Burlington House Lecture

The next Burlington House Lecture, entitled ‘The Thames Through Time’, will be given by our Fellow Danielle Schreve, of the Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, on 20 September 2011, with tea at 5.30pm, the lecture at 6pm and a reception at 7pm, in the Geological Society’s Lecture Theatre, Burlington House. Professor Schreve will focus on the origins, past environments and early human inhabitants of London’s iconic river, tracing its story through the last two million years up to the end of the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago. Admission is free but by ticket only, available from the Events Department, Geological Society.

Forthcoming meetings

The full meetings programme for this autumn can be seen on the Society’s website.

6 October 2011: ‘East of Lübeck: medieval monuments along the southern Baltic shores’, by Fr Jerome Bertram FSA

This paper will explore the iconography and epigraphy of monumental brasses and incised slabs in the countries east of the old Iron Curtain, along the Baltic coasts from Lübeck to Tallinn, including areas in the former Soviet Union that were closed to Western antiquaries for most of the twentieth century. Sepulchral monuments along this coastline consist mainly of flat incised monumental slabs, some with metal inlays, and a number of monumental brasses. Most slabs consist of inscription and heraldry or symbol only, but a significant number depict full-length figures. These sometimes closely imitate imported examples from Flanders, Nuremberg and London. There are very few effigies in the round, or low-relief effigies, in contrast to other areas of Europe. There is a recognisable ‘Baltic’ style, although there was more than one centre of manufacture.

13 October 2011: ‘The Society’s portrait of Queen Mary’, by Pamela Tudor-Craig FSA
The Society’s portrait of Queen Mary I, painted in 1554 by Hans Eworth, was the greatest purchase made by the Reverend Thomas Kerrich, and is now amongst our Society’s finest possessions. Pamela Tudor-Craig spoke briefly to the Fellowship in 2005 about its content, but there is much more to explore. As the first Queen Regnant for 400 years, her image was carefully and consciously worked out, apparently by herself, within the rapidly evolving and always revealing quasi-secular iconography of the Tudor court. The disfavour which darkened her memory accounts for the obscurity from which, in 1800, our most discerning collector rescued this wonderful picture.

20 October 2011: ‘Matthew Cotes Wyatt’s colossal equestrian statue of Wellington (1846) and Turner’s Hero of a Hundred Fights (1800—10, reworked and exhibited at the RA in 1847)’, by Jan Piggott FSA

27 October 2011: ‘Prior’s Hall, Widdington, Essex: an Anglo-Saxon secular building?’, by Nicola Smith FSA

More New Insights into Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century British Architecture

This follow-up to January 2010’s well-supported study day on the same theme takes place at Burlington House on 21 January 2012 and is again organised by Fellows Claire Gapper and Paula Henderson, both of whom are happy to supply further information and a booking form. Amongst the speakers are Lucy Gent on ‘Eloquence, theory, persuasion: the underpinning of late Elizabethan architectural practice’, Fellow Richard Simpson on ‘Building design, construction, and texts at Sir Thomas Smith’s Hill Hall 1566—1576’, Olivia Horsfall Turner on ‘Illustrating architecture in seventeenth-century England’, Lee Prosser on ‘The British staircase as a means of exploring developments in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century architecture’, Fellow Rick Turner on ‘Re-inventing castles in Tudor Wales’ and Fellow John Schofield on ‘Reconstructing St Paul’s Cathedral before and during the restoration of Inigo Jones’.

The draft National Planning Framework: responding to the consultation

The last two issues of Salon have given a flavour of the debate over the draft National Planning Policy Framework, published for consultation by the Government on 25 July 2011. Everyone agrees that the overhaul of the existing planning system promised by this document has far-reaching implications for the historic environment. Many heritage bodies, including the National Trust, English Heritage and the Institute for Archaeologists, have expressed concerns about the potential that the planning framework has for diminishing current levels of protection for the heritage, especially in the case of that majority of the heritage that lacks a national designation. Some have also pointed out that the sustainable development that the framework strongly favours can sometimes conflict (unintentionally and unnecessarily) with policies for heritage protection.

Many Fellows have a lifelong expertise in such matters, and the Society is keen to frame a response to the consultation by drawing on that experience. Fellows are asked to submit views on the draft by by email or by post to Burlington House (please mark the correspondence ‘NPF’) by 30 September 2011. Our Fellow and Vice-President Gill Andrews has agreed to collate the responses, and it would be very helpful if contributions could be structured to reflect the formal questionnaire available from the consultation website.

Fellows may, of course, respond directly to the document in an individual capacity, either online, in writing or by email. Information on how to do this can also be found on the consultation website, and the deadline for direct replies is 17 October 2011. If you are replying, you may wish to state that you are a Fellow of the Society.

The lighter side of the planning debate

Let us not leave this subject without acknowledging the efforts of the humorists to make us smile. Matt, the Daily Telegraph cartoonist, has found fertile ground for his wry take on current affairs: his 9 September 2011 cartoon has two figures standing in the middle of Stonehenge while one says to the other, ‘it’s one of the earliest examples of builders flouting local planning laws’. On 7 September, a picnicking couple seated amidst gently rolling countryside with a church spire in the background are interrupted by two builders carrying bricks and mortar who say ‘this looks like a nice spot’. On 4 September, an early riser in dressing gown is making tea while listening to the radio, which announces that ‘Farming Today has been replaced by Builders’ World’ (<). as="" ever,="">Private Eye manages to sum the situation up in a few trenchant words. On this week’s cover two grazing sheep are having a chat. One says ‘I see they’ve got some concrete proposals’; to which the other replies ‘Yes, for building on the greed belt’.

Ireland proposes de-listing post-1700 heritage

Our colleagues in Ireland are facing an equally worrying proposal from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht which would, if implemented, remove statutory protection from all archaeological and historical sites that post-date 1700.

The Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland has responded by stating that, as a fundamental principle, ‘date is not in itself a determinant of archaeological significance or interest. Any material remains which can contribute to understanding past societies may be considered to have an element of archaeological significance’. Among the types of site that would be affected are vernacular buildings, lime kilns, holy wells, bridges, milestones, industrial sites and the archaeology of the Diaspora and of the Famine period, including burial grounds, workhouses and asylums. Even such important components of the Dublin cityscape, such as the Customs House and the Four Courts, would cease to be protected.

Rather than de-listing, the Institute proposes the opposite: increased recognition of the value of post-1700 heritage at regional and local level, and the creation of a comprehensive national inventory, perhaps using this as an opportunity to train a new generation of archaeologists using funds for resolving Ireland’s unemployment problems.

Church of England asset sales

Another issue that is much to the fore in Fellows’ concerns at the moment is the sale of church assets. The last issue of Salon highlighted the case of the Hilton Flags; the message that Selling parish was seeking a faculty for their disposal ‘shot out via Salon to many interested organisations, including naval history groups and The 1805 Society’ (according to our Fellow John Owen). This ‘brought immediate support in writing to the Registrar’ and ‘an unprecedented number of responses’.

As a result, ‘a small diverse informal national conservation/fund raising group’ has been formed with the intention of drawing up a plan for the conservation, security and re-hanging of the flags, and to launch a national funding appeal. John also reports that the Registrar has wide discretion to call professionals and interested parties to submit their advice in the matter, which is why it is important for the group to be able to offer a business plan that ‘raises our case from objection to constructive and financial help to resolve the plight of the flags’.

Let us hope that the Hilton Flags story has a happy ending. It is only one example, however, of a wider problem that was aired in the media last week with the announcement that seven prime Church of England buildings are either on the market or under review, including Hartlebury Castle, Worcester, Rose Castle, Cumbria, and Auckland Castle, Co Durham.

In Cumbria, the sale of Rose Castle (shown left), the Grade I-listed home of sixty-six bishops of Carlisle since the thirteenth century, is strongly opposed by the local community. The current Bishop of Carlisle has moved to Keswick and the Church Commissioners’ assets committee will decide whether or not to try and sell the castle at a meeting on 22 September.

The building costs £150,000 a year to run and has a maintenance backlog of £1.7m. Dr Richard Pratt, the Archdeacon of West Cumberland and spokesman for the diocese of Carlisle, said that the castle was a ‘working asset that could produce an income … to support the work of the Church’, and that this was also a moral issue — the Church should not be spending money on maintaining an unused property. In response, Jane Hasell-McCosh, from Friends of Rose Castle, said that a building that had been part of the Christian heritage for 800 years should not be treated as an asset like a supermarket or a shopping mall. ‘This is no longer a church thing’, she said; ‘this is about the people of Cumbria and our heritage.’

In this, she would appear to be supported by our Fellow Lord Inglewood, the barrister and Conservative politician William Fletcher-Vane, of Hutton in the Forest, near Penrith in Cumbria. Speaking in the House of Lords recently, he said that, for the purposes of charity law, bishops’ palaces ‘are not held charitably’, but should be regarded as ‘church treasures’ under the terms of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943, not available for sale any more than a museum could dispose of its collections.

The UK’s most expensive country house

On the question of real estate, a new record has been set for the most expensive country house in the UK with the sale of Park Place, near Henley-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire to an unknown Russian billionaire for £140m. You can read all about this remarkable eighteenth-century house and its multiple transformations on the ‘Country Houses’ blog, but the relevance to Fellows, as our former Librarian, Bernard Nurse, points out is that the estate includes a prehistoric monument that was turned into a garden feature, reusing the stones from a Neolithic passage grave that was moved from Jersey by Henry Conway in 1785 and that is now listed Grade II as ‘The Druid Temple’, Wargrave. The Society has a model of the original Neolithic monument (cat. no. 87 in the ‘Making History’ exhibition), which originally came from Le Mont de la Ville near St Helier.

England’s first planned town and other Iron Age finds

Photo: A surprise visitor to this year’s Silchester excavations was the actress Alex Kingston (here flanked by the dig’s Co-Directors, our Fellows Mike Fulford and Amanda Clarke), who plays the glamorous and witty archaeologist River Song in ‘Dr Who’, and who portrayed Boudicca in ‘The Warrior Queen’ (2003). According to the dig blog, ‘Mike was delighted to take Alex and her daughter and a friend up in the cherrypicker … he may have been more than a little starstruck!’ It is quite possible that the revolt inspired by the Iceni queen in AD 60—1 led to the destruction of the Roman military base at Silchester, before the town was rebuilt in the AD 80s.

That word ‘planning’ again: only this time it refers to the Iron Age settlement that underlies Roman Silchester, proof that, to use modern jargon, the Romans did not build Calleva Atrebatum on a greenfield site, but rather on the site of a pre-Roman town, whose housing plots were aligned on a rectilinear street grid. The inhabitants had already adopted elements of ‘Roman’ life, including a fondness for olive oil, wine and garum (fish sauce), judging by the pottery finds. ‘Indeed’, said our Fellow Mike Fulford on the BBC’s ‘Digging for Britain’ programme, ‘it would be difficult to see a significant difference between the lifestyles of the inhabitants of the Iron Age town and its Roman successor in the 1st century AD.’

And following on from the discovery earlier this year by our Fellow Tim Malim that a ‘Roman road’ in Shropshire actually dates from the middle of the first century BC, University of Birmingham archaeologists have now found another impressive stretch of Iron Age road building, in the form of a timber causeway at Geldeston, in Norfolk. Tree-ring dating suggests the causeway was constructed around 75 BC; it formed a 4m-wide route running for 500m across wetland up to the River Waveney. Similar structures were found during flood defence work at the nearby Suffolk town of Beccles in 2006, suggesting the existence of a major highway and trade route through the territory of the Iceni.

The new series of ‘Digging for Britain’, presented by Alice Roberts, also visited a newly discovered settlement in Devon, located some 30 miles south west of Exeter, with plenty of evidence for a Roman-influenced lifestyle, even if this wasn’t quite the ‘lost Roman town’ that the BBC’s publicity statements claimed.

The settlement came to light when metal detectorists reported the finding of more than 100 Roman coins, ranging in date from the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD, to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Danielle Wootton, the PAS liaison officer for Devon, carried out a geophysical survey and found circular houses and enclosures covering several fields, as well as Roman ceramics, including roof tiles and Spanish amphorae. The discovery has challenged the theory that resistance from the local tribes to the invaders meant that there were no Romanised civilian settlements west of Exeter.

More such structures are known from the interior of the hillfort at Ham Hill, Dorset, where work has started on a three-year-long research excavation to examine an area of the interior that is to be lost to quarrying. Led by our Fellows Niall Sharples, of the Department of Archaeology, University of Cardiff, and Chris Evans, of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, the aims of the excavation include pinning down a chronology for the hillfort’s construction and understanding better how the site was used.

Conventional archaeological wisdom says that dense settlement on an urban scale was alien to Iron Age culture, and that small farmsteads are the norm, but geophysical surveys carried out at Ham Hill in 1992 and 2001 revealed a road running between the two known entrances and the systematic division of the interior into a coaxial system of enclosures defined by ditches containing numerous circular house sites and grain storage pits. ‘It looks rather like suburbia’, Chris Evans says.

Relations between modern humans and Neanderthals

Fellow Paul Mellars and Jennifer French published a paper in Science earlier this year which points to a population explosion amongst modern humans in the Aquitaine region of south-western France between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago and suggests that a tenfold increase in the population density of modern humans during that period could explain the demise of our Neanderthal cousins. If that finding is typical of the whole of Europe, modern humans would have won through at the expense of H neanderthalensis simply on the basis of numerical supremacy.

Aquitaine was chosen as the study area because it contains the highest density of Neanderthal and early modern human sites recorded in Europe. Density of occupation was chosen as a proxy for population size, as measured by the quantity and weight of retouched stone tools and associated animal food remains found at each site. The authors say that the precise technological, economic, social, biological, and other adaptive mechanisms that led to a rapid growth in populations of H sapiens are still a matter of debate, but they are likely to include improved hunting, food-processing and food-storage technology, enhanced mobility and transportation technology, increased social integration and cohesion, expanded exchange, mating and alliance networks between different groups, potentially enhanced planning capacities and new social relationships, as witnessed by a proliferation of symbolic, artistic and ceremonial practices.

Another paper in Science argues that Neanderthals unwittingly sowed the seeds of their own demise when modern humans gained significant health benefits from interbreeding. The claim that interbreeding had taken place between humans and Neanderthals some 90,000 to 65,000 years ago in western or central Asia was made only last year when geneticists discovered that non-African populations owe up to 4 per cent of their genome to Neanderthals. Now Peter Parham, Professor of Immunology at Stanford Medical School, has been looking at the ‘ready-mixed cocktail of disease resistant genes’ that we gained from Neanderthals, in particular a group known as the HLA class I genes, which govern the body’s ability to recognise and destroy dangerous pathogens and that are thus responsible for the functioning of our immune system.

Matt Pope, of the Institute of Archaeology in London, who specialises in Neanderthal research, says: ‘rather than having to evolve disease resistance from scratch as they moved out of Africa and into Asia and Europe, this interaction provided humans with a fast-track to adapting to new environments’.

Japanese heritage in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 11 March 2011 caused destruction and devastation on a massive scale. Six months on from the disaster the statistics reveal the extent of the devastation: more than 23,000 people killed or missing, 150,000 homes destroyed, half a million people displaced or homeless. The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant continues to be a major cause for concern.

As well as the overwhelming human loss, the disaster had a massive impact on the cultural heritage of the affected region. The Pacific coast of the Tohoku region is home to a rich variety of unique and vulnerable cultural assets, including archaeological sites, museums, landscapes, and of course artists and a wide range of specialists and practitioners involved in the cultural industries and heritage. The Agency for Cultural Affairs reports that more than 700 designated cultural properties, ranging from artworks to archaeological sites, were affected. Museums and other cultural facilities were destroyed.

Since the disaster, details of the impact on this precious heritage of the Tohoku region have emerged, and a number of initiatives are assisting with the rescue, conservation and restoration of these affected treasures. The Centre for Japanese Archaeology and Heritage, headed by our Fellow Simon Kaner and founded in May this year as part of the new Centre for Japanese Studies at the Sainsbury Institute, is involved in a number of such initiatives, including a project aimed at assessing the impact of the disaster on the cultural heritage.

As part of this project the Sainsbury Institute is organising a symposium on ‘Rescuing archaeology and culture: assessing the impact of the March 2011 disaster on cultural heritage’ on 26 October 2011, starting at 6.30pm (doors open at 6pm) at the Embassy of Japan, 101—104 Piccadilly, London W1J 9JT. All are welcome and the event is free, but booking is essential and photo ID must be presented to gain admittance to the embassy. To book, please email your name, contact details and affiliation to the embassy or tel: 0207 465 6589.

The event will be moderated by Simon Kaner and will introduce some of the projects involved in the recovery of cultural heritage in the aftermath of the disaster, including a presentation from Professor Akira Matsui (Director, Centre for Archaeological Operations, Nara National Cultural Properties Research Institute), who is closely involved in the Bunkazai Rescue initiative, working on the ground in the affected region to recover archaeological remains and other cultural assets (see the Antiquity website for more on this). Participants will also consider the significance of cultural heritage for the affected communities and the issues that confront the future of cultural heritage in the process of reconstruction.

A special feature in the forthcoming (October) issue of Current World Archaeology magazine will also focus on the archaeology of the affected region of north-eastern Japan, with contributions by Simon Kaner and Japanese castle specialist Stephen Turnbull.

The new Roman Gallery at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow

Photo: Antonine Wall distance slab carved with a Triton and a captive

Fellow and Council Member David Breeze writes to say: ‘on 15 September 2011, a large group of friends and supporters of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow gathered to witness the opening of a new gallery at the museum and to hear its Director, our Fellow David Gaimster, say, “the Hunterian Museum is back in business”. Indeed it is, for on display in the spacious new gallery is one of the most important collections of Roman military sculpture and inscriptions anywhere.

‘The core of the display lies in the distance slabs from the Antonine Wall, a unique collection of Roman military sculpture. No less than sixteen originals and two copies are impressively displayed here. They are supported by other items of sculpture, inscriptions and artefacts from the Antonine Wall and forts in the area. They are physical proof not only of Roman military might, but that Roman civilisation was strong and vital even at the edge of the empire. The Hunterian Museum is now an essential visit for all interested in Roman Britain and the Roman empire.’

The new gallery reflects the story of more than three centuries of collecting and research by the University of Glasgow on what is now a World Heritage Site. The display has four key themes: the building of the Antonine Wall, its architecture and impact on the landscape; the role of the Roman army on the frontier and the life and lifestyle of its soldiers; the cultural interaction between Roman and indigenous peoples and evidence for local resistance; and the abandonment of the Wall and the story of its rediscovery over the last 350 years.

Mapping and Antiquities in Scotland

The Antonine Wall features again in the latest issue of the Scottish Geographical Journal (127 (2), June 2011), which is devoted to papers delivered at a conference at the National Library of Scotland on the mapping of antiquities in Scotland, stimulated by the inscription of the Antonine Wall as a World Heritage Site the previous year. Several of the articles are therefore about the Antonine Wall, including Fellow David Breeze’s account of the use of historical and contemporary mapping in bringing together the multiple factors that defined the Site and its buffer zone.

John Poulter looks at the early Roman surveying of the Antonine Wall, using modern mapping to suggest how Roman surveyors may have set out the lines of their roads and defensive works across the landscape. Fellow Lawrence Keppie reviews the range of early maps of the Antonine Wall, from Matthew Paris in the thirteenth century to William Stukeley in the eighteenth. Peter McKeague and Rebecca Jones of the RCAHMS take the story through to the present day, looking at twentieth-century surveys, fieldwork and mapping. Fellow Yolande Hodson’s paper on William Roy’s Military Antiquities of the Romans in Britain (1793) examines this classic work on the Romans’ attempted military conquest of Scotland, while Matthew Shelley describes the value of early maps, especially those of Pont and Blaeu, in understanding loch settlements and island dwellings in Scotland during the early modern period.

More on the Aldborough Roman Town Project

Our Fellow Martin Millett has supplied further information about the Aldborough Roman Town Project that featured in the last issue of Salon, which reported on the discovery of an amphitheatre on a hill outside the village.

Martin says that the Roman town of Isurium Brigantium, which underlies modern Aldborough, is unusual in that it later developed into an important Anglo-Saxon centre, showing some form of continuity through to the Norman Conquest and on into the medieval period, whilst remaining remarkably well preserved: limited modern building in Aldborough and the absence of ploughing within the walled area of the Roman town provide good opportunities for archaeological survey and investigation.

Martin set up the Aldborough Roman Town Project with Rose Ferraby to investigate the town’s layout and to test hypotheses relating to its chronological development and its civic role in Roman Britain. A new and detailed plan has been created using magnetometer survey over large areas of the town, both within and outside the town walls and defences. This has revealed buildings in high levels of detail, with corridors and rooms clearly visible. The road system is shown to be more complex and extensive than previously assumed, with hitherto unknown roads outside the walls now appearing. Areas of extra-mural settlement are also being defined, building on previous fieldwork by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, and complex field systems and possible cemeteries are also being revealed.

The oval depression on Studforth Hill, outside the south-eastern corner of the town, has long been hypothesised as an amphitheatre, though recent scholars have been sceptical about the identification. This season’s magnetometer survey, carried out in association with the Landscape Research Centre (Fellow Dominic Powesland and James Lyall), showed clearly not only the arena wall and details of some seating, but also an entrance. It seems likely that once it had gone out of use, the amphitheatre was partly quarried away, and perhaps remodelled as part of an eighteenth-century landscape.

Ground Penetrating Radar was used at the site for the first time this year in collaboration with Jess Ogden (L-P Archaeology), focusing on the churchyard of St Andrew’s Church. The results confirm that the church was constructed within the Roman forum, revealing the truncated remains of the west range of the forum and a major wall which probably forms part of its south range.

Finally, magnetometry in the area of the assumed position of the North Gate of the town demonstrated that this does not exist and that the north—south street stops some distance short of the defences. This will force a rethink of ideas about the town’s street system and thus its development. Work will continue in the coming years, with further magnetometer, topographic and GPR surveys, as well as a synthesis of previous archaeological work.

Nonsuch Palace model unveiled

Featured in The Times on 7 September was a splendid model of Henry VIII’s great palace of Nonsuch, which has gone on permanent display in the Service Wing Museum in Nonsuch Mansion, Nonsuch Park, Cheam, in Surrey. The model was commissioned by the Friends of Nonsuch in a project led by our Fellow Martin Biddle, who was an undergraduate when he directed the excavation of the site of the palace in 1959.

Finds from the excavation included some 1,300 fragments of carved slate that formed part of the Renaissance-style decorations designed to educate Prince Edward, born in October 1537, Henry VIII’s long-awaited male heir to the English throne, in the duties of a monarch. The carved slate and stucco scenes, covering some 900 feet of the inward- and outward-facing walls of the inner court, were intended to outdo the similar scheme at Fontainebleau, the palace of the French king, Francis I.

Professor Biddle said at the launch that the model was as accurate a re-creation as it was possible to make with the information we have. Work started on the palace in 1538, six months after the birth of the future Edward VI, but the palace was demolished in 1682 by Barbara Villiers, Charles II’s erstwhile mistress, who sold the land to pay her gambling debts.

News of Fellows

Our Fellow Margaret Faull, Director of the National Coal Mining Museum for England, located between Wakefield and Huddersfield, has been formally appointed as a Visiting Fellow of the Academic Committee of the Coal Museum of China, based at Taiyuan, in Shanxi Province, a region of immense coal resources and some 10,000 mines, from which China derives some 70 per cent of its energy.

Our Fellow Norman Hammond has just returned to England after visiting Fellows in Australasia, where he delivered the Society’s 2011 Australia Lectures in Canberra and Melbourne in September. In Canberra his talk on ‘New Light on the Most Ancient Maya’ was hosted by the Australian National University, and attended by Fellows of the Society and members of the Australian Academy of the Humanities as well as ANU staff and students. The Melbourne Museum, directed by our Fellow Patrick Greene, was the venue for Norman’s paper on ‘The Mysterious Maya: an ancient American civilisation’.

Norman was diverted via Australia by Matthew Spriggs, the Society’s Secretary for Australasia, after delivering the 2011 Aronui Lectures for the Royal Society of New Zealand during August. His precursor in this recently established and distinguished lecture series was Baroness O’Neill, the philosopher, former Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, and immediate past President of the British Academy; ‘definitely’, says Norman, ‘a hard act to follow’.

His lectures in the series were given in Auckland, Hamilton, Napier and Wellington, on North Island, and in Nelson and Dunedin, on South Island; in Dunedin he also delivered a lecture on ‘Exploring La Milpa: a classic Maya city in Belize’, at the University of Otago, at the invitation of our Fellow Professor Charles Higham.


Salon’s editor is immensely grateful to the many Fellows who came forward with copies of the first thirteen issues of the newsletter. These missing issues will shortly be placed on the website so that anyone who wishes can have access to the complete set. The appeal for archive copies also revealed that the tenth anniversary falls in January 2012, and not in October 2011, as the last issue of Salon stated: the October date was calculated by counting back from issue 14 in two-week intervals — but being reunited with the first thirteen revealed the sobering and forgotten fact that Salon was once a weekly newsletter.

Issue 1 went out on 14 January 2002 and included a report on the previous week’s meeting, when Fellow Robert Hardy spoke on ‘The Longbow in the One Hundred Years’ War’. It also recorded the appointment of our Fellow Simon Thurley as the new head of English Heritage, the search for a new editor at Antiquity (a post subsequently filled by our Fellow Martin Carver, who is now within months of his own retirement as we wait to hear who has been appointed as his successor) and the publication by the Heritage Forum (a grouping of the major heritage bodies in England) of A Force for our Future, a major policy statement on the value and relevance of the historic environment.

The same issue announced the formation by Fellows Rupert Redesdale and Colin Renfrew of the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group in response to what they saw as the lack of archaeological representation in political and public life, and the launch of Heritage Link (now the Heritage Alliance) to give a voice in public policy to the huge and important voluntary heritage sector.

Issue 1 also reported on — guess what — a planning green paper (for that was the term then used to describe what we now call ‘consultation’ documents), proposing ‘a fundamental reform of the planning system’, designed to make it ‘faster, less bureaucratic and more positive’. Salon said that ‘environmentalists, archaeologists and conservation bodies were concerned that issues relating to the historic and natural environment would be ignored in a streamlined planning process, and that speeding up the process would inevitably mean weaker planning controls’. Opponents of the proposals also called for specific funds to be set aside for environmental advocates, whose job would be to champion the case for the environment; at present, they argued, ‘archaeological and architectural conservationists are unable to match the resources commanded by wealthy developers in hiring lawyers and other specialists to argue the pro-development case’.

All in all, the impression given in Issue 1 is of the heritage sector slowly rousing, and becoming more aware of its strength and the scale of public support. In the ten subsequent years we have all learned to become more adept at public advocacy, and Salon has played some role in helping to give publicity to the key issues and arguments as they unfolded. When looking back and asking how successful we have been, the answer is surely ‘more successful than we would have been had we not tried!’

Lives Remembered: Richard Hall

It is Salon’s sad duty to report that our Fellow Richard Hall lost his eighteen-month battle with cancer last week, dying peacefully at home on 13 September 2011. Tributes will follow in due course. Richard will be forever remembered as the Director of the five-year excavation that the York Archaeological Trust conducted in and around the street of Coppergate in central York from 1976 to 1981, which revealed so much about the Viking city and that now forms the basis of the Jorvik Viking Centre visitor attraction.

Richard’s funeral service will take place at 1.15pm on 26 September 2011, in the choir of York Minster, followed by refreshments in the Chapter House. It would be helpful if anyone hoping to attend would be seated by 1pm. The family does not wish for flowers to be donated, but donations may be made to selected charities at a later date. Messages of condolence may be sent to our Fellow Professor John Walker, Chief Executive, The York Archaeological Trust, 47 Aldwark, York YO1 7BX, from where they will be forwarded to Richard’s wife, our Fellow Dr Ailsa Mainman, and their two children.

Terry Suthers, Chairman, York Archaeological Trust, offered a tribute to Richard Hall on behalf of the Trust, saying that he was one of the world’s leading experts on the Viking Age, whose excavations and interpretation of the Coppergate site helped millions of people to access archaeology in an up-to-date and engaging format. ‘Richard was a diligent, fastidious and meticulous man who had a classic approach to archaeology’, he said. ‘Everything Richard did had to be firmly backed up with evidence and explanation, ensuring academic integrity, which has made the Trust’s four attractions so authentic and world-renowned. His absence will be felt greatly at the Trust and throughout the international archaeological community. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.’

Lives Remembered: Alex Morrison

The Society has also been notified of the sad and sudden death of Fellow Alex Morrison, a well-known and highly respected member of staff in the Department of Archaeology of Glasgow University, as well as a past President and stalwart supporter of Glasgow Archaeological Society.

Lives Remembered: Desmond FitzGerald, The Knight of Glin

An obituary for Desmond John Villiers FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, was published in the Daily Telegraph on 17 September 2011. Although he resigned in 2010, Desmond had been a Fellow since 30 April 1970. The obituary describes him as ‘a connoisseur of the decorative arts who worked for the Victoria and Albert Museum and the fine art auctioneers Christie’s and, as a campaigning president of the Irish Georgian Society, helped to save many architectural treasures over the Irish Sea from dereliction or insensitive development’.

One of the buildings that he saved was, of course, the dilapidated Glin Castle, which he inherited, along with the ancient title Knight of Glin, at the age of twelve, and to which, with his mother and her second husband, the Canadian millionaire, Ray Milner, and later with his own wife Olda, he devoted his life to restoring.

This was always a struggle, and despite turning the castle into a small hotel that did well for a number of years, Desmond was forced in 2009 to sell at Christie’s the hundreds of paintings and objets d’art from Glin Castle that he had spent the previous decades acquiring by combing auction rooms to buy back furnishings that had been sold by his family in earlier times. The sale, which raised 2m euros, at least enabled restoration work to continue on the castle, which, FitzGerald said at the time, ‘has been the ancestral property of my family for over 700 years; it is my greatest hope that it will continue to remain in the family and be enjoyed and cherished long into the future.’


Photo: Fireplaces and privies, status symbols of the time, are clearly to the fore in Ralph Treswell’s 1612 plan of property owned by the Clothworkers’ Company in Fleet Lane (now Farringdon Street). See 25 October 2011: ‘London Matters: maps and mentalities over the centuries’ below.

22 September 2011: Charity Auction at Sotheby’s in aid of the educational activities of the Company of Arts Scholars. As reported in the last issue of Salon, the Company of Arts Scholars is raising funds to support its educational initiatives in the arts and heritage with an auction of art, antiques and arts-related tours and holidays at what promises to be a glittering event at Sotheby’s, starting at 6pm. Tickets are priced at £50 per head and are available in advance from the Clerk, Georgina Gough. For those unable to attend the event there is also an internet auction of fifty-eight lots, closing at 12 noon on 30 September 2011.

Our Fellow Loyd Grossman, broadcaster and heritage champion, comments: ‘our art expertise is one of our great national assets and in order to secure these skills for future generations, it is vital to provide training and opportunity for young people. This auction represents a great opportunity for those in the Arts world to provide support for the public arts in these challenging times.’

23 September 2011: ‘Fitzwilliam Museum Colloquium: The Past on Display’, 10am to 7.15pm, Mill Lane Lecture Room 1, 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RX. Architects, critics, museum professionals and academics debate the principles and practicalities behind recent displays of Greek and Roman antiquities. Over lunch participants may visit the new Fitzwilliam Museum Greece and Rome gallery. The day culminates in the 2011 Severis Lecture when Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis (Director, New Acropolis Museum, Athens) will talk on ‘The New Acropolis Museum: project and realization’. This will be followed by a reception in the Fitzwilliam Museum. For further details and to book, visit the Fitzwilliam’s website or telephone Anna Lloyd Griffiths on 01223 764362 / 01223 765073.

30 September to 2 October 2011: World Class Heritage: a conference on the Archaeology of York at the University of York St John. To mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the York Development and Archaeology Study (the ‘Ove Arup’ report), York Archaeological Forum (which advises the City of York Council on archaeological and historic environment matters) is sponsoring a conference to launch the process of developing a new strategy for the city’s archaeology and historic environment.

For further details see York City Council’s website. The speakers will include our Fellows Martin Carver, Blaise Vyner, Patrick Ottaway (Chairman, York Archaeological Forum), Peter Connelly, John Oxley and Peter Addyman.

3 October 2011: ‘Greening the historic environment: archaeology and carbon reduction’. This seminar, from 12.30pm to 4.30pm at the Society of Antiquaries, will explore the work currently being undertaken to reduce the carbon footprint of the built historic environment and the physical and/or visual impacts of renewable and low-carbon energy production. It will also look at the impact of carbon reduction on the rural environment and the changes this will have on agricultural methods and practices. Speakers will include Alan Crane, Vice-Chair of the Chartered Institute of Building, Edward Holland, Projects Adviser to the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, and Fellows Vince Holyoak, of English Heritage, and Gill Chitty, of the Council for British Archaeology. Attendance is free of charge but spaces are limited so please contact Kathryn Whittington to reserve a place.

Until 8 October 2011: ‘Drawing Near the Light’, an exhibition of glass inspired by Kelmscott Manor and its gardens is on show at the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery, 2 Percy Street, London W1T 1DD. The artist, Kate Maestri, has created a series of sculptural glass pieces that explore the contrast between the simplicity of the Manor’s interior with the rich organic tapestry of plants outside. The work aims to reflect the inspiration that William Morris himself drew from the idyllic setting of his country home. For more details see the CAA website.

25 October 2011: ‘London Matters: maps and mentalities over the centuries’, by our Fellow Peter Barber, 6pm for 6.30pm at The Dutch Church, Austin Friars, London EC2N 2HA. In this Fifth Annual Mithras Lecture, hosted by the Company of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors, Peter Barber will show that maps are not impersonal records of geographical features, but are a window onto the aspirations and preoccupations of the former inhabitants of the great City of London, revealing what mattered to people at the time the maps were made, so that studying them sheds light on the preoccupations of our predecessors and helps us to feel the pulse of London’s past.

As Head of Map Collections at the British Library since 2001, Peter was responsible for the highly acclaimed exhibitions Lie of the Land: the secret life of maps and Magnificent Maps. Last year he presented the BBC series The Beauty of Maps.

Tickets cost £20 each (including wine and canapés), with the proceeds going to the Company’s educational charities. For further information, contact the Clerk, Georgina Gough.

29 October 2011: ‘Hoarding and Deposition of Metalwork: a British perspective’, the Portable Antiquities Scheme Conference, BP lecture theatre, Clore Education Centre, British Museum, from 10am. This conference will look at the deposition of metalwork and coins from the prehistoric period to recent times with a focus on Britain, but also looking at parallels from elsewhere, to see if practices from one period can inform another. The speakers are all Fellows, starting with Sam Moorhead, who will chair the morning session at which Roger Bland will give an overview of hoarding in general. Richard Bradley will discuss the topography of Bronze Age hoards, Colin Haselgrove will analyse hoarding and other forms of metalwork deposition in Iron Age Britain, Kenneth Painter will look at four hoards of Roman silver in their contexts, and Peter Guest will discuss the myths and realities of the burial, loss and recovery of Roman coin hoards.

In the afternoon session, Kevin Leahy will look at the Staffordshire Hoard and other Anglo-Saxon hoards, Gareth Williams will look at Viking hoards, Barrie Cook will examine new and old hoards from England under the three Edwards (c 1279—1351), and Edward Besly will talk about hoards of the English Civil War.

To book, please send your contact details and a cheque for £10 payable to ‘The British Museum’ to Claire Costin, Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure, The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.

14 November 2011: ‘A Passion for the Precious: Kunstkammer collections in Europe 1500—1700’, a symposium to accompany the exhibition Splendour and Power: imperial treasures from Vienna (to 8 January 2012 at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Six lectures (four of them by Fellows) will examine the history of Kunstkammern, their rich and exotic treasures, their fabulously wealthy owners and their place within late Renaissance court culture. For further information, see the museum’s website.

Books by Fellows …

… will be back in the next issue.


Society of Antiquaries, Head of Development
Salary: £40,000; closing date 26 September 2011

The Society is seeking to appoint a Head of Development to assist in making the case for supporting the Society and communicating this to the Fellowship, donors and the public, and to raise funds to secure our existing commitments, expand our activities and support major development projects at the Society’s properties. The successful candidate will need to have experience in seeking and securing funds for projects in membership organisations and/or the cultural heritage and charity sectors.

An application pack can be obtained from Jola Zdunek.

Victoria and Albert Museum; Head of Research
Salary: c £55,000; closing date 2 October 2011

As the Head of Research, you will lead a department of some six permanent staff, eleven seconded V&A staff working on projects and exhibitions, around fifteen visiting fellows and exchange scholars, and a varying number of collaborative doctoral students. You will develop project-based research within the museum and play a central role in the Museum’s exhibitions, publications and digital programmes. You will enhance the V&A’s reputation for excellence in scholarship and play a leading part in preparing applications for grants to funding bodies and foundations.

For further information, see the V&A’s website

National Heritage Science Forum, Forum Co-ordinator (Ref: 1206526)
Salary: £31,905 pro rata; closing date 4 October 2011

The Centre for Sustainable Heritage at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, is seeking to appoint a part-time (50 per cent) Co-ordinator for the National Heritage Science Forum, with the support of the AHRC / EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme. The postholder will be responsible for establishing the secretariat of the National Heritage Science Forum with the major task being to elicit funding for the future of the Forum.

A job description and person specification can be accessed via the UCL Human Resources website.

Heritage Lottery Fund board and committee members
Four trustees are being sought for the board of the National Heritage Memorial Fund / Heritage Lottery Fund. Candidates are especially sought who have expertise in the historic and/or natural environments and especially those with a knowledge of the heritage of the North East or the East of England. Further information can be found on the website of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the closing date is 17 October 2011.

Thirteen committee members are being sought to join seven regional committees: Yorkshire and the Humber; the East of England; London; the North East; North West; South East; and South West. To seek further information or to register an interest, visit the HLF website. The closing date for applications is 31 October 2011.