Is this email not looking the way it should? Click here to view it in your browser.

Salon: Issue 395
28 November 2017

Next issue: 12 December 2017 

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

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

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

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.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

We hope to see you soon

We would just like to send a reminder to Fellows that we will be providing an update on the current devlopements of our Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future project, funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, at our Christmas Miscellany meeting on 7 December. Please join us for this exciting presentation (free, booking not required).

Additionally, we are delighted to say that a number of Fellows have agreed to return to lead guests in caroling during our Mulled Wine and Mince Pie reception following the Christmas Miscellany meeting. We hope you'll be able to join us (Fellows and guests are welcome, tickets are £10 per person)! It would also be a good opportunity to visit the Library and see the festive Victorian Christmas Carol display currently installed.

Finally, we would like to remind Fellows that we are holding this week's Ordinary Meeting of Fellows in York (30 November).

Kelmscott Manor Campaign has raised 25% of the £1.5 million funding target

The Kelmscott Manor Campaign Committee is delighted with progress toward our fundraising goals, and is exceptionally grateful to those Fellows who have made donations and pledges since we launched the campaign in May this year. If you have contributed recently – thank you!  

For those of you who have not already made a commitment, we hope that you might consider supporting the project. Your donation, at whatever level you feel comfortable, would be greatly appreciated.
We are conscious that our plans for Kelmscott are ambitious, but this is a rare opportunity to help safeguard and enhance the future of an internationally-renowned house – one with strong links to the Society and its aims.

A notice from Martin Levy, Chairman of the Kelmscott Manor Campaign Group.

Supporting William Morris’ ‘Heaven on Earth’

Screenshot of Unlocking our Collections video

Mystery Letters

Here’s a puzzle to start the week. Chiz Harward, a freelance archaeologist trading as Urban Archaeology, and not a Fellow, is working at the parish church of Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, a once medieval building which was largely rebuilt in 1842. He is recording evidence for the church’s history revealed during a major refurbishment, which has included taking up most of the floor. He writes:
‘During recent excavations a small assemblage of painted wall plaster was recovered from a demolition layer associated with the reuse of a late Medieval stone-lined tomb. The plaster is whitewashed with crisply executed Black Letter script; the script is painted in black, with some letters highlighted in grey, and has clear scribe lines. The inscription may be of a biblical text.
‘Other fragments show a grey border, possibly a frame surrounding the text, with a single fragment with a red pigment. The plaster contains frequent fragments of charcoal and has clean, fresh breaks suggesting it was deposited shortly after being stripped from the wall.
‘The main excavations are now completed and I am seeking a specialist(s) in Medieval painted wall plaster and Black Letter to assist in assessing and writing up the plaster, and would be extremely grateful for any thoughts on typology, dating and parallels.’
Harward can supply more information and photos, at, and he has blogged about the project here.

Salvator Mundi Owned by at Least Two Fellows

Thomas Campbell FSA, former Director and Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, has nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram, where recent posts include photos of an evening event at the new Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Getty in Los Angeles (where he now is, as a resident Getty/Rothschild Fellow, before he moves to Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, in the spring), and a painting which Christie’s New York sold on 15 November for $450 million. Known as the Salvator Mundi, the now heavily restored oil is widely accepted as the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Campbell’s picture showed the painting before restoration, with the comment, ‘450 million dollars?! Hope the buyer understands conservation issues...’, a remark, reported the Art Newspaper, which ‘sparked controversy’.
The photo appears in Christie’s monograph on the painting (‘Estimate on Request’), if it is somewhat overshadowed by other illustrations. Francis Russell FSA, Deputy Chairman of Christie’s UK, contributes a chapter. ‘It is not surprising,’ he writes, ‘that although Salvator Mundi was overlooked in the last century, it has a very distinguished history.’ This begins with an entry in an inventory compiled in 1649–50 after the execution of Charles I: ‘A peece of Christ by Leonardo’. When it was sold in 1763 for £2 10s, the price, says Russell, ‘suggests it was already in compromised condition’.
Who commissioned or owned the work before it entered the British royal collection is not known, but its history thereafter is partly well documented. Its whereabouts in the late 18th and 19th centuries is apparently unknown, but according to Christie’s it was sold in 1900 by Sir John Charles Robinson FSA, an art critic, collector and Director of the Kensington Museum (1824–1913), to Sir Francis Cook FSA, a partner in a successful family firm of fabric manufacturers and distributors (1817–1901). Advised by Robinson, Cook, who was elected a Fellow in January 1873, built an important art collection at his London residence of Doughty House, Richmond Hill. The Salvator Mundi remained with the Cook family until its sale in London in 1958 into an anonymous private collection in the United States.

By then its condition may have resulted in it being overlooked. In a long list of works in ‘one of the finest collections of old master paintings … in England’, the Times’ obituary of Sir Herbert Cook, a founder of the Burlington Magazine (1868–1939), makes no mention of da Vinci or the painting.

Photo Christie's.

Global Perspectives


What it means to be British or European are questions beings asked by media columnists in the UK, as the political process of Brexit becomes ever harder to follow. The Times published a piece by Roger Scruton (17 November), headlined, ‘Brexit will restore a proper sense of patriotism.’ ‘The British people’, he writes, ‘remain bound to each other by ties of mutual responsibility and social trust, and it is my hope that these bonds will be strengthened as we come to terms with Brexit.’
This prompted letters from two Fellows. ‘Roger Scruton’ wrote Andrew Wallace-Hadrill FSA, Professor of Roman studies, University of Cambridge (20 November), ‘hopes that Brexit will restore a sense of patriotic identity in “a place of belonging, which we can identify as our home, where the inhabitants can be trusted, and which is protected by a single sovereign power”.
‘With a similar sense of optimism St Augustine’s friend, Orosius, writing in the early fifth century as barbarian invasions tore apart the fabric of the Roman Empire, rejoiced at the sense of belonging that the Roman Empire gave. Though a fiercely patriotic Spaniard, he felt he could take refuge anywhere in the empire: “No matter where I flee, I find my native land, my law, and my religion.”
‘His travels took him from Spain to north Africa to Jerusalem. But he always felt at home … Such freedom of movement was soon to disintegrate. Like Orosius, I feel proud of my country, but I also enjoy the fact that I can travel across Europe as a fellow citizen, and feel a European among Europeans. I can see no gain in the disintegration of that fabric.’
Had Wallace-Hadrill travelled through Europe with Orosius as a Roman rather than as a Christian, retorted Andrew Selkirk FSA, Editor-in-chief of Current Archaeology (22 November), ‘he would have found a countryside littered with the wrecked temples of his faith, a very new and very domineering social structure, and, had he been perceptive, he would have realised that with its core beliefs broken and derided, Europe was on the brink of a very dark Dark Age.’
Simon Kaner FSA (Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia), has been pondering such things for their implications for archaeology. ‘In the current climate of the UK reassessing its international role vis Europe and globally,’ he writes, ‘and given that so many British archaeologists work overseas with an apparent absence of foreign-led research projects in the UK, it is timely to ask, “What is the international significance of British archaeological heritage?”’

Kaner invites readers of Salon to visit the website of Global Perspectives on British Archaeology, where we can explore this question through a series of East Anglian case studies (‘East Anglia has no World Heritage Sites’ says Kaner, ‘despite having some very significant archaeology’). This builds, he adds, on ‘what is perhaps the world’s first formal twinning of archaeological sites (Grime’s Graves Neolithic flint mines and the Hoshikuso prehistoric obsidian mines in central Japan)’.
Short films introduce six East Anglian sites – the Happisburgh lower Palaeolithic footprints, Grime’s Graves flint mines and so on – and their comparators, one in Japan and another somewhere else in the world. You can send virtual postcards, and take part in an online survey to help with the development of guidelines ‘for further internationalising our heritage’. These will be published in 2018.
Kaner and Sam Nixon (Senior Research Associate at the Sainsbury Institute) took their Archaeoglobe intervention exhibit to six locations in the region over the summer and autumn, joining existing initiatives deigned to raise site profiles, including a Heritage Open Day on Happisburgh beach, the Festival of British Archaeology at Norwich Castle, and events at Grime’s Graves, Caistor St Edmunds Venta Icenorum Roman Town, and Sutton Hoo.
Kaner and Nixon will be talking about the project at TAG (Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference) at Cardiff on December 20. More details are available online.

Historic Archive Opens in London’s Oldest Book Warehouse


Matthew Payne FSA, Keeper of the Muniments at Westminster Abbey and a member of the Library and Archive Committee of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, writes with news about a precious historical archive. According to a press release, the Stationers’ Company’s new archive room and reading room officially opened on 10 November:
The opening ‘represents a milestone in improving access to a unique and priceless archive, both for members of the Company and the general public. Thanks to the generosity of Liverymen Duncan Spence and Amy McKee [in photo below], and additional funds from the Company, there is now a magnificent new facility for all to use. The whole complex is called the Tokefield Centre in commemoration of the then Clerk, George Tokefield, who in 1666 transported the Company’s records in a wheelbarrow out beyond the reach of the Great Fire of London, thus saving them.
‘Liveryman Sarah Mahurter, Manager, University Archives and Special Collections Centre at University of the Arts London, undertook the project management to relocate the historic Archive from an inaccessible upstairs room to the oldest book warehouse building in London which forms one end of the Company’s garden. Workstreams were identified to ensure a successful planning application with support from Historic England, to build the archive room with a climate controlled environment and to develop a reading room which could be effectively used by a diverse range of users, in line with national standards.
‘Ruth Frendo, the Company archivist, said, “The Stationers’ Archive is already known as a key resource to historians of the book trade. However, it also holds a wealth of records whose potential is yet to be explored. As custodians of the records we have inherited through the care and dedication of our forebears, we have a serious responsibility to maintain these documents for future exploration.”’
William Alden, Clerk to the Company, said that widening access to Stationers’ Hall for educational purposes is a critical objective. The Tokefield Centre’s opening marks the end of the first phase of a development programme scheduled to complete by 2023, the Hall's 350th anniversary.

The Changing Face of Archaeology

Several Fellows have signed an open letter to Members of Parliament, written by Rescue, about the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which is currently going through Parliament. An amendment moved on 15 November, proposed by Jeremy Corbyn MP, Nicholas Brown MP and Keir Starmer MP, among others, sought to ensure ‘that environmental principles under Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union would continue to apply in the UK after exit day’. It was defeated.
Article 191 includes the principle that, in relationship to the environment, ‘the polluter should pay’. Rescue describes the defeat of the amendment as ‘a significant moment in the changing face of archaeology in post Brexit Britain’. The rejection, says the letter, ‘leaves the historic environment protection vulnerable to future changes in British policy.’ It is ‘essential’, it concludes, ‘to recognise that any threat to the protection for archaeology is likely to be detrimental to the economy and the well-being of the nation as a whole.’
The principle lies behind current planning advice for England, first introduced in 1990, that has driven a transformative approach to development and archaeology, bringing substantial commercial funding of archaeological excavations and significant specialist employment.

The Bill, initially described simply as something that would transfer European Union law into UK law, became controversial after it emerged that ministers had powers to amend or remove laws without being subject to normal parliamentary procedures.

Battle of Brunanburh

‘The site of the Battle of Brunanburh has long been controversial,’ wrote Michael Wood FSA in the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal for 2013, ‘but a consensus has grown over the last few years that it should be located in the Wirral,’ on the coastal border between north Wales and England. His article went on to argue that the AD 937 battle actually occurred in Yorkshire, near the River Went, ‘whose name it is suggested is contained in an alternative Northumbrian name for the battle, Wendun’.
His guiding principle was to seek for the site ‘in the context of Northumbrian history in the Viking age,’ which led him to ‘south of York in the main war zone of the second quarter of the tenth century’. He concluded that ‘much more work needs to be done, and it will require a total approach to the evidence, not only onomastic but historical, textual, topographical and numismatic. But with such a rich and diverse body of source material, it is hard not to feel that the clues are still out there somewhere, if only we knew more closely where to look.’
Many other locations have been proposed for Brunanburh, among them, according to Andrew Breeze FSA, a Roman Fort in Lanchester, County Durham. It is described by the Times (21 November) as ‘the battle that secured the destiny of England, a bloody clash between a combined army of Vikings, Scots and wild Northumbrians defeated by Anglo-Saxons under the leadership of the grandson of Alfred the Great’. Now Wood, who talked about his Went idea on Radio 4 in 2013, has returned to the debate, and proposed a specific site an hour’s walk south of the river, at Robin Hood’s Well near Burghwallis.
The photo from Wikipedia shows the well superstructure, albeit recently moved a little by roadworks, in a flat landscape.

Fake Stones and Bones

‘We need solid data – well-dated sites with unambiguous traces of a hominin presence … in fact a working hypothesis continuously subjected to testing and refinement by new field- and laboratory studies.’
This is a conclusion of four archaeologists – Wil Roebroeks (Leiden University), Sabine Gaudzinski-Windheuser, Michael Baales and Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke (from German research centres at Neuwied, Bochum and Weimar in Germany) – writing about Untermassfeld, a German archaeological site with controversial claims for early humans. There are said to be stone tools and humanly modified animal bones a million years old, at a continental mid-latitude location where signs of humans of that age are otherwise absent.
Media attention has focussed on the contributions being made by DNA research to understanding our ancestry, but the evidence of fossils, artefacts and the ecological and behavioural contexts of well-excavated sites remains essential in this field. It is important that any such evidence is properly reported and documented, but, claim Roebroeks and his colleagues, Untermassfeld has no claim even to be an archaeological site: its study is ‘severely flawed’, offering unconvincing proof of where the finds were made and what they mean. ‘Furthermore,’ they add ominously, ‘it is not the only European Early Pleistocene site where inferred evidence for hominin presence is problematic.’
Excavation at Untermassfeld by the Senckenberg Research Station of Quaternary Palaeontology, Weimar, has been substantial and thorough since the site’s discovery in 1978 – and directed by Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke. The important collection of animal remains is unmatched for its location and age, and along with the site has been studied by an interdisciplinary group of 49 researchers from 31 institutions in 12 countries.
Yet, say Roebroeks et al, ‘Not one of the authors of the various papers claiming a hominin presence at the site has ever been involved in the Untermassfeld project in whatever way.’ It is not clear where the remains they describe come from (notwithstanding reference to an excavation which, say Roebroeks et al, never occurred); they have published photos of the Senckenberg excavation taken by a ‘tourist’ and ‘unknown persons who illegally gained access to the site’; and a deer bone that did come from the site, was stolen (‘Thefts and illegal excavation activities … had to be reported to the police also in the years 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012’). And, the bottom line, Roebroeks et al remain unconvinced by any of the claims for evidence of human cut-marks on animals bones, or for stone tools. It is, they allege, a fictional assemblage used to promote a myth.
If their misgivings are right, we should be concerned about more than the record of Untermassfeld. The evidence for humans has been described in reputable, peer-reviewed publications: Collegium Antropologicum, Journal of Human Evolution and Quaternary International. How could that have happened? And why did it take so long for the critical analysis to become public? The archaeologists first submitted their report as a News and Views article to the Journal of Human Evolution, responding to a 2016 paper describing alleged early human activity at Untermassfeld. It was not published, as its authors refused a request to delete a section ‘dealing with the problematic provenance history of the assemblage’. In March they sent the article to the online journal PLOS One, but despite a successful academic review, Roebroeks tells me, publication there has stalled. Frustrated, on 31 October they uploaded the paper to the preprint service bioRxiv, which we have previously highlighted as a valuable but problematic form of pre-peer review publication.
On 10 November Quaternary International published an ‘expression of concern’ about its publication of the site (‘the veracity of provenience and modification claims [are] difficult to verify in future research’). The other two relevant journals have published similar statements. Andre Costopoulos, University of Alberta, argues that the saga shows the days of peer-reviewed journals are finished. Are they? The photo is from a commentary in Nature.
• There is no evidence to suggest that any of those writing about Untermassfeld have been knowingly fraudulent, but a Times report (15 November) compared Untermassfeld to Piltdown, Sussex, the site of a complex and highly successful early human remains deception early in the last century. Listing other 'fake stories', the paper named Sir Mortimer Wheeler FSA for selling supposedly prehistoric sling stones gathered for the purpose from a nearby beach. Not so, wrote Norman Hammond FSA, in a letter to the paper (November 23):
‘The sidebar … includes the canard that Sir Mortimer Wheeler secretly brought “slingshot” pebbles from Chesil Beach to Maiden Castle hillfort and sold them to fund his dig. He had no need to: Wheeler’s team found several enormous dumps of slingshot pebbles, one containing more than 20,000 examples … Wheeler sold off unstratified, and thus archaeologically worthless, finds, including loose Roman mosaic tesserae and oyster shells. If a child could, for a penny, have a tangible souvenir of the past, he said, it promoted the popularity of archaeology.’
I recall as a child seeing, on the mantelpiece of one of my aunts, two of Wheeler's pebbles, though I don’t know what happened to them. He was far from unique in this respect. Finds were sold from Stonehenge, even, during major excavations in the 1920s. Have any Fellows inherited such educational goods?

Fellows (and Friends)

Gordon Forster FSA, local and regional historian, died in July.
Charles Coulson FSA, castles historian, died in September.
Ellen Macnamara FSA, Etruscan archaeologist, died in November.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below.

Robin Derricourt FSA has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities – an honour he describes as ‘arguably the antipodean equivalent of the British Academy’. He is Honorary Associate Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and author of Inventing Africa: History, Archaeology and Ideas (2011) and Antiquity Imagined: The Remarkable Legacy of Egypt and the Ancient Near East (2015). He has written Unearthing Childhood: Young Lives in Prehistory, currently in production at Manchester University Press. He has lectured in African archaeology, directed Zambia’s National Heritage Commission, and worked in publishing: as Africa Editor for Longman UK; Archaeology Publisher and Humanities/Social Sciences Publishing Director for Cambridge University Press UK; founding Publishing Director for CUP in Australia; Director of Fine Arts Press; and, until 2010, Director of UNSW Press.
On the same occasion, Geoff Bailey FSA was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Bailey is a world authority on coastal prehistory and submerged landscapes, recently becoming a leading advocate and practitioner in the exploration of continental shelfs. ‘His landmark research and publications’, says the citation, ‘have helped redefine global discourses on the competencies of anatomically modern humans and the need to integrate coastal and submerged archaeology datasets in wider archaeological narratives.’ Currently Anniversary Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology (Emeritus) at York and Visiting Professor of Archaeology at Flinders University, he was previously Professor of Archaeology and Head of Department, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Before that he had been a lecturer and tutor at the University of Cambridge for 20 years.

The most recent piece on the British Museum blog is about the Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme, directed by Jonathan Tubb FSA. The programme, a co-operation between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Iraqi government and the Museum, is training archaeologists from Iraq in cultural heritage management and practical skills. Participants follow two months in London with two months fieldwork in Iraq. Tubb introduces a new video, and Lead Archaeologists John MacGinnis and Sebastien Rey talk about the excavations, including finding 82 inscribed ‘magical cones’ (pictured). ‘This is a very important discovery,’ they write, ‘as until now, none has been found in their original context.’

‘There can be little doubt’, writes Sarah Bond in Forbes (23 November), ‘that the most visible figure in the field of Classics is a Don at the University of Cambridge named Mary Beard. In her new book (available in the United States on December 12), she explores a topic that she and many other women in the West have had to grapple with for hundreds of years: the “radical separation” between women and power.’ Bond, an Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Iowa, is reviewing Women and Power: A Manifesto, by Mary Beard FSA. ‘At just a little over 100 pages,’ she writes, Women and Power ‘may seem slight, but don't let its size fool you. This book speaks volumes and will not be silenced by Telemachus or anyone else.’
In autumn 2018 Dulwich Picture Gallery will hold Ribera: Art of Violence, the first UK show dedicated to the Spanish Baroque artist Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652). ‘A selection of eight monumental canvases’, says the gallery, ‘will be displayed alongside exceptional drawings and prints exploring the powerful theme of violence in Ribera’s art. Showcasing 45 works, the exhibition will be arranged thematically, examining his arresting depictions of saintly martyrdom and mythological violence, skin and the five senses, crime and punishment, and the bound male figure. Many of the works will be loaned from major European and North American institutions, on view in the UK for the first time.’ Maev Kennedy FSA reported in the Guardian that Jennifer Scott FSA, Director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, said visitors would experience something comparable to 'witnessing a Quentin Tarantino film.’
Jennifer Scott talked about art and violence of a different form on BBC Radio 4 on 26 November. In the latest of Sarah Dunant’s series, When Greeks Flew Kites, the historical novelist considered women in the past – as today, ‘waves of accusations about sexual harassment and abuse continue to swell’ – speaking out about male behaviour. Her programme featured a shocking testimony from a young Italian artist raped in 1612 by a fellow male artist. The court tortured the victim, Artemisia Gentileschi, but the judgment is not known – the culprit was either pardoned or released after a short term in jail. Gentileschi is now well known as a successful Baroque painter and creator of a masterpiece, Judith Slaying Holofernes (1614–20). ‘Is this a woman,’ asks Dunant, ‘speaking out in paint?’ ‘There’s no escaping it,’ replies Scott carefully, ‘this is a very dramatic and violent subject matter. So there’s a part of me that wants to say, well actually, we just know that here Artemisia is being very dramatic, it’s very much part of the time. But the minute you know what she went through, then it’s very difficult to separate that out. But we have to be really balanced with it.’ Detail of oil Wikipedia/Uffizi.
Martin Henig FSA, the Society's representative on the Winchester Research Committee, writes that several Fellows attended the launch in the Winchester Guildhall on 15 November of volume 11 of Winchester Studies, the latest in the Historic Towns Atlas Series. The Atlas of Winchester is the work of Martin Biddle FSA, Derek Keene FSA, Francis Morris, Edmund Thomas and Beatrice Clayre. ‘The launch was a signally important civic event in Winchester life’, says Henig, ‘and in consequence the occasion was marked by the presence of the Mayor, the Bishop, the Dean, the High Sheriff of Winchester (Dame Mary Fagan), and some 80 others.’

There will be an informal gathering on 1 December (6 pm for 6.30–7.30) at UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31–34 Gordon Square, London, to celebrate the launch Of Roman Britain: The Frontier Province, a collection of 20 republished articles by Mark Hassall FSA, Emeritus Reader in Roman Archaeology at the Institute. Details from Gabriel Moshenska at

Designing English: Graphics on the Medieval Page, an exhibition at the Weston Library, Oxford, opens on 1 December. Showcasing the Bodleian Library’s rich holdings of Medieval manuscripts in English, it will illustrate the graphic design of handwritten manuscripts and inscriptions for the first thousand years of the language. In a press release, Richard Ovenden FSA, Bodley’s Librarian said, ‘The Bodleian Libraries holds one of the most important collections of medieval manuscripts in the world, and this exhibition celebrates all aspects of the ingenuity and craftsmanship that went into some of the most beautiful, and everyday items that still survive today.’

People are choosing their books of the year. In the Times Literary Supplement (14 November) Richard Davenport-Hines liked the ‘polymathic verve and spry wit’ of William Whyte FSA’s Unlocking the Church: The Lost Secrets of Victorian Space. It’s an ‘exemplary model of a short, comprehensible history covering diverse, delicate and complex themes’, with an index containing ‘delightful mischief’. In the same list, Mary Beard FSA selected three ‘picture books': Damien Hirst’s Venice exhibition catalogue, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable; Arthur Stephens’ Pompeii: A Different Perspective; and Tom Gauld’s Baking with Kafka. I will doubtless miss most of these lists, so let me know if you see a Fellow’s book somewhere – or if yours is listed, this is no season for modesty.

Fellows Remembered

Gordon Forster FSA died on 22 July aged 88. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1971. He obtained his first degree at the University of Leeds in 1949. After postgraduate work at the University of Sheffield, he returned to Leeds in 1955, where he became a Senior Lecturer and Chairman of the School of History (1982–85), retiring in 1993.
In an obituary, Leeds University says Forster was inspired by Asa Briggs, and ‘was particularly well-known for his devotion to the study of local and regional history as an academic discipline, at a time when it was more often regarded as a second-class subject, or even a distraction. Through tireless research, punctilious attention to detail and nuance, and sheer hard work, he established local and regional history as a serious subject at Leeds and across Higher Education.’ He was a member of the Archive Advisory Council for West Yorkshire and the judging panel for the Yorkshire History Prize, and he served as President of both the Thoresby Society and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. He edited Northern History for 50 years.
He was ‘a lively and engaging teacher with a deep commitment to his students’ wellbeing and success’, says the university, and ‘a stalwart of the Senior Common Room’. He continued to teach after retirement on selected programmes (including the MA in Local and Regional History and training on journal publishing), when the university conferred upon him a Life Fellowship.
Michael Coles, a fellow-member of the Ransome-Grant Literary Club, writes that when Forster died, ‘the Ransome Grant Club lost not only its senior and longest-serving member, 54 years and 9 months, but a great scholar and influential historian. On the day of Gordon’s funeral, the flag on Leeds University flew at half-mast, a fitting tribute to one of its most distinguished sons.’
‘Gordon was in so many ways a member of the old school,’ continues Coles, ‘relying on books, newspapers, the radio and his many professional and social contacts for his information. He possessed no television set and did not use the internet. He remained the only member who could not be contacted by e-mail. Yet, when he spoke at meetings of the Club, members listened. Immediately there was a recognition of scholarship, intelligence, wisdom and total integrity. He was never intrusive in his views, but led the Club with a quiet and unquestioned authority.
‘But Gordon will be remembered in the Club as well for his personal qualities: he was a most convivial host and companion, combining a sharp wit with warmth and understanding. An accomplished raconteur, he would conclude many an anecdote about the people he had met with a knowing chuckle, but his comments were always perceptive never vicious. He will be remembered with great respect and affection.’

The photo is by Michael Coles.


Charles Coulson FSA died on 25 September aged 76. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1982. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and had been Honorary Research Fellow at the School of History, University of Kent.
His academic career began with his doctoral thesis, Seignorial Fortresses in France in Relation to Public Policy c 864 to c 1483 (University of London 1972), and he became well-known for his studies of medieval castles and crenellating by licence, in particular for the idea that battlements were more of an architectural status symbol than defensive engineering. He wrote Castles in Medieval Society: Fortresses in England, France, and Ireland in the Central Middle Ages (2003).


Ellen Macnamara FSA died on 3 November aged 93. She was a life member of the Society, having been elected a Fellow in January 1973.
Author of Everyday Life of the Etruscans (1973), The Etruscans (1990) and Prehistoric Metal Artefacts from Italy (3500–720 BC) in the British Museum (2007, with Anna Maria Bietti Sestieri), Macnamara supported other researchers in Italian archaeology through the Ellaina Macnamara Memorial Scholarship. When colleagues edited a tribute, Ancient Italy in its Mediterranean Setting: Studies in Honour of Ellen Macnamara (2000), a reviewer described her as ‘for long an important presence in the British Museum and a supporter through her foundation of the needy scholar in the Mediterranean’.
Judith Swaddling FSA, Senior Curator in the Department of Greece & Rome at the British Museum, says Macnamara was ‘an eminent scholar with a great love of the Etruscans’. We hope to bring a fuller obituary to a future Salon.

The Wisdom of Fellows 

Bruce Eagles FSA wonders if Fellows might have anything to say about these two 19th-century watercolours in the Society’s library. They show archaeological excavations underway at an Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Harnham, Salisbury – ‘Not a mile from where I live!’ says Eagles. They are presumed to be those directed by John Yonge Akerman FSA, after local reports of skulls and spearheads that had turned up in landwork. Akerman reported them in the Society’s Proceedings (3, 1853, 30–32) and Archaeologia (35, 1853, 259–78 and 475–79), but they are not mentioned in the record of the paintings.
Heather Rowland, Head of Library and Collections, says the latter are from Red Portfolio: Wiltshire Volume 1. The first (in which excavation is well underway in the foreground with a human skull propped up on the ground) is inscribed ‘The Low Field. East Harnham looking towards Salisbury – Old Sarum in the distance,’ the other, ‘The Low Field from the Bridleway under Harnham Hill.’ There is no further information in the card catalogue about them, says Rowland, ‘so anything that might identify the artist and date would be great’. The correct citation is Society of Antiquaries of London. Red Portfolio: Wiltshire Volume I, pages 7 and 8.


Neil Jackson FSA, Charles Reilly Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, University of Liverpool in London, has written to Salon about payments for reproduction rights to out-of-copyright photographs and drawings in public and private collections. As the last Salon reported, several Fellows had signed a letter to the Times to complain about reproduction fees charged by the UK’s national museums.
Jackson has written a book to be published in 2018 on which to date, he says, he has spent £5476.20 for about 60 images; £720 of this was for drawings which he commissioned. A university award, thanks to an unexpected bequest, and a grant have allowed him to break even (‘for a while” – he still needs a few more images), though he had already committed to the spending before this occurred. Meanwhile, he awaits to hear the result of funding applications to help cover the cost of a large subvention requested by the publisher (‘They will do a good job’, adds Jackson, ‘and I am entering into this with my eyes wide open’).
This is not, surely, what academics expect when they set out on research projects which may culminate in the book their university wants them to add to their CV.
Frederick Hepburn FSA has also written a book requiring illustrations. It is, he says, a scholarly art-history study presenting new material and aiming to broaden knowledge of its subject. The 128 illustrations come from museums, galleries and other collections across Britain, Europe and North America. As an independent scholar, Hepburn has no institutional support.
‘Some of the collections in this country have been generous in waiving reproduction fees,’ he writes. ‘The two largest fees I have had to pay so far are to the British Museum (£900, for nine images) and the Society of Antiquaries (£622.80, for seven images). I failed to qualify for the Society's waiver of fees because there is a possibility that, once the book is published, I may receive some remuneration.’
‘Since I discuss specific artworks,’ adds Hepburn, ‘I have no option but to pay whatever is demanded by their owners. Otherwise I must discuss the works without illustrating them.’
Is Neil Jackson’s experience exceptional, or typical? Should institutions raise much-needed funds through whatever means they can? Is there a case for a national funding body to help out, in effect supporting both writers and museums? Let Salon know your thoughts.


Mike Farley FSA writes to update Fellows on the situation in York, where English Heritage has plans for Clifford’s Tower which have not met with universal approval:
‘”Iconic” is often a word used to describe the motte and keep of Clifford’s Tower, which occupies a prime location close to the Yorkshire Museum and not far from the city walls. There are numerous images of the motte, of which perhaps the best known is that painted by L S Lowry in 1953 [exhibited at the reopening of York Art Gallery in 2016, above].
‘Climbing the motte is among many attractions in this much-visited city, and one can’t blame English Heritage for wanting to maximise the income from the site by providing an accessible ticket office, shop and interpretation space here. Not possible within the keep, so why not at the foot of the motte? York City Council agreed, but very many others did not, arguing that a substantial structure there would seriously detract from a long-standing view (and appreciation) of the monument. In the words of one local, this is “A daft and awful proposal.”
‘The city’s decision went to a judicial review. It found in the council’s favour, but permission has now been granted for an appeal against the Judicial Review verdict, as the judge noted that the decision has implications for interpretation of paragraph 141 of the National Planning Policy Framework, which gives guidance on potential development damage to heritage assets.
‘It is hard to believe that such a proposal would have seen the light of day had English Heritage and Historic England not been separated in 2015. A website describes the current position, and seeks crowd-funding towards the cost of the next appeal.'
Farley has marked his photo of the motte with the location of the proposed building. Painting L S Lowry/The Lowry Estate/York Museums Trust.

In the last Salon, writes Mark Hassall FSA, ‘Edward Biddulph FSA wrote about William le Queux, and his book The House of Whispers in which the fictitious Henry Heyburn FSA figures. You challenged readers to come up with the names of other fictitious fellows and I have one, in a story called Casting the Runes by M R James, author of the famous Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Casting the Runes was published in the follow-up volume, More Ghost Stories (1911). A character called John Harrington FSA writes a bad review of Karswell’s History of Witchcraft, and Karswell gets his revenge on Harrington, causing his death by “casting the runes”. The “Council of the … Association” is also mentioned, and the context suggests that the British Archaeological Association may have been intended. Finally James refers to “The Select Manuscript Room” in the British Museum, and Harley 3586. I must check in the British Library and see if Harleian MS 3586 actually exists!’
It does indeed exist. There has been considerable interest, as Andrew Dunning writes in a recent British Library blog, in James’ choice of this particular MS, which contains the cartularies of Battle Abbey and Wormsley Priory. ‘The most plausible link,’ says Dunning, ‘appears in James’ edition of Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium or Courtiers’ Trifles, which uses documents in the Wormsley cartulary relating to the author. Walter’s own work has been considered within the history of ghosts in culture. James is simply inserting himself into the story.’ Image Wikipedia.
Hilary Cool FSA, too, knows her fictional Fellows, unearthing one in two detective novels:
‘Sir Richard Cherrington,’ she writes, ‘the archaeologist/amateur detective protagonist in The Cambridge Murders (1945) and Welcome Death (1954), must have been a Fellow: on page 69 of the later (Penguin) edition he gets a reminder from the Society of Antiquaries Library to return a book, and unless things have changed since the 1950s, this implies he was a Fellow. Bit of a cheat though, as they were written by Glyn Daniel FSA (the first under the penname Dilwyn Rees).
‘A great lost opportunity was Frederick Ellingham, latterly Woolhope Professor of Organic Chemistry at Cambridge and the Holmes figure of Anthony Rolls’ Scarweather (1934, and recently republished in the British Library Crime Classics series). Ellingham takes up archaeology as a hobby to expose a killer: a prehistorian, obsessed by prehistoric burials, has murdered someone he is jealous of and disposed of the body by interring it in the central chamber of a Bronze Age barrow. Ellingham becomes such a good archaeologist, it is recalled that he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Prehistory Society of London and a Corresponding Member of the Société des Fouilleurs Savants – though not alas the Society of Antiquaries. The book is great fun, and full of throwaway lines that show the author really knew his archaeology. One of my favourites is:
‘Intrusion,’ said Goy. (Another archaeological method of getting around a corner.)
Then of course there is the statement:
There are people who believe that archaeology is dull. So it is in its written form – deplorably and desperately dull. But I know of nothing jollier than archaeology in the field…
‘How true, how very true, that is of various projects I’ve been involved with where the directors just love the digging and never do the post-ex!
‘The writer – Anthony Rolls was a penname – should have known his archaeology. He was Colwyn Edward Vulliamy, author of, amongst other things, The Archaeology of Middlesex and London (1930). He dedicated another of his detective novels (Family Matters) to O G S Crawford FSA. He probably should have been a Fellow himself, but he did have a tenuous connection with the Society as he was descended from the Vulliamy clock-making family.
‘As they say in Private Eye letters – I really should get out more.’
The front cover, which as has been pointed out before, rather gives the game away, is reproduced from Facsimile Dust Jackets, where the jacket can be bought for $22. The photo is clearly taken at a real excavation. Can anyone identify it?

And finally, the latest appearance of Fellows in a novel:
‘Fellows may be interested to learn’, writes Joe Flatman FSA with commendable reserve, ‘that Jennifer Young, who has previously undertaken research into the Society’s archives, recently published the novel Cold Crash.’ Cold Crash, which won the 2016 Cinnamon Press Debut Novel/Novella prize, is a 1950s period thriller based around the exploits of the fictional archaeologist Maxine ‘Max’ Falkland. The novel, says Flatman, who is married to its author, ‘includes a starring role for the Society, and mentions more than one real-life Fellow.’ Young has previously published ‘on the pedagogical intersections of Creative Writing and Archaeology’. ‘In all seriousness’, adds Flatman, ‘it’s got archaeology, adventure, travel, fashion, aircraft, spies, the Society, and whisky. Something for everyone. So long as they like any of those things.’

A couple of errors in the last Salon. I showed a painting by Thomas Cafe the younger (1820–1913), which Christopher Whittick FSA is hoping someone might be able to identify (a church in coastal Sussex?). Unfortunately Office Outlook had converted the artist’s name to Café (‘I suppose it will give Fellows opportunities for de haut en bas jokes about Nero,’ comments Whittick). Apologies (not least to the artist).
The Queen visited the new Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia at the British Museum on 8 November, not as stated, 8 October.

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Our programme of Ordinary Meetings for 2017 finishes on 7 December with our Christmas Miscellany meeting. It will resume in February 2018.

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

30 November: 'Understanding Life in the Roman Town,' by Dr Hannah Russ (MEETING IN YORK).

7 December: Christmas Miscellany and Mulled Wine Reception
At the miscellany meeting, Fellows and guests will have the opportunity to hear about our developing plans for Kelmscott Manor. The reception will follow, and is always a festive affair with Christmas caroling, mulled wine, mince pies and congenial company!

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

Introductory Tours for Fellows

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

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

Burlington House Holiday Closing

Please note that the Society's apartments (including the Library and the Fellows' Room) will close for the Christmas and New Year's holidays at 16.00 on Friday, 22 December and re-open to Fellows on 3 January.

Forthcoming Public Events

Public Lectures

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

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

16 January: 'Chinese Art for Western Interiors, c. 1650-1850', by Colin Sheaf FSA.

27 February: 'The Domestication of the Dromedary Camel', by Peter Magee FSA.

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

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

8 March: 'Feeding Anglo-Saxon England,' (an Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in Exeter). Find out more online.

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: 'The Legionary Fortress at Caerleon,' (an Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in Cardiff). Find out more online.

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

York Fellows

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

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

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

29 November: Why Museums Aren't Obsolete (London)
Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will give the Second Annual Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Lecture on Collecting at the V&A. The lecture will celebrate the relationship between the V&A, the Gilbert Collection and LACMA. Since his arrival at LACMA in 2006, Govan has doubled the museum’s gallery space, exhibition programme and attendance. The exciting next stage promises to revitalise the museum’s permanent collection and transform the way they display their holdings. The lecture will be followed by a dialogue between Govan and V&A Director Tristram Hunt on the future of museums, and an opportunity for Q&A with the audience. This will be followed by a drinks reception in the Whiteley Silver Galleries. Details online.

29 November: Historic Built Environment Knowledge Exchange Workshop (London)
Our focus group workshops provide an opportunity to discuss what a knowledge exchange framework for the built historic environment might include, and how it could work. We want to make sure that the framework that is developed through the Historic Built Environment Knowledge Exchange (HistBEKE) Project will be of benefit to everyone in the sector, and the workshops will help us to really focus in on what’s needed. This is your chance to make sure that we're developing something you can actually use. Details online.
29 November: Nihon to Seiyō: Japan and the West (London)
Neil Jackson FSA will give the 2017 Annual Lecture of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, at the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House. He will look at the influence of Japanese architecture in the West, and of Western architecture upon Japan, over the last 150 years. Following sakoku, Japan's self-enforced seclusion from the 1630s, the opening up of the country in the 19th century led to the rapid westernisation of many aspects of Japanese culture, not least its architecture. Meanwhile, in the West, Japan became suddenly fashionable and western architecture responded accordingly. Jackson will examine five examples of the architectural 'dialogue'. Details online.
5 December: Enclosing the Civilised World in a Ring (London)
Encircling the Mediterranean, the Frontier is the single largest monument surviving from the Roman world, stretching over 7,500 km across 18 countries. At this year’s ICOMOS-UK Christmas lecture Marinus Rien Polak, Radboud University Nijmegen (NL), will present a new Thematic Study supporting the whole of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire as a major transnational series of World Heritage Sites. Case studies will be from Europe, the Near East and North Africa. Details online.

5 December: Heritage Day 2017 (London)
The Heritage Alliance’s annual Heritage Day (‘the biggest event in the heritage calendar’) will be held in the Grade-I listed Royal Society of Arts house built by the Adam brothers in 1774. Speakers will include Chairman Loyd Grossman FSA and John Glen MP, Heritage Minister. This popular event offers delegates the chance to meet a wide range of colleagues from across the sector, and hear eminent speakers address the latest issues affecting the future of our heritage. There will be a presentation of the Heritage Alliance's Ecclesiastical's Heritage Heroes Awards, a series of HEDx presentations from Alliance members, and the annual launch of Heritage Counts. Details online.
6 December: House, Shop and Wardrobe in London’s Merchant Community (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Merchants, Money and Megalomania, he will unearth the lost mercantile buildings of medieval London and show how influential they were. Details online.
7 December: Byzantine Routes And Frontiers in Eastern Pontus (London)
Jim Crow FSA will speak at the British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, in a British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara event in memory of Anthony Bryer FSA, who died last October. Byzantine Trebizond (Trabzon) has a rich collection of written sources up to 1461. This lecture will combine new archaeological evidence from the miracle tales of St Eugenios, with fieldwork carried out at east Trabzon at the monastery at Buzluca. It is possible to reconstruct routes and journeys across the Pontic mountains and identify Byzantine border lands around Bayburt and beyond. Details online.
7 December: The Sunbeam Struck the Roof – a journey of Discovery in Jerusalem (London)
Archie Walls FSA will give the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Evans Memorial Lecture at the British Museum. During a night-time visit to the Haram, by chance he turned west towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the sun rose over the Mount of Olives. Sunbeams struck the roof of the Rotunda of the Church, and illuminated the tops of two nearby minarets. As Architect to the British School of Archaeology (1968–75) and in his spare time architect to the Armenians in the Church, Walls knew these buildings well, but this was a surprise. The lecture will present the case for a conscious relationship made in stone between the three monuments, and will draw an unconventional conclusion as to how it should be interpreted. Details online.

15 December 2017: Goods for the Colonies: British Tobacco Pipes Made for the Atlantic Trade, c 1600–1850 (London)
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology’s Geoff Egan Memorial Lecture 2017 will be given by David Higgins (National Pipe Archive and University of Liverpool) at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House. The lecture will look at how British pipe makers at coastal locations responded to the opportunities offered by the Atlantic trade before 1850. In particular it will consider certain pipes made specifically for export market during the 17th and 18th centuries. These are well known as Bristol products, but this paper will show that manufacturers from as far apart as London and Glasgow were also attempting to take a share of the transatlantic trade, and the lecture will be relevant to historical archaeologists from Newfoundland to the Caribbean and beyond. Details online.

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

20 January: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The eighth conference in its series, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, takes place at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Speakers include Paul Holden FSA (the Lanhydrock Atlas 1696), Pete Smith FSA (the English Country House and the Civil War) and Adam White FSA (the Banqueting House and Grotto at Skipton Castle). Details online.
2–4 February: Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland 1990–2020 (Oxford)
This is the last in an annual series of chronologically arranged weekends at Rewley House on Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland. Starting in the 1990s, when members of many of the more recently arrived faiths and Christian denominations began to build permanent, purpose-designed, places of worship, contributors will discuss the proliferation of buildings, discussing their distinctive features, and the ways in which they are used for worship. An overall picture will emerge of how religious diversity is reflected in physical reality and in the contemporary landscape. Speakers include Sharman Kadish FSA and the Director of Studies is Paul Barnwell FSA. Details online.

6 February: Henry VIII and Luther: A Reappraisal (London)
David Starkey FSA, author of books on Henry VIII and the Tudor court and well known as a regular contributor to radio and television, 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
17 February: Norman Oxford (Oxford)
Before the development of the University, Oxford was one of the most important urban centres in England. This day school will examine recent work on the city from 1050 to 1200 and review the impact of the Norman Conquest on its architecture, topography and economy. Details online.
19 February: The Forests of Essex (London)
This day conference at Gilwell Park, held in memory of Oliver Rackham FSA, will explore the cultural and natural heritage of the forests of Essex, and issues of the understanding, management and future of trees, woods and forests in the county. The conference will include a keynote session by Tom Williamson and contributions from Charles Watkins FSA. Details online.
7 March: St James’s and the Birth of the West End (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks into the ingredients that went into making a court quarter there and the way it formed a blueprint for the new West End of London. Details online.
17 March: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.

18 April: 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: 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.

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.

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
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

Call for Papers

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

23–25 March 2018: Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress 2018 (Bristol)
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology is holding its annual Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress at the University of Bristol and SS Great Britain. The congress is open to all researchers at any stage of their career, whether academics, students, commercial or community archaeologists, to report recent research on any aspect of post-Medieval/later historical archaeology. We encourage contributors to offer 15-minute papers which will be grouped by the organisers into themed sessions, or posters for display during the conference. Please send paper and poster proposals (title and abstract of up to 150 words) to by 18 December 2017. Details online.
June 2018: Ceramics in Circulation (Brussels)
The Medieval Pottery Research Group will hold its next annual conference at the University of Brussels. The examination of patterns of pottery distribution forms a major part of ceramic studies. For Medieval and post-Medieval periods, pottery distribution has informed discussion of trade and production, the transmission of cultural influences and technical knowledge, and patterns of discard. This conference aims to explore the dynamics behind the movement of pottery. How and why do pots end up where they are found? And what does that tell us about the societies in which they were circulating? The committee invites 20-minute papers addressing any aspect of the circulation of ceramics in north-west Europe and beyond, in Medieval and post-Medieval times. Please submit an abstract of no more than 150 words to Lorraine Mepham FSA, MPRG Meetings Secretary, by 1 February 2018:


The Society of Antiquaries is currently recruiting for volunteers for our Journal Collection Review. The project will be of particular interest to students and recent graduates of Library and Information Studies, as well as subjects relating to History, Archaeology and the History of Art. This project is long-term, offering long- and short-term volunteering opportunities. More information is available on the website.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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

Share with a friend

Like Salon: Issue 397 on Facebook


You are receiving Salon because you are a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries or because you have asked to be put on the circulation list.

Subscribe to Salon, our fortnightly e-newsletter.
Unsubscribe (WARNING: You will no longer receive Salon nor any other e-communication from the Society).
Forward this e-newsletter to a friend.

SAL logo

The Society cannot guarantee the accuracy of, or accept any responsibility for, the contents of Salon. Readers who wish to use or quote from items in Salon should always check the accuracy and current position with the source.

© 2017 Society of Antiquaries of London | Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7479 7080 | Website: