise out of the desert, carved into the yellow sandstone… Saudi Arabia does not have a tourist industry – one of the many things that MBS has said he wants to change – so you have to have special permission to get into the country and even more special permission to travel around it, particularly if you are a woman. In 2013, I was the guest of Mohammed Hafiz and Hamza Serafi of Athr Gallery in Jiddah who have plenty of wasta (influence) … everything suddenly became possible, and with two chaperones I found myself being driven fast out of the holy city of Medina. Mile after mile of desert went by. Then, suddenly, there were the tombs with their classical pediments and the eagles of Rome. It was a shock and unexpectedly moving to see our world, preserved in stone so deep into Arabia and the heartland of Islam.’ Photo Somers Cocks.
Between the Murray and the Sea: Aboriginal Archaeology in Southeastern Australia, by David Frankel FSA, explores the Indigenous archaeology of Victoria. He considers what the archaeology of many sites south and east of the Murray River reveals about Indigenous society, migration, and hunting techniques. An understanding of the changing environment and 19th-century ethnohistory, says Frankel, can inform our interpretation of the archaeological record, and he proposes approaches for future archaeological research. The book, says Peter Hiscock FSA in the blurb, is ‘A carefully crafted and impressively illustrated depiction of the economic and social lives of past Aboriginal peoples … it provides a foundation for thinking about the remarkable variety of ways Aboriginal foragers adapted to the lands of southeastern Australia.’

The Dawn of European Civilization, by Gordon Childe FSA, went through six editions between 1925 and 1957, and was widely regarded as a key, innovative archaeological text of international stature. Yet the book was rejected by Oxford University Press. ‘It was never a best-seller and never reviewed in the British press. It was translated only into French in 1949 and Russian in 1951.’ Thus writes Katie Meheux, in ‘”A work from an unknown member of the proletariat”: Digitising and re-examining Vere Gordon Childe’s Dawn of European Civilization,’ in Archaeology International 20 (2017). To celebrate the 80th anniversary of UCL Institute of Archaeology, UCL Library Services and the Institute digitised all six published editions, and Childe’s personal annotated copies of the third, fourth and fifth editions, recently discovered in UCL Library Stores. The goal was to make these available with full-text open access, though the links don't yet seem to offer that. Meanwhile Meheux’s fascinating article can be read. ‘The Dawn’, she writes, ‘represents an important record of the changing ideas and knowledge of 20th century European archaeology and an ancestral text for both European prehistory and archaeological theory. But it is also still a "living" text. It has never been out of print and is still widely used for archaeological research.’

Fellows Remembered

John Wilkinson FSA died on 13 January aged 88. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1980. Described by the Church Times as ‘a leading English scholar-priest of his generation’, he was Director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem between 1979 and 1984. Obituaries have been published by the Church Times (Stephen Need, 16 February), the Council for British Research in the Levant (Denys Pringle FSA, February) and the Telegraph (7 March), from which three the below is selected.
The Revd Dr John Wilkinson was born in Wimbledon, attended the Dragon School, Oxford and Haileybury College, Hertfordshire, before National Service in Malaya (1948–50). He read Classics and Theology at Merton College, Oxford, trained for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, was curate at St Dunstan and All Saints Church, Stepney, and in 1959 received an LTh degree from the University of Louvain, Belgium.
He taught at Ely Theological College, and went to Jerusalem in 1961 as a tutor at St George’s College, where he carved the college’s foundation stone. In 1963 (the year he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York) he returned to London as General Editor for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
He returned to St George’s College in 1969 as Dean of Studies, becoming a Canon of St George’s Cathedral (1973–75). Back in England again, he became Priest-in-Charge of Holy Trinity and All Saints, South Kensington, and the Bishop of London’s Director of Clergy Training. He was a Member of Council at the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (now part of the Council for British Research in the Levant) between 1976 and 1979, before taking up the post of Director. ‘These were challenging years for the school,’ writes Need, ‘and John wasn’t an archaeologist. He supported several significant archaeological projects, however, and significantly improved the library.’
Wilkinson found himself the head of an institution, writes Pringle, ‘whose principal current research project (apart from the mountains of unpublished archaeological material from previous excavations still requiring attention) was an architectural survey of Islamic buildings, managed and executed largely by architectural historians … John’s principal contribution to the School as Director was to focus the attention of staff on research and the publication of its results … He was instrumental, along with Professor Jaroslav Folda and Dr Alan Borg, in assisting me, as Assistant-Director, in launching a complementary survey project on the church buildings of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem; and together with Professor Folda and myself he organized a conference on Crusader art at St George’s College in 1982.’
In that year he was awarded a PhD by the University of London and the Courtauld Institute of Art, published in 2002 as From Synagogue to Church: The traditional Design. Its Beginning, Its Definition, Its End. After a Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks Research Institute in Washington, in 2000 he founded the friends of Academic Research in Georgia. ‘John’s love and enthusiasm for Jerusalem’, says Pringle, ‘continued through his life and infected all who met him. Despite having no archaeological training as such, his work is an object lesson for excavators of what a rigorous analysis of the documentary evidence combined with acute observation of the surviving monuments can contribute to archaeological knowledge and understanding.’
Wilkinson's many publications also included The Supper and the Eucharist (1965), Jerusalem Pilgrims before the Crusades (1977) and The Jerusalem Jesus Knew (1983). Photo Revd Stanley Cann, Church Times.


Ian Stewart, Lord Stewartby FSA died after a long illness on 3 March aged 82. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1970.
The Right Honourable the Lord Stewartby served in Margaret Thatcher’s second and third governments, as Economic Secretary to the Treasury (1983–87) and as Minister of State for the Armed Forces (1987–88) and for Northern Ireland (1988–89). He was Member of Parliament for Hitchin (1974–83) and for North Hertfordshire (1983–92). He was created a Life Peer as Baron Stewartby of Portmoak in the District of Perth and Kinross in 1992, and sat in the House of Lords until retirement in 2015.
He was, however, according to his Times obituary (9 March), ‘a politician who had a life and interests outside politics, which was probably just as well because as a Minister … he rarely set pulses racing. He was not a natural at the dispatch box and at times it seemed as if he were deliberately trying to make his brief boring. One commentator said he had a knack of emptying the chamber.’ The obituary’s subhead reads, ‘Heroically uninspiring Treasury Minister of the Thatcher era who found his true calling as an expert collector of medieval coins.’
Collecting antique coins, says the Times, became a lifelong passion after he began when he was six. He attended Haileybury and won a scholarship to Jesus College, Cambridge, to read Classics. He graduated with a first, and was also an accomplished sportsman; he later played for the Lords/Commons cricket team. Working in the City he became a Director of Brown, Shipley and Co, a bank. Out of ministerial office, he returned to the City as Chairman of Throgmorton Trust and then Deputy Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank.
By 2007 he had amassed the finest private collection of Scottish coins, with many unique pieces, which he kept in the family home in Broughton, near Peebles. In June that year more than 1,000 of the coins were stolen. Nick Holmes FSA, Senior Curator of Numismatics at the National Museum of Scotland, said at the time, ‘This collection is a unique part of Scottish history and the impact of its loss cannot be overstated.’
‘The theft and the frustration of his ambition to catalogue his entire collection’, adds the Times, ‘affected him deeply, but he rallied to publish English Coins 1180–1551 in 2009.’ Despite the offer of a £50,000 reward the coins were not recovered, and the reward is still available. He gifted the rest of his Scottish collection, containing some 6,000 coins from the reign of Alexander III in 1280 until the Act of Union of 1707, to the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, in 2017. Spinks sold his collection of English coins in two events in 2016.
His other books included The Scottish Coinage (1955) and Coinage in Tenth-Century England, from Edward the Elder to Edgar's Reform (1989). He was Honorary Keeper of Medieval Coins at the Fitzwilliam Museum. He was awarded the Royal Numismatic Society’s Medal (1996) and the British Numismatic Society’s Sanford Saltus Gold Medal (1971).
He was also a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He was knighted in 1991 for political service. service. Photo at top shows Lord Stewartby with Lady Stewartby (the Herald).


Peter Davey FSA died early in March aged 76. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1991. Born in West Yorkshire, he was assistant technical editor of the Architects’ Journal a year before he qualified as an architect in 1969. He became Executive Editor of both the Architects’ Journal (AJ) and the Architectural Review (AR) in 1978, and both journals have published tributes (by Richard Waite and Catherine Slessor respectively), from which the following has been selected.
Davey was briefly in practice with RMJM before taking up architectural journalism full time. He was Editor of both AR (1980–2005) and AJ (1982–2005). He was ‘a dogged survivor of architectural fashion and corporate regime change,’ writes Slessor, ‘seeing off a succession of inept and indifferent publishers while keeping the AR on track, both critically and commercially.’ Commenting on the AJ website, Elizabeth Farrelly, a Sydney-based author and one-time Assistant Editor at the AJ, describes him as ‘one of the great romantic idealists. Passionate, stern, smart, kind and thoughtful he was an old-school socialist, a true seeker of authenticity and justice. A believer in particularity, he was deeply committed to Modernism’s fair and decent side while suspicious of those aspects that lent it to corporate capture. Even now I think of him, with his booming voice and cantilevered sideburns, as Dickens’ Mr Creakle.’
He was ‘a devout scholar of the Arts and Crafts,’ says Slessor ‘– he even looked a bit like William Morris – and his book on the movement ['Arts and Crafts Architecture: The Search for Earthly Paradise', 1980], published as an expanded and lavishly illustrated second edition by Phaidon in 1995, is still considered the key canonical survey.’
His many awards and honours included the Order of the White Rose of Finland, for services to architecture (1991), and an OBE (1998).

Valerie Cromwell, Lady Kingman FSA died on 7 March aged 82. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1998. Maurice Howard FSA, who was President of the Society 2010–14, has written this tribute:
‘It is with sadness that we hear of the death of our Fellow, Valerie Cromwell, Lady Kingman. Valerie was a scholar of 19th-century British history, with a particular interest in the institutions of government and how they came into being through elections and appointments to office. For many years she was Lecturer, then Reader of History at the University of Sussex. Her books during her academic years included The Great Reform Bill (1973), Aspects of Government in 19th Century Britain (1978) and a work in a key series of its day, the Longman ‘Problems and Perspectives in History’, Revolution or Evolution: British Government in the 19th Century (1978).
‘In 1991 she moved to the History of Parliament Trust as its General Editor, a post she fulfilled for ten years and for which she changed the job title to that of Director, reflecting the growing executive role of the post. She is remembered by that organisation as someone who championed the working conditions of staff and ensured that the coming of the personal computer to the office desk, a transformation often handled clumsily in those early years, was an efficient and democratic process. Her public service continued on several fronts following her retirement from the job in 2001. In 2004–05 she was High Sheriff of the County and City of Bristol, where she and husband John had made their home.
‘At the Society of Antiquaries, Valerie was a serving Council Member when she volunteered early in 2011 to convene a group to consider the issues surrounding the revision of the Society’s Statutes. Valerie’s expertise in constitutional matters made her an ideal person to lead this team, and she entered into it knowing that whilst a small committee could report in a fairly short time, consultation with lawyers and the full Membership of the Society would mean a process that would take several years.
‘With our Fellows Philip Lankester FSA and Leslie Webster FSA a wide-ranging report was submitted and discussed at Council in June 2012. The team understood exactly what was needed: a radical overhaul to make the Statutes clear, consistent and coherent, and with a command of wording to make procedures more flexible. By the end of that year it was clear the 1751 Charter could remain the primary governing document but that new provisions could be drawn up. Under the guidance of our Treasurer, Stephen Johnson FSA, and a facilitating grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, work was completed by the end of 2015 and approved by the Queen in Privy Council in February 2016.
‘The revised Statutes have allowed for better provision for Fellows to nominate members of Council, a smoother conduct of the Anniversary Meeting, the reduction of Council membership to a modern, workable number of Members, amongst many other things. It is one of the key initiatives that have made us a modern and forward-looking organisation yet one that values tradition and the core values of scholarship and its dissemination. The Society is deeply indebted to the team, led by Valerie, that focused the minds of Council on this process.
‘Valerie was a loyal supporter of all the Society’s events and in recent times when illness prevented her attendance, John would come on her behalf. Personally I will remember Valerie as a colleague of strong principles and clarity of judgment. I will remember standing with her for some hours in the rain outside the Palace of Westminster in 1981 to lobby MPs about disastrous cuts to university finances. I will cherish sharing our experiences of nights at the opera. To John and all the members of her family, the Society sends its sincerest condolences and can say that we will miss Valerie greatly.’
• Stephen Roberts FSA, current Director of the History of Parliament Trust, and Linda Clark, Editor of the Commons 1422­–­1504 project, have written a tribute to Valerie Cromwell on The History of Parliament blog (14 March, whence the photo is taken), which includes these extracts:

‘Valerie’s death’, say Roberts and Clark, ‘occurred in the week marking International Women’s Day, and her achievements should be noted among those of people of her gender who have made a mark in recent years. The first woman to be appointed executive head of the History of Parliament, she deserves recognition not only for vastly improving the working conditions of the staff, but also for meeting the challenges of the new technology of the 1990s. She took a personal interest in the welfare of the staff of the History, and appreciated the value of social events such as social gatherings at Speaker’s House and elsewhere in sustaining team spirit. By establishing friendships in the separate worlds of academia and the Palace of Westminster, she helped to erode the barriers between them.
‘Valerie was a stalwart supporter of the International Commission for the History of Representative Institutions (ICHPRI), serving as Secretary-General and Vice-President. She was active in convening the History’s seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, where she was a Senior Fellow. She was a member of the editorial advisory board of the journal Parliamentary History for 25 years, from its inception in 1982 until 2007.
‘In her life outside her professional work, Valerie enjoyed a long and happy marriage to the distinguished mathematician and vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol, Sir John Kingman.’
The funeral will be at Canford Crematorium, Bristol, on Thursday 5 April at 3 pm.


Philip Priestley FSA died on 9 March aged 81. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 2003. The following is selected from an unsourced but apparently well-informed Wikipedia entry.
Philip T Priestley was born in Lincoln, and took a degree in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham (1957). During National Service he was an Electronics Instructor in the Royal Air Force. He worked for Kodak in the UK, and as an IT Manager installing large commercial computers at several locations, including four years with Eastman Kodak in the US, retiring from Kodak in 1993. He held patents in the fields of measuring small temperature differences and thermometric reaction instrumentation.
In retirement he expanded his interest in antique watches, especially those made in the US. His publications included Watch Case Makers of England. A History and Register of Gold and Silver Watch Case Makers of England: 1720–1920 (1994), Early Watch Case Makers of England 1631 to 1720 (2000), The Compendium of Chester Gold and Silver Marks 1570 to 1962: From the Chester Assay Office Registers (2004, with Maurice Ridgway FSA) and Aaron Lufkin Dennison, An Industrial Pioneer and his Legacy (2010).
He was a Member of Chiltern District Council for 26 years, and was made an Honorary Alderman in 2016. He was a Silver Star Fellow of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc, a Liveryman of the Clockmakers' Company, and a Freeman of Lincoln and London.


Tony Laughton has written this piece about his late wife Jane Laughton FSA, who died in October:
Jane was born in Stoke-on-Trent and was persuaded by her school to read a more “useful subject” such as modern languages at Birmingham University, rather than history which was her first love. After bringing up her two children she obtained a BA at Manchester University in Ancient History and Archaeology in 1981, before finding her true vocation with an MA in English Local History at Leicester University and subsequently a PhD at Cambridge, with a thesis on Aspects of the Social and Economic History of Late Medieval Chester 1350–c 1500 (1983). Cheshire was her home county and would later be the source for what she felt was her best work.
‘‘As a Research Fellow at Birmingham University, Jane worked in 1995–97 on an inter-disciplinary project on Urban Hierarchy and Functions in the East Midlands in the Late Middle Ages. This research provided the raw material for her contributions to many publications written while an Honorary Research Fellow at both Birmingham and Leicester Universities. These included: “Small Towns in the East and West Midlands in the Later Middle Ages: a comparison” (Midland History, 1999); “The urban hierarchy in the Later Middle Ages: A study of the East Midlands” (Urban History, 2001); “Seasonal patterns of trade in the Later Middle Ages: Buying and selling at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, 1400–1520” (Nottingham Medieval Studies, 2002), all in collaboration with Professor Christopher Dyer FSA; “Catesby Priory as consumer in the first half of the fifteenth century”, in The Market Place and the Place of the Market (2004).
‘While still working on the East Midlands, she was involved with the Rows Project at Chester, contributed a section on “Economy and society, 1350-1500” to the VCH’s first volume on Chester (2003), and made a detailed study of the remarkable Medieval beach market at Meols, published in The Archaeology of the North Wirral Coast (2007). Using the primary source material uncovered in her PhD thesis she wrote in 2008 her best-known book, Life in a Medieval City Chester 1275–1520 (2008), a popular approach to the city’s urban and economic history. This told the story of the city from the point of view of the common folk rather than the gentry, the aspect of all her work that she most enjoyed.
‘In her final talk in 2017 on John de Macclesfield, c 1351–1422; Local Boy made Good, Jane made a tantalising but convincing case for John and his courtly friends being closely involved in the Medieval poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This remains work-in-progress.’
Tony Laughton concludes with this from an obituary by Graeme White FSA, Emeritus Professor of English Local History at Chester University:
‘Behind all this went an enthusiasm for sharing the love of her subject with others: shown through talks to local societies and national conferences and through the encouragement she gave to the residents of her home village of Rainow, near Macclesfield, to research the history of their local community. Jane Laughton will be greatly missed, but she has made a lasting and important contribution to our understanding of the country’s late Medieval economy and society, and of Cheshire’s particular place within it. It is fitting that a collection of her notes and transcripts of documents has been donated to Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, where they will continue to benefit students of the history of the county.’


We have two further reminiscences of Ray Sutcliffe FSA, who died in February, to add to those of Greg Bailey:

‘I was indeed sorry to learn of Ray’s death’, writes Vincent Megaw FSA. ‘I got to know Ray during my decade at Leicester. Ray, ever the man of parts, was involved as I was with the then British Universities Film Council and I also poached him for the Council for British Archaeology’s Publications Committee. Ray of course did his time Down Under, attracted to Flinders as it gradually grew to be the major player in maritime archaeology in the Southern Hemisphere. His general ease of manner concealed a director of film who knew exactly what he wanted, and through example how it should be done. I’ll miss those pub evenings whether in London, Leicester, Perth (the Western Australian one) or Adelaide. It seemed that Ray knew everyone in archaeology everywhere, so it was, due to Ray, that the University of Sydney came to be the owner of a number of the early Chronicles on film, left with the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission), the orphans of a deal with the BBC which never came off.’
‘I knew Ray Sutcliffe’, writes Andrew Oddy FSA, ‘over a number of years as a colleague in the world of archaeology and museums. He once told me that when he worked for the London County Council he was part of the team whose job it was to erect the blue plaques on buildings to record who lived there. He told me that on one occasion, when the plaque was installed, the team realised that it was on the next-door building. “We let it be” was his comment. More important, however, was Ray’s attempt to save all the unused “rushes” of film when Chronicle was closed down. Those were the days when the BBC sent film units to record digs which just might make a programme. Quite a lot of footage was never aired and Ray was too conscientious to “chuck it in the bin” as he had been told to do. Ray telephoned anybody who he thought might like some of this material. I never knew how successful he was at saving the archive but at least he tried.’

The Wisdom of Fellows 

Stella Hardy, I wrote in the last Salon, got in touch after an encounter with a serpent-playing Fellow, and wondered whether the Society might be interested in a musical evening? But who was the musical Fellow?
‘I suspect’, writes Andrew Oddy FSA, ‘Maurice Byrne FSA. When we were both engaged on research in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford in 1964, Maurice spent rather a lot of time restoring an original serpent. I remember that he read a paper to the Society a few years ago, but I cannot recall the title.’
Maddy Gray FSA says Tony Parkinson FSA ‘sings in a West Gallery choir’. Could it be him? Indeed so.
‘I admit it,’ he writes. ‘I am the serpent-playing Fellow!’
‘If the Society would be interested in something with a West Gallery flavour,' he continues, '– whether a lecture or something else – I would be happy to work with Stella Hardy and the London Gallery Quire to facilitate something.’
The offer is there.
In the last Salon I mentioned, in different contexts, both Philip Venning FSA and Matthew Slocombe FSA, successive bosses at SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings). I referred to them both as SPAB’s Secretary, but as Gillian Darley FSA (a SPAB Trustee) points out, Slocombe is now correctly titled Director. Sorry.

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 Amelia Carruthers, Communications Manager (

Introductory Tours for Fellows

If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House. 

19 April: Tours are free, but booking is required >
28 June: Tours are free, but booking is required >

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.  Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of the building (£10) preceding the lectures above.

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 March 2018: 'The Legionary Fortress at Caerleon,' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in Cardiff). Find out more online.
  • 23 June 2018: 'Neath Abbey and the Ironworks' - a one day visit, led by Bill Zajac FSA with David Robinson FSA also in attendance at the Abbey. Lunch will be in-between visits at the Miners Arms.
  • July (Date TBC): An opportunity to visit the new excavations at Cosmeston by John Hinds FSA
  • 19 October 2018: Weekend visit to the Hereford area, staying in the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford and visiting places of historical and archaeological interest in the area. 
  • 18 January 2019: The Davies Family of Llandinam with its Burry Dock connection, by David Jenkins FSA
  • 11-13 October 2019: Weekend visit to the Pembrokeshire area. Programme to be arranged.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any events or receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at

York Fellows

  • 26 March 2018: The Revising Pevsner Lecture by Dr Jane Grenville (York Civic Trust). Tickets are £10, with more information available online.
  • 26 June 2018: 'Writing Yorkshire' by Professor Richard Morris - discussing his recent highly acclaimed book Yorkshire. Please email if you'd like to attend.
  • 29 November 2018: 'Surveying Shakespeare's Guildhall: a public building in pre-modern England' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in York). Find out more online.
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

21 March: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Andy Murray (Open University) talks about The Socialisation and Specialisation of Workshop Labour at the Charterhouse of Champmol, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.

24 March: Peopling the Heath – Petersfield Heath and its Region in Prehistory (Petersfield)
A free conference organised by Petersfield Museum about a project exploring a local bronze age barrow cemetery. Speakers include Stuart Needham FSA (Funerary Offerings and their Significance, and Bronze Age Communities of the Rother Valley and their World), Jacqueline McKinley FSA (Diverse Rites: Mortuary Practice in Early Bronze Age Wessex), Nick Branch FSA (Bronze Age Environment and Human Impact) and David Field FSA (Barrows and Fields: the Bronze Age Landscape). Details online.

26 March: William Gladstone and the National Gallery (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Barbara Pezzini (PhD candidate, University of Manchester, and Editor-in-chief, Routledge-Taylor & Francis Journal) will speak about The Politics of Public Collecting: William Gladstone and the National Gallery. Details online.
27 March: Charles I: King and Collector (London)
Reuniting an illustrious royal art collection, the exhibition Charles I: King and Collector marks the Royal Academy of Arts 250th anniversary. In celebration of this landmark event, Martin Randall Travel, a specialist in cultural tours, is holding an exclusive Charles I study day with lectures at the Society of Antiquaries. Hear from Per Rumberg, Curator at the Royal Academy, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, and historian Leanda de Lisle, author of the forthcoming book White King: Charles I – Traitor, Murderer, Martyr. The talks are followed by a two-course lunch at a nearby restaurant and an afternoon visit of the exhibition. Details online.

11 April: Starting in Post-Excavation (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce participants to post-excavation and the process that takes us from site record to completed report. The focus will be on report types common in professional practice and generated by development-led fieldwork. It will be ideal for archaeologists in, or moving into, supervisory roles that involve report preparation. Details online.
13 April: Historic Landscapes and Mental Wellbeing (Bournemouth)
Using historic landscapes and heritage resources to promote wellbeing represents one of the most significant advances in archaeological resource management for many years. Prompted by the HLF-funded Human Henge project, this conference at Bournemouth University provides an opportunity to hear about this and other work going on across the country and at many different scales, share experiences, and to discuss the outcomes, implications, and theoretical underpinnings of heritage-based wellbeing projects. Details online.
16–18 April: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This aims to give participants an understanding of traditional construction and its defects, and to provide the skills to carry out balanced and informed surveys of historic buildings. Course Director Henry Russell FSA, Reading University. Details online.

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

19 April: Advanced Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This builds on the knowledge and skills developed by an earlier course (16–19 April) and offers advanced additional guidance on a number of specialised topics such as non-destructive investigations, energy efficiency, mechanical and electrical services and wall paintings. Course Director Henry Russell FSA. Details online.
19 April: An Evening with Lambeth Palace Library Conservators (London)
An opportunity to view the Lambeth Palace Library conservation studio and discuss techniques and treatments with the Library’s conservation staff. Please note that the studio is reached by a Medieval spiral staircase. Numbers will be limited, please book in advance with or phone 020 7898 1400.

19–21 April: Elizabeth I: The Armada and Beyond (London)
Royal Museums Greenwich acquired the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I in September 2016, A remarkable work of art which offers a defining image of the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. This conference at the National Maritime Museum will address this moment and its consequences. It seeks to advance our understanding of the Armada Portrait specifically and Elizabeth I more generally, interrogating popular notions associated with her life and reputation, offering fresh and alternative perspectives. Details online.
21 April: Ludlow Palmers Symposium on English Tiles (Ludlow)
A symposium at St Laurence Church, Ludlow will be followed by a visit to the Jackfield Tile Museum, Ironbridge. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre on 20 April, to view a collection of 500 medieval floor tiles from across Shropshire. Speakers include Ian Betts, Hans van Lemmen and Lesley Durbin. Details online.

28 April: The Lived Experience of Women in Roman Cumbria and Beyond (Maryport)
A day conference at the Senhouse Roman Museum, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, will present and discuss the lives of women at the north-western edge of the Roman Empire. Speakers include Maureen Carroll FSA, Ursula Rothe, Alex Croom FSA, Elizabeth M Greene, Tatiana Ivleva and David Breeze FSA. The conference will be chaired by Maureen Fordham. Details online.
28 April: The Lived Experience of Women in Roman Cumbria and Beyond (Maryport)
A day conference at the Senhouse Roman Museum, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, will discuss the lives of women at the edge of the Roman Empire. Speakers include Maureen Carroll FSA, Ursula Rothe, Alex Croom FSA and David Breeze FSA. The conference will be chaired by Maureen Fordham. Details from the museum on 01900 816168 or at

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

30 April: Collecting Rembrandt’s Art in Britain (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, C Tico Seifert (Senior Curator, Northern European Art, Scottish National Gallery) will speak about Rembrandt. Details online.

4 May: Stratigraphic Analysis in Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is for those familiar with excavation and stratigraphic recording, looking to develop post-excavation skills in analysis, dating, interpretation and description. Details online.
5 May: Roman and Saxon Surrey (Ashtead)
The Surrey Archaeological Society’s major conference focuses on the period AD410–470, under the title Shining a Light on the 5th Century AD in Surrey and the South-East: How did Roman Britain Become Saxon England? ‘We feel that (historic) Surrey and adjoining counties ought to be a key area for understanding the transition from Roman to Saxon', writes David Bird FSA, 'but we are faced with the problem of having very little archaeological evidence for the period.’ Speakers include Peter Guest FSA, Sam Lucy FSA, Helena Hamerow FSA and John Hines FSA. Details online.

8 May: ‘Mysteries’ Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595) (London)
Nicholas Tyacke FSA, whose books include Altars Restored: The Changing Face of English Religious Worship 1547–c 1700, will talk at the Lambeth Palace Library in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500–1800. Details online, or email
9 May: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Adam Lowe (Factum Arte, Madrid) talks about Mediation and Transformation | Alchemy and New Technology: Factum Arte’s workshop practice in an age of 3D recording and printing, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects in the widest possible sense, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
9–10 May: The Setting of Heritage Assets and Places (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. In the context of official guidance and wide-ranging experience of practical casework, this explains why the setting of historic places matters, and the principles and practical skills of sound assessment and decision-making. Course Director George Lambrick FSA, with Stephen Carter, Ian Houlston, Richard Morrice FSA, Julian Munby FSA, Michael Pirie, Ken Smith FSA, Karin Taylor and David Woolley QC. Details online.
11–13 May: English Architecture 1690-1750: To Be or Not To Be Palladian (Oxford)
A weekend at Rewley House exploring the other traditions – among them different varieties of Classical architecture, Baroque and Gothic – which continued alongside those of the Palladian revolution, with a walk to relevant buildings in central Oxford. Speakers include Peter Lindfield FSA and Geoffrey Tyack FSA is Course Director. Details online.

16 May: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Glyn Davies FSA (Museum of London) talks about Order from Chaos? Trying to Make Sense of Medieval Art Workshops, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects in the widest possible sense, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
17 May: A Life on the Road: the Exploits and Adventures of the 17th-Century Ottoman Traveller, Evliya Çelebi (London)
A British Institute at Ankara lecture by Caroline Finkel (Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh) at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace. In 1640, aged 29, the Ottoman courtier Evliya Çelebi left Istanbul for the first time, to visit Bursa. He spent the rest of his life journeying to the ends of the sultan’s domains and beyond, from Vienna to the Sea of Azov to far up the Nile, and wrote in detail of his experiences. His informative, entertaining and often fantastical Seyahatname or Book of Travels is considered the longest travel account in world literature. Details online.

17 May: Project Management in Archaeology: an Introduction (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is designed for those new to project management and will draw on the extensive experience of the tutors in development-led archaeology. Details online.

21 May: The Circulation of Gifts from the 1875–76 Tour of India (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Kajal Meghani (Exhibition Assistant Curator, Royal Collection Trust) will speak on 'The Prince of Wales' Indian Collection': the circulation of gifts from the 1875-6 tour of India. Details online.

5 June: New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries (London)
This event at Lambeth Palace Library will showcase some recent research on library formation, public and private, in the 17th century. Three short talks, among them Jacqueline Glomski FSA on ‘Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century’, will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in 17th-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research and the application of digital methods. In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. Details online, or email

8 June: Delivering Public Benefit through Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This looks at planning projects to deliver public benefit, how to communicate that benefit, and how to evaluate the impact. It is designed for those responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work that aim to deliver public benefit. Details online.
25 June: 'Sèvres-mania'? (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth FSA (PhD Candidate and History of Art Tutor, University of Leeds) will speak about 'Sèvres-mania'? The History of Collecting Sèvres Porcelain in Britain in the Later 19th century. Details online.
27 June: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Therese Martin FSA (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid) talks about Re-opening the Treasury: Meaning in Materials at San Isidoro de León, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
6 July: Churches: History, Significance and Use (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This provides a firm foundation of the history of church architecture and furnishings, and provides skills to draft statements of significance, aimed particularly at those actively involved in management of church buildings. Details online.
30 July: J C Robinson's Collection at Auction (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Elizabeth Pergam (Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, NY) will speak about Paris over London: Victorian Curator J C Robinson's Collection at Auction. Details online.
6–9 September: Recent Archaeological Research in the Channel Islands and nearby France (St Helier, Jersey)
Building on the successful Channel Islands History Conference of 2016, this event hosted by the Société Jersiaise Archaeology Section showcases the best and up-to-date archaeological research. Speakers include Chantel Conneller FSA, Barry Cunliffe FSA, Heather Sebire FSA and Robert Waterhouse FSA. On the fourth day, if there is sufficient interest, it is proposed to run two minibus trips to significant archaeological sites in Jersey. Details online.
15 September: Deerhurst, Pershore and Westminster Abbey (Deerhurst)
The 2018 Annual Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm in St Mary's Church, Deerhurst and will be given by Richard Mortimer FSA (former archivist to Westminster Abbey). Details online.

19–20 September: Photographing Historic Buildings (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is aimed at those who are not professional photographers but wish to photograph historic buildings for the record using a digital camera. By the end students will be expected to know how to choose viewpoint and lighting conditions, correctly set up cameras to capture suitable images and how to post-produce images in software ready for the archive. Details online.
24 September: The Sale of Sir Peter Lely's Paintings and Prints (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Saskia van Altena (Cataloguer of prints, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) will speak on The Sale of Sir Peter Lely's Paintings and Prints: A Breaking Point in the History of Collecting in Britain? Details online.
26–28 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce the process of significance, show what is involved in preparing significance assessments, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore ways in which they can be used. Details online.

4 October: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce recent guidance, 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. Details online.
13 October: Castle Studies: Current Research and the Future (London)
A conference organised by the Castle Studies Group to be held at the Society of Antiquaries will honour Derek Renn FSA, author of Norman Castles in Britain (1969/1973), and launch a Festschrift, Castles: History, Archaeology, Landscape and Architecture, edited by Neil Guy FSA. Speakers include Oliver Creighton FSA, Bob Higham FSA, Brian Kerr FSA, Neil Ludlow FSA and Pamela Marshall FSA. For details contact John R Kenyon FSA, 140 Fairwater Grove East, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2JW, before 31 July.

24 October: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will provide expert guidance on how key artefacts and ecofacts can contribute to interpretation of archaeological sites, and good practice in sampling and collection. The course is designed for supervisors, project officers and junior managers with responsibility for running excavations, and those new to specialist artefact and ecofact roles. Details online.
29 October: The Last Great Demidoff Sale of Paintings (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Alexandre Tissot Demidoff (Independent scholar) will speak about the last great Demidoff sale. Details online.
30 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This 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). Details online.
15 November: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce standard published reports produced by archaeologists, and how a report is planned. It will then focus on stratigraphic narrative and discussion, with a critical review of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements of writing in a professional and academic context. Details online.

26 November: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Catrin Jones (Curator of Decorative Arts, Holburne Museum, Bath) will speak on Piecing Together a Collection: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts. Details online.
28–30 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is a practical workshop designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study, with training for potential witnesses. Details online.

6 December: Commissioning Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is designed for non-archaeologists who need to work with archaeology within the design and construction process, including architects, surveyors, engineers and other design professionals, planners, and project managers and developers. Details online.

10 December: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Robert Wenley (Deputy Director, Head of Collections, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham) will speak on ‘Rare and Most Magnificent’: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (1809-1878). Details online.

Call for Papers

27–29 June: Postgraduate ZooArchaeology Forum/PZAF (Palermo, Sicily)
The PZAF is an ICAZ affiliated group run by and for postgraduate students and early-career professionals in the field of zooarchaeology, and provides the opportunity for young researchers to present their projects in an informal environment. Applications are welcome from students at any postgraduate level as well as from early-career professionals. Abstracts from any field of zooarchaeology will be considered, and can be submitted through the PZAF 2018 website. Deadline for abstract submission is 31 March 2018. Details on Facebook and online.
14 July: Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research (Welwyn)
The Welwyn Archaeological Society and the Rhodes Museum, Bishops Stortford are pleased to announce the third recent research conference, to be held at the Museum. We are seeking 25-minute papers on all aspects of archaeology in Hertfordshire – very broadly defined – from prehistoric to post-Medieval, including updated work on older projects. If you would like to present at the conference, please send a short abstract to Kris Lockyear at Indicate if you would be willing to present a poster should your paper not be one of ten chosen. Details online.

15 September: Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 43 (2019)
The DAS journal for 2019 will celebrate cross-cultural influences between British and Continental European designers and makers of decorative art, as well as exchange with designers further afield. The Society’s remit is 1850 to the present, and typical journal articles take an object-focussed approach. The journal audience is knowledgeable and well-informed, but not necessarily academic. Authors are invited to submit proposals of around 750–1,000 words by 15 September 2018, for articles between around 2,500–6,000 words, plus notes, illustrations and captions. Send proposals to the Editor, Megan Aldrich FSA, at

25–28 October: Discover Sicily’s Argimusco – a Holistic Approach to Heritage Management (Messina, Sicily)
The Annual ICAHM Meeting, to be held In 2018 at Montalbano Elicona, will focus on the need to develop a holistic and integrated approach to heritage management, with six key themes at the heart of current debates: Community Engagement, Climate Change, Tourism, Non-Invasive technologies, Archaeoastronomy, and the Africa Initiative. Organised by ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM), of which Adrian Olivier FSA is Secretary General, and the Municipality of Montalbano Elicona, the meeting invites abstracts of 300 words to be submitted as soon as possible but at the latest by 1 May. Details online.


The British Institute at Ankara has posted details of 2018 Grants and Opportunities on its website, ranging from small research grants to fully funded Fellowships based in Turkey for 12–24 months. Closing date for all applications 29 April 2018. Descripts of previously funded projects can also be seen online.
The Wealden Iron Research Group and the Early Metals Research Trust are jointly funding a second three-year PhD studentship with the Department of Archaeology at the University of Exeter, following a successful collaboration, focussing on the Romans, which began in 2015. For a suitable candidate, this is a great opportunity for career enhancement. There is the potential to combine documentary, field and laboratory studies. Supervision at Exeter will be by Gill Juleff FSA of the Department of Archaeology, with Levi Roach of the Department of History. Closing date for applications 30 April 2018. Details online.

Beautiful Fragments: Glass, Ceramics, Leather, and Metalwork in Medieval London
The University of East Anglia (UEA), in partnership with the Museum of London (MoL), invites applications from suitably qualified UK/EU candidates for a full- or part-time Collaborative Doctoral Award, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council through the CHASE doctoral training partnership. The award will support PhD research into the role played by fragmentary objects in understanding the art and visual culture of the later Middle Ages (c 1000–1500). Jointly supervised by specialists at MoL and UEA, the research will focus on works in the MoL’s Medieval display collections and archaeological archive, which houses artefacts from over 8,500 sites investigated in London over the past century. Supervision will be provided by Glyn Davies FSA (MoL, and Jack Hartnell and Sandy Heslop (UEA, and Deadline for applications Monday 7 May 2018.


The Mausolea & Monuments Trust is looking to obtain the services of a volunteer who can assist in its membership recruitment. The post will appeal to an individual who has some experience of membership management and an up-to-date knowledge of modern social media communication methods. Details online.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers (, 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 Amelia Carruthers (, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.


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