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Salon: Issue 394
17 October 2017

Next issue: 31 October 2017 

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

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

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

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Campaign Update for Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future

The Campaign Group is delighted with progress, and 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!

Kelmscott Manor has hitherto been preserved as a wonderful, but somewhat static, shrine to William Morris and his family. The current project will respect this heritage, while revitalising the Manor into a working exposition of the Society’s own dynamic engagement with the past through history, art, architecture, archaeology and ancient landscapes. This refreshed interpretation aims to take as its starting-point the very reasons why Morris himself loved the house and its setting.

For those of you who have not already made a commitment, we hope that you might consider supporting the project when you receive the Society’s subscription reminder in the autumn mailing. If one third of the Fellowship were prepared to donate £125 a year for for years, or £10 per month for 50 months, we could achieve £500,000 towards our fundraising target. And, dare I say, if you felt you could do more we would be delighted to welcome you as either a Benefactor (£5,000), or a Principal Benefactor (£15,000).

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 historic house – one with strong links to the Society and its aims.

If you are inclined to support this appeal, please do so today (visit the website for more information) or contact Head of Development Dominic Wallis on +44 (0)20 7479 7092 or by email at with details of how you can help.

~ Martin Levy, FSA
Kelmscott Manor Campaign Group
Image: Campaign Group at Burlington House

Kelmscott Manor Community Archaeology Programme

The Society has appointed Cotswold Archaeology to help us in providing archaeological support and advice as part of our Kelmscott Manor proposals. In the short term, Cotswold Archaeology will undertake the required archaeological assessment and evaluation works to support that planning and Listed Building Consent applications. They will also be developing a Community Archaeology Programme that will form an important part of our Stage 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In order to develop the community archaeology programme Cotswold Archaeology are keen to engage with interested Fellows, and propose to form a small working party to assist with this process. It is hoped that this group will help guide and advise on the development of the programme over the next few months, and oversee its implementation over the next few years.
The Cotswold Archaeology Team is being led by our Fellow Duncan Coe, and if you’d be interested in joining the working party or would like to discuss the initiative, please contact Duncan by email at

Postgraduate Open Day: 20 October 2017

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

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

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

Click here for a printable A4 flyer.


Visible Identities


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

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

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

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

Challenging Torcs

Prehistoric gold torcs, and raising money to bring them into public collections, have been in the news. The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, has launched an appeal to help it acquire what are thought to be the oldest examples of Iron Age gold found in the UK. Three necklaces and a bracelet (above) were found by metal detectorists in the Staffordshire Moorlands late in 2016, and declared Treasure early this year. They have strong Continental links, says Julia Farley FSA, and are of national and international significance.
The Treasure Valuation Committee valued the torcs at £325,000, which the Potteries Museum has until 5 December to raise. A fund-raising campaign and public giving appeal has been launched.

A single, but larger torc (described by Neil Wilkin, Curator of Bronze Age Europe at the British Museum, as the ‘largest of its type in the whole of Europe’, with a diameter wider ‘than any adult male trousers that you can buy in a shop today’) has been acquired by Ely Museum. It is Middle Bronze Age (1300–1100 BC). Another detectorist find, it was bought with the help of a grant of £138,600 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF). Other contributions came from the Arts Council England/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund, the Headley Trust and the Museums Association Beecroft Bequest. Over £7,000 was raised through donations from local people. It is now on display in Ely.

Revealing the Personal

Since 2006, Pamela Jane Smith FSA (left) has led teams of volunteers who invited prominent senior figures from the sciences, humanities and arts to talk about their lives and work in front of audiences at the Division of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. As she retires from this project, it is moving to the University of Southampton, where it will be expanded into a major new educational outreach programme.
In the Personal Histories Project, supported by the McDonald Institute, the Thriplow Charitable Trust and the Society of Antiquaries, panels of academics and public figures were filmed in conversation by student teams, and broadcast to thousands in over 130 countries. On separate occasions, students heard from Sir David Attenborough FSA, Dame Jane Goodall, Lord Colin Renfrew FSA and Sir Tony Robinson. Among the archaeologists, historians, classicists, scientists, museum professionals, heritage experts, and public figures interviewed and recorded have been many other Fellows.

The long-running project followed Smith’s Cambridge PhD, A Splendid Idiosyncrasy: Prehistory at Cambridge 1915–50 (published in 2009), in which she explored the process by which a ‘university-based group [embracing all archaeologists] emerged during the 20th century, whose members gainfully asserted that anyone who was not university-centred, or at least university-trained, was an amateur’. The departmental tea-room, she argued, played a significant role. She co-edited, with Donald Mitchell, Bringing Back the Past: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Archaeology (1998). Conversations with Archaeologists, conducted and transcribed by Smith with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, was published in 2003.
At Southampton Stephanie Moser FSA, William Davies FSA and Kate Rogers have taken on the project, which they see as ‘a wonderful and timely opportunity … to refresh this important research resource and revitalise the community of contributors Pamela has established’. The new Southampton Personal Histories has a website linked to the original Cambridge site.
In honour of the project’s transfer to its new home, and to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the launch of BBC TV’s Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?, Southampton’s Department of Archaeology has released Attenborough’s 2009 Personal Histories film, an hour and a half of unmissable reflection and wisdom (and quite a few laughs). Broadcasters David Collison, Anna Benson Gyles and Ray Sutcliffe FSA also feature. Several other oral history films can be seen online on the Cambridge website, and on Vimeo.
Pamela Jane Smith remains in Cambridge to curate her oral-history interviews, archive the papers of Dorothy Garrod FSA and Thurstan Shaw FSA in the University Manuscripts, and continue work conserving the Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes with Curator Julie Hudson, British Museum; HRH, Igwe, Dr. Martin N. Ezeh IDU II of Igbo-Ukwu; and Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman of Nigerian Museums. She also plans to continue to teach researchers with Concept to Clip courses, film-training for arts, humanities and social sciences. Examples of this new work are Amy Jeffs’s Medieval Badges/British Museum/University of Cambridge joint project, and Alessandro Ceccarelli’s University of Cambridge’s Two Rains Project.

The Religious Animal

The British Museum, the BBC and Penguin Books have got together again for an exhibition, a radio series and a book, with Neil MacGregor FSA at the heart of the project. MacGregor, a Founding Director of the Humboldt Forum and the previous Director of the BM, will present the first of Living With The Gods, a 30-part series on Radio 4, on 23 October. The exhibition opens on 2 November, and runs until 8 April 2018. A book is slated to be published in March. As I write, advance orders have taken it to number 17 in Amazon’s Religions Subjects: to lead this category it would have to outsell the Bible, but who knows?
The British Museum says it is taking ‘a new, experiential and innovative approach to the design of the exhibition. It will incorporate the sounds, music and silence associated with religious practice, with moments of surprise, achieved with atmospheric lighting effects.’ Jill Cook FSA, the exhibition’s Curator, has blogged about eight ‘key objects’ on the BM’s website. These include a 14th-century mosque lamp, an early 20th-century carved wooden Yoruba figure from Nigeria, and a wooden Japanese notice board from 1682, which offers rewards for information against Christians. Cook has written separately about the oldest piece in the show, a remarkable and frankly inexplicable carving of a lion whose form is more human than cat, made from ivory 40,000 years ago (right). Lent by the Ulm Museum, the carving featured in the BM’s earlier exhibition, Ice Age Art (2013), which Cook also curated. ‘The Lion Man,’ she says, ‘is a masterpiece.’
In the radio series (broadcast over six weeks at 9.45 am with a repeat at 7.45 pm), MacGregor visits a Neolithic passage tomb at Newgrange, the River Ganges and Jerusalem – and the cave where the lion carving was found in southern Germany. The Radio 4 website will feature six animations, each telling the story of a featured artefact, voiced by MacGregor. We can expect to hear from other Fellows too: among them will be Mary Beard FSA, Eamon Duffy FSA and Diarmaid MacCulloch FSA.
‘Questions of faith,’ says MacGregor, ‘have, in recent decades, moved to the centre of the global political stage – an unexpected return to a centuries-old pattern. But what are the connections between structures of belief, and the structures of society? In this project, using objects from the British Museum, and talking to experts from many disciplines, we try to explore some of these questions, looking at communities from deep history to the present day, in Europe and around the world.’
Living With the Gods, says Hartwig Fischer FSA, the BM’s Director, is ‘about society and communal expressions of belief through objects’. It will also explore the ‘history of conflict and coexistence between different religions and beliefs’. Also pictured (above left) is a beer-can prayer wheel from Ladakh, India (1981). Both photos Trustees of the British Museum.
Meanwhile at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Imagine The Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions opens on 19 October, and runs until 18 February 2018. This exhibition focuses more on imagery that objects, exploring the development of art central to the world religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. ‘Why do we think of Jesus Christ with a beard?’ asks the blurb. ‘Or Buddha as cross-legged? Today, the pictures people conjure when they think of the world’s major religions are distinctive and immediately recognisable. But two thousand years ago that was not the case.’ The show will feature some of the world’s oldest religious art from India to Ireland. Iconic items include the first known depiction of Christ north of the Alps, and some of the oldest surviving Qurans.
The exhibition, whose Lead Curator is Stefanie Lenk, derives from a five-year Leverhulme-funded research project called Empires of Faith, which concludes this year. The project is jointly hosted by the British Museum and the Ancient World Centre, Wolfson College, University of Oxford, and its Principal Investigator is Jaś Elsner. Team members include Jonathan Williams FSA and JD Hill FSA at the BM.
Mary Beard FSA and Neil MacGregor will co-present a linked Special Exhibition Talk in Oxford at the Sheldonian Theatre on 17 January. It has already sold out, but the event will be filmed and available online.

Photo shows footprints of the Buddha, from Amavarati, India, AD 100–300 (Trustees of the British Museum).

Anglo-Saxon Falconry

Robert J. Wallis FSA thinks falconry was introduced into early Anglo-Saxon England, explaining one of the art motifs of the time seen in valuable jewellery such as that at Sutton Hoo. Evidence for the practice of falconry in Europe as early as the sixth century AD includes hawks buried with people.
In 2014 Wallis looked at a theory offered by Ann Woodward FSA and John Hunter FSA that fine rectangular stone plates found in Copper Age graves in Britain, traditionally interpreted as archers’ wristguards (the graves often also contain several flint arrowheads), were in fact ornaments on falconers’ gloves. Wallis was not convinced, however, finding the plates would not only have not helped a falconer, but could have compromised a bird’s safety. He concluded, ‘with some disappointment,’ that there was no falconry connection (‘Re-examining stone “wrist-guards” as evidence for falconry in later prehistoric Britain,’ Antiquity 88, 2014).
Earlier this year he turned his archaeological and falconer’s eye to Anglo-Saxon England. This time he thinks he’s onto something.
In ‘“As the falcon her bells” at Sutton Hoo? Falconry in early Anglo-Saxon England’ (Archaeological Journal 174, 2017), he argues that ‘a persuasive case can be made for falconry in early Anglo-Saxon England, that falconry may have been introduced from Scandinavia to the region of East Anglia around the late sixth to early seventh century, and that falconry and falconry birds may have played an important social role in this emerging kingdom.’ He considers faunal remains of raptors and their quarry, Style II animal art ('which shows a preponderance of predatory birds including hawk-with-prey motifs'), and small copper-alloy bells which may have functioned as falconry equipment. This evidence is put into European context, including contemporary ‘falconry graves’ found in Scandinavia and central Europe, and legal codes treating crimes against falconry birds and hawking dogs.
There are some remarkable cases of buried birds of prey. They include two peregrines, a goshawk and a sparrowhawk in a single burial at Rickeby, Vallentuna (Sweden), in the early seventh century. There is nothing like this in England, but, says Wallis, ‘the number of finds, the association between falconry birds and traditional quarry, their concentration in the region of East Anglia, and the elite, ecclesiastical, rural and trading site contexts, make the picture from middle Anglo-Saxon England very suggestive.’
Raptors are clearer, however, in early Medieval art of the fifth and sixth centuries AD. Contra Tania Dickson FSA, Wallis thinks it is not possible to be precise about which type of bird is represented in objects such as the Sutton Hoo purse lid (photo top right). Depictions of raptors and hawks-with-prey do not, he says, provide explicit evidence for falconry or origins for the art, but they help support the idea that falconry was practiced in the period.
He agrees with Carola Hicks FSA that a hawk with prey depicted in a mosaic at the ‘Villa of the Falconer’ at Argos (c 500 AD, photo top left), is ‘the closest parallel to the Sutton Hoo finds’. Martin Carver FSA suggested that a bell from Sutton Hoo (above right) might have been worn by a flacon. All in all, Wallis thinks falconry was brought into England as an elite sport in the sixth century AD, and soon ‘successfully co-opted into elite Christian iconography’.

Photos Åkerström-Hougen 1974 (left), Trustees of the British Museum (right).


Bellerophon’s Victory – in Berkshire

Before the first world war the young OGS Crawford FSA, the father of English field archaeology, found a home from home with Charlotte and Harold Peake FSA in Boxford, near Newbury, Berkshire. Crawford featured on stage this summer in a local re-creation of the Peakes’ Boxford Masques; he was portrayed as a man driven by curiosity and vulnerable to drink – my daughter, cast as a ship’s steward, inadvertently supplied him with a pint of whisky.
Crawford and the Peakes would have been astonished to know that while they discussed antiquity and explored the downland landscape, just across the meadow from their house lay buried in a field one of Britain’s most remarkable Roman mosaics, with scenes from Greek mythology that Crawford would have learnt about at school. A small excavation in August, in the last season of a three-year community field project, investigated indications of a Roman villa in an earlier geophysical survey. A trench came down precisely on what seems to be half of a late 4th-century floor.
The mosaic’s combination of eccentric, somewhat naïve design and execution, and deep knowledge of classical iconography, says Anthony Beeson, is unique, and when he first saw photos, he didn’t believe they were real. The central panel, supported at each corner by a Telamon, shows Bellerophon arriving at the court of Iobates with a sealed message bearing his death sentence. Iobates sits in his palace with a guard, and sends Bellerophon off to kill the Chimera, which he attacks riding Pegasus. There are two inscription panels, one unreadable (probably for the king’s name, says Beeson) and the other ending in …LEREFONS, with the rest underground. In the border Hercules attacks a centaur, and a cupid representing one of the four seasons holds up a wreath.
The mosaic was found by Revealing Boxford’s Ancient Heritage, a joint venture between the Berkshire Archaeology Research Group and the Boxford History Project, advised by Cotswold Archaeology (CA). Duncan Coe FSA, Project Lead Officer at CA, thinks the apparently modest villa with the mosaic may have succeeded another nearby after its owner came into some money: Berkshire is not known for villas, he adds, and having two so close together needs a special explanation. The Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project, he says, is a model for similar schemes. In the course of evaluating sites, first indicated by finds of Roman pottery in fields and records of earlier finds in the 19th century (the mosaic was clipped by a Victorian field drain), local volunteer archaeology groups have acquired skills they can use in future work. Whether the rest of the mosaic will now be excavated remains to be decided.
The shot of Luigi Thompson and David Neal FSA, photographing the mosaic ahead of detailed recording (above), was taken by Lindsey Bedford. Main photo by Richard Miller.

Remembering Belzoni

Sir John Soane’s Museum is marking its association with ‘the Great Belzoni’, with an exhibition and a new illustrated guide book. Soane bought a remarkable calcite sarcophagus of Seti I from the Italian strongman turned engineer and archaeologist, beating the British Museum to a treasure that delighted high society of the time. ‘The Sarcophagus of Seti I is Sir John Soane’s Museum greatest treasure’, says Bruce Boucher FSA, Director of the museum, ‘and has captivated visitors since its installation in 1824.’
Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778–1823) found Set I’s tomb in October 1817. Its ten spectacular chambers, decorated with thousands of hieroglyphs, contained an elaborately carved white sarcophagus. This is covered in detailed inscriptions charting the complex journey of the sun from death to birth, mirroring the rebirth Seti expected for himself. The exhibition features recent conservation and research into the sarcophagus, and a new high-resolution 3-D digital scan by Factum Arte, displayed beside fragments of its lid, broken by ancient tomb robbers.
Egypt Uncovered: Belzoni and the Tomb of Pharaoh Seti I, is at the Soane Gallery, until 15 April 2018. Sir John Soane’s Greatest Treasure: The Sarcophagus of Seti, is written by John Taylor, at the British Museum, with an essay by Helen Dorey FSA, Deputy Director and Inspectress of Sir John Soane’s Museum.
Belzoni is also being celebrated in Leicester, where Buried beneath the Sands: Unearthing Ancient Egypt, runs at the university’s Special Collections in the David Wilson Library basement until 12 November. Belzoni, who was an accomplished artist, documented his discovery of Seti I’s tomb with sketches and over 300 detailed watercolour studies. Though many were by his assistant Alessandro Ricci, some of the 44 plates of watercolour drawings in his Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries, first published in 1820, were by Belzoni himself.
Illustrated is ‘The Great Temple of Aboo Simble, Nubia,’ from David Roberts, Egypt and Nubia: from Drawings Made on the Spot (1846).

Fellows (and Friends)

Treve Rosoman FSA, historian of house interiors and London architecture, died in October. An appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered below.
The section also contains further notices on the late Stephen Croad FSA and the late Bridget Allchin FSA.
The correct age of the late Robert Thompson FSA, wrongly given In the last Salon, was 73. 

I noted previously that three distinguished Fellows had been honoured by the British Academy, namely Eszter Bánffy FSA, John Gowlett FSA and James Stevens Curl FSA. They received the British Academy President’s Medal reward for ‘outstanding service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences’. I introduced errors in reporting the latter’s award, for which I apologise. The citation reads:
‘Professor James Stevens Curl (University of Ulster) for his contribution to the study of the History of Architecture in Britain and Ireland.’
He is Emeritus Professor of the History of Architecture, de Montfort University, Leicester, and Visiting Professor, Ulster University.
Other Fellows were also rewarded by the British Academy:
Joyce Reynolds FSA (University of Cambridge) received the Kenyon Medal, ‘for her lifetime's contribution to the research and study of Roman epigraphy’.
Kate Bennett FSA (University of Oxford) received the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, for John Aubrey: Brief Lives with an Apparatus for the Lives of our English Mathematical Writers (Volume I & II) (2015). Reviewing the work, Michael Hunter FSA wrote that ‘This monumental edition is a triumph … unsurpassed for its scholarly rigour.’
Two further prizes are associated with Fellows. The Derek Allen Prize (Numismatics), which commemorates Derek Allen FSA, was awarded to Michael Crawford (University College London) ‘for his significant contribution to the study of Roman numismatics’. The biennial Landscape Archaeology Medal, established following the decision of John Coles FSA, was awarded to Tom Williamson (University of East Anglia) ‘for his significant contribution to the study of landscape history and archaeology’.

In June Andrew Oddy FSA was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society for services to numismatics. The award was recognition in particular for his chairing the Scientific Research Committee which published the proceedings of four conferences on the application of science to numismatics, and for being a member of a small group of amateur numismatists interested in the origins of Islamic Coinage (The Seventh Century Syrian Numismatic Round Table), who have published the proceedings of five conferences on early Islamic Coins. 

Under the heading ‘Jolly good fellows’, Jill Franklin FSA sent us this photo (above), taken at a supper to celebrate the admission of Delia Gaze FSA, art historian, to the Society’s fellowship on 5 October. Gaze is seated centre, with seven of her medievalist sponsors: Kathryn Morrison FSA, Lindy Grant FSA, Ron Baxter FSA, Phillip Lankester FSA, Rose Walker FSA, Jill Franklin FSA and Eric Fernie FSA. Phil Dixon FSA, John Goodall FSA, James King FSA and John McNeill FSA, says Franklin, ‘joined us in spirit!’

On the Ocean: The Mediterranean and the Atlantic from Prehistory to AD 1500, is Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA’s fourth substantial book about early Europe and its wider contacts with the word Ocean in its title. This one focuses on the sea and boats and, says the blurb, explores the story of the development of seafaring on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic from early prehistory to about AD 1500. It begins with Middle Palaeolithic hunter gatherers in the eastern Mediterranean building simple vessels to cross to Crete, and ends in the early years of the 16th century with sailors from Spain, Portugal and England establishing the limits of the ocean from Labrador to Patagonia. Oxford University Press offers a 30% discount on purchases from its website, with discount code AAFLYG6.
Ruth Bernard Yeazell has reviewed Jane Austen at Home: A Biography, by Lucy Worsley FSA, in the New York Review of Books (28 September). The book, writes Yeazell, ‘offers an engagingly written account of a woman far more alert to hard economic realities than the original keepers of her image liked to acknowledge.’ Worsley (‘a rather gushing host of history shows on British TV’) is ‘particularly good at cutting through the aura of cozy charm that sometimes threatens to suffocate Austen’s story.’ She is ‘less persuasive, however, on the subject of Austen’s writing.’

English Without Boundaries: Reading English from China to Canada, edited by Jane Roberts FSA and Trudi L. Darby, brings together research on English, says the blurb, ‘from the Anglo-Saxons to Big Data’. It contains selected papers from the 2016 conference of the International Association of University Professors of English, with contributions from China, Finland, Israel, Italy, Japan and Portugal, as well as from Canada, the UK and the United States. Fellows with an interest in 19th-century Winchester, Roberts tells Salon, could find Michael Tomko's ‘Keats and the Politics of Gothic Beauty’ of interest. Cambridge Scholars Publishing offers a 20% discount on purchases from its website, with discount code boundaries20.
Simon Jenkins FSA has been interviewed for the Sunday Times about ‘My hols’ (8 October). ‘I’ve undertaken some huge tours of the UK,’ he says, ‘researching our churches, country houses, cathedrals, views and now stations, and each was hugely rewarding. I’m a Londoner, but what it teaches you is how utterly spoilt this city is. You can’t defend the money and power that is poured into the capital.’
Paul Bahn FSA has edited Archaeology: The Whole Story, a fat illustrated guide to the ancient world. It has, says the blurb, comprehensive coverage of the most important archaeological sites, placed in the context of key social and cultural developments. There are short ‘historical timelines’ throughout the book, which is arranged in six period chapters from Deep Prehistory (4 million–10,000BC) to The Modern World (AD1600–present). Contributors include Philip Duke FSA, David Gill FSA, Jane McIntosh FSA and Paul Pettitt FSA.
On 7 October a car crashed into pedestrians at the end of Exhibition Road, the quasi-pedestrianised street that separates the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, to the west, from the Victoria and Albert Museum to the east. Fears that the incident might have been terrorism linked were soon dispelled when it emerged as a case of very bad driving. Nine people were taken to hospital, and a man in in his 40s was arrested. Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said Exhibition Road should be fully pedestrianised.

In the last Salon Philippa Glanville FSA reported that Peter Marsden FSA had been admitted to the Freedom of the City of London. These photos (above) and his comments arrived just too late, and I’m pleased to include them here: ‘I was at the Guildhall Museum in the 1960s as the City's archaeologist, investigating about 90 sites during the post-War redevelopment of London, when opportunities for discovering its past were huge and successful. I was supported by a fantastic team of volunteers. There were no health and safety restrictions then. I often simply dug on bombed sites where, if I could not find the owner to give permission, I was ready with slick answers if they appeared and complained (none did). Our tools were largely funded by selling scrap lead that had flowed down the drains of a bombed printing works. The results of the investigations helped to outline the story of London's beginning and development over 2,000 years. I then moved to the Museum of London, then to the Dover Bronze Age Boat project, and then to Henry VIII's ship Mary Rose. Having vowed to “keep the Queen's peace” and tell the Lord Mayor if I find anyone behaving illegally (which may raise difficulties from Devon), it seems that I am not now allowed to drive sheep across London Bridge. However, my family did celebrate the presentation occasion with champagne at the top of The Shard building overlooking the Bridge and the fantastic views of what I still think is “my City”.’
Martin Brown FSA has prepared First World War Fieldworks in England, a thematic study for Historic England. The goal was to provide a national context for this class of field monument, and the project is part of HE’s contribution to the national Centenary Partnership Programme remembering the Great War. It is hoped the study will promote protection through discovery and the identification of the most significant remains. In addition, the report may inform formal national designation, local listing and the protection of previously unrecognised remains through planning and management agreements. The study can be downloaded for free.
The Sunday Times (15 October) reports that the Army is planning to cut funding for 15 of its regimental museums. A document said to have been seen by the paper listed a museum in Wales, five in England and six in Scotland from which an annual total £1.8 million would be withdrawn, possibly as soon as 2022.
The General In Winter, by Frances Harris FSA, is an account of 'the glories of the Age of Anne,’ by which England and Scotland were united and Britain was established as a European and a global power. Harris shows these events, says the blurb, as the achievement of two men above all: Queen Anne's captain-general, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, and her Lord Treasurer, Sidney, first Earl of Godolphin. The historical narrative joins a tale of love and friendship between these men and Marlborough's wife, Sarah. The book, Harris tells Salon, has ‘a particular focus on Holywell House, St Albans, a survival of the Abbey, which with the garden Marlborough created there, was as much a headquarters of the famous ministerial partnership as the palaces and greater houses in which it was played out.’

President Trump announced that he is withdrawing the United States from UNESCO. Any financial savings will partly come from the U.S.’s debts, as it is said to be $550,000 behind in its obligations, and has not been a voting member of its central decision-making body since 2013. A spokeswoman for the State Department complained of UNESCO’s ‘long-documented anti-Israel bias’. ‘Trump’s ultimate goal’, said the Los Angeles Times, ‘is to withdraw the U.S. from crucial international organizations and obligations, reflecting his dangerous mix of isolationism and national chauvinism. It’s also petty.’ ‘It is a very sad day,’ said Peter Stone FSA, UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University. ‘UNESCO is there, and the whole of the UN is there, to try to bring the world together. If a major player decides to leave, that weakens both the country and UNESCO.’
I featured the William Morris Gallery’s new exhibition about May Morris in the last Salon. Lynn Hulse FSA writes to say that, as well as Thames and Hudson’s catalogue, the Friends of the William Morris Gallery have published a collection of 13 essays entitled May Morris: Art & Life. New Perspectives. Edited by Hulse, it includes pieces by herself and Annette Carruthers FSA. The book follows a conference in 2016 dedicated to May Morris (1862–1938), exploring her life and career as a designer, embroiderer, teacher and activist, as well as the pivotal role she played in preserving and shaping her father’s legacy.

Fellows Remembered

Treve Rosoman FSA died on 4 October aged 69, ‘after a very swift attack of cancer’. He was a Curator with English Heritage from 1986 until retirement in 2013, when he continued as a consultant on historic interiors and Editor of the Regional Furniture Society’s Newsletter.
At English Heritage he was responsible for recreating the Art Deco interiors of Eltham Palace, and was part of the team conserving Sir Robert Taylor’s Danson Park, Bexhill. One of his tasks there was recreating a rococo/Chinoiserie wallpaper for Danson House, which had been acquired by English Heritage after being uninhabited for over 70 years.
On his LinkedIn page he wrote of himself that he had ‘always believed strongly in the publication of any research projects undertaken.’ His works included articles about Chiswick House in the Burlington Magazine (1985) and Furniture History (1986), London Wallpapers: Their Manufacture and Use, 1690–1840 (1992/2009), and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Peter Nicholson (1765–1844), an architectural writer and mathematician (2004). He was a contributor to The Intelligent Layman's British Furniture: 1600–2000 (2006).
He held a Visiting Fellowship at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.
Michael Turner FSA writes:
‘Treve had a background in the antique trade before joining English Heritage. He had a keen interest in the historic material culture of London's buildings, and was Curator of the English Heritage Architectural Study Collection, initially located in London and now accessible at Wrest Park, Bucks, composed of salvaged architectural details.
‘Treve's arrival on site visits was accompanied by the characteristic roar of his Harley Davidson. As a London properties curator he worked on many of English Heritage’s London properties, including Danson House, but the project of which he was most proud was the highly successful representation of Eltham Palace where, from 1992, Treve and I as Inspector collaborated in a fruitful partnership. Treve was responsible, with consultants, for the display and refurnishing of the 1930s Courtauld interiors.
‘It is impossible to summarise Treve’s areas of interest and expertise. He had a polymath’s insatiable thirst for knowledge. At Eltham he was keen to know how the building was decorated, furnished and used. How did the internal telephone and centralised vacuum cleaner work? What was Stephen Courtauld’s World War I army career? Where did they travel in their yacht? What cars did the Courtaulds drive? – how he loved finding out about the Courtaulds’ cars.
‘The success of Eltham’s restored interiors – the arrangement and choice of original objects, comparable antique pieces and modern reproductions of soft and hard furnishings where the originals were unavailable – is a testament to his scholarship, eye for detail, and knowledge of the practicalities of obtaining or commissioning furniture and fabrics. In Treve’s words, “we added colour to the black and white Country Life photographs”.
‘He was also an expert on London wallpapers for which he wrote an English Heritage catalogue first published in 1992, and extensively revised in 2009. They really were great times, which I was privileged to share with such a committed and knowledgeable colleague and friend.’
The William Hogarth Trust, of which Rosoman was a Trustee, has paid tribute to his ‘exceptional knowledge of historic interiors, their decoration, equipment and furnishing, along with the skill of sharing it without jargon or pretentiousness.’ He advised on the refurbishment of Hogarth’s House, and this summer he examined 18th-century wallpaper with a design of ruins at Boston Manor House in Brentford, as a contribution to a planned refurbishment project.
The photo shows Treve Rosoman in the 1990s, in the restored entrance hall of Eltham Palace.


John Bold FSA has written this tribute to Stephen Croad FSA, who died in September aged 71.
‘Stephen Croad joined the National Monuments Record (NMR) in 1968. Though merged with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments (England) five years before, the former National Buildings Record, under its new guise as the NMR, maintained its characteristic degree of separation and individuality of approach. Stephen came to embody the NMR’s buildings section.
‘The public library of photographs in Savile Row, London, meticulously arranged in red boxes by county and civil parish, was Stephen’s domain. But as Head of the Architectural Record (1981–94), he was responsible for far more: the vast store of records in the basement and elsewhere pertaining to architectural investigations carried out throughout the country by the Commission and others, and the large collections of photographs purchased or acquired by gift or bequest. This was a treasure trove for the researcher, crucial evidence for conservation and preservation, protection through listing, serious historical enquiry and analysis, and straightforward illustration for publications and television. Stephen believed that the library was also used for research by at least one well-turned out country-house burglar. It was a first port of call for anyone with a serious interest in the built heritage.
‘Stephen was born in Bridgwater, an only child, the son of Lionel, a golf-course groundsman, and Dorothy, a school secretary. It was his mother, together with the history and art teachers at his grammar school, who encouraged his enthusiasm for art and architecture. He indulged this productively by first cycling and later driving with a friend to visit, sketch and photograph local buildings. Through his art teacher he became aware of impressionist and post-impressionist painting, and by extension the Courtauld Gallery. So the Courtauld Institute became the obvious place to study, once he had achieved, with some difficulty and more than one attempt, the requisite Latin O-level. It must have been a culture shock to go at that time from a provincial grammar school to the cultural hub directed by Sir Anthony Blunt FSA. But he made the transition, applied himself very successfully, made many friends and graduated in 1967. It was no surprise to him in 1979 when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher outed Blunt in Parliament as a spy: “we all knew about that – Guy Burgess’s suitcase was still in the basement”.
‘Stephen was a paraplegic wheelchair-user following a devastating car accident in 1969, which kept him in hospital in Sheffield for six months and a regular visitor to Stoke Mandeville thereafter. He was not expected to survive, and indeed heard the doctors explaining this to his parents. Stephen recalled regaining consciousness; seeing so many medical staff around his bed, he thought they were probably over-staffed with not enough to do. That he recovered at all and was able to enjoy a very successful career, greatly respected by all his peers, with a very large circle of friends and a wide range of interests, is a tribute to those hospital staff and also to his own indomitability and great courage. He would not be deflected from what he wanted to do – come back to work with buildings – and live an independent life. He achieved both of these with great success, overcoming everyday impediments which would have sapped the morale and strength (he always used a manual wheelchair) of the hardiest of the able bodied. He was a keen theatre-goer, having himself acted successfully in the sixth form, a follower of cricket, particularly Somerset – the eternal bridesmaids of the County Championship – and an avid, omnivorous reader. He had a great love of animals and wildlife.
‘In the NMR Stephen was ever-present, always helpful and extremely knowledgeable. One of our colleagues recalls his “keen curiosity to help to the point of nosiness, wheeling across the library to ask what it was you were investigating, and his extraordinary visual memory. More than once he took a look at the pictures of the building I had out and said something along the lines of ‘Oh, that looks like X [obscure building elsewhere], have you looked at that?’, which of course I hadn’t. Computers still can’t match that.”
‘He was a natural cataloguer. If he had become post-Courtauld an expert on paintings rather than buildings, he would have produced the catalogue raisonné of a hitherto under-studied British painter. He was dedicated to the public service of providing an accurate and accessible basis of information for people to use for whatever purpose they had in mind. He was always generous and encouraging to a loyal and devoted staff, and so eminently decent and even-handed, he was able to get on with everybody. Although conservative, valuing tradition, public service and avoiding change, he was not religious, and never had any desire to be a spokesperson for any ideology, even disability equality – it was a non-issue for him; he was a very private man who did not burden others with his difficulties.
‘Visitors who did not know him might shout, believing him to be deaf, or speak very slowly and clearly, but Stephen was clear sighted, with a sharp intelligence, a witty pricker of pomposity and never sentimental – though he did have a tendency, when not out and about, to hide behind his desk. Always ready to listen and advise, he did not like being talked at or hectored, and the characteristic slide down the wheelchair began as ennui set in and he became almost horizontal until rescued by an alert colleague. His wheelchair at least offered Stephen an excuse to send others in his stead to boring departmental gatherings, at which activities were reported and justified which he regarded as self-evidently valuable.
‘Stephen’s meticulous approach to cataloguing and to historical accuracy was manifest in numerous publications. He was from 1994 until 2011 the assistant (and book reviews) editor of the Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society – self effacing and preferring the back room he avoided the actual editorship, but his contribution to the AMS was nevertheless immense. He first published in the Transactions in 1989 on the architectural records of the RCHM(E), following this in 1992 with an essay on the early years of the National Buildings Record.
‘From 1996–2000 he produced annual accounts of significant findings from emergency recording, initially throughout the UK and latterly concentrating on England and Wales. He was an expert on London and wrote notable essays on the Carreras factory (1996), the “temple of tobacco” in Camden Town where 3,000 staff produced 1,300 cigarettes per minute (Black Cat and Craven A – said to be kind to the lips and harmless to the throat), and on the transformation of the Thames and the Port of London (2005).
‘The latter followed his two immensely valuable books on the river: London’s Bridges (1983) – from Tower Bridge to Teddington Lock – and Liquid History: The Thames through Time (2003) (republished and retitled in 2016 as The Thames through Time: Liquid History), which went the other way, from Staines to Yantlet Creek, delimited by the London Stones, ancient boundary markers of the jurisdiction of the City of London. Both of these books take the catalogue form – historic and contemporary photographs from the NMR collections accompanied by succinct accounts of buildings and landscape. Liquid History in particular is a beautifully produced book (by Batsford) featuring the very best of London’s photographers over 150 years. Stephen was responsible also in collaboration with Secretary Peter Fowler FSA for much of the work on an account of the first 75 years of the RCHM(E), published in its Annual Review (1983–84), which according to his co-author was intended to be definitive. A further catalogue of NMR photographs with descriptive extended captions was published (with an introduction by Sir John Summerson FSA) in 1991 as 50 Years of the National Buildings Record, accompanying an anniversary exhibition at the V&A. Stephen was not named on the title page since this was a collaborative effort, but the foreword by Secretary Tom Hassall FSA gave the game away in thanking Stephen for conceiving and co-ordinating the exhibition and publication. Here once more was the assistant editor doing most of the work.
‘The removal of the headquarters of the Royal Commission and much of the library to Swindon in 1994 was far from universally welcomed. Stephen became Head of the small, surviving London office, remaining until he was able to take early retirement in 1996. He was active thereafter, moving home to Somerset where he continued independent life in a new flat, built to his specifications, overlooking the River Tone in Taunton, full of books and papers, supported by his network of old friends and many new ones. He became an active member of the Somerset Vernacular Buildings Research Group (Chairman 2005–07) and continued editing, summarising survey reports and reviewing books for the Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, of which he was a Trustee, until declining health curtailed activities. His great contributions to scholarship and public service were fully recognised nationally. He was one of the first members of the Committee of the National Inventory of War Memorials (from 1989), a member of the Council of the London Topographical Society (from 1996), and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (2000). He was appointed MBE in 1997.
‘In later years Stephen’s life became constrained, although he remained independent, stoical, uncomplaining and cheerful (on the telephone) to the last. He began to find the use of the car too difficult, then, after a period in hospital, was not able to re-establish computer use and email contact. He continued to write letters and cards, was abreast of all recent publications and news and enjoyed very long telephone conversations at prescribed times. Stephen was greatly loved, a notion which he would have found embarrassing and inappropriate, and highly respected. His was one of the great enabling contributions to English architectural history and public life. We are in his debt.’


The Times (3 October) has published an obituary of Bridget Allchin FSA, who died in June (see Salon 390 and 392). Headlined ‘Intrepid and sometimes belligerent archaeologist renowned for her work in south Asia — and for making a cracking curry,’ the obituary leads with the story of her year-long drive through India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1951. Knowing she was pregnant, ‘she rearranged her travel plans only to make sure that she was near a hospital in Bangalore when her baby was due. She then packed the child in a sling on her back and continued her fieldwork.’
She spent much of her childhood, says the Times, on a sheep farm in Dumfriesshire, which she ran with her mother when her father went to serve as a doctor in India during the Second World War. After the war her parents moved to South Africa. ‘As she was underage she was obliged to go with them, but was deeply unhappy until they allowed her to continue her studies at the University of Cape Town. She took flying lessons from a Battle of Britain pilot and, resisting offers of marriage, saved all her money to return to London to study archaeology.’
In 1990 Bridget and her husband the late Raymond Allchin FSA built a house near Cambridge ‘that was crammed with archaeological items, while the textiles Allchin collected from all over the world filled an enormous linen press. A connoisseur of Indian cooking, she was renowned for making great curry, often served to visiting archaeologists.’

Fellows’ Memorials 

Neil Guthrie FSA writes from Toronto with this photo of a splendid plaque placed by the Ontario Heritage Trust.
‘Markers like this one’, writes Guthrie, ‘to Sir John Lefroy FSA, are the equivalent, in the province of Ontario (Canada), of the London blue plaque. Lefroy's is placed in the midst of the University of Toronto, near the site of an old observatory (since demolished) of which Lefroy was the superintendent.’
In his time Lefroy was best known as a colonial administrator and a scientist who explored Canada in the course of investigating terrestrial magnetism. He was interested in the ‘general condition of the Indians,’ and his journals of an expedition in the north-west describe geology, people, customs and traditions. After returning to England, he held various military positions before serving as Governor of Bermuda and Governor of Tasmania. His two-volume Memorials of the Discovery and Early Settlement of The Bermudas or Somers Isles, 1515–1685, was published in 1877, with later editions in 1932 and 1981.

In the last Salon Leslie Smith FSA wondered about the heraldry in a church window commemorating Nicholas Hugh MacMichael FSA. Jane Sayers FSA has the details:

‘The arms (top left) are those of Trinity College Cambridge. Underneath Magdalene College Cambridge. Those on the right are the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and the centre ones the arms of the See of Canterbury. Nicholas MacMichael, who was Keeper of the Muniments at Westminster Abbey, was at Magdalene – he was not a canon. His father the Canon of Canterbury was, I presume, a Trinity man. The very well-known antiquary, L. E. Tanner FSA, was succeeded as Keeper of the Muniments at Westminster, by Nicholas, his nephew by marriage.’

The Wisdom of Fellows

In an earlier Salon Patrick Ottaway FSA wondered if any Fellow could identify the church in a watercolour he saw at his children’s school in York (right). Bruce Bailey FSA thought it might be St Matthew’s Church, Northampton, but admitted the spire was in the wrong place. Ruth Harman FSA has the answer (and explains the eccentric spire). The drawing, she writes, shows St John’s church at Ranmoor, Sheffield:
‘St John’s is the finest of the city’s Victorian parish churches, and is set among the mansions of steel barons and other industrialists in a leafy western suburb.
‘It was designed by Edward Mitchell Gibbs of the local practice of Flockton & Gibbs, and consecrated in 1888. There is a copy of a contemporary drawing on the Picture Sheffield website (left), together with photographs of the present church and of its predecessor of 1879 [search for St John’s church Ranmoor]. This was also by Gibbs, and suffered a disastrous fire in 1887 that left only the tower with its splendid spire standing. Gibbs re-used the tower as the south-west entrance, hence its position as an attachment to the nave.
‘The church is described in the newly published Pevsner Architectural Guide, Yorkshire West Riding: Sheffield and the South (revised by me!), mentioned in Salon 393, and, in more detail, in the paperback Pevsner City Guide Sheffield (2004) that I co-wrote with John Minnis FSA.
‘By a happy coincidence Clyde Binfield FSA is organising an event at St John’s on Saturday 28 October for the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (details online). This will include talks about the church’s history and its architect, and about the accomplished Sheffield architectural carver Frank Tory, whose work enhances the opulent interior.’

Drawing above left Sheffield City Council, photo Ruth Harman.

Over the years David Horovitz FSA has collected a number of copper-alloy vessels of identical shape, cast in two-part moulds and carefully hand-filed. They range in size, he writes, from very small (2 inches across) to very large (30 ins across). All are heavy for their size, and many have initials engraved (not cast) on the inside lip, but never on the outside. He hopes Fellows might be able to help him throw light on them:
‘The very heavy copper alloy pot shown in the photographs (above) is 6 inches high with traces of a vertical mould line between the handles. I'm trying to identify the place and date of its manufacture, and its possible use. A clue might lie in the raised device cast into the inside rim, which seems to be that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (or Mary), though I've been unable to trace an exact and datable parallel. They're ascribed in various sources to Northern Europe, China, South America, and even Africa, with dates ranging from the 13th to the 17th centuries, but that appears to be no more than guesswork, and I've traced no published research on either these or on slender, round-bottomed copper-alloy spoutless jugs, which seem to be associated with the pots.’

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

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

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

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

26 October: 'TB Kennington’s Idlesse', by Mark Stocker FSA.

2 November: 'Keeping the National Heritage List for England', by Dr Deborah Mays (Head of Listing and Advice, English Heritage), on behalf of Dr Roger Bowdler FSA (Please note: This lecture was originally promoted for 5 October, to be given by Roger Bowdler. Please forgive change in schedule.)

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


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

Introductory Tours for Fellows

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

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

Forthcoming Public Events

Public Lectures

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

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

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

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

The Big Draw at Kelmscott Manor

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


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


Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

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

Welsh Fellows

22 October: Weekend Meeting in Criccieth. Contact Bob Child for more information at

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

19 October: Mick Aston and Somerset Archaeology (Taunton)
The late Mick Aston FSA was one of the founder members of the Somerset Victoria County History Trust. Bob Croft FSA, County Archaeologist, will present this talk in Taunton Castle as a fundraising event for the Trust. Details online.
19 October: Strawberry Hill, Collectors and the Country House Library (London)
To celebrate the arrival on loan of the contents of the library of Aske Hall, Yorkshire, which has enabled the Trustees of Strawberry Hill to fill the shelves of Horace Walpole’s library, Stephen Clarke FSA has helped to arrange a conference on the Country House library, with particular reference to Strawberry Hill and the libraries of art collectors. Speakers will include Megan Aldrich FSA, Stephen Lloyd FSA, Giles Mandelbrote FSA, David Pearson FSA, and Mark Purcell FSA, and will cover the collections at Knowsley, Osterley and Blickling, other Gothic libraries (particularly Stowe), bookbinding history, and Walpole’s own library, with Mark Purcell, whose book on the Country House library is forthcoming, delivering the keynote paper. Details online or email Claire Leighton at
19 October: Clarendon, Salisbury and Medieval Floor Tiles in Wessex (Salisbury)
Christopher Norton will present the Annual Clarendon Lecture in Sarum College, Salisbury Cathedral Close. Norton's research centres on seventh–16th-century French and English art and architecture. He is the foremost expert on the Wessex decorated floor tile industry, which commenced in the mid 13th century and whose traditions spread to the West Midlands, Wales and beyond by the early 1300s. The Wessex Industry’s distinguishing characteristics can be traced directly to a pavement made for Henry III’s queen, Eleanor of Provence, at Clarendon Palace 1250–52. Details online.

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

October–November (Leicester)
The Heritage Practice Training Programme, a three-year Continuing Professional Development (CPD) partnership between Historic England and the University of Leicester, ends soon. The last few courses, delivered by expert staff from Historic England, the University of Leicester and other organisations, are being held in Leicester. See online details for each course, or contact Pete Alfano at
24 October: Project Management of Post-Fieldwork Analysis
Details online.
25 October: Using GIS: A Refresher
Details online.

26 October: Desk Based Assessments: A Workshop
Details online.

6–7 November: The Conservation and Management of Rural Buildings
Details online.

8 November: Built Heritage and our Digital Legacy
Details online.

10 November: Managing, preserving and displaying community archives
Details online.

28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
31 October: Pitt Rivers: Pioneer (Bournemouth)
The first Annual Pitt River Lecture will be given by Richard Bradley FSA in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University at 7 pm. Pitt Rivers, widely known as ‘The General’, was a distinguished British soldier, anthropologist and archaeologist who is often considered to be the ‘father of scientific archaeology’. The lecture launches the celebration of 50 years of archaeological and anthropological teaching and research at Bournemouth University and its predecessor intuitions, and has been organised by staff and students connected to the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology. Details online.
2 November: Portraits, Authenticity, and Copies in the 17th and 18th Centuries (London)
Horace Walpole’s collection at Strawberry Hill was famously full of portraits. Formed at a period when there was much less emphasis on the ‘original‘ than there is today, it included many copies, both specially commissioned and unrecognised, as well as misdescriptions and deliberate fakes. This study day will focus on meaning and authenticity in portraits in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been prompted by the installation in the Holbein Chamber of digital facsimiles, made by Factum Arte, of George Vertue’s accurate copies, made in 1743, of 33 of Holbein’s famous drawings of the court of Henry VIII. Speakers include Stephen Lloyd FSA and Michael Snodin FSA, covering the whole practise of portrait copying, from the legacy of Holbein to the work of the Harding family into the early 19th century. Details online, or email Claire Leighton at
2 November: Glass: Archaeology, History and Practice (London)
Glass is an extraordinary material, with its properties of translucence and transparency, strength and fragility, versatility and beauty, its recyclability and practicality, and its special relationship with heat – all lending themselves to comparative exploration. History, process and conservation, and the variety of uses of glass, will be addressed at the British School at Rome’s first Interdisciplinary Workshop around materials, organised by its two Research Faculties (advisory bodies) for the arts and the humanities. It will be held in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre at the British Museum. Speakers include John Shepherd FSA and John Mitchell FSADetails online.
2 November: Remote Sensing and Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture by Robert Bewley FSA in the British Museum. The Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project is discovering, documenting and assessing threats to archaeological sites using satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The paper will present the approach, results and future strategies for the project. Details online.
6 November: 2017 CBA Archaeology Day and AGM (London)
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) presents a series of linked events starting at 14.30, with plenty of opportunity to meet people with a passion for archaeology and hear about some of the latest issues facing the sector. The event is open to all. There will be a panel debate on Archaeology and the Public Image, at which Sarah May, Janet Miller FSA and David Jennings FSA will discuss how archaeologists can work together to improve archaeology’s image. The 2017 Beatrice de Cardi Lecture will be given by Christopher Dobbs FSA, Head of Interpretation and Maritime Archaeology, and Alexzandra Hildred FSA, Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance and Human Remains, at the Mary Rose Museum. In the 35th anniversary year of the raising of the wreck, they will speak on Presenting Maritime Archaeology to the Public: The Mary Rose. Finally, in addition to the CBA’s AGM, the 2017 winners of the three Marsh Archaeology Awards – for Community Archaeologist of the Year, Young Archaeologist of the Year, and the Marsh Award for Community Archaeology – will be announced, with presentations made. Details online.
17–19 November: Arras 200 – Celebrating the Iron Age (York)
This year’s Royal Archaeological Institute conference is in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Museum. The conference will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first excavations on the Middle Iron Age cemetery at Arras in East Yorkshire, and will coincide with a special exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum displaying artefacts from those excavations. Twelve speakers will discuss recent excavations and other current research. There will be an optional field visit to the site of the Arras cemetery and Hull and East Riding Museum, which holds finds from other important Middle Iron Age ‘square barrow’ cemeteries. Details online.
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.
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.

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

20 January 2018: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The eighth conference in its series, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, takes place at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Speakers include Paul Holden FSA (the Lanhydrock Atlas 1696), Pete Smith FSA (the English Country House and the Civil War) and Adam White FSA (the Banqueting House and Grotto at Skipton Castle). Details online.
2–4 February 2018: 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.
19 February 2018: The Forests of Essex (London)
This day conference at Gilwell Park, held in memory of Oliver Rackham FSA, will explore the cultural and natural heritage of the forests of Essex, and issues of the understanding, management and future of trees, woods and forests in the county. The conference will include a keynote session by Tom Williamson and contributions from Charles Watkins FSA. Details online.
7 March 2018: St James’s and the Birth of the West End (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks into the ingredients that went into making a court quarter there and the way it formed a blueprint for the new West End of London. Details online.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.

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

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

Call for Papers

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


The Society of Antiquaries is currently recruiting 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.

The Friends of Friendless Churches seek a full-time Director to further develop the charity. Deadline for applications has been extended to 11.59pm 24 October.
The charity currently owns 50 churches open to visitors and encourages use by their local community, and trustees wish to increase the number of churches that the Friends save. This is a rare and exciting opportunity for an accomplished professional who can balance a strategic role with managing a widespread portfolio of buildings. Sound leadership, management, and fundraising skills are essential. You should be friendly, efficient and effective working with Trustees, volunteers and a committed team. Details online.

The Department for Continuing Education, Central Oxford, seeks a Departmental Lecturer in Architectural History. Deadline for applications noon 24 November.
The appointee will contribute to the teaching, supervision, examining and organisation of the Architectural History Programme. Sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge will be required in the architectural history of England to be able to teach the broad-ranging syllabus, and to supervise dissertations in both architectural history (following a humanities-based tradition) and historic conservation (a social-science model). Details online.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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

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