Volume 87, 2007

Papers

  1. Industrial Archaeology: the challenge of the evidence, by Neil Cossons, FSA
  2. The Dunaverney and Little Thetford Flesh-Hooks: history, technology and their position within the Later Bronze Age Atlantic Zone feasting complex by Sheridan Bowman, FSA, and Stuart Needham, FSA
  3. The Iron Age Mirror Burial at Pegsdon, Shillington, Bedfordshire: an interim account, by Gilbert Burleigh, FSA, and Vincent Megaw, FSA, with contributions from Helen Ashworth and Mansel Spratling
  4. Two Left-Handed Gladiators in Britain, by Tony Wilmott, FSA
  5. The Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath and the End of Roman Britain, by James Gerrard
  6. Edward Lhuyd and the Origins of Early Medieval Celtic Archaeology, by Nancy Edwards, FSA
  7. Edward the Confessor’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey: the origins of the Royal Mausoleum and its Cosmatesque pavement, by Sally Badham, FSA
  8. The Growth of a Mausoleum: the Pre-1600 Tombs and Brasses of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, by Nigel Saul, FSA
  9. Lambert Barnard in Chichester Cathedral: Ecclesiastical Politics and the Tudor Royal Image, by Jonathan Woolfson and Deborah Lush
  10. Jack of Hilton and the History of the Hearth-Blower, by Arthur MacGregor, FSA
  11. Baddesley Clinton: architectural responses to social circumstances, by Nathaniel W Alcock, FSA, and Robert A Meeson, FSA
  12. John Leland and the ‘Briton Brykes’, by Oliver Harris
  13. Anyone for Tennis? The Monument to Captain Gervase Scrope in St Michael’s, Coventry, by Jean Wilson, FSA
  14. Drawings of Antiquities in the Society’s Albums c 1750 to 1860, Elizabeth Lewis, FSA
  15. The Society’s Watercolours of Limerick’s Mitre and Crozier, by Peter Harbison, FSA
  16. The Mystery of Charles Stothard, FSA, and the Bayeux Tapestry Fragment, by Michael Lewis, FSA


1. INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY: THE CHALLENGE OF THE EVIDENCE

This paper is an expanded version of two lectures presented at meetings of the Society held on 12 October 2006 and 11 January 2007. It considers the changing contexts within which industrial archaeology in Britain has evolved and continues to develop, some of the issues affecting its wider realization and the challenges of conserving such physical evidence as will allow future generations to gain an understanding of the great age of industry as it affected British society, the economy and landscape.

2. THE DUNAVERNEY AND LITTLE THETFORD FLESH-HOOKS: HISTORY, TECHNOLOGY AND THEIR POSITION WITHIN THE LATER BRONZE AGE ATLANTIC ZONE FEASTING COMPLEX

Discovered in County Antrim and Cambridgeshire respectively, the Dunaverney and Little Thetford flesh-hooks are two of only thirty-six currently known examples from the Bronze Age of the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. Both are impressive and enigmatic objects and are among the most elaborate of later-series flesh-hooks dating to c 100 to 800 BC. Not surprisingly, from the time it was found in 1829, Dunaverney was the subject of much antiquarian interest. Yet, despite their rarity and unusualness, the Dunaverney and Little Thetford flesh-hooks have never been adequately studied. Our investigations have provided an understanding of the technology of these two fleshhooks, as well as new chronological information for the type as a whole. They have also revealed new uses of lost-wax casting in the British Isles, where the use of this technique is otherwise rare. The bird motifs on the Dunaverney flesh-hook remain unique, although it is now possible to set them against a broader background of iconographic representations on Atlantic feasting gear. Moreover, certain recurring design features may suggest that iconographic symbols were originally more often present on flesh-hooks. The findspot of Dunaverney lies at the heart of deposits of other contemporary prestige metalwork and that of Little Thetford within the greatest concentration of finds of the innovative Wilburton-stage metalworking tradition; both re-enforce the social significance of these rare objects.

3. THE IRON AGE MIRROR BURIAL AT PEGSDON, SHILLINGTON, BEDFORDSHIRE: AN INTERIM ACCOUNT

In November 2000 metal detectorists located a decorated copper-alloy mirror, a single silver Knotenfibel brooch and some pottery sherds at Pegsdon, Shillington, Bedfordshire. Subsequent excavation of the findspot uncovered a Late Iron Age cremation burial pit associated with further pot sherds and a single fragment of calcined bone. The opportunity is taken in this preliminary account to revisit both the occurrence in southern England of the brooch type and to discuss the mirror’s decoration in relation to the variation of views as to the British mirror series as a whole, and in particular with regard to other recent mirror discoveries. The burial is discussed in its local context and the possible significance of the topography in relation to the site is highlighted.

4. TWO LEFT-HANDED GLADIATORS IN BRITAIN

Two of the most frequently reproduced images of gladiatorial combat from Britain are a slate relief of a retiarius from Chester and the famous Colchester vase, a barbotine decorated cup adorned with arena scenes. Despite the familiarity of these images, an important fact seems to have been generally overlooked: the objects appear to show gladiators who are left-handed.

5. THE TEMPLE OF SULIS MINERVA AT BATH AND THE END OF ROMAN BRITAIN

The temple and baths dedicated to Sulis Minerva at Aquae Sulis (Bath, Somerset) are usually seen as significant in terms of Britain’s ‘Romanization’. However, it is argued here that excavations carried out in the inner precinct of the temple revealed a sequence of great importance in understanding the end of Roman Britain. For the first time the documentary, stratigraphic and artefactual evidence is drawn together alongside a series of new radiocarbon dates which establish the date of the temple’s demolition as AD 450 to 500. This raises interesting questions regarding the process of transformation from Roman to post-Roman in Somerset and beyond.

6. EDWARD LHUYD AND THE ORIGINS OF EARLY MEDIEVAL CELTIC ARCHAEOLOGY

The Welshman Edward Lhuyd (?1659/60 to 1709), Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, was a naturalist, philologist and antiquarian. He wrote the Welsh additions to Camden’s Britannia (1695) and undertook extensive research for an Archaeologia Britannica. He was part of the scientific revolution centred on the Royal Society and was influenced by the flowering of Anglo-Saxon studies in late seventeenth-century Oxford. Although many of his papers were destroyed, sufficient evidence survives to assess his methodology for recording early medieval antiquities – particularly inscribed stones and stone sculpture in Wales and other Celtic areas – as well as his analysis of them. His legacy is of considerable importance and he may be regarded as the founding father of early medieval Celtic archaeology.

7. EDWARD THE CONFESSOR’S CHAPEL, WESTMINSTER ABBEY: THE ORIGINS OF THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM AND ITS COSMATESQUE PAVEMENT

It has hitherto been argued that Edward the Confessor’s Chapel at Westminster Abbey, built by Henry III in 1246 to 1259, was established as the royal mausoleum only from the 1290s. In 2005 a ground penetrating radar survey of the chapel floor revealed many anomalies, some of which can be interpreted as grave cists. A re-examination of the written and physical evidence for subfloor burials in the chapel suggests that, among other early burials, at least five of Edward I’s children were interred here in the period 1264 to 1284. It thus appears that the chapel was used as a family mausoleum before 1290 and was not originally exclusively reserved for the monarchs and their consorts. New light is also thrown on the vexed question of the date of the Cosmatesque floor in the shrine chapel, which is here redated to the 1290s.

8. THE GROWTH OF A MAUSOLEUM: THE PRE-1600 TOMBS AND BRASSES OF ST GEORGE’S CHAPEL, WINDSOR

A comprehensive study is attempted of the pre-1600 monuments in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Use is made for the first time of a key source, the set of plans of the chapel floors made by Henry Emlyn in 1789. These show the chapel once to have contained a large collection of monumental brasses. The plans are examined alongside the evidence of the extant indents in the chapel and cloister to reconstruct the original lay-out of the brasses. It is demonstrated that the great majority of the brasses commemorated the deans and canons who served the chapel. It is argued that the character of the chapel as a mausoleum changed after 1475, when Edward IV embarked on the building of the present fabric. From this time, the ranks of the commemorated expanded to include layfolk, particularly Knights of the Garter and men with royal connections, while, alongside the brasses, big sculpted monuments were commissioned in the side chapels of the building.

9. LAMBERT BARNARD IN CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL: ECCLESIASTICAL POLITICS AND THE TUDOR ROYAL IMAGE

Building on the pioneering work of Edward Croft Murray, this paper investigates a painting in Chichester Cathedral depicting Henry VII and Henry VIII and executed by the Netherlandish artist Lambert Barnard. With close attention to the chronology of Henry VIII’s reign, it explores the painting’s rich religious, political and cultural context, proposes a date for its execution, and reveals its links to Arthurian legend. The painting emerges as a sophisticated work of political theatre and propaganda with important implications for our understanding of early Tudor image-making.


10. JACK OF HILTON AND THE HISTORY OF THE HEARTH-BLOWER

The resurfacing of a late medieval hearth-blower, first brought to public notice by Robert Plot in 1686 but subsequently seen only infrequently, provides the opportunity for a review of the type. Examples of these anthropomorphic aeolipiles from England, all late medieval in date, are placed in context, both in time – stretching back to the Classical period – and in space. They prove to have been widely distributed in Continental Europe, while related types are known from as far east as the Himalayas. Although latterly limited in application to fanning the flames of a fire, earlier references show an awareness of a range of potential uses in domestic and industrial contexts.

11. BADDESLEY CLINTON: ARCHITECTURAL RESPONSES TO SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

In 2002, the National Trust commissioned a detailed survey of the timberwork of the moated manor house at Baddesley Clinton, coupled with an extensive dendrochronology programme. The results have radically revised our understanding of the house and of the way that its complex development reflects the changing circumstances and social expectations of its occupiers from the medieval period to the nineteenth century. The integration of documentary sources, structural analysis and tree-ring dating has enabled the house to be portrayed as the product of a quest for greater comfort and privacy, of social responses to changing family circumstances and of the exercise of dower rights by widows, resulting in several periods of joint occupancy.

12. JOHN LELAND AND THE ‘BRITON BRYKES’

This paper traces the practice among early modern antiquaries of describing Roman bricks as ‘British’. The term originated in the 1530s in the notes of John Leland, who based his nomenclature on material first encountered at Verulamium. He may either have regarded the settlement there as British, or have adopted a local folk-attribution. Others who followed his usage, including William Camden, recognized that the bricks were actually Roman, but the terminology was not properly discussed until the end of the seventeenth century. While Leland’s
designation was flawed, his identification is of significance as an exceptionally early exercise in archaeological typology.

13. ANYONE FOR TENNIS? THE MONUMENT TO CAPTAIN GERVASE SCROPE IN ST MICHAEL’S, COVENTRY

The monument to Captain Gervase Scrope was destroyed in 1940, but a rubbing survives in the Society’s collections. It alludes to Real Tennis, and in doing so takes part in a debate extending from Plautus to Stephen Hawking about the attitude of the Creator to the universe, although the side it takes is, in an ecclesiastical context, unexpected.

14. DRAWINGS OF ANTIQUITIES IN THE SOCIETY’S ALBUMS c 1750 to 1860

Now that the cataloguing and digitization of the drawings of archaeological artefacts in the Society’s albums is nearing completion, an overview of a few of the highlights can be offered to illustrate the range of material and the way it has been used by scholars in recent years to reassess the provenance and significance of some of the most important finds of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The role of the Society and its artists in producing this archive is considered with reference to the Minutes of the Council.

15. THE SOCIETY’S WATERCOLOURS OF LIMERICK’S MITRE AND CROZIER

The purpose of this paper is to present to the public for the first time the Society of Antiquaries’ original watercolours of Limerick’s fifteenth-century mitre and crozier that served as the basis for engravings published in a paper by Dr Milner in the journal Archaeologia in 1814. These watercolours are still so wonderfully fresh that they convey something of the excitement and sparkle of the original medieval episcopal pontificalia, and they enable us to document their original state – and sadly note the subsequent losses and changes that occurred to the mitre and crozier during the nineteenth century.

16. THE MYSTERY OF CHARLES STOTHARD, FSA, AND THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY FRAGMENT

In 1816 the Society of Antiquaries of London sent Charles Stothard to Bayeux to produce a fullsize colour reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry. During this time, plaster casts of the tapestry were made and a small fragment of the famous textile was removed. Stothard’s wife, Eliza, was accused of looting the fragment, but was later absolved. So who was the thief? This paper examines the mystery of Charles Stothard and the Bayeux Tapestry fragment.