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Salon: Issue 412
31 July 2018

Next issue: 18 September

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

Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon EditorSalon doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.

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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Kelmscott Manor Campaign raises £660,000 towards £1.2 million match funding

The Campaign Group is delighted with progress on the Kelmscott Manor project, and exceptionally grateful to everyone who has made donations and pledges since we launched the campaign in May 2017. Individual donations make a powerful case for major funders and we are pleased to say that the Wolfson Foundation have recently awarded £150,000 towards the project. If you have contributed thank you!  

For those of you who wish to make a commitment, we hope that you might consider supporting the project as a Companion (£500), which can be paid in monthly instalments of £10, or if you can give more, as a Benefactor (£5000) or Principal Benefactor (£15,000).  Your support, at whatever level you are able to give, would be greatly appreciated. The Society’s 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. 
- Martin Levy, Chairman of the Kelmscott Manor Campaign Group

Watch the video >

• The Society's apartments (including the Library) closed on 30 July, and will reopen again on Monday 3 September.

Veterans Dive and Dig for Heritage


In early July Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and Help for Heroes worked together to examine and record a shipwreck in the Bristol Channel. HMS Montagu, a battleship launched in 1901, sank off the Isle of Lundy five years later while undertaking secret radio communication trials in fog. She was broken up and salvaged, but enough remains for HE to consider the wreck worthy of protection. This required an informed report for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The dives formed part of Operation Nightingale, a Ministry of Defence initiative first set up to help rehabilitate injured soldiers returned from Afghanistan, co-founded by Richard Osgood FSA. The photo above shows archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology, including Senior Project Manager Toby Gane (back row, far left), Mark Dunkley FSA, Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England (back row, second from right), and war veterans (centre, back and front).
Throughout July, Osgood, who is Senior Archaeologist at Defence Infrastructure Organisation, led a team of military veterans, service personnel and volunteers from Wessex Archaeology and Breaking Ground Heritage at an excavation on Salisbury Plain. They had investigated the prehistoric burial mound at Barrow Clump before, where, they discovered, there is also an extensive Anglo-Saxon cemetery. The site was excavated first to save remains threatened by badgers, and now by heavy military and farm vehicles, and to inform conservation management of the Ministry of Defence estate. Finds this summer included graves of a woman (photo shows one of her brooches, in bronze and gold leaf), a child and a man.
Photo top Andy Casey Photography/Historic England, above Crown Copyright, MOD 2018.

Lords Warns Movement Restrictions Will Hit Culture

The House of Lords’ EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee published Brexit: Movement of People in the Cultural Sector on 26 July. Its key finding was that the cultural sector ‘makes a profoundly important contribution to the UK's society and economy, and to its international image and influence,’ and that this is achieved by workers who ‘are highly mobile, and have thrived on collaboration with people from all over the world.’
The sector is thus very concerned about free movement post-Brexit, says the report, but the Government ‘had provided little detail’ about what its policies on this would mean in practice. ‘A decline in skilled workers from the EU,’ it says, ‘would not only damage the UK's cultural sector, but also represent a significant loss to the audiences that benefit when talented people from across Europe perform in the UK.’
‘Witnesses’ overwhelming sentiment was that ending free movement would have a negative impact on the cultural sector.’ Historic England feared that restrictions on EU citizens’ free movement could weaken the UK’s position as a leader in heritage research.
Cultural organisations attempted to convey the present extent of engaged EU citizens.  The National Museum Directors’ Council and the Museums Association noted that they accounted for ‘up to 15 per cent of the workforce in some large national museums’, especially national and large museums. Historic England estimated that 8% – 10,800 – of workers in the heritage sector were third country nationals. ‘Heritage visitor attractions’ were ‘reliant’ on EU staff, said HE.
The Heritage Alliance noted that demand for heritage skills was about to grow because of new, large heritage and infrastructure projects such as HS2 and the restoration of Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster. Steve Sherlock FSA, Archaeological Manager on the A14 project for Highways England, has told me that to cope with the needs of archaeology on that unusually large project – but relatively small compared to HS2 – they contracted an Italian company to help them out. He had 30 nationalities working on one excavation site alone, and they estimated that nearly 75% – three quarters – of those working on the entire archaeology scheme were originally from outside the UK.

Planning Framework: ‘No Major Impact’ on Heritage Assets 

On 24 July the Government published its updated version of the National Planning Policy Framework for England and Wales. It had been much discussed, with widespread fears that it might result in weakened planning controls. ‘The purpose of the planning system,’ says the report on page 5, ‘is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.’ ‘So that [this] is pursued in a positive way,’ it adds, ‘at the heart of the Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development.’ What is meant by this last phrase would appear to have considerable bearing, and an elaboration on the next page appears to suggest it means encouraging builders to do what they want, as if a serious housing shortage can be blamed on obdurate planners. Historic England has studied the small print.
‘The structure of the 2018 NPPF differs markedly from the 2012 edition,’ it says, adding, 'the new NPPF warrants a thorough reading.’
CIfA, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, says that most provisions relating to the historic environment from the original NPPF are retained (‘Some passages have been re-written or re-ordered for clarity, and largely, we believe that this is successfully achieved’). A requirement for Local Planning Authorities to maintain or have access to a Historic Environment Record is now in the main text, ‘an improvement’. In sum, ‘There should be no major impact on the way the historic environment is managed or any lessening of the weight afford[ed] to heritage assets as a result of the revisions.’
The importance of high quality buildings and places is emphasised. Heritage policy remains largely unchanged, says Historic England, with some amendments to the consultation draft in light of responses. Reference to the ‘highest status of protection’ in relation to National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Broads has been reinstated, and ancient (formerly ‘aged’) and veteran trees have been added to the definition of irreplaceable habitats.
Proposals, says the NPPF, should not be judged against the three ‘objectives’ to sustainable development (formerly ‘dimensions’): economic, social, and environmental gains are no longer to be sought ‘jointly and simultaneously’, but in ‘mutually supportive ways (so that opportunities can be taken to secure net gains across each of the different objectives)’.
A list of policies which might provide a reason for refusal has been extended to include ‘irreplaceable habitats’ and nationally important but non-scheduled assets of archaeological interest.
While there is a chapter on ‘Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change, Flooding and Coastal Change’, such a challenge can apparently be met with ‘Sustainable Use of Minerals’ – ‘Minerals planning authorities [should] recognise the benefits of on-shore oil and gas development, including unconventional hydrocarbons.’

Change at the Royal Academy

We learnt on 27 July that Charles Saumarez Smith FSA is to leave the Royal Academy of Arts, where he has been Secretary and Chief Executive since 2007 – an announcement that ‘will come as a surprise to many,’ wrote Anny Shaw in the Art Newspaper. Among his many achievements at the RA has been overseeing a major redevelopment at Burlington Gardens, which opened in May. He will stay until the end of the year, and then join Blain/Southern, a contemporary commercial art gallery a few blocks to the north, where he will be the Senior Director. ‘Having headed up three of the most prominent art institutions in the UK,’ said Harry Blain and Graham Southern in a press release, ‘if not the world, Charles brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will benefit our artists, the gallery programme and external exhibitions worldwide.’
Saumarez Smith, who was knighted in June, joined the V&A in 1982 as an Assistant Keeper, later becoming Head of Research. He became Director of the National Portrait Gallery in 1994, and then moved round the corner in 2002 to be Director of the National Gallery. He is a Professor of Cultural History at Queen Mary University of London, a Trustee of the Garden Museum and Emeritus Trustee of the Charleston Trust.
‘The RA has become more entrepreneurial internationally with Saumarez Smith at the helm,’ wrote Javier Pes on Artnet, ‘organising exhibitions of RA’s work in Hong Kong in particular.’ It mounted a pop-up store in Bicester Village, Oxfordshire, in 2014, ‘a retail outlet popular with Chinese tourists’, takes part in the Mayfair Art Weekend in London, and hosts Pace Gallery.
The RA’s President, Christopher Le Brun, told Mark Brown at the Guardian that ‘History is likely to judge [Saumarez Smith] as the most successful of all Royal Academy secretaries,’ adding, that he ‘possesses the unique ability to move with equal authority in the worlds of art, design, scholarship, exhibitions, administration and fundraising.’
‘Sir Charles’s departure,’ wrote James Pickford in the Financial Times, ‘sets up a contest to replace him in one of the UK’s biggest arts jobs. Among those tipped by art world figures as possible contenders for the role are Simon Wallis, Director of the Hepworth Wakefield gallery in West Yorkshire; Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary in Margate; and Victoria Siddall, Director of the Frieze art fairs.’
‘The role of Royal Academy chief executive presents unusual challenges,’ continues Pickford, ‘since the artists and architects who form its membership have a strong hand in running the organisation through a series of committees.’
Meanwhile Saumarez Smith was in Italy, blogging furiously, as is his wont, about buildings, art and museums.
In a long piece about him by Maev Kennedy FSA in the Guardian in 2003, when he was six months into being Director of the National Gallery and raising money to buy Raphael’s Madonna of the Pinks, Neil MacGregor FSA (who had just left to take on the British Museum’s ‘slash and burn programme of cuts to reduce the deficit’) said his successor is ‘going to be a great success in the job’. ‘There is a perception,’ said Saumarez Smith, ‘that you're either part of the traditional world of museums, sound on issues of attribution and interpretation, or alternatively you're somebody who is involved in the world of contemporary culture. If you try to do both, then you are necessarily perceived as being superficial.’ Fifteen years is a long time in museums.
Photo of Charles Saumarez Smith by James Harris (Blain/Southern).

Fellows (and Friends)

Christopher Harlow FSA died on 6 May aged 94. Elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1974, he wrote his B Litt thesis at the University of Oxford on The Punctuation of Six of Aelfric’s Catholic Homilies in the Earliest Manuscripts (1955).
John Dunbar FSA, architectural historian, died in May.
An appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered below, along with one for Alan Crocker FSA who as announced previously died in June.
Anne Olivier Bell, a ‘Bloomsbury group matriarch and editor of Virginia Woolf’s diaries who was also one of the wartime “Monuments Men”’, as a Guardian obituary by Charles Saumarez Smith FSA is headlined (19 July), died on 18 July aged 102. ‘She was closely involved in the foundation of Charleston farmhouse,’ writes Saumarez Smith, ‘the home of Bloomsbury art and ideas near Lewes in East Sussex, as an independent trust in 1980, and was supportive of everyone who wanted to study Bloomsbury, exercising a fierce and critical eye over their texts.’ Her mother Brynhild Olivier, says the Times (21 July) was ‘a cousin of Laurence Olivier (Anne became known as Olivier, pronounced Olivia) and a member of the Neo-Pagans, a group that embraced socialist sympathies and naked bathing. Its members included the writer Lytton Strachey and the First World War poet Rupert Brooke, who courted Brynhild before falling for her sister.’ ‘During the war,’ says the Telegraph (20 July), ‘she worked alongside Laurie Lee in the Ministry of Information, before joining the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program, a US-led initiative to locate and return cultural treasures looted by the Nazis. In 2007, her contribution to this complex task was formally honoured at a ceremony by the then US Ambassador, Robert Tuttle.’

Maev Kennedy FSA, for long Arts and Heritage Correspondent at the Guardian and currently billed as a Special Writer, leaves the paper at the end of August. ‘I will still be doing some arts and archaeology freelance journalism,’ she writes, ‘as well, I hope, as writing a book or so.’ Many archaeologists, and anyone with an interest in archaeology, will hope the Guardian will continue to take some of her work, which has a deserved reputation for intelligent and easy-to-read telling of often complex stories, typically informed by site visits, without added tangential spin. My photo shows her interviewing the late John Ashdown-Hill FSA in 2015, at the reburial of Richard III’s remains; she co-edited The Bones of a King: Richard III Rediscovered with Lin Foxhall FSA (2015). Kennedy tweets at @maevesther13 and is on Facebook at

Bryan Appleyard interviewed Sir David Attenborough FSA for the Sunday Times magazine (22 July), in an ‘unlovely, hot portable cabin’ at Charleston Festival, East Sussex; ‘I have a busy life,’ says Attenborough, ‘good people, good friends I’ve worked with for 20 years.’ Mary Beard FSA helped Tom Robinson with a session on BBC 6 Music on 29 July; when the station tweeted a couple of days ahead, ‘What song should be on a playlist inspired by ancient history and why?’, enough suggestions came in to fill at least a year’s programming (photo shows Beard in the Guildhall, Lincoln with a sword presented to the Mayor by Richard II in 1386, tweeted by Councillor Rosanne Kirk @Rosiecosy). On Radio 4 Neil MacGregor FSA recalled asking E H Gombrich for a quotation to adorn the National Gallery’s new Saisnbury Wing, and getting the response, ‘To which languages am I restricted?’ ‘He taught us how to look,’ added MacGregor, and ‘gave us the idea that there was a story of art’ (The Story of EH Gombrich, 28 July).
Friends of the late Pamela Tudor Craig FSA have written a pamphlet of tributes on her involvement with the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, which she founded in 1983. Written by Susan Powell FSA, W Mark Ormrod FSA, Christian Steer FSA, and Caroline M Barron FSA, Pamela Tudor Craig and the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium also contains an essay on the origins of the symposium by Tudor-Craig herself together with a bibliography of her published writings. The conference on themes of Medieval history, art, literature and architecture is held annually held at Harlaxton College, Lincolnshire, and has been published since 1989 as Harlaxton Medieval Studies. The next one will be on The Medieval Book as Object, Idea and Symbol (22–25 July 2019).
The Heritage Lottery Fund has given the National Trust £1.6 million towards a project in Surrey, which is linking the site at Runnymede where Magna Carta was signed in 1215 with Ankerwycke the other side of the River Thames, home to a ruined Benedictine priory and a yew which the NT describes as its oldest tree – it started growing 2,500 years ago. There will be improved pathways and interpretation, a new ferry crossing, new trails and an upgraded towpath. With Hew Locke’s The Jurors, Mark Wallinger‘s new Writ in Water, and Geoffrey Jellicoe’s memorial to President Kennedy (a landscape enriched with symbols, and a stone inscribed with a passage from the Declaration of Freedom from Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address, below) – not to forget Edward Maufe’s 1957 memorial to Magna Carta itself – the woods and meadows are a celebration of freedom, of speech and of the person.

In what may be her last piece for the Guardian’s The Past and the Curious, part of its network of science blogs which is closing down at the end of August after eight years, Mary Shepperson writes about the British School of Archaeology in Iraq (17 July). In 1929, she writes, an appeal fund was launched in London, a month after the Wall Street crash, by the likes of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lady Astor and Major-General Sir Percy Cox. Parliament gave it £4,000 in 1947, Max Mallowan became director, and the school set to digging up Nimrud. It was never a simple life, and after re-invention as the British Institute for the Study of Iraq in 2007, it widened its remit to embrace Iraqi heritage and culture, and Iraqi specialists. Now ‘it’s still very much alive,’ Shepperson concludes, ‘and perhaps more relevant than ever.’

The Senhouse Roman Museum recently won the Visitor Attraction of the Year award in the Cumbria Tourism Awards. The core of its collection, begun by the Senhouse family in the 1570s, is a unique group of sculpture from the adjacent Roman fort and civil settlement at Maryport. ‘For a small independent museum,’ writes Pete Wilson FSA, Chair of the Senhouse Museum Trust, ‘this is an immense achievement. Not only does it recognise the importance and appeal of the collections, but also rewards the dedication and hard work of the museum staff and volunteers. The award also emphasises that the Senhouse Museum is a key element of both Cumbria’s visitor offer and that of the wider Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site.’ For more information see online.

Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland, 1150–1350, edited by Paul Barnwell FSA, is the third in a sequence of books based on weekend conferences at Rewley House in Oxford, and concerning places of worship in Britain and Ireland from the late Roman period to the present. This one covers the rise of the great cathedrals, the spread of reformed monasticism (including nunneries), the coming of the friars and the spread of the parish system into every corner of Britain and Ireland. As important as the emergence and spread of the Gothic style was the evolution of church plans to accommodate new forms of worship driven by developments in theology and liturgy. Contributors include John Harper FSA (ritual and music), Richard Halsey FSA (cathedral extensions), Cathy Oakes FSA (Benedictines), Glyn Coppack FSA (Cistercians), Richard Oram FSA (Premonstratensians in Scotland), P S Barnwell FSA (English parish churches and conclusion), and Richard Fawcett FSA (Scottish parish churches).
Commenting on the industrial dispute involving archaeologists in Ireland, the Prehistoric Society says it ‘strongly supports the right to fair pay and conditions as highlighted in the current dispute between Unite, on behalf of the Union of Irish Archaeologists, and their archaeological employer. We believe that engaging with the process, as several Irish archaeological companies have done, is the constructive way forward. Honouring the rates of pay proposed by Unite will benefit all archaeologists and allow our profession to meet the considerable challenges ahead.’ The Prehistoric Society emphasises ‘the need for archaeological bodies such as ours to address the urgent demands of skills and training and the pay and conditions that must underpin’ projects in the UK, including ‘HS2 along with many road schemes, flood works and broadband rollout’.

In Constable's Skies, Mark Evans FSA writes about two great English passions: the weather and John Constable. The book includes a guide to where to find his work around the world. ‘The unprecedented fidelity of Constable’s painted skies,’ says the blurb, ‘is proven by reference to contemporary weather diaries.’ Evans elaborated on this to the press. ‘Art historians,’ wrote Dalya Alberge in the Sunday Telegraph (22 July) ‘have long thought that the menacing clouds and windswept trees in three of John Constable’s late watercolour sketches mirrored his dark emotional state after the death of his wife.’ They may have done, Evans told her, but that was because that’s how the skies then happened to look, and were documented in the London Literary Gazette.
An exhibition opening at the Dulwich Picture Gallery on 26 September will create ‘a visitor experience akin to witnessing a Quentin Tarantino film,’ says Jennifer Scott FSA, the gallery’s Sackler Director. Guest curated by Edward Payne and Xavier Bray, Ribera: Art of Violence will be the UK’s first show dedicated to Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652), a Spanish Baroque painter, draughtsman and printmaker whose work has been selected for its ‘arresting and provocative’ impact. Eight monumental canvases will be displayed with significant drawings and prints to explore the theme of violence in Ribera’s art. These will show his interest in saintly martyrdom and mythological violence, skin and the five senses, crime and punishment, and the bound male figure. The exhibition will bring together works from seven countries including major European and North American institutions. Many will be displayed here for the first time. There will be ‘one example of human remains in the form of tattooed skin,’ warns the gallery. Photo shows Crucifixion of Saint Peter, mid-1620s (Museo de la Real Academia de Bella Artes de San Fernando, Madrid).
The Beano celebrates 80 years this week, with an edition guest-edited by David Walliams, currently my daughter’s second favourite author (after Jeff Kinney). This July is also the tenth anniversary of a Beano that featured archaeology on the front cover. It was on the occasion of the Council for British Archaeology’s National Archaeology Week in 2008 (as chortled by Dennis the Menace). This had begun in 1990 (the year Mike Heyworth FSA, now Director, joined as a bibliography officer) as National Archaeology Day. It was later renamed the Festival of Archaeology, which ran for two weeks last year, an umbrella for over a thousand independent events across the UK. It’s not happening this year, as the CBA works on its fundraising appeal. It has been awarded a Resilient Heritage grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to help it engage with its audience and raise money.

Simon Kaner FSA is one of 15 authors of a paper about early pottery production in Japan, suggesting it was closely linked to intensified fishing at the end of the last Ice Age. In West Asia the origins of pottery lie with early farmers around 10,000 years ago – there is a Pre-Pottery Neolithic, first identified by Kathleen Kenyon FSA, when plants and animals were being selectively changed by people without pottery. Potting appears in East Asia earlier, and is associated with hunter-gatherers. How did this happen? The scientists looked at Jōmon vessels, which first appear around 15,000 years ago, and whose function has been questioned. Organic residues were sought in over 800 sherds from 46 sites, and a strong and consistent association was found with processing aquatic resources. After the start of the Holocene 11,500 years ago, pottery production and shapes and sizes grew, at the same time as a rise in intensified fishing, the start of shellfish exploitation, and the appearance of more settled communities. The research was conducted at the University of York’s BioArCh and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures at the University of East Anglia. ‘The impact of environmental change on the use of early pottery by East Asian hunter-gatherers’ is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism, is by James Stevens Curl FSA. It is, says a puff from David Watkin FSA, ‘the most gripping and complete account of how architecture and urban planning were corrupted in the 20th and 21st centuries leading to a catastrophic deterioration of the built environment … [it] should be read ... by everyone concerned about the erosion of civilisation itself.’ Curl, says the blurb, ‘traces the effects of the Modernist revolution in architecture from 1918 to the present, arguing that, with each passing year, so-called “iconic” architecture by supposed “star” architects has become more bizarre, unsettling, and expensive, ignoring established contexts and proving to be stratospherically remote from the aspirations and needs of humanity.’ 'This excoriating volume,’ says Jonathan Glancey in the Telegraph (29 July), ‘will delight anyone who feels that modern architecture has been little more than a cruel and unusual punishment inflicted on citizens for whom Gothic cathedrals and Georgian terraces are adventures enough in brick, iron, steel and stone.’

These bits (‘samples’) are from a wrecked boat on the mudflats at Tankerton, Kent, near Whitstable, and as well as the wood include a piece of leather, fragments of caulking and a plum stone, according to Wessex Archaeology’s Facebook page. Mark Harrison FSA told Maev Kennedy FSA at the Guardian (16 July) that his local history group was looking for exploded world war two pillboxes when they found the wreck. Historic England (where Harrison is Head of Heritage Crime & Policing Advice) asked Wessex to investigate. Harrison appealed for help on social media, and the next day 30 people turned up. They found the remains of a single-masted, carvel-built merchant ship built, possibly in Holland, in the late 16th or early 17th century. The ship was probably involved in the local copperas trade, Mark Dunkley FSA told Kent Online (16 July). Along with a second ship on Camber Sands in East Sussex, it is now protected. ‘These two very different ships are equally fascinating and will shed light on our maritime past,’ said Duncan Wilson FSA, Chief Executive of Historic England.

Fellows Remembered

John Dunbar FSA died on 6 May aged 88. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1961, 57 years ago. Geoffrey Stell FSA, who worked under him at the Royal Commission on the Ancient Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) for 21 years, has written a substantial obituary which will appear later in the year in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He has kindly sent Salon this shorter tribute:
John Greenwell Dunbar FSA was a towering figure in the transformation of Scottish architectural scholarship in the second half of the 20th century, and co-founder and doyen of the modern discipline in Scotland. His research led the way by example, while his conduct and management style marked him out as an archetypal gentleman-scholar, ever a model of thoughtful empathy, integrity and clarity in his dealings with friends, colleagues and the academic world.
‘He was born in London to a Scottish father and a Yorkshire mother. He continued his education in Hampstead (rowing on the Thames with Roger Bannister) after work took his father to Scotland, and attended his National Service with the British Army of the Rhine in Germany (1948–49). He read Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford, where his personal tutors included historians Christopher Hill and Archie Duncan, and graduated in 1952.
‘In 1953 he was appointed to the staff of RCAHMS in Edinburgh. He was to serve there for 37 years, the last 12 (1978–90), as Secretary – that is, Chief Executive – of a body which by then employed around 100 staff.
‘In 1948 a Royal Warrant had given the Commission discretion to include in its county Inventories structures of a date later than 1707. The Commission decided to selectively extend its remit only to 1850, but even that represented a massive increase in scope. Additionally, from the publication of the Inventory of Selkirkshire (1957), detailed accounts of monuments were grouped by types not parishes, allowing introductory essays to be more analytical. These new approaches were applied to revisions to accounts of the Border counties, most notably Peeblesshire (two volumes, 1967), and Stirlingshire (two volumes, 1963) and, from 1959, Argyll and the western seaboard.
‘In August and September 1960 and 1962, John and his friend Billy Boal, architect with the Ancient Monuments Branch of the Ministry of Public Building and Works, mounted an expedition to survey castles in the Cilicia region of Turkey. Sponsored by the Carnegie Trust and the University of Edinburgh and supported by the British Institute at Ankara, they headed a team consisting of Clare Dymond, Audrey Henshall FSA, Donald Scott, Susan Sinclair and Priscilla Telford.
‘As a writer and researcher, John Dunbar was a master craftsman. In a public service ethos he tended towards caution and sound, rather than adventurous, conclusions. His academic reputation rests on two main areas: Scottish Medieval castles and palaces; and Scottish domestic architecture – and architects and craftsmen – of the early modern era.
‘His first book, The Historic Architecture of Scotland (Batsford 1966), echoed the Commission’s analytical approach; recognised as a landmark publication, a second edition appeared in 1978 as The Architecture of Scotland. He edited, with J Imrie (1982), Volume II of Accounts of the Masters of Works for Building and Repairing Royal Palaces and Castles (1616–49). His Rhind Lectures were published as Scottish Royal Palaces: The Architecture of the Royal Residences During the Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Periods (1999). He contributed generously to general works of reference, including Howard Colvin’s A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (1978 and 1995).
‘John’s work on Early Classicism in Scotland will endure. A lifelong interest in a significant group of early modern Scottish architects led to studies including Sir William Bruce, 1630–1710 (1970) and Minerva’s Flame: The Great House of James Smith of Whitehill (c 1645–1731) (1995).
‘In the early 1960s he began the restoration of Patie’s Mill on the banks of the River North Esk at Carlops. He turned what since 1800 had been a water-powered woollen manufactory, meal mill and poultry farm, into “a much loved home and garden.” The entrance arch keystone of the stone garage bears the inscription, “JGD EMB 1974”, a gift from his RCAHMS colleagues to mark his marriage to Elizabeth Mill Blyth.
‘John had a wry sense of humour. At the end of his preface to Scottish Royal Palaces, he paid fulsome tribute to “the tolerance and understanding shown over the years by my wife, Elizabeth, who, like an early reviewer of 1066 and All That, ‘looks forward keenly to the appearance of the author’s last work’”. Sadly, it was indeed to be his last single-authored book, but we all enjoyed sharing the gentle domestic joke.
‘John Dunbar was also an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. He was appointed OBE.’

The photo (RCAHMS 1989) is from Canmore.

Alan Crocker FSA died on 22 June aged 82. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in November 1999. David Bird FSA has kindly written this tribute for Salon:
Alan Godfrey Crocker FSA was a Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey. He was one of the team who had first worked at Battersea College of Technology, its precursor, and was keen to use archaeology and history to leaven the inevitably scientific bias of the new university. In the 1970s he excavated at the Medieval moated site in the royal park at Guildford, and encouraged the writer to set up a series of lectures on archaeological subjects, which later became focused on industrial archaeology and still continue (although no longer at the university). These talks served to provide a suitable environment for the creation of the Surrey Industrial History Group (SIHG) under the umbrella of the Surrey Archaeological Society (SAS), where it remains. Alan encouraged other archaeological activity at the university which included working with the late Tony Clark FSA on the development of geophysical survey methods.
‘He was a former President of SAS and most recently an Honorary Vice-President, a key founder member and long-time Chairman of SIHG, as well as a Chairman of the Surrey Local History Committee. With Glenys, his wife, he put Surrey’s industrial history on the map, and carried out nationally important research into gunpowder production and paper-making, both well-represented in the county. This led also to a passion for watermills and the eventual preservation of the water turbine from Catteshall Mill near Godalming, the largest and best-preserved of its type in the country, now at the Ironbridge Museum. The results of this research were published in a series of important papers.
‘Alan instituted SIHG’s annual presentation of a plaque for the best industrial heritage project which continues to this day. There is a great deal more to Surrey’s industrial heritage than might be expected, reflected in one of Alan’s favourite quotations about the valley of the Tillingbourne, with its many mill sites, which he studied in some detail. It figures in one of William Cobbett’s Rural Rides:
‘This valley, which seems to have been created by a bountiful providence, as one of the choicest retreats of man, which seems formed for a scene of innocence and happiness, has been, by ungrateful man, so perverted as to make it instrumental in effecting two of the most damnable of purposes; in carrying into execution two of the most damnable inventions that ever sprang from the minds of man under the influence of the devil! Namely, the making of gunpowder and of banknotes!’
‘Alan was a genial and well-liked presence at a wide range of SAS activities. Even recently he could be found demonstrating the art of making paper from rags at a Society symposium where he won the prize for the best display. He will be greatly missed.’

Memorials to Fellows 

Norman Hammond FSA sends this photo of a gravestone in the churchyard at Sapperton, Gloucestershire. It commemorates Emery Walker FSA (1851–1933), an engraver and typographer, his wife and their daughter.
When Walker's father, a coach builder, went blind, he was, according to his DNB entry, ‘obliged … to earn his living’. He was 13. He ended up working for Alfred Dawson’s Typographic Etching Company, leaving in 1883 to set up business with his brother in law as a print seller and occasional publisher. When that didn't work out, he founded his own firm, successively named Walker and Boutall, Walker and Cockerell and finally Emery Walker, dealing in engraving, drawing, maps and photography. William Morris FSA met him in 1883. He was a founder member of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, and was elected to the committee of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. He and Morris formed the Kelmscott Press in 1891, near Kelmscott House. He founded the Doves Press in 1900 with T J Cobden-Sanderson, and advised on the Ashendene Press and the German Cranach Press.

The Wisdom of Fellows 

In the last Salon I described a tribute book to the late Charles Thomas FSA, edited by Andy M Jones FSA and Henrietta Quinnell FSA. Female colleagues, I noted, were not always honoured on field projects as we would expect today. Peter Yeoman FSA responds:
‘In this excellent piece you mention that, “On remote Iona, report Campbell and Adrián Maldonado, male diggers enjoyed the comfort of the huts of the Iona Community while the woman ‘were initially banished to tents’.”
‘This was nothing to do with Charles, but was a strict men-only requirement of the even more charismatic and demanding Rev Dr George McLeod, founder of the Iona Community. When I recovered the Iona Abbey archive from Charles in 2013 he explained that while the male diggers were fed and accommodated at the abbey, the women endured wind and weather in tents by the beach, with food smuggled out to them!’
Finds at excavations on Iona last year, designed to inform interpretation of Thomas’s archives, included spirit bottles buried at the bottom of one of his trenches – alcohol was another of the Reverend's fears.
Within hours of that edition of Salon being mailed out I learnt of the death of Jessica Mann, who married Charles Thomas in 1959 and remained his wife until he died in 2016. She was 80. I had put a photo at the top of my piece (detail right), taken from the book, and the work of Vincent Megaw FSA, which shows a young excavation team in the Isles of Scilly, the world ahead of them. Mann is 19, Thomas 28.
As the Telegraph’s obituary says (18 July), Jessica Mann was ‘a crime novelist, social historian and journalist, who worked frequently as a columnist and reviewer for The Daily Telegraph; all her writing was characterised by the effervescence of personality and robust distaste for conventional thinking … She wrote more than 20 crime novels [six featuring archaeologist Tamara Hoyland], and was less interested in constructing cunning plots than in ranging over as wide as possible a variety of settings and characters. “I write books ... which concentrate on people, places and puzzles, in that order,” she once said.’ In later life she recalled that her ‘two dreams when I was a little girl were to be the most successful woman writer in the world and to be the first woman Lord Justice.’ She read Archaeology and Anglo-Saxon at Newnham College, Cambridge, ‘and was married within a week of taking her finals in 1959. She then studied Law at the University of Leicester, but never practised, becoming a housewife and mother instead.’
In the Guardian (23 July) John Tusa describes her as ‘outgoing, witty and sociable. At the same time, she was self-questioning and restless, always looking for the next challenge.’ She was ‘committed to public service,’ addds Tusa, who details her broadcasting career, mostly on BBC radio.

I wrote about William Chambers FSA in the last Salon, an architect who designed many ornamental buildings for the royal gardens at Kew in the mid 18th century. His Chinese Pagoda has re-opened after a major conservation project, with 80 decorative dragons on the roofs newly created to replace those removed in 1784. But are they really dragons? Annie Grant FSA, a specialist in the ancient use of animals (and a higher education researcher at the University of East Anglia), writes:
‘I was just reading the Salon item on the restoration of the Kew pagoda, and wondering if the dragons were in fact wyverns – the difference being the number of legs: in Medieval bestiaries, dragons have four and wyverns only two. It is difficult to see clearly from the photos you have been able to include so I can’t be sure.
‘I have attached a photo of a cast of a terracotta wyvern sitting in my garden and made by the very talented conservator Graham Morgan FSA, who worked in the Archaeology Department at the University of Leicester. The original was part of a university building and restored by Graham some years ago. You can just see one of its two legs gripping what was part of a roof. The tail is invisible in this photo, but curls around the body.
‘Just an idle thought – of course no bones have ever been found!’
Historic Royal Palaces are said to have thoroughly researched English Chinoiserie dragons before the teams came up with a definitive design that was turned into 3D models. The images below are from the website of Austin-Smith:Lord, who undertook the design and execution of fabric repairs to the Great Pagoda. Grant is right: the resulting beasts are without doubt wyverns, a distinctly European development on the dragon theme. You read it here first.

Elsewhere in the Chambers story, I noted that his worn ledger stone in Westminster Abbey describes him as FAS, suggesting this was a mistake for FSA. Fortunately there are Fellows among you who can put me right on such things, as did Max Craven FSA and, as here, Iain Gordon Brown FSA:
‘Apropos the piece you have in Salon on the grave-slab of Sir William Chambers, I’d just like to point out that the letters FAS are not, as you suggest, “presumably a typo for FSA” but rather an alternative – and quite regular – 18th-century usage of the post-nominal designation of a Fellow of our Society. Such minutiae of detail were not fixed in those days: a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London might well be designated as “FSA” or as “FAS”, this last standing for “Fellow of the Antiquarian Society”. Sometimes Fellows of both the Royal Society (of London) and the Antiquaries were denominated with a strange combination of letters indicating their dual affiliation, such as “FRASS”. I have always been grateful for the fact that Royal Society of Edinburgh has never had a “junior” class of Associates, which presumably might have had the post-nominal initials ARSE.’

• As noted at the top, the Society's apartments are now closed until 3 September. The next Salon will go out on 17 September. In the meantime I may not respond to all emails, but do please keep them coming, they will be read and acted on as is appropriate. Your correspondence is much welcomed.

Library Notes

Leslie Smith FSA is Hon Librarian of the British Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP) whose library is housed within the Society’s library. Here he lists some recent deposits donated by the authors or funded by the BSMGP:
Corpus Vitrearum Belgium ‘Checklist’ Series:
Silver-Stained Roundels and Unipartite Panels before the French Revolution:
Vol. II The Provinces of East and West Flanders, by C J Berserik and J M A Caen (Brepols 2011)
Vol. III Flemish Brabant and Limburg, by C J Berserik and J M A Caen (Corpus Vitrearum 2014)
Books donated by author:
Stained Glass, Art Craft and Conservation, by Steve Clare (2013). An update for the 21st century of Christopher Whall’s 1905 standard work, Stained Glass.
Margaret Rope of Shrewsbury: Stained-Glass Artist in the Arts & Crafts Movement, by Arthur Rope (Pangapilot Publications 2017). A full-colour book of the Rope exhibition held at Shrewsbury in 2016.
The Two Margarets: Margaret Agnes Rope and Margaret Edith Aldrich Rope: Stained-Glass Artists in the Arts and Crafts Movement, by Arthur Rope (Pangapilot Publications 2017).
Capturing Light: Roy Miller, New Zealand Stained Glass Artist, by Brian Miller (2016).
The Splendour of Light, by John Edwards (2016). Exhibition catalogue featuring Christopher Webb and the Windows of St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London on the 50th anniversary of Webb’s death. Also a much-expanded version of the catalogue, and booklet on the windows by Canon David Parrott, Guild Vicar of St Lawrence Jewry.

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers, Communications Manager (

The next Ordinary Meeting of Fellows will take place after the summer break, on Thursday 4 October 2018. 

Introductory Tours for Fellows

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

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
  • 21 August - 'Paying the Tolls: Glass in Time and the Regulation of the Free Trade State', lecture by Jenny Bulstrode (PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge)
  • 4 September - 'Coastal Heritage Under Threat: CITiZAN (A National, Community-Based Response)', lecture by Gustav Milne FSA
  • 23 October - 'The Prittlewell Prince: Life, Death and Belief in Anglo-Saxon England at the Time of St Augustine', lecture by Prof Christopher Scull FSA
  • 6 November - 'Seeing Milton's Voice, or Illustrations to Paradise Lost; a social history of Great Britain', lecture by Prof Howard JM Hanley FSA

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Events are not currently being organised, but you can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.

Welsh Fellows

  • 19 October 2018: Weekend visit to the Hereford area, staying in the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford and visiting places of historical and archaeological interest in the area. 
  • 18 January 2019: The Davies Family of Llandinam with its Burry Dock connection, by David Jenkins FSA
  • 11-13 October 2019: Weekend visit to the Pembrokeshire area. Programme to be arranged.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.

York Fellows

  • 29 November 2018: 'Surveying Shakespeare's Guildhall: a public building in pre-modern England' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in York). Find out more online.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

31 August–2 September: Archaeology in Wales (Lampeter)
The Council for British Archaeology Wales will be holding its first annual conference on the archaeology of Wales, at the University of Wales Trinity St David. The programme showcases current innovative projects and fieldwork and provides opportunities for hands-on workshops, CPD, networking, and guided visits to some of the most iconic and interesting sites in Wales. Speakers include David Austin FSA, Toby Driver FSA, Carenza Lewis FSA and Mike Parker-Pearson FSA. Details online.
6–9 September: Recent Archaeological Research in the Channel Islands and nearby France (St Helier, Jersey)
Building on the successful Channel Islands History Conference of 2016, this event hosted by the Société Jersiaise Archaeology Section showcases the best and up-to-date archaeological research. Speakers include Chantel Conneller FSA, Barry Cunliffe FSA, Heather Sebire FSA and Robert Waterhouse FSA. On the fourth day, if there is sufficient interest, it is proposed to run two minibus trips to significant archaeological sites in Jersey. Details online.
11–15 September: Understanding Historic Buildings (Oxford)
Historic England is running a four-day course at St Anne’s College, which will teach key skills in building investigation, interpretation and recording. Tutors Adam Menuge FSA and Allan Adams FSA will demonstrate how to observe, analyse, hand-measure, draw and photograph historic buildings. Details online.
14-16 September: The Monuments of Hereford and Herefordshire (Hereford)
The Church Monuments Society Bi-Annual Symposium 2018 will be held at the Green Dragon Hotel opposite the cathedral. The focus will be on monuments in the cathedral and surrounding Herefordshire countryside, with an optional visit to the Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi, chained library and after evening dinner lecture on the Mappa Mundi. Speakers include Tobias Capwell FSA, Jerome Bertram FSA, Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA and Moira Gittos FSA, David Lepine FSA, Jon Bayliss FSA, Holly Trusted FSA and Roger Bowdler FSA. Details online.
15 September: Stone Lives - Breathing Life into Early Medieval Sculpture (Whithorn)
Peter Yeoman FSA will be giving the 2018 annual Whithorn Lecture for the Whithorn Trust, Dumfries and Galloway. He will be considering approaches to the museum presentation of carved stones, and how these extraordinary objects can best be displayed to allow their evidence of artistry, faith, scriptural exploration, cultural contacts, commemoration and social identities to be revealed. Yeoman played a leading role in creating new displays of the major early Medieval stone collection at Whithorn, St Vigeans, and Iona Abbey. Details online.
15 September: Deerhurst, Pershore and Westminster Abbey (Deerhurst)
The 2018 Annual Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm in St Mary's Church, Deerhurst and will be given by Richard Mortimer FSA (former archivist to Westminster Abbey). Details online.

19–20 September: Photographing Historic Buildings (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is aimed at those who are not professional photographers but wish to photograph historic buildings for the record using a digital camera. By the end students will be expected to know how to choose viewpoint and lighting conditions, correctly set up cameras to capture suitable images and how to post-produce images in software ready for the archive. Details online.
24 September: Dr Christopher Dresser, the South Kensington Museum and their 1877 Gift to Tokyo National Museum (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. Chris Morley will speak in one of a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA. Please note that this is a change of the previously advertised programme. Details online.
26–28 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. Chris Morley ill speak in one of a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA. Please note that this is a change of the previously advertised programme. Details online.

29 September. Uncovering the Buried Past Beneath the HS2 Rail Line (Aylesbury)
Not surprisingly construction of a new railway line through the Buckinghamshire Chilterns and across the Vale of Aylesbury, has not been welcomed with enthusiasm by all those who live there. However, as with other major infrastructure projects the works do provide extensive opportunities for answering research questions about regional landscape development. Archaeological investigations on the line are still at an early stage but this conference provides an opportunity to hear how HS2 is facing the challenges, and for learning about what has come to light so far. Seven speakers address these issues at a conference organised by the Bucks Archaeological Society, in its 170th anniversary year. Details online.
29 September: Georgian Group Symposium: The Architecture of James Gibbs (London)
James Gibbs (1682–1754), born in Scotland and trained in Rome, was one of the most important British architects of the 18th century, responsible for the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London and the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, and many other commissions throughout Britain. He published one of the most influential of 18th-century architectural pattern books, which spread his influence throughout the worldwide British diaspora. This symposium at the Society of Antiquaries and led by Geoffrey Tyack FSA, editor of the Georgian Group Journal, will reassess Gibbs’ achievement and its significance for the understanding of Georgian architecture. Speakers include Charles Hind FSA and Pete Smith FSA. Details online.

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

15 October: Finds for the Dead in Roman London and Beyond (London)
A conference jointly organised by the Museum of London, Museum of London Archaeology and the Roman Finds Group will be held at the Museum of the London Docklands, currently featuring The Roman Dead exhibition. Twelve speakers will describe finds from the city and cemeteries of Roman London, as well as important objects from funerary contexts elsewhere in Britain. Details online, or contact Stephen Greep FSA at
20 October: Design and Destiny: Arts and Crafts of the Iron Age (Lewes)
A conference organised by the Sussex Archaeological Society to explore the Iron Age through its artefacts. Speakers will bring varied perspectives on artefact research to enlarge our understanding of social influences and the economics of trade and exchange in this period. Speakers will include Jody Joy FSA, Julia Farley FSA, Melanie Giles FSA, Jaime Kaminski FSA and John Creighton FSA. Details online, or contact the organiser, Lorna Gartside,
24 October: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will provide expert guidance on how key artefacts and ecofacts can contribute to interpretation of archaeological sites, and good practice in sampling and collection. The course is designed for supervisors, project officers and junior managers with responsibility for running excavations, and those new to specialist artefact and ecofact roles. Details online.
27 October: Engaging with Policy in the UK: Responding to Changes in Planning, Heritage and the Arts (London)
The AHRC Heritage Priority Area and RESCUE: The British Archaeological Trust are holding a one-day conference at UCL Institute of Archaeology. This is one of a series of activities drawing together academics, civil servants, private and professional bodies, and civil society organisations to address challenges and uncertainty from changing policies. The aim is to connect researchers, practitioners and policy-makers involved in the arts, culture, heritage and the natural/historic environment around key areas of shared concern. Confirmed speakers include Duncan McCallum FSA, Gail Boyle FSA, Gill Chitty FSA, Jude Plouviez FSA and Taryn Nixon FSA. Details online.
29 October: The Last Great Demidoff Sale of Paintings (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Alexandre Tissot Demidoff (Independent scholar) will speak about the last great Demidoff sale. Details online.
30 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Details online.
3 November: Dawn: From our Earliest Ancestors to the Hunter-Gatherers of the Mesolithic (Southampton)
The Council for British Archaeology Wessex's 60th Anniversary Conference is to be co-hosted with the University of Southampton’s Department of Archaeology in collaboration with the Prehistoric Society, and will be held at the Highfield Campus. Speakers include Nick Ashton FSA, Vince Gaffney FSA, Steve Mithen FSA, Matt Pope FSA, Julian Richards FSA, Roland Smith FSA and Chris Stringer FSA. Phil Harding FSA will chair a session, and Alice Roberts will give the keynote lecture. Details online.

10 November: Structured Deposits: Definitions, Developments and Debates (Chertsey)
A conference organised jointly by CBA South-East and the Surrey Archaeological Society will examine how our understanding and uses of the concept of ‘structured deposition’ have developed during the last 30 years, resulting in a perceived tendency for over-use and ‘ritual’ interpretations in analysis. Research from prehistoric to Medieval times will be considered, revealing new discoveries from southern England. Speakers will include Jon Cotton FSA, Mike Fulford FSA and Sam Moorhead FSA. Details online, or contact the organiser, Anne Sassin,

15 November: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce standard published reports produced by archaeologists, and how a report is planned. It will then focus on stratigraphic narrative and discussion, with a critical review of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements of writing in a professional and academic context. Details online.

24 November: Heritage and Resources in Southeast England (Lewes)
An interdisciplinary conference involving aspects of geology, archaeology and local history. Speakers will include Danielle Schreve FSA and David Rudling FSA. For details contact the organiser Anthony Brook,

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

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

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

13–14 December: Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (London)
The British Library is hosting an international conference with 22 leading experts in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts to coincide with its Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition (19 October–19 February 2019). Keynote lectures will be given by Lawrence Nees FSA, University of Delaware, and Julia Crick, King’s College London. Confirmed speakers include Catherine Karkov FSA, Simon Keynes FSA, Rosamond McKitterick FSA, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Susan Rankin FSA, Joanna Story FSA, Elaine Treharne FSA and Tessa Webber FSA. Details online.

Call for Papers

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

31 August: Reading the Country House (Manchester)
Country houses were made to be read – as symbols of power, political allegiance, taste and wealth. ­This places emphasis on the legibility of their architecture and decorative schemes, and their paintings, collections and furniture. It also draws our attention to the skills required to decode the signs. ­The messages and processes of reading were carried further by 18th- and 19th-century images: in private sketch books and journals, in engravings and in guidebooks. These allowed the country house to be read in very different ways, as did its appearance in novels as backdrop and social symbol. ­This conference at Manchester Metropolitan University (16–17 November) seeks to explore such perspectives on reading the country house, and link them to how the house is read today, by managers, visitors and viewers of period dramas. Keynote speakers Phillip Lindley FSA (Loughborough) and Kathryn Sutherland (Oxford). If you would like to present a paper please send title and 200-word abstract with a very brief biography to Jon Stobart at by 31 August 2018.

31 August: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The ninth conference on this topic, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House (19 January 2019). Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for papers of 30 minutes long. While the emphasis remains on new developments in architecture, we welcome proposals on related themes, such as decorative arts, gardens, sculpture and monuments. They should be submitted by 31 August, and the final programme will be announced in September. Please include a short biography with your proposal. For further information contact Claire Gapper at, or Paula Henderson at
31 August: What is Unique about Cornish Buildings? (Cornwall)
The Cornish Buildings Group in association with Historic England will host a two-day conference to celebrate 50 years of the Group, at a venue to be announced (22–23 March 2019). New and challenging paper submissions are invited to explore and discuss the conference question: What is unique about Cornish buildings? The theme will unite aspects of Cornish architectural design with distinctiveness and exclusivity. The Group welcome contributions from any area or discipline relative to the past, present and future of buildings in Cornwall and how they impact and affect the natural environment. The conference will embrace research looking at Cornish distinctiveness in the widest possible sense. Submissions of 250 words to Paul Holden FSA at by 31 August 2018. Details online.
7 September: Seminars in the History of Collecting 2019 (London)
This seminar series was established as part of the Wallace Collection’s commitment to the research and study of the history of collections and collecting, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries in Paris and London. In 2019, as in previous years, we plan to organise ten seminars. We are keen to encourage contributions covering all aspects of the history of collecting, including formation and dispersal of collections, dealers, auctioneers and the art market, collectors, museums, inventory work and research resources. Seminars are normally held on the last Monday of the month, excluding August and December. Open to curators, academics, historians, archivists and all those with an interest in the subject, they act as a forum for the presentation and discussion of new research into the history of collecting. Papers are 45–60 minutes long and all seminars take place at the Wallace Collection between 5.30 and 7pm. Please send text (500–750 words) and brief CV by 7 September or ask for more information at
A Matter of Access – Collections and their Availability to a Public (Toronto)
Adriana Turpin FSA and Susan Bracken FSA have been organising monthly research seminars since 2004 on the subject of collecting and display. They are proposing the topic of A Matter of Access – Collections and their Availability to a Public, for the Renaissance Society of America Conference in Toronto in March 2019. If you would like to give a paper, please contact for full details.


The Society of Antiquaries is seeking to appoint a Museum Collections Manager. Deadline for applications: 21 August 2018.
The new Museum Collections Manager will manage the Society’s museum collection at Burlington House, and continue to develop it as a research resource and increase access. This key role, which is part of the Library and Collections team, is responsible for all aspects of collections management including documentation, conservation storage, temporary loans and displays. Details online.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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

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