Salon Archive

Issue: 187

Email problems

Salon’s editor lost his email service between Tuesday 15 April and Friday 18 April, so if you sent an email to or to during those four days and received a message saying that the email address was not recognised, please do send the email again.

Forthcoming meetings and events

1 May 2008: The Taming of Nature: changing relations in the human environment, by Martin Jones, FSA. This sixth lecture in the Society’s Tercentenary Festival series takes place at the National Museum, Cathays Park, Cardiff, starting at 6pm, and is followed by a wine reception. Fellows should book tickets through the Society; members of the public should book online.

Archaeology has moved a long way from the study of artefacts such as stones and pots, and now includes the analysis of ancient plant and animal remains, tissues, cells and even molecules. Martin Jones, Professor of Archaeological Science at Cambridge University and at the forefront of bio-archaeology, with research interests in the bio-molecular archaeology of early crops and food, will describe how cutting-edge archaeological science has revealed in intimate detail the story of our changing engagement with nature.

8 May 2008: The Conservation and Archaeology of Silbury Hill, by Amanda Chadburn, FSA, and Jim Leary. The 2007 Silbury Hill Conservation Project was the last opportunity for our generation to take a new look at this enigmatic monument. Jim Leary and Amanda Chadburn will discuss the reasons behind the latest works and approaches to the repair of the Hill. They will also discuss how retracing Richard Atkinson’s 1968 tunnel into the heart of the Hill has allowed us to rethink the results of his excavations. The new methods used on this excavation will also be reviewed, looking at how an intensive programme of recording and sampling using the latest scientific techniques has provided greater detail about the dating, construction and use of Silbury Hill. This lecture will also venture beyond previous discussions of Silbury and consider the later uses of the Hill and how it has been constantly reinterpreted from the Roman through to the medieval period.

16 May 2008: Antiquaries in Europe: the role of national antiquarian societies today. A copy of the programme can now be downloaded from the Society’s website, and tickets, costing £15 (Fellows) / £25 (public), including wine and refreshments, are available from the Society.

22 May 2008: Ballot meeting, at which there will be an opportunity to debate the report of the Working Group set up by Council to evaluate the achievements and lessons from the Society’s ‘Making History’ exhibition (the report can be downloaded from the Fellows’ side of the Society’s website. Papers for the ballot will be posted out shortly and those who wish to vote online or view Blue papers can do so on the Fellows’ side of the website.

13 June 2008: The first paper in this year’s Burlington House interdisciplinary lecture series will be given by our Fellow Graham Parry, FSA, and Patrick Wyse-Jackson, of Trinity College, Dublin, on Bishop Ussher’s chronology. Further details will follow.

24 June: ‘Getting to know the Society’ introductory tour. Please contact the Society to book a place.

4 and 5 July 2008: Westminster Abbey Chapter House: its history, architecture and context. Further details are available on the Society’s website. Places (limited to 100) should be booked through the Society.

12 July 2008: Tercentenary Fellows’ Day at Kelmscott Manor
A special programme is planned by the Kelmscott Manor team for this year’s Fellows’ Day, which will take place on Saturday 12 July and will mark the close of our Tercentenary celebrations. The event starts at 1.30pm, continues until 5pm and is open to Fellows, their families and guests at a cost of £17.50 per head (£7.50 children aged six to sixteen). Cheques should be made out to ‘Kelmscott Manor’ and sent in an envelope marked ‘Fellows Day’ with the names of the people in your party to Kelmscott Manor, Kelmscott, Lechlade GL7 3HJ. For further information, please contact Kelmscott Manor on 01367 253348 or email

Australasian Fellows’ Tercentenary Lecture Series

Our Vice-President Professor Tim Darvill, of Bournemouth University, UK, will deliver his lecture on Merlin’s Magic Circles: Stonehenge and the use of the Preseli Bluestones, at the following venues in Australia and New Zealand to mark the Society’s Tercentenary.

Tim’s Australian and New Zealand expenses and costs are being met by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney, Sydney Grammar School, the Centre for Archaeological Research at the ANU, the Archaeology Program at La Trobe University, Museum Victoria, the Department of Anthropology of the University of Auckland, and the Department of Anthropology and the Division of Humanities at Otago University, to whom the Society is very grateful.

The organisers of the lecture tour are Fellows Professor Matthew Spriggs (chair), Dr Harry Allen, Professor Patrick Greene, Professor Tim Murray, Professor Dan Potts and Professor Glenn Summerhayes.

Tuesday 13 May 2008, Sydney: 6.30pm at the Palladium Theatre, Sydney Grammar School, College Street, Sydney (adjacent to the Australian Museum). For further information contact Dan Potts (tel: 02-93513118).

Thursday 15 May 2008, Canberra, The Golson Lecture: 7.30pm at the Manning Clark Centre, Australian National University, Canberra; to be followed by a wine and food reception. RSVP for the reception to or phone 02-61250470.

Monday 19 May 2008, Melbourne: 4pm at the Age Theatre, Melbourne Museum, to be followed by a reception. For further information contact Tim Murray (tel: 03-94792418).

Thursday 22 May 2008, Auckland: 6.30pm, in Lecture Theatre 84 at the Business School, University of Auckland. For further information contact Harry Allen (tel: 09-3737599 extn 88570).

Friday 23 May 2008, Dunedin: 5.10pm, at Archway 1, University of Otago. For further information contact Glenn Summerhayes (tel: 03-4798399).

Anniversary elections 2008

At the ballot held at Burlington House on 23 April 2008, Kate Clark, Sir Neil Cossons, Valerie Cromwell (Lady Kingman), Sarah Jennings and Lord Renfrew were elected to serve on Council, and the following were re-elected for a further term: Geoffrey Wainwright (President), Martin Millett (Treasurer), Maurice Howard (Director), Alison Taylor (Secretary), Martin Biddle, John Cherry, Timothy Darvill, Clive Gamble, Roberta Gilchrist, Frances Griffith, Colin Haselgrove, Stephen Johnson, Sîan Rees, Dominic Tweddle and Jean Wilson.

Presidential address

In his Anniversary address to the Society gievn on 23 April 2008, Geoff Wainwright said that the past eight months had been dominated by the exciting events arranged to celebrate our Tercentenary, and that the recent generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was welcome public recognition for the excellence of the Society’s work during the Tercentenary and an important endorsement of our ambition to demonstrate more explicitly the public benefit to be gained from the Society’s educational and outreach work.

He appealed to Fellows to rise to the challenge of growing the Fellowship, especially beyond the UK. ‘Our Charter’, he said, ‘places equal emphasis on the antiquities and history of “this and other nations” yet 86 per cent of us are from the United Kingdom. We lack Fellows in Portugal, Poland and Sweden and most countries of eastern Europe and the Balkans as well as north and sub-Saharan Africa and much of Asia. To meet the terms of our Charter we need to look beyond the shores of the United Kingdom and I hope that Fellows will propose deserving candidates from these and other regions who deserve to be made Fellows through their activities and publications and who have not yet achieved that distinction. Being truly global will enable us to speak with a stronger voice and energise us to set and achieve our objectives.’

He then went on to emphasise that the Society’s strength and influence in speaking out on matters of debate in the heritage derived both from the fact that the Fellowship is made up of people of expertise and authority and from the Society’s independence: ‘We are independent of government both intellectually and financially; we are not beholden to vested interest groups, we are not party political and we are independent of mind. This has always enabled us to challenge the status quo and be intellectually stimulating. It has allowed us to offer platforms to controversial speakers and provided opportunities for their views to be challenged. We must ensure that this precious independence is maintained over the years to come, enabling us to tackle ever more controversial issues and provide innovative solutions.’

One of the key public issues that the President commented on was ‘poor Stonehenge’; Geoff lamented the decision to leave this global icon blighted by traffic, and said it did nothing to enhance Britain’s reputation as a country which cares for its cultural heritage. He described as ‘government fantasy’ the idea that Stonehenge’s problems can be resolved at low cost by 2012, and said that the failure to resolve the Stonehenge issue provided a ‘stark lesson regarding the value placed by Government on the nation’s cultural heritage’.

Medal citations

Following the Anniversary address, the President awarded the Society’s Medal (given annually by Council to those who have provided outstanding service to the Society or the aims of the Society) to Bernard Nurse in recognition of all that he has contributed to the Society as our Librarian for twenty years, saying that: ‘Bernard’s calm presence endeared him to the Fellowship and his deep knowledge of the history of the Society was invaluable in negotiations regarding our tenure and in the curation of the Tercentenary exhibition and its catalogue, which one may fittingly regard as the triumphant climax to his twenty years with us.’

To mark the Tercentenary, the President also awarded its Gold Medal, the highest accolade that this Society can bestow, to our Honorary Vice-President Rosemary Cramp, Emeritus Professor at the University of Durham, who was our President from 2001 to 2004. In presenting the medal, Geoff said that ‘Rosemary is viewed with respect as well as affection by those with whom she has worked during her illustrious career at the University of Durham where she built up a modern archaeology department and trained three generations of students. She combines the skills of archaeologist, historian, art historian and Old English expert and her report on the excavations at the Wearmouth and Jarrow monastic sites appeared in 2005 and 2006. The successive volumes of the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Sculpture have appeared regularly, in which she – as creator, author and editor – and the corpus team have produced a work of reference that will inform scholarship for decades to come.’

The full text of the President’s address and the medal citations can be read on, or downloaded from, the Society’s website.

Missing Fellows

Mailings sent to the following Fellows have been returned to the Society marked ‘not known at this address’. Anyone who knows the current whereabouts of any of these Fellows is asked to contact Giselle Pullen: Valerie Fenwick of Netley Abbey, Hants; Audrey Furness of Fleet, Dorset; Derek Matthews of Amersham, Bucks; Jan Jelinek, of Brno, Czech Republic; Charles Walker, of Swanage, Dorset; Francis van Noten, Brussels, Belgium.


The Society learned last week the very sad news that our Fellow Thomas Cocke, lately Chief Executive of NADFAS, and until 2006 a member of the Society’s Council, died on 23 April 2008. It is hoped that there will be a memorial service to commemorate Thomas’s life and achievements, and Salon will inform Fellows once the date and venue has been agreed.

We are also very sad to lose our Fellow Norman Quinnell, who died at home on 13 April after a short illness. He was one of the core archaeology staff with the Ordnance Survey whose records form the foundation of Sites and Monuments Records across the country. We are grateful to our Fellow Henrietta Quinnell for letting us know that there is a ‘short but apposite tribute to Norman on the home page of the Cornwall Archaeological Society, where there is a splendid photograph taken on his eightieth birthday’, and for sending us the following short tribute by our Fellow Charles Thomas.

‘I write this little tribute not simply as a friend but in my former capacities as a Commissioner with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME), from 1983 to 1997, and as a member of the old Ordnance Survey Advisory Committee (in the days when it was headed by a major-general!). The Archaeology Division of the Ordnance Survey owed its existence, growth and reputation to O G S Crawford and then to Professor Leo Rivet. When it was effectively closed by the OS, many of the staff were transferred to the RCHME, then under Peter Fowler as the Commission’s Secretary. Peter and I, and others, were delighted; we were always short of field staff and now we had this splendid new team to augment our stock of Investigators. Norman, Martin Fletcher and Cyril Wardale were among them. They brought to our work, then taking place in half a dozen areas of England, the finest traditions of fieldwork and recording in the British discipline marked by the Curwens, Crawford, Collin Bowen and others.

‘Our new recruits to the Commission were very popular because of their expertise, the amounts they accomplished and the fact that, as people, they were all good fun. Norman, meticulous and eagle-eyed in the field, was a tremendous asset. In the 1980s Peter Fowler and I were able to kick-start years of fresh work at Tintagel – no longer “a Celtic monastery” – because Norman and the others found, plotted and recorded whole occupied areas of the island that had not even been noticed in the 1930s. Similarly, their long campaign in the Isles of Scilly alone enabled Paul Ashbee – and then in even more detail myself – to postulate entirely new distributions and interpretations for the islands’ prehistory. For long years, I used and treasured a complete set of the OS record cards, notes and drawings, for Scilly – many of them in Norman’s hand – and earlier this year was delighted to present them to Eleanor Breen, the Isles of Scilly Archaeological Officer. She was simply overwhelmed.

‘Our south-western regional archaeology – when changing circumstances and demands have come to mean that there is rather less time now available for detailed, planned, large-scale archaeological fieldwork – ought to realise how much we owe to the former OS archaeology staff. Norman never lost his interest, and his abiding enthusiasm endeared him to his many friends. Of course he will be missed; but he will also be remembered with fondness and respect, not least by both Peter Fowler and myself – and we join in thanking Henrietta and the family for making Norman’s retirement such a happy one.’

HERitage: website and Women in Heritage support group

Following the very successful celebration of Women in the Heritage on 4 April 2008, several participants have provided transcripts of their papers, which can now be read on the HERitage page of the Society’s website. Further contributions are welcome and should be sent to Christopher Catling for posting on the site.

New postings include an interview with our Fellow Beatrice de Cardi covering the years from her birth in 1914 to her return to the UK in 1949 to take up the post of Assistant Secretary to the Council for British Archaeology (the transcript of an interview recorded by our Fellow Pamela Jane Smith), and an article from British Archaeology called ‘Gathering Roses’, in which Pamela writes about her work of recording interviews with prominent archaeologists. The HERitage page also has new tributes to Mary Finch (by our Fellow Nicholas Bennett), Dorothy Marshall and Daphne Lorimer (the paper given by Fellow Caroline Wickham-Jones), Barbara Craig (the paper given by Fellow Lisa French) and Anne Buck (the paper given by Fellow Ann Saunders).

As a separate initiative, but spurred to new momentum by the Society’s Women in the Heritage day, a group of heritage professionals led by Ela Palmer is planning to establish a Women in Heritage forum, providing a platform by which women at various stages of their career can access information and get in contact with other women and peers in a variety of heritage organisations and networks. Further details can be found on the WiH website, where you will find a statement of aims, contact details and a short questionnaire designed to gauge the level of support for this initiative.

Magazine round-up

Beatrice’s contribution to the CBA is mentioned in the current issue of British Archaeology, edited by our Fellow Mike Pitts, which just happens to be the 100th issue, a landmark worth celebrating, writes our Fellow Mike Heyworth, the CBA’s Director. He traces the genesis of the magazine out of ‘a continuous line of CBA magazines and newsletters stretching back to 1951, when Beatrice de Cardi produced the first regular CBA Calendar of Excavations … this evolved, expanded in size and content, and by the 1980s had become an A4 newsletter, British Archaeological News (BAN), edited by the then CBA Director, [our Fellow] Henry Cleere. I remember him typing away on his Amstrad word processor in the CBA’s London office in Kennington Road for each issue (we still have the discs, though no computer which can read them!).’

Mike goes on to recall working with Carol Pyrah (now head of the North East Region for English Heritage) on the first issue of British Archaeology and of the nervousness with which he and Carol, then junior members of staff, decided to rewrite the front page of one issue to announce the good news that two planning applications that would have threatened Hadrian’s Wall had been turned down by the Government. Fortunately, our Fellow, Peter Fowler, the CBA’s Honorary Vice-President, supported their decision. ‘Carol and I returned, with some relief, to our other roles in the Secretariat’, Mike recalls, when Simon Denison, a professional journalist, was appointed as editor, to be followed by Mike Pitts. Mike Heyworth also reveals that Mike Pitts now has much-needed help: James Doeser has been engaged as editorial assistant, as part of ‘plans to develop the magazine even further’.

Elsewhere in the magazine, which naturally has a retrospective theme, our Fellow John Schofield admits to a fascination with empty buildings and ‘the material culture of abandonment’. He writes about returning to his former workplace, Fortress House, Savile Row, after all his English Heritage colleagues had moved out and just prior to the building’s demolition; illustrated by a series of lyrical photographs, he recalls staff Christmas parties, meetings at which key decisions were taken about some of the key sites and projects in British archaeology, and a lecture he once chaired in which he and the speaker were the only ones who turned up. It isn’t conventional archaeology, but it is a fascinating article, none the less, and Mike Pitts is to be congratulated on having the editorial breadth of mind to make room for the quirky and unconventional.

Current Archaeology is undergoing several innovations, too, as our Fellow Andrew Selkirk, now Editor in Chief, founder of the magazine and its main writer for forty years, progressively hands over to a new generation. The latest issue, themed around Tudor archaeology, was conceived to coincide with the launch of ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, which the CA team had (perhaps naively) assumed would be a decent enough historical drama. Instead, as Editor Neil Faulkner makes clear in his review of the film, it ‘offers the Hello magazine version of Tudor history’, in which the Boleyn sisters ‘pose and pout seductively in fancy clothes’. Oh well, that disappointment doesn’t carry over to the rest of the magazine, where there are major features on Acton Court, the astonishingly well-preserved Tudor house near Iron Acton, north east of Bristol, now lovingly restored, which members of the Royal Institute of Archaeology ‘discovered’ on their summer field trip in 1977, and on the plans of our Fellow Christopher Dobbs for the new Mary Rose museum, following the announcement of a £21 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Andrew Selkirk now travels the world visiting sites to write up for his new(ish) venture, Current World Archaeology, which is in its 28th issue (compared with CA’s 218th). His account of Mycenae brings to life a site that we all know from reading but perhaps cannot envisage in its current state and setting. Elsewhere our Fellow David Miles writes of the ‘New Iron Age’ and the use of corrugated iron in buildings as distinctive as a palace in Ghana, a woolshed in Lake Mungo, New South Wales, and a ‘tin tabernacle’ (Methodist chapel) in rural Powys.

Country Life magazine continues to be a touch Jekyll and Hyde in its coverage of heritage matters: on the one hand, editorials call on everyone to recognise the manifest benefits of genetically modified crops, or argue that owners of historic properties should receive Government handouts for maintenance and repairs, but that those same owners should not have restrictions imposed on them in the ways that they use and convert those buildings (isn’t that called having your cake and eating it?); on the other hand, it continues to publish a stream of first-class articles, many of them commissioned by our Fellow John Goodall, the magazine’s Architectural Editor. This week’s issue has an article by John’s former boss, our Fellow Simon Thurley, on the little-known Newmarket Palace, built by Charles II, who ‘founded the Newmarket we know today, building the first stables and founding England’s most venerable training establishment’ (Country Life subs please note the founded / founding repetition!).

Perhaps we can expect a feature in Country Life soon (or perhaps a paper to the Society) on Simon Thurley’s own very special home, Clifton House in King’s Lynn. An intriguing glimpse is provided in the newsletter of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, with a report of a visit made to the house by the Fenland and Wash regional group. Among the very special features of the house, which dates from 1270 and was the first house to be built on reclaimed land on the west bank of the Ouse, is a rib-vaulted brick undercroft with stone columns, a parlour paved with medieval ‘Westminster’ floor tiles, and a red-brick tower dating from 1620, with painted wall decorations of that date, providing wonderful views of the town and river – not to mention the two-storey, seven-bay main building, designed in 1700 by Henry Bell for Samuel Taylor, a wealthy vintner, and described as the ‘grandest mansion’ in the town.

In the SPAB’s packed Cornerstone magazine, there are reports enough to make you angry (on the destruction of the historic environment that will be wrought by new airport runways at Heathrow and Stansted, or on the new menace of SatNav-guided HGV drivers whose blind reliance on technology is taking them places their lorries were never meant to go, causing damage to historic bridges and buildings) but also much valuable practical advice on, for example, tuck pointing, tile stitching, the restoration of historic metalwork and what to do (or not to do) about lichen growths on old stone (did you know, for example, that lichen becomes transparent when saturated with water, increasing the legibility of lichen-covered tombstone inscriptions, which can then be read and recorded in raking light?).

Conservation Principles published

English Heritage is hailing as a landmark the publication of Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment, a document that sets out ‘for the first time the fundamental propositions that serve as the foundation for the way the organisation engages with every aspect of the historic environment’.

Handsomely bound in silver grey covers, Conservation Principles is a considerably more substantial document than William Morris’s back-of-the-envelope manifesto for the SPAB, scribbled over a twenty-four hour period in a state of fury at what he had witnessed at Burford Church in 1877. By contrast, this document is said to be the result of ‘four years of extensive debate and consultation within English Heritage and more than 1,000 external consultees’ (a task largely shouldered by our Fellow Paul Drury), and it replaces the straightforward Morrisonian principle of ‘protection’ with ‘six high-level principles … supported by a suite of detailed policies and guidance on how to reach decisions on a wide range of problems such as repair, new development, alteration and restoration’.

Our Fellow Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: ‘We hope that the document’s immediate benefit will be to help our staff formulate and communicate the advice we give to owners and local authorities on a consistent and explicable basis. In the longer term we believe that it will be increasingly used by all who are involved in managing change in the historic environment … the principles and dilemmas are not new in themselves. English Heritage has been practising them for a number of years but by writing it down for everyone to see, we are seeking to be more open and accountable. People will be able to understand our decisions more easily and become more familiar with the systematic approach in debating and deciding the outcome.’

In effect the principles are rooted in concepts already spelled out in such English Heritage documents as Informed Conservation, and are crystallised in the phrase ‘protect and enhance the significance’. It follows that everyone involved in managing the historic environment needs to have a shared understanding of the significance of any heritage asset, and the document provides some guidance towards defining the ‘aesthetic, evidential, communal and historical values’ that contribute to significance.

It would be good to think that every politician, Government department, local and regional planning authority, highways department, architect, developer, farmer, landowner and builder in the country will read it and at least debate these principles, but one rather suspects that this brave attempt to chart a path towards reasonable, transparent and consistent conservation decisions are more likely to be heeded by the already converted than the ones who are responsible for the harm.

The document is downloadable from the English Heritage website. Requests for hard copies should be emailed to

History in views

Evidence that English Heritage means to make full use of the newly published principles comes in its latest consultation document, Seeing the History in the View: assessing heritage significance within views. This draws on Conservation Principles in setting out a method of assessing the historical significance of a view and describing how English Heritage would assess the likely impact of specific development proposals on particular views.

After public consultation English Heritage intends to apply this method to its own decisions in relation to developments affecting views and will recommend the same approach to local planning authorities and other interested parties. The consultation deadline is 4 July 2008, and the draft document can be downloaded from the English Heritage website.

Ken Livingstone’s policies on heritage

A letter sent by James Doeser, Secretary of CBA London, to the three main candidates in the poll to elect the next Mayor of London on 1 May has been answered by Ken Livingstone; Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick have yet to reply.

After making reference to the policies in section 4B of the London Plan placing a requirement on all London’s planning authorities to preserve and enhance significant historical structures and to make them as accessible as possible for Londoners, Ken Livingstone’s reply goes on to say: ‘If I am re-elected Mayor, I will remain a champion of London’s built heritage, and of the role to be played by archaeology in forging links between London’s past and present. I will be particularly keen to explore new ways in which all Londoners, and especially young Londoners, can get better access to, and understanding of, the history that lies both below and above ground.’

He also refers to ‘the new relationship between London government and the Museum of London, whereby the GLA will take over the DCMS role in relation to the museum’, and says ‘this will create a greatly expanded opportunity for the Mayor to support archaeology in the city. The Museum’s Archaeological Service is not only an asset for London, but plays a national role, and I am committed to supporting it and promoting its work, both through the Museum and through the publications and activities of the GLA.’

Digging up the site of the world’s largest telescope

Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) have recently excavated the 13-m diameter, brick-and-concrete ring foundation of the Newell Telescope, erected outside Cambridge in 1891. With its twenty-five-inch lens, it was then the largest telescope in the world. Having served astronomers at Cambridge for over sixty years, it was dismantled in 1955 when its mechanism was moved to Athens.

The telescope’s foundations were recorded as part of excavations, directed by Richard Newman, at the site of the new Kavli Institute for Cosmology, in the grounds of the University’s Observatory in west Cambridge, a hill-top site that has long been known as the location of early settlement and of the medieval hamlet of Gritlow, whose inhabitants specialised in gravel quarrying. The CAU team found numerous oblong pits characteristic of small-scale quarrying, dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, but containing significant quantities of Iron Age and early Roman pottery in their fills, indicating that earlier archaeological remains had been disturbed and re-deposited by the quarrying.

Our Fellow Christopher Evans, Director of the CAU, said that telescope superstructures are often seen, but rarely their foundations; these ‘were truly massive, absolute stability being of paramount importance for large telescopes’. He added that the perfect circle looked like a prehistoric monument, and were built for a not dissimilar purpose to Stonehenge and other early monuments.

Deadlines looming

Time is running out if you are interested in competing for the ‘Presentation of Heritage Research Award 2008’. First and second prizes are offered of £1,500 and £500 for the best popular account of research findings (and an under-30 prize of £500); entrants are asked to submit a written summary by 2 May, and shortlisted finalists will make their presentations at the Festival of Science in Liverpool from 6 to 11 September 2008. Further details are available from our Fellow Sebastian Payne.

Time also to put pen to paper and nominate projects and publications worthy of wider recognition in the prestigious British Archaeological Awards. In 2008, awards are being offered for:

• Best Archaeological Project
• Best Independent or Amateur Project
• Best Archaeological Book and Best Scholarly Archaeological Book
• Best Archaeological TV/Radio Programme
• Archaeological Discovery of the Year
• Archaeological Innovation of the Year
• ICT Project of the Year
• Lifetime Achievement
• Young Archaeologist of the Year

Full details and downloadable entry forms are available from the awards website. Projects proposed for awards should have been undertaken or completed sometime between April 2006 and April 2008, and entries should be submitted by 31 May 2008. The Awards ceremony will be held on Monday 10 November at the British Museum.

Temporary export bars on Roman baroque cabinet and portrait of Alexander Dalrymple

A temporary export bar has been placed on a spectacular seventeenth-century Roman baroque cabinet and stand which, says our Fellow Simon Jervis, a member of the Reviewing Committee that recommended the export bar, is a ‘magnificent ensemble, fit for the grandest Roman palace … a remarkable discovery that deserves a starring role in a major museum’.

The monumental baroque cabinet has been identified as one of four described as being taken from the workshops of Giacomo Herman to the Palazzo del Quirinale to be inspected by Cardinal Rospigliosi (and possibly by his uncle, Pope Clement IX) on 20 November 1669, perhaps intended to be given as gifts to European monarchs. It is veneered in ebony with lapis lazuli and jasper panels and decorated with fourteen miniatures of Roman monuments beneath a nocturnal clock. The central door features a painting depicting St Peter’s Square and opens to reveal a mirrored architectural interior. The bottom drawer conceals a small virginal, signed and dated 1676.

The other three versions also survive: two are in the Danish Royal Collection and a third is installed as an altarpiece in the Church of the Capuchins in Cracow. At some date in the early eighteenth century three of the cabinets, presumably still together as a group in Rome, were given their elaborately carved and gilded stands, which probably replaced earlier ones of ebony. The top and bottom of the English example were only recently reunited by chance. The cabinet had been in store for twenty years and the stand, which had been assumed to have been lost or destroyed, was recently found in a pizza restaurant in York.

The decision on the export licence application for the cabinet and stand will be deferred for a period ending on 7 June 2008 inclusive. This period may be extended until 7 October 2008 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase the cabinet and stand at the recommended price of £1,108,037.50 (including VAT) is expressed. For further information, see the DCMS website.

Also subject to a temporary export bar is a portrait of Alexander Dalrymple, the first Hydrographer to the Admiralty. A mariner and chartmaker, Dalrymple compiled over a thousand nautical charts, mapping many of Britain’s trade routes for the first time, invented the concept of the Admiralty Chart and made an enormous contribution to the safety of shipping. Lord Inglewood, Chairman of the Reviewing Committee, said: ‘Although relatively unknown today, Alexander Dalrymple, through his pioneering work on nautical charts, is a pivotal figure in the development of the global maritime industry as well as of the British Empire’.

The decision on the export licence application for the portrait will be deferred for a period ending on 23 June 2008 inclusive. This period may be extended until 23 September 2008 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase the portrait at the recommended price of £137,500 (excluding VAT) is expressed.

For further information, see the DCMS website.


Under the patronage of UNESCO, the Third International Congress on Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA3) will be held in London from 9 to 12 July 2008. Organised by the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS), the Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA) and the Institute of Archaeology University College London (UCL), and supported by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives of NAS, IFA, UCL, DEGUWA, DAI, HWTMA, GSU, Verband der Landesarchaologen, English Heritage and Historic Scotland, IKUWA3 will be the largest conference on underwater archaeology ever held in Britain. More than 120 papers will be delivered on topics as diverse as ‘Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology’; ‘Traditional Indian Boat Carpentry’; ‘Fresh Water Archaeology’; ‘Maritime Landscapes’; ‘Managing Underwater Cultural Heritage’; and ‘The Ethics and Economics of Recovering Material from the Sea’.

For more information, please visit the IKUWA3 website.

Books by (or of interest to) Fellows

Our Fellow Michael Fisher will be celebrating the publication of a new book on 2 May entitled Hardman of Birmingham: goldsmith and glasspainter (Landmark Publishing). Michael’s book is the first in-depth study of John Hardman & Co, the applied arts firm that worked closely with A W N Pugin, manufacturing the metalwork and stained glass that went into the Houses of Parliament and many other religious and secular buildings in the Gothic style.

Michael is Hardman’s archivist, and the book has been written to celebrate the 170th anniversary of a firm that was established in Birmingham in 1838 and is still a world leader in the manufacture of stained glass. The book draws on the extensive Hardman records held in the Birmingham City Archives, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and in many private collections, including beautifully detailed drawings, watercolours and photographs, in an exploration of Hardman’s role in propagating and continuing Pugin’s style, long after the architect’s death in 1852, and helping to establish Birmingham as a centre for the decorative arts during the Gothic Revival.

Medieval Wall Paintings, by Roger Rosewall (Boydell & Brewer) has already received warm reviews elsewhere, not least in the column written by our Fellow Simon Jenkins for the Guardian, where he describes the book as a ‘magisterial compendium of this most elusive English vernacular form’. What was clearly a labour of love for the author, the book describes and illustrates the best surviving examples of medieval church wall painting and reconstructs some of the schemes to show them as originally intended, bringing the imagery and iconography of the medieval church vividly to life, while the scholarly text examines the history of mural painting in England and Wales, and what is known about the painters and their patrons.

Looking in detail at one monumental example of mural painting is the book by our Fellow Matthew Reeve called Thirteenth-century Wall Painting of Salisbury Cathedral: art, liturgy, and reform (Boydell & Brewer), a foretaste of which was given in volume 85 (2005) of the Antiquaries Journal. Matthew argues that the cycle of vault paintings adorning the eastern arm of Salisbury Cathedral has to be understood as an integral component of the cathedral church as it was planned out before 1220, and that they were designed to complement and inform the new liturgical rite, the Use of Sarum. In contrast to a tradition that considered Salisbury’s response to reform to be an ascetic one, this book shows that the painting, architecture and liturgy of the cathedral were geared to providing a highly sensory, emotive and transformative religious experience for Salisbury’s secular canons.

Matthew has been busy, because Brepols has also just published the volume that he edited on Reading Gothic Architecture, Studies in the Visual Culture of the Middle Ages, with ten essays exploring the ‘medieval’ and ‘Renaissance’ versions of Gothic and offering new insights into the forms and meanings of Gothic visual culture.

From Boydell again comes a new edition of our Fellow Graham Parry’s book, Glory, Laud and Honour: the arts of the Anglican Counter-Reformation, which looks at the brief period in the 1620s and 1630s that saw the rise of a ‘High Church’ movement, initiated by Lancelot Andrewes and propelled by William Laud, John Cosin and Matthew Wren, when the arts of religion flourished, new churches were built, and cathedrals and parish churches began to install new furnishings that were appropriate to the ceremonial forms of worship then being introduced. Painted glass, religious painting and sculpture, and ornate screens, font-covers and tombs all re-appeared and sacred music enjoyed a revival too, as cathedral and chapel choirs required an enlarged repertoire for the more complex services that the Laudian movement favoured. The heightened mood of piety also found expression in a remarkable flowering of devotional poetry and prose.

To her many roles, our Fellow Lindsay Allason-Jones can now add that of patron to the arts, thanks to her work in commissioning a volume of poetry and photographs, called Recollections (Flambard Press), celebrating the Roman collection in the Museum of Antiquities at Newcastle University, of which Lindsay is the Director. Poet Maureen Almond is an appropriate choice given that she has a strong interest in classical literature and is currently a research student at the University of Newcastle concentrating on the Roman poet, Horace, whose satirical style she nicely captures in ‘South Shields God’, a poem about a third-century bronze figurine of Hercules: ‘Like most men of Shields he loves clubbing / chasing daughters of night beyond dusk’. Field archaeologist Glyn Goodrick took the photographs that accompany the poems, like the one of a third-century bronze head of Minerva which goes with ‘Prayer to Miverva’: ‘To you, the reincarnation of intelligence, / I pray, please weave me some wisdom’.

Using poetry to mediate between today and the past is one of the many weapons in the armoury of creative museum curation, the subject of our Fellow Hedley Swain’s Introduction to Museum Archaeology, newly published by Cambridge University Press. The book provides a comprehensive survey of all aspects of current museum practice in relation to the discipline of archaeology, using plenty of practical examples from the UK, Europe and North America to illustrate the different ways that curators have risen to the challenges of telling archaeological stories in museum buildings and on related sites. The final section discusses the major issues of the day, such as repatriation, the treatment of human remains and museums in times of war.

Peter Brears’s book on Cooking and Dining in Medieval England (Prospect Books) is as stuffed with good things as the dishes served at some of the medieval feasts he describes. Formerly director of the museums at York and Leeds, Peter is perhaps Britain’s foremost expert on the historical kitchen, and has supervised the reconstruction of several important historical kitchens, including those at Hampton Court, Ham House, Cowdray Castle and Belvoir Castle. He generously shares all he knows in a book that is based on medieval documentary references to the preparation of food and the rituals and customs of dinner, including all the mechanics of food production and service, the equipment used, the household organisation, the architectural arrangements for kitchens, store-rooms, pantries, larders, cellars and the domestic administration.

Peter says that an underlying aim is to replace the myths that medieval feasting was an orgy of gluttony and bad manners based on food that was highly spiced to disguise its rankness with the recognition that medieval diners had a nice appreciation of food and cookery, decent manners and a delicate sense of propriety and seemliness. To prove the point, the book includes Peter’s own wonderful strip cartoon of the serving of a great feast (the washing of hands, the delivery of napery, the tasting for poison, etc), which, along with the recipes the book contains, is intended to guide historical re-enactors who care enough to get their details right.

Peter’s 560-page book is outweighed by an even chunkier volume, simply called Windows. With contributions from Fellow Hentie Louw (the book’s consultant), this volume from conservation publisher Donhead is encyclopaedic in its treatment of its chosen subject. Part 1 gives a splendidly illustrated history of the development of window designs, window fittings and of glass manufacture; Charles Brooking, founder of the Brooking Collection of Architectural Details, contributes a useful dated sequence of window forms decade by decade from the late sixteenth century through to Critall galvanised steel windows of the late 1950s (the horrors of uPVC are mentioned only to say ‘don’t’, as they are the enemy of visual character and they create ventilation (lack of) problems when inserted into historic buildings). Part 2 deals with the legal and policy framework as it applies to windows in historic buildings, and Part 3, the longest section, provides detailed advice on the repair and conservation of windows.

Krinoi Kai Limenes: Studies in Honor of Joseph and Maria Shaw is published by the Institute for the Study of Aegean Prehistory and co-edited by our Fellow Professor Hector Williams (along with Philip Betancourt and Michael Nelson), in honour of our Fellow Professor Joseph Shaw and his wife Maria.

Joseph and Maria Shaw received the Archaeological Institute of America’s Gold Medal for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in January 2006 and this volume is a collection of the papers presented at the Gold Medal Colloquium held in their honour during the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Montreal, Quebec. Many of the articles pertain to different aspects of Aegean Bronze Age architecture, harbours, frescoes, and trade, which are all keen interests of the Shaws: for a table of contents, see the Oxbow Books website.

Another book edited by a Fellow (Con Manning), in honour of another Fellow David Sweetman) and launched by a third Fellow (Michael Ryan, at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin on 6 February 2008), is From Ringforts to Fortified Houses: studies on castles and other monuments in honour of David Sweetman. The festschrift honours and reflects the varied interests of David Sweetman, formerly Chief Archaeologist with the National Monuments Service in Dublin, and a complete list of contents can be found on the Wordwell Books website.

The Annual Conference of the Castle Studies Group in Abergavenny at the beginning of April was the appropriate setting for the launch of our Fellow John Kenyon’s book, Castles, Town Defences and Artillery Fortifications in the United Kingdom and Ireland: a bibliography 1945−2006. Published by Shaun Tyas, it lists, according to the author, about 99.9 per cent of everything written on the subject (no bibliography can ever be complete!). John says that he began compiling the bibliography while working in the Library at the Society of Antiquaries in the early 1970s; the CBA subsequently published three volumes in its research report series (1978, 1983 and 1990). This volume includes all this material, references that were missed, and material published since 1990, with an appendix devoted to publications from January to September 2007. The bibliography amounts to a massive 673 pages, but with the author and place indexes, the total length is 740 pages. For those who have the CBA volumes, says John, it is still worth holding on to them for the introductions!

Philip Freeman, elected a Fellow of our Society on 11 October last year, is the author of The Best Training-Ground for Archaeologists: Francis Haverfield and the invention of Romano-British Studies (Oxbow Books), which examines the immense contribution made by Francis John Haverfield (1860−1919) to the study of Roman Britain, which to his contemporaries was such that his death in 1919 was widely lamented. Educated at the University of Oxford, Haverfield rose to the post of Camden Professor of Ancient History, where he was the first to undertake a scientific study of Roman Britain. His work on The Romanization of Roman Britain (1905) was the first to consider what it might have meant for Britain to be part of the Roman Empire, ideas that he developed in the posthumously published Roman Occupation of Britain (1924).

His legacy was passed on to future generations through the teachings and writings of such pupils as the archaeologist and topographer Thomas Ashby, the first scholar and third director of the British School at Rome, and the Oxford archaeologist and philosopher R G Collingwood (1889−1943). Philip Freeman’s book argues that Haverfield’s ideas, which held sway for almost a century, still have much to teach us, and this biography aims to bring the legacy of ‘the father of Romano-British studies’ to a new audience.

Finally, the J Paul Getty Museum, in California, has just published French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence: the catalogue of the J Paul Getty Museum Collection by our Fellow Gillian Wilson, Charissa Bremer-David and Jeffrey Weaver, with Brian Considine and the staff of the Department of Decorative Arts and Sculpture Conservation and the Getty Conservation Institute.

This gorgeously illustrated volume describes and analyses some of the more outstanding pieces from the collection of French decorative arts in the J Paul Getty Museum dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, roughly corresponding to the reign of Louis XIV and the years immediately following his death in 1715, that exemplify the superior craftsmanship and elaborate design characteristic of the baroque style. They include richly veneered cabinets, commodes and desks, carved tables and chairs, and gilt-bronze light fixtures and firedogs, and each object is described in terms of its style, use, provenance and published history, as well as its construction and alterations, materials and conservation.