Thursday 2 December: Monastery to mansion: the London Charterhouse in the sixteenth century, by Philip Temple
The Charterhouse, founded as a monastery in the late fourteenth century, has survived against the odds in recent times as a school, medical college and now as an almshouse. This talk concentrates on the sometimes turbulent period before the almshouse came into being, new developments at the monastery from the late fifteenth century, the use of the buildings after its suppression in 1538 as lodgings and workshops for the kings servants, their partial demolition and the creation of the great courtyard house that still exists today.
Thursday 9 December: Miscellany of Papers and mulled wine reception
Drawing on the knowledge gained through working in the Societys library for thirty years, our Assistant Librarian, Adrian James, will discuss the Societys wealth of early photographs, dating from the middle of the nineteenth century. Our Treasurer, Martin Millett, will then unveil a portrait of our former President Rosemary Cramp, painted by Beka Smith. Tickets for the mulled wine reception cost £10 and can be reserved by contacting Jola Zdunek, the Societys Executive Assistant.
22 January 2011: New insights into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British Architecture
This day-long seminar, hosted by the Society at Burlington House, includes the following speakers and papers: Martin Biddle on Reconstructing Nonsuch: a digital analysis, Kate Newland on The acquisition and use of Norwegian timber in seventeenth-century Scotland, Kent Rawlinson on Household ceremony in the early sixteenth-century, Emily Cole on State apartments in Jacobean country houses, Gillian White on New light on Elizabethan Chatsworth, Nick Molyneux on Sir John Yonges house in Bristol: an architect identified?, Edward Town on Thomas Sackville and the transformation of Knole 16058 and Matthew Walker on The Wren/Hooke relationship re-examined. For a booking form, please contact the organisers, Claire Gapper or Paula Henderson.
12 March 2011: Catholic families in Britain: patronage and collecting
Hosted by the Society at Burlington House and organised by Fellows Tessa Murdoch and John Martin Robinson, this day-long seminar will explore the role of Catholic families as centres of patronage in England from the sixteenth century and their important links with the European continent.
Aidan Bellenger, Michael Questier and James Stourton will facilitate sessions on leading Catholic families and their patronage at home and in Europe. Speakers will include Geoffrey Scott on the Throckmortons of Coughton, Warwickshire; Caroline Bowden on the English convents in exile 16001800; Joanna Hashagan on the Spitalfields silk vestments from the Rouen Poor Clares; Bridget Long on vestments and Tessa Murdoch on sacred silver from the Arundell family chapel at Wardour, Wiltshire; John Martin Robinson on the antiquarian taste of the Howards of Norfolk; Clare Hornsby on the collecting activities of Charles Townley; and Sophie Andreae on Hidden heritage: the challenges today.
The seminar will be followed by a recital of work by William Byrd for the Petres of Ingatestone, Essex, and Richard Dering for Queen Henrietta Maria. If you would like to reserve the date, booking information will be included in the next edition of Salon.
The following were elected to the Fellowship at the ballot held on 18 November 2010 as Ordinary Fellows:
Caroline Vout, Senior Lecturer in Classics, University of Cambridge, a specialist in classical art and its reception, author of Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome (2007), curator of the Henry Moore Foundation exhibition Antinous: The Face of the Antique;
Annemarieke Willemsen, Head of the Medieval Department at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, in Leiden, an expert on medieval childhood, author of Back to the Schoolyard, the Daily Practice of Medieval and Renaissance Education (2008);
Joanna Mary Marschner, Senior Curator at Kensington Palace, Chairman of the International Council of Museums Costume Committee, author of works on court and ceremonial costume, including Caroline of Ansbach: The Queen, Collecting and Connoisseurship at the Early Georgian Court (forthcoming);
Stuart Brookes, Leverhulme Research Fellow, University College London, a specialist in the archaeology of medieval Britain and Europe, especially of Anglo-Saxon Kent, co-author (with Sue Harrington) of Economics and Social Change in Anglo-Saxon Kent AD 400900 (2007) and The Kingdom and People of Kent 4001066 (2010);
David Edward Johnston, retired university lecturer, excavator of Sparsholt Roman villa in Hampshire, founding editor of the Bulletin for Experimental Archaeology and for many years the editor of Mosaics for the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics, author of books on The Channel Islands: An Archaeological Guide, The Saxon Shore, Roman Roads in Britain and Roman Villas;
Paul Martin Ruddock, philanthropist and collector of medieval art; Chairman of the Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum and of the Gilbert Trust for the Arts; funded the Paul and Jill Ruddock Medieval Gallery at the British Museum; shares his collections with the public through loans to the V&A and a forthcoming exhibition at the Wallace Collection;
Adam Neil Menuge, Senior Architectural Investigator at English Heritage, with wide experience in the investigation of historic buildings and landscapes, author of Understanding Historic Buildings (2006), the standard guide to recording historic buildings.
The following were elected to the Fellowship at the ballot held on 25 November 2010 as Honorary Fellows:
Chris (Christopher Brian) Stringer, Research Leader in Human Origins at the Natural History Museum, a director of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project, a leading international authority on the fossil evidence for human evolution, champion of the out of Africa model for modern human origins, author of numerous award-winning books, including Homo Britannicus: The Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain;
K Paddayya, Indias foremost scholar in the earliest prehistory of the sub-continent, leader of major field expeditions in the Hunsgi and Baibachal Valleys of Karnataka, long-term projects that have transformed our understanding of Indias Lower and Middle Palaeolithic; author of The Acheulian Culture of the Hunsgi Valley (1982), acknowledged as arguably one of the best examples of processual Palaeolithic archaeology ever published, and of The New Archaeology and Its Aftermath (1990), an alternative perspective on the theory wars of the 1980s.
The following were elected to the Fellowship at the ballot held on 25 November 2010 as Ordinary Fellows:
Beryl Pamela Lott, County Archaeologist for Lincolnshire specialising in the medieval buildings of north-west England;
Judith Ann Ford, Local historian, Editor of Dorset Record Society publications, co-editor of Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries and author of papers on ethnic minorities in Dorset;
Christopher Kelly, Senior Lecturer in Classics, University of Cambridge, whose interests include the use and abuse of power in antiquity, the society and culture of the Roman Empire from Augustus to Justinian, the rise of Christianity and the Grand Tour. Author of Ruling the Later Roman Empire (2004) and Attila the Hun: Barbarian Terror and the Fall of the Roman Empire (2008).
Timothy Earle, Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Illinois, has conducted field projects in Hawaii, Peru, Argentina, Denmark, Iceland and Hungary and has published eleven books, including Organising Bronze Age Societies (with our Fellow Kristian Kristiansen; see Books by Fellows below);
Joern Schuster, Post-excavation Manager, Wessex Archaeology, expert in the finds and settlement archaeology of the Roman and early medieval periods, author of an important study of the non-ferrous metalwork and metalworking at the Wurt (settlement mound) at Feddersen Wierde, north Germany.
Our Fellow Sarah Staniforth, Historic Properties Director, and soon to become Museums and Collections Director, at the National Trust, has responded to a number of the points raised by Fellows in the last two issues of Salon relating to scholarship, research and standards of conservation, presentation and interpretation at the Trusts properties.
Sarah told Salons editor that the reality of life at the National Trust was very different from that presented in the media and that Fellows could be reassured that conservation values were being reinforced by the new Going Local strategy, rather than the opposite. Core to the strategy is defining the significance of every property; everything else that happens at the property flows from that, the aim being to ensure that the significance is understood, enhanced and enjoyed by staff, volunteers and visitors.
The Trust has recently recruited general managers who come from a variety of different backgrounds some from the heritage sector, but others from retailing or publishing, for example and they will all undergo a weeks intensive training to help them understand the importance of what the Trust calls Spirit of Place, and to establish a foundation of conservation knowledge. After the course, they are given six months to undertake a project based on the significance of their property, helped by senior Trust advisers.
Sarah sees the visitor experience as consisting of two aspects: there are the comfort basics, such as the state of the loos, the way the staff behave, the warmth of the welcome, managing the queues in the cafe, the quality of the food and the products in the shop, all of which are areas in which the Trust can learn from successful operators in the tourism and hospitality industry, such as Disney, as our Fellow Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust, has said on several occasions in the past.
The second aspect where changes are happening is known within the Trust as Bringing Properties to Life. Simon Jenkins has played a vital role here, says Sarah, in galvanising Trust staff into moving away from the precautionary principle, whereby absolutely everything was treated as fragile and valuable, into an approach to property presentation based on evaluation and risk management. Enabling people to sit down, to read books, to play snooker is rooted in the recognition that some chairs and books and even snooker tables are commonplace and robust; and if they are not, then it might be possible to introduce chairs and books that are.
Turning to the place of scholarship in the Trusts work, Sarah says that understanding the history of the Trusts properties is fundamental to improving their conservation and presentation. Collaborative PhDs, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, are one of the ways in which research is encouraged. Two PhD students at the University of Sussex have just completed theses supervised by the Societys President, Maurice Howard, on aspects of the history of Knole, for example. The Trust is a partner in twelve such collaborative PhDs, including with Southampton University researching music in country houses and the historiography of Coleshill House, and the Trust has recently applied for two more. In addition the Trust employs contract curators and researchers to provide a solid research basis for interpretation schemes such as the servants quarters at Ickworth.
Summing up, Sarah says that the Going Local strategy is about reinforcing research and conservation values by empowering the Trusts 180 property and general managers to bring their properties to life, engage more people, fire up their imaginations, and thus turn conservation into the mass movement it could so easily be.
Ed Vaizey at the launch of the PAS Annual Report for 2008 (photo courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme)
The Government has announced that, as part of its winding up of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), management of the Portable Antiquities Scheme will pass to the British Museum. The PAS budget of £1.3m will, however, be cut by 15 per cent for the next four years. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey made the announcement at the launch of the PAS Annual Report, saying: I am confident that the strong existing relationship between the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the British Museum will mean that the Scheme can remain as effective as it always has been, albeit with reduced funding. He also said that he was an enormous fan of the Scheme and that the funding cut was a disappointment to me as well: nobody likes to come into government and reduce spending, not least a Culture Minister who has waited three or four years for what I regard as my dream job.
The Government also announced that the museums and libraries functions of the MLA are to be transferred to the Arts Council, along with a budget of £46m a year, including key statutory cultural property functions in which Fellows of our Society are involved, including export licensing for cultural objects and the associated Export Reviewing Committee, the Government Indemnity Scheme and the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.
Ed Vaizey said: It makes little sense to have different organisations working separately towards the same ends. That is why we are working to bring together responsibility for the arts, museums and libraries in a single organisation. The Arts Council has an exciting opportunity to integrate the MLAs expertise and bridge some artificial divides between different aspects of cultural funding and get the maximum bang for the taxpayers buck.
No decision has yet been made about the archives work currently undertaken by the MLA, which is still under review and that will be subject to a further announcement to be made by the end of the year. It is intended that the new arrangements will come into force at the end of March 2012.
English Heritages proposals to transform the setting of Stonehenge and the visitor experience received a major boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund with the announcement that it would contribute £10m to the £27m cost of building a new visitor centre at Airmans Corner, 1.5 miles west of Stonehenge and of closing the stretch of the A344 that runs immediately adjacent to the monument.
Following the Governments decision to withdraw its promised £10m from the project in June 2010, English Heritage announced that it would continue to explore alternative funding. Baroness Andrews, Chair of English Heritage, responded to the HLF announcement by saying: We are tremendously grateful for this generous grant. Not only does it help to narrow the funding gap for the project considerably, it also sends out a message of confidence about the transformational benefits that the project will bring to tourism, to the local economy, and to the conservation and public enjoyment of Stonehenge and its landscape.
Writing in The Times on 22 November, our Fellow Marcus Binney was critical of the HLF decision, saying that the proposed visitor centre will turn Stonehenge into a toy-town with visitors approaching in dinky electric vehicles and arguing that HLF funds should be spent on the front-line rescue of natural and man-made heritage, and not on frills and embellishments.
Our Fellow Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, responded, in a letter to The Times published on 24 November, by saying that a considerable part of the funding for the project would be used to achieve significant improvements to Stonehenges landscape setting, with the stone circle finally being reconnected with its ancient processional Avenue.
Heritage and Tourism Minister John Penrose also disagreed with Marcus Binney. In his ministerial blog, John Penrose wrote: For my part, I believe that our heritage buck must go on more than simply renovation, important though that is, because history is a narrative … as well as a selection of beautifully preserved artefacts and buildings. English Heritage understands this, and they put it into practice with enormous skill and imagination. Audio tours, computer visualisations, historic re-enactments and all the other things they do are, largely thanks to the calibre of the people they employ, so much more than frills and embellishments.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) also announced a grant of £2m last week for a radical transformation of the former home of Charles Dickens in Londons Doughty Street. The project will double the current exhibition space by taking in the adjoining house, allowing for the large letter, manuscript and book collection to be better displayed, and for the architectural fabric of both buildings to be carefully restored.
Development funding for four further projects was announced by the HLF last week: the restoration of the largest remaining tidal mill in the world, at Three Mills Island, Bromley-by-Bow, London; restoration of Castle Drogo, created between 1911 and 1931 by Edwin Lutyens for Julius Drewe; help for the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland to extend and upgrade its museum and main engineering base at Whitehead, in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland; and the creation of a new museum and art gallery in Dunfermline, Fife, to tell the story of the medieval city, and its subsequent manufacturing heritage.
In his capacity as Chairman of the National Museum Directors Conference, our Fellow Mark Jones, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, has warned that the UKs position as a world leader in the arts is at risk because of higher levels of investment in culture in other parts of the world, including France, Germany, the US, China and Japan. Sir Mark, who has been elected Master of St Cross College, Oxford, and takes up his new post on 1 September 2011, said that national museums and galleries in England would struggle as a result of the recently imposed 15 per cent cuts in grant in aid. By contrast France has announced a 2.7 per cent increase in its cultural budget on the grounds that cultural provision is a determining factor in our attractiveness as a country and its economic development. Chinas new National Museum, which will open in March 2011, is just one of many new museum openings across the country, while Abu Dhabis new Zayed National Museum, designed by Lord Foster, opens in 2014. Bostons Museum of Fine Arts has a new 53-gallery wing, built at a cost of US$500m, and Germany has invested heavily in the refurbishment of its renowned museums.
Florence from Bellosguardo, 1863, by John Brett (18311902), from The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy exhibition (photo © Tate, London). Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1863 with lines from Robert Brownings poem, Old Pictures in Florence:
And washed by the morning water-gold,
Florence lay out on the mountain-side.
River and bridge and street and square
Lay mine, as much at my beck and call,
Through the live translucent bath of air,
As the sights in a magic crystal ball.
One museum that has benefited greatly from recent investment is the Ashmolean, and the first major show to grace the shiny new exhibition centre is The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy, co-curated by our Fellow Colin Harrison and Christopher Newall. This examines the central influence of the art, culture, landscape and history of Italy on John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Edward Burne Jones.
Yet the story that the exhibition tells is not the expected one: though the very name of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was chosen to exalt early Italian art, very few of the artists who subscribed to the Brotherhoods ideals had a deep first-hand knowledge of Italy (astonishingly, Rossetti never set foot in the land of his fathers birth, despite speaking Italian and being brought up with a strong sense of the countrys rich heritage; revealingly, he declined to visit on the grounds that the reality might not live up to the expectations of his imagination).
The exhibition thus explores the ways in which the ideas about Italy, while being fundamental to their intellectual and artistic development, were acquired and mitigated through the works of other artists in the case of Rossetti, through the poetry of Dante and Boccaccio, and in the case of other members of the movement, through reproductions of Renaissance art, or through the work of the movements founding father, Ruskin.
For antiquaries, an appealing aspect of the exhibition is the focus on Ruskin as a passionate conservationist who believed that Europes architectural heritage was being irretrievably destroyed by the restoration, meaning, in most cases, wholesale reconstruction and hence the total destruction of past evidence. A section of the exhibition is devoted to what we would now call buildings at risk, which he recorded in the mid-1840s and his own striving after a more truthful documentary style rather than the picturesque manner that he had learned from his teacher, J D Harding.
The exhibition is only on for one more week, so catch it while you can. You can also watch an interview with Colin Harrison or download a fifteen-page illustrated account of the exhibition (select Press kit under Press information) from the Ashmoleans website.
The report in Salon 244 on Simon Schamas proposals (as adviser to the Department of Education) on a new history syllabus for English schools was written before our Fellow David Starkey had published his thoughts on the subject. In a Sunday Times feature headlined Youve missed a bit, Professor Schama, David applauded Schamas passionate defence of the subject both he and I love, but argued that Schamas thoughts on what every child should learn was no improvement on the current syllabus because it consisted of a series of brilliantly coloured but free-floating vignettes that lacked a connecting narrative.
David offers two large themes of his own that reintroduce the idea of continuity of history and how the world then became the world now. One is Whig history, shorthand for the development of the worlds first and most educating system of limited government, with property rights and high levels of personal and economic freedom. The second (which Salons editor thinks is actually part of the first) is the enlightenment of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the beginning of the modern world, empire, capitalism, commerce, economic growth and personal individualism.
David also deplores what he calls the heresy at large in the teaching of history in English schools, which is the belief, influenced by E H Carrs brilliant, eloquent and disastrously wrong What is History? , that history is what historians choose to write about, and hence that history teaching should focus on the skills of analysing sources, an exercise that has come down to looking for the bias. Before critical analysis is even possible, David argues, students need to know the context and see the big picture.
Salons editor, no intellectual match for the giants Schama and Starkey, wonders naively whether in fact there isnt some room for compromise here. The problem with any grand narrative is that it selects events to illustrate the chosen theme, imposes a sense of inevitability (or even of evolutionary amelioration) upon the subject and presents the outcome capitalism, commerce, economic growth and personal individualism as if these were great achievements, rather than the mixed blessings that they really are.
Perhaps the elusive theme that makes sense of all historic events is really the conflict of ideas, of which history writing and teaching are themselves but one example it is thus vital that an element of historiography should be retained in any reformed syllabus, so that students end up being aware that all historical narrative is open to revision and challenge.
The Sunday Times also reported on a £2.5m campaign to restore the teaching of Latin and ancient Greek to all of Britains state schools within ten years. The campaign, fronted by Bettany Hughes and supported by Boris Johnson, Ian Hislop, Joanna Lumley and Tom Stoppard, has already succeeded in raising £250,000, and aims to raise the same sum annually until 2020, aiming to put classical languages back into 100 state schools a year. The money will be used to pay for books, breakfast clubs and teachers.
At present, 16 per cent of state schools (some 600 in number) offer Classics teaching, but the demand outstrips the supply, with sixty Classics teachers retiring a year, and Government funding only available for twenty-seven new teachers a year. Supporters of the campaign argue that Classics graduates have a higher employment rate than any other arts graduates, and that pupils who study Latin do better in maths, English and other modern languages as a result. Further information can be found on the Classics for All website.
Westminster Abbey has announced that the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Programme is to provide funding to enable a number of historical and artistic items in the Abbeys collections to be conserved, including the famous Westminster portrait of Richard II, which hangs in the nave.
Our Fellow Tony Trowles, Head of the Abbey Collection, said: This project will provide opportunities for a renewed assessment of the historical and aesthetic significance of the portrait of Richard II, particularly in relation to the political context of his reign and the artistic milieu of his court.
The anonymous over-life-size portrait is painted in a linseed oil medium on a panel, and it probably dates from the 1390s. Portraits dating from the fourteenth century are exceptionally rare north of the Alps and this full-length image has no parallels. First documented in 1611, it was heavily restored in 1732 and again in 1866, when it was given its frame, decorated with Richard IIs arms and badges, by Sir Gilbert Scott.
Not long after that 1866 restoration, on 31 August 1871, the coffin of Richard II was opened in the presence of a group of antiquaries and historians, including our Fellow The Very Reverend Arthur Stanley, Dean of Westminster, who published an account of the event in Archaeologia for 1879, and our Fellow Sir George Scharf (182095), the first Director of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG). Now Krzysztof Adamiec, the National Portrait Gallerys Assistant Archivist, has found souvenirs from the royal burial while cataloguing Sir George Scharfs papers, including a matchbox containing fragments of wood, possibly from the coffin, and some fabric, possibly from a glove. There are also careful sketches of the skull and bones of the king, including detailed measurements.
Krzysztof Adamiec, who is cataloguing the papers as part of a six-month online project funded by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives, said: Scharf meticulously recorded almost everything he saw and experienced. He made detailed notes and meticulous drawings of portraits, people and places, including Winston Churchill as a baby, Coventry before it was bombed and Wellingtons funeral.
Scharf left hundreds of diaries and notebooks relating to his work in building up the National Portrait Gallerys collection. These now form an exceptional resource for the study of portraits and portraiture, documenting the first thirty-eight years of the institutions existence during the formative years marked by a growing interest in national identity and awareness of the role that portraiture might play in representing British history. They also include documents relating to his work on the exhibitions at the Crystal Palace, following its relocation to Sydenham in 1854, and on the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition of 1857.
Descriptions of all of Sir George Scharfs papers have been added to the online catalogue, which already has entries for the papers of our Fellow Sir Roy Strong, who was the NPGs Director from 1967 to 1973. The documents themselves can be consulted by visiting the Gallerys Heinz Archive and Library.
Newly discovered photographs of Basil Browns 1939 Sutton Hoo excavations have gone on display at the Sutton Hoo Visitor Centre from a collection of 400 colour and black-and-white pictures taken by two visiting school teachers, Barbara Wagstaff and Mercie Lack. Given that only twenty-nine photographs survive from the record created by the official British Museum photographer, the find is seen as highly important.
Archaeologists Basil Brown (back) and Charles Phillips (left), and Barbara Wagstaff with camera (right) in the trench (photo © British Museum)
The pictures were unearthed by Claire Worland, Sutton Hoos Learning Officer, who said: The whole story surrounding these photographs is something of a mystery. We know very little about the two women themselves nothing except what we have been able to glean from the notes and captions in the eight photograph albums … it is clear from the photographs that the two school teachers were given unlimited access and were taking shots from inside the ship itself. They were also using very good quality Leica cameras and German 35mm Agfa colour slide film, which was very rare in England in the dark days before World War II.
For the first time we can see the coloured stains in the sand left by the rust from the rivets; just as importantly it offers us a view of the excavation process, the clothes Basil Brown, Charles Phillips and the volunteers wore and the tools they were working with. We have one shot where you can see them working with a turkey baster and a pair of kitchen bellows. Theres even an old kitchen kettle in one shot. So its clear that they raided Mrs Prettys house for a lot of the tools they used to uncover this amazing find.
Claire has appealed for further information about the photographers, who might have had some connection with the British Museum. There is a note in their album which suggests that Mercie had visited Lindisfarne in 1936 at the suggestion of Dr Kendrick from the British Museum. Was their visit to Sutton Hoo also officially sanctioned? We dont know. There is also a suggestion that they were just on holiday in the area and got to hear about the dig from one of the archaeologists, we think it might have been Stuart Piggott, and they came along to have a look.
Captured on camera: the summer of 1939 runs at Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge, Suffolk, until 20 March 2011; for opening times and further details visit the National Trusts website.
Mark Samuel, commenting succinctly on the Disneyfication debate, says that he once spotted an invitation to Go on the World War II Family Fun Trail! (on an English Heritage flyer) and a quick search of the internet does indeed confirm that there is an unfortunately large number of attractions and activities in the UK in which the tragic deaths of so many people in a global war is airbrushed out of the story in favour of having fun by dressing up as evacuees or taking part in re-enactments, something that the Imperial War Museum manages to avoid in its exhibitions on different aspects of the war.
Responding to the report on Who owns Britain? , Fellow Michael Sayer points out that the top ten landowners by size of estate are essentially upland/moorland owners, and that an analysis of more productive land would give a quite different, and more realistic, picture. The traditional landed gentry own nothing like a third of the country, he says, adding: I wrote a detailed analysis of the county of Norfolk for Country Life in 1987 (19 March 1987, pp 1045), and the estates (including one of 25,000 and another of 20,000 acres) then covered some 240,000 acres out of a county of 1,315,000 acres, so only 18 per cent.
Fellow Peter Fowler, sharing the widespread concern of the conservation community at the news that the Government is considering the disposal of part of the Forestry Commissions estate, wrote to the Guardian newspaper, in his capacity as a former Archaeological Consultant to the Forestry Commission, to remind everyone that in considering the future of British woodland, it is crucial to appreciate that the woods and the land that they occupy have a history and an archaeology just like anywhere else. Woodland is not just about trees, plants, birds and creepy-crawlies: we were there too, often long before that present ecology. The fact is that the Forestry Commission is responsible for a lot of archaeology, not just thousands of individual sites but, significantly, extents of ancient landscape surviving especially in the uplands. In such places we can see how individual components like trackways, abandoned farms, fields and burial places interrelated in once-working landscapes, especially of the second millennium BC.
Though much was damaged during mid-twentieth century afforestation, better-informed and wiser Commission policy has applied over the last twenty years (during which the Commission has employed its own archaeologist). This has led not only to the conscious preservation of sites on Commission land and land it has grant-aided but also to pro-active archaeological conservation in woodland management and to presentation of archaeological heritage in terms of public accessibility. Complementarily, in smaller, lowland woodlands, survey work carried out during the same period has led to the recognition that such habitats characteristically contain their own archaeology of contemporary enclosure banks and ditches, often post-medieval, and also fine extents of earlier, often prehistoric, landscapes accidentally enclosed and serendipitously conserved by pre-mechanical woodland management.
Congratulations first to our Fellow Sir Patrick Cormack, who retired as an MP when the election was called in May 2010, but who will return to Parliament as one of thirty-two new peers whose appointment was announced on 20 November 2010.
Congratulations too to Fellow Julian Bowsher whose book, The Rose and the Globe Playhouses of Shakespeares Bankside, Southwark: Excavations 198891 (co-written with Pat Miller), has won the London Archaeological Prize 2010 for the best publication about London's archaeology in the last two years. The award was presented to Julian and Pat by our Fellow Clive Orton, Editor of the London Archaeologist, at a London Archaeology Forum reception hosted by CBA London at the Museum of London. It is nice to win something at last, says Julian, after we were shortlisted twice for other prizes, including runner up as Best Book in the British Archaeological Awards!
Our Fellow Diarmaid MacCulloch has even more to celebrate as winner of the 2010 Cundill Prize in History at McGill University, the worlds most important non-fiction historical literature prize, worth US$75,000, for his History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. The announcement was made at a gala dinner at the Mount Royal Club in Montreal, Canada, at which Adam Gopnik, Chair of the Cundill Prize Jury, said: At a time when quarrels between believers and non-believers, new atheists and old faithfuls, dominate so much of our public discourse, Diarmaid MacCulloch has given us the one thing that we most need not polemic but history, high, wide, and lucid, and, given the enormity of his task, often winningly light of touch. Taking as his subject nothing less than the whole history of the faith, MacCulloch has written a social history that illuminates changes in belief; and a history of belief that helps us see how our society got so much of its structure. Without scanting the horrors of fanaticism, he does not scoff at the meaning of belief: we see Christian martyrs and Christian persecutors, repellent sinners and authentic saints.
Throughout, he achieves a near-perfect match of narrative flair and analytic detail. In the best old-fashioned, classical sense, we are offered here a pageant of people and events: hair-splitting theologians, hard-hitting evangelists, austere northern Protestants and occult Byzantine philosophers the whole of the community of faith, with a special and newly welcome accent on Asian and African occasions. And, in the most reflective modern sense, we have as well an in-depth study of motive, of the interrelation of money and morals, and of the endless complexity of causation. His is a history from the bottom up that helps explain the shape and sound of the top. If any book could truly fulfil the charge of the Cundill Prize to make first-class history more potent to a wide reading public, and above all to remind us that history, even three thousand years worth, matters this one does.
Mr Gopniks fellow judges included Catherine Desbarats Professor of History at McGill University, and Lisa Jardine, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, and winner of last years Cundill Prize for Going Dutch: How England Plundered Hollands Glory. The winning work was chosen from 181 works submitted for the prize by eighty-five publishing houses from around the world.
Thank you to our Fellow Martin Williams for forwarding this photograph of the Blue Plaque that has just been unveiled on the house at No. 9 Barn Hill, Stamford, where William Stukeley lived between 1730 and 1747, while serving as Vicar of All Saints Church.
The unveiling was performed by our former General Secretary and Stukeley scholar, Dai Morgan Evans FSA, on 7 November 2010, assisted by (left) Peter Stevens, of the Stamford Civic Society, who organised the plaque, the Reverend Mark Warrick, current Vicar of All Saints, Stamford, and the Mayor of Stamford, Councillor David Brailsford (photograph courtesy of Mike Sockett). This is the towns second Blue Plaque, the first being one that marks Sir Malcolm Sargents former home in Wharf Road, Stamford.
The Society has been informed of the recent deaths of Peter Gathercole (pictured), who died on 11 October 2010 at the age of eighty-one, former Principal Curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, and Dean of Darwin College (for an appreciation see the Archaeopedia website; David Lewis Jones CBE, former House of Lords Librarian (19912006), who died on 15 October 2010; (Richard) Julian Roberts who died on 20 October 2010 at the age of seventy-one, former Deputy Librarian at the Bodleian until his retirement in 1997 (for a brief biography, see Wikipedia; Bill (William James) White, who died on 14 November 2010, having been Senior Curator of Human Osteology at the Museum of Londons Centre for Bioarchaeology (and Curator Emeritus since his retirement in October 2009 (for Bills own brief account of his career, see the Museum of London website); and Raymond L Connelly (date of death not known).
Christmas is coming so here are some excellent present suggestions. First, fans of the indispensable Pevsner Architectural Guide series will want to keep their collection up to date with the latest volumes, several of which have Fellows as co-authors. Fellows Geoffrey Tyack and Simon Bradley share the credits with Nikolaus Pevsner as authors of the new Berkshire volume (ISBN 9780300126624; Yale University Press). Reviewing the book in the Times Literary Supplement), our Fellow Ferdinand Mount finds enthusiasm as well as expertise radiating from every page of the new enriched and enlarged Pevsner, and he quotes approvingly from the description of Abingdon and the brilliant and intricate account of Windsor Castle, the greatest inhabited castle in England, or anywhere, for all I know, pointing out that Betjeman and Piper had lazily offloaded this task by recommending the excellent Official Guide to Windsor Castle (price 1/-) in their earlier Shell Guide.
Moving south, our Fellow John Crook joins Michael Bullen, Rodney Hubbuck and Nikolaus Pevsner in exploring the riches of Hampshire: Winchester and the North (ISBN 9780300120844; Yale University Press). One wonders who of the three drew the short straw of Basingstoke: singularly devoid of architectural pleasures in Pevsners view expressed in the 1966 first edition, a view that has not been significantly altered by buildings since that date, say the 2010 generation of authors.
As you would expect, the book is up with the very latest scholarly research for example, full use is made of the papers published by our Fellow Charles Tracy in the Antiquaries Journal in describing the early sixteenth-century choir stalls at Winchesters Hospital of St Cross. It is also amusing to see the famous oak lectern at St Cross, with its parrot-like eagles head, firmly dismissed as a late nineteenth-century copy; that will not please those guides at St Cross who have woven a complex folklore around the lectern, which they also date to the sixteenth century and say has a parrots head to teach you not to read the Bible parrot-fashion.
Fellow Peter Leach is the updater of Nikolaus Pevsners Yorkshire: West Riding volume (ISBN: 9780300126655; Yale University Press), which, given that the West Riding is so large, is now divided into two volumes, this one dealing with the northern half, where the highlights include Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal, Ripon Cathedral and the spa town of Harrogate, the wool warehouses of Bradford and the mighty civic buildings of Leeds. Outside these urban centres, wonderful countryside stretches from the outskirts of York to the very edge of the Lake District, with many a country house and gritty Pennine village in between, not to mention Quaker meeting houses and Primitive Methodist chapels and stout Victorian schools, all of which are given their due.
From the West Ridings extreme north-western tip, at Sedbergh, it is a short hop into Cumbria (ISBN 9780300126631; Yale University Press), subject of the latest volume, written by Matthew Hyde, which does full justice to the historic counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (plus the detached Furness division of Lancashire), which formed one of the slimmest and most laconic of the volumes in Pevsners 1967 original.
Finally Hull, in the city guide series (ISBN 9780300141726; Yale University Press), by Fellow David Neave and Susan Neave, was hailed by our Fellow Marcus Binney in his review in The Times as a revelation, and a book that might have prevented many tragic losses had this been published thirty years ago.
Pevsner guides are often the inspiration for more detailed series, devoted to one aspect of the historic environment, whether a national series, like the county guides to historic gardens written by our Fellow Tim Mowl or the public sculpture gazetteers emanating from the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, or just to one county, as in the case of Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire by our Fellow Ron Shoesmith (ISBN 9781906663308; Logaston Press). This is Pevsner-like in its comprehensive coverage of a county that is very rich in ditches, mounds and castles because of its strategic role on the border between England and Wales and because of its rural character, which means that far more has survived than is the case in more urbanised and developed parts of Britain.
Some were built at the time of the Norman Conquest, others during the civil war between Stephen and Matilda and still others during the barons wars, the wars with the Welsh, the Owain Glyndŵr crisis, and the Civil War. Many now consist of little more than overgrown earthworks, with perhaps the ruined wall of a former tower, standing alongside an isolated farmstead, but they are all the more evocative for that reason. Using plans, excavation drawings, antiquarian sketches and historic photographs, Ron helps visitors make sense of these fragments of ancient lordship, and of the landscapes which they were built to protect and dominate.
Next down from thematic county survey is the town history, exemplified by Usk Castle, Priory and Town (ISBN 9781906663308; Logaston Press), edited by our Fellow Jeremy Knight and Andy Johnson (proprietor of the Logaston Press, which specialises in publishing books about the history, archaeology, architecture and people of the border counties of England and Wales). The entire history of this attractive Monmouthshire town is covered in this book, from the Mesolithic to the present day (the latter tackled in a final chapter that looks at the need for flood and traffic control measures), but a major part of the book consists of Jeremy Knights untangling of the history of the castle. This is an archaeological puzzle whose gloriously romantic state has been enhanced by the gardens that R H J Rudge Humpreys created among the ivy-clad walls and towers from the 1930s, latterly with his wife Anne, a garden that might give the shudders to purists because of the damage that must have been done to the archaeology during its laying out, but that one cannot help but love because of the way it truly enhances the spirit of the place.
Finally in the family tree of guides, from county survey to town history, comes the humble church guide, though in the case of the guide to St Peters, Stourton, humble is definitely not the right word. Salons editor has been looking for an excuse to write about this because though the author, Gary Calland, is not a Fellow, it deserves to be known by Fellows because it provides a model of what a church guide could be like. Lavishly illustrated in colour (with paintings documenting the church by Bamfylde (1775), Buckler (1807) and Nicholson (1814), for example) and handsomely designed, it is a million miles from the ancient musty booklet with rusting staples, printed in optimistic quantities some decades ago, found for sale (though no longer for the original price of 5p) at the back of most churches.
The 112-page guide concerns the church that many visitors to the celebrated landscape garden at Stourhead pass as they explore the adjacent village, and which Henry Hoare the Magnificent, the gardens first designer, always intended to be an integral part of his picturesque conception, writing in 1762 that the view of the bridge, village and church altogether will be a charming Gasp[ar]d picture at the end of the water.
Sir Richard Colt Hoare later tweaked the view when he was given the estate by his grandfather in 1783; Sir Richard thought there were too many buildings crowding the view that were not harmony with one another, so, as he records in his diary for 1812, he pulled down a lot of cottages that stood very disadvantageously between the Church and … the Gardens, doing what many a landlord had done over the centuries, lending a false sense of aggrandisement to the church, house and rectory by removing the peasants from the scene (as the guide book shows, archaeological excavation in 2002 revealed the locations of those insufficiently aesthetic cottages).
The guidebook is sold at the National Trust shop in Stourhead, and proceeds go to the restoration of the church, which, one hopes, will not be as drastic as the work carried out in 1878 under the influence of the Ecclesiological movement that saw the destruction of the west gallery, the removal of oak screens, pulpit and lecterns, of chancel paving, seats and fittings and the excavation of the entire area around the church to provide better drains all of which reminds those of us who sit on Diocesan Advisory Committees that todays church re-ordering schemes, destructive as they can be, are nothing new.
Also not the work of a Fellow but of possible interest to many Fellows nonetheless is the latest book by Mary Greensted, former curator at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, where she helped to build up that museums important Arts and Crafts collection. In The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain (ISBN 9780747807827; Shire Books) Mary Greensted argues that the period that William Morris spent at Kelmscott was a particularly creative one in terms of his design productivity. She also plays due credit to his passionate radicalism, the two strands of his life being summed up poignantly in a typical William Morris doodle on the back of a leaflet advertising a meeting of the Hammersmith Socialist Society covered in astonishingly fluid and varied flower and leaf designs alongside the enigmatic note Paralysing the trade of the country. For those who associate Shire books only with the pocket-sized Shire Archaeology series, this book is a very much more lavish production, with excellent pictures on every page, including a fine photographic portrait of May Morris playing a guitar and wearing jewellery and a splendid cape of her own design.
Artistic Circles: Design and Decoration in the Aesthetic Movement, by our Fellow Charlotte Gere (ISBN 9781851776023; V&A Publishing) reminds us just what a radical transformation Morris brought about in perceptions of the social status of the craftsman or woman and the moral value of a life spent in mastering an art or craft. That rising social status was reflected in the way that successful arts and crafts practitioners not only became men of property, but also constructed their homes as expressions of their values, hence the phenomenon of the studio house, which is the main subject of Charlottes book. Among the houses she describes and analyses are the homes of Morris himself and of such artists as Watts, Leighton, Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Tissot and Alma-Tadema, many of which were decorated with Morris & Co furnishings.
Charlotte reminds us too that this was the era in which lifestyle journalism was born, with magazine features in illustrated periodicals depicting and describing artists at home and at work in their studio, their possessions dense with meaning and offered as models for Victorian readers looking for inspiration and ideas for decorating their own homes. Those who purchased their wallpaper or furnishing fabrics from Liberty or Morris & Co were thus buying into a set of values; one whose claustrophobic quality, Charlotte argues, ultimately led to the reversal of the phenomenon of successful artist and the cultivation of the image of the artist as the poverty-stricken bohemian (the Bloomsbury Group then seems to have managed the clever trick of combining both!).
Our Fellow Iain Gordon Brown, Principal Curator in the Manuscripts Division at the National Library of Scotland, has given us an insight into the riches of the collection that he curates in another handsome and copiously illustrated work entitled Rax Me That Buik (ISBN 9781857596380; Scala), which sounds as if it involves committing acts of violence of a kind to make bibliophiles weep, but is in fact the motto on the coat of arms of the Scottish Central Library for Students, subsumed into the National Library in 1974, and rax simply means reach or hand me. The manuscripts and books that Iain hands us in this volume, by way of an appetite whetter, is, he says, a tiny sampling of the librarys astonishing riches, and he presents them to us under fourteen thematic headings, with chapters on such topics as Taste, Travel and Antiquity and Scotland and the New World.
It is becoming almost compulsory now to talk about The History of the World in 100 Objects (ISBN 9781846144134; Allen Lane) by our Fellow Neil MacGregor as if it were a pioneering work, though in reality, this excellently realised book and radio series (soon to be a TV series too) treads a path as old as history, whereby any object can become a proxy for the people who produced it, their values and their culture; and Iains book does the same thing, using such striking images as the first surviving printed map of Scotland (by the Venetian engraver Paolo Forlani, active between 1558 and 1571) or Edward Blores plates for Sir James Halls Essay on the Origin, History and Principles of Gothic Architecture (1813), demonstrating how Gothic architecture was inspired by trees, to draw our attention to the bigger story that work represents.
He does so by amusing as well as educating the reader: on Rangers List of the Ladies of Pleasure in Edinburgh, published in 1775, Iain observes that Dora Noyce, Edinburghs most celebrated madam, used to say that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was the busiest time for her girls. In another choice example (one of many), he explains that a fine watercolour by James Drummond of 1848 might appear to depict antiquaries recording the carvings of Scotlands finest late medieval collegiate church, at Trinity College, Edinburgh, but actually shows salvage merchants preparing for the demolition of the church to make way for the railway, and that many of the stones of this glorious church ended up as garden ornaments, a fact that Lord Cockburn deplored at the time, calling the destruction of the church an outrage by sordid traders … consented to by a tasteless city and sanctioned by an insensible Parliament … people [who] would remove Pompeii for a railway.
Much like the coming of the railways to 1840s Britain, the Romans, with their roads, frontier walls and planned towns, had a powerful impact on the landscape, and one that still reverberates to this day (Colchester, for example, includes the claim to be Britains oldest city, founded in AD 50 as Colonia Claudia Victricensis, in its bid for World Heritage Status). But questioning just how much of an impact Rome really had on Roman Britain is the theme of a new book by Fellows Miles Russell and Stuart Laycock, called UnRoman Britain (ISBN: 9780752455662; History Press).
In this book the authors deliberately gather together as much evidence as possible for continuity from the Iron Age (and even before) through to the Anglo-Saxon period, not so as to deny the impact of Roman culture. but to redress the balance and remind us that the focus on romanitas has led us to ignore or downplay the evidence that Britons had their own culture that remained unchanged by Roman lifestyles (the authors sum this up succinctly when they say that we perhaps see the advantages of being Roman more clearly today than many Britons did at the time). One especially illuminating aspect of the book is the use made of modern parallels for occupation and strife. If past interpretations of Roman Britain were based on nineteenth-century colonial ideals, the authors use their knowledge of the reality of nasty wars in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan to suggest what life might have been like for the ordinary people of a Britain occupied by Roman troops.
Another book that seeks to overturn our familiar patterns of thought is Celtic from the West, by Fellow Barry Cunliffe and John Koch (ISBN: 9781842174104; Oxbow), in which a team of linguists, geneticists, historians and archaeologists tackle the question of the origin of the Celts. Some years ago our Fellows Simon James and John Collis engaged in a debate that became headline news about the meaning of the term Celtic and whether that name could be applied to any particular prehistoric culture, given that the Greek and Roman writers airily described everyone who lived over there (pointing north and west) as Keltoi / Celtae. Nineteenth-century archaeologists used the term to describe the art and culture of the Iron Age people they discovered through excavating cemeteries at La Tène ands Hallstatt. The narrative with which many of us grew up was constructed whereby the Celts spread out from that region to dominate western Europe and the British Isles, but then got pushed to the western fringes by Roman and subsequent invaders.
In place of this paradigm, the contributors to Celtic from the West argue that the coastal regions of the Iberian peninsula and of the Atlantic were not the refuge of a beleaguered Celtic remnant, but the original home of the Celts the Celts being carefully defined in terms of a language group, not a people with a preference for a certain style of art or music! The arguments are complex, and involve, as Barry says, leaving the comfort and familiarity of archaeological concepts to try to understand the methods of linguists and geneticists, but the book presents a powerful body of evidence from these sources to suggest that proto-Celtic came from the eastern Mediterranean with Bronze-Age traders seeking metal ores, and that it became the lingua franca of the mining and trading communities of the Atlantic tin trade, which might help to explain the apparent anomaly of a Phoenician gene marker being found in DNA samples from people living on Anglesey.
The latest book by our Fellow Paul Pettitt gathers together the evidence for something that makes us uniquely human, the way that we treat the dead and deal with dead bodies. In The Palaeolithic Origins of Human Burial (ISBN 9780415354905; Routledge) Paul compares the way that chimpanzees behave towards their dead to identify what makes us different and then seeks the origins of our attitudes to death in the mortuary practices of early hominins and extinct members of the genus Homo, in early Homo sapiens and H neanderthalensis, in the Early and Mid Upper Palaeolithic and the Late Upper Palaeolithic world.
Finally, in welcoming Timothy Earle as a newly elected Fellow of our Society, we also note the recent publication of his book, jointly written with our Fellow Kristian Kristiansen, called Organizing Bronze Age Societies: The Mediterranean, Central Europe, and Scandinavia Compared (ISBN 9780521748353; Cambridge University Press), which is a study of the similarities and differences between Bronze Age settlement, land use and household economy in the Mediterranean (Sicily), central Europe (Hungary) and northern Europe (southern Scandinavia). The aim is to establish a new theoretical and methodological approach to the study of ancient economies, which in this case shows that differences in settlement organisation and household economy are counterbalanced by similarities in the organised use of the landscape in an economy dominated by the herding of large flocks of sheep and cattle.
4 December 2010: the Autumn Symposium of ASPRoM (the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics) will be held at Kings College London (Room K2.31) from 2pm to 5.30pm. The speakers will be Fellow Ellen Swift, on Non‐figurative mosaics in domestic houses: context and function, Jeffery Leigh, on Roman gold tesserae in Britain: the Southwick Three and Marlipins Four, and Fellows Steve Cosh and David Neal on Completing the corpus: the final volume and a review of the project, followed by an update on mosaics in Britain. All welcome. Further details available on the ASPRoM website.
22 to 25 June 2011: New Light on Vernacular Architecture: Studies in Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man. To be held at the University of Liverpools Centre for Manx Studies and Manx National Heritage, this conference aims to identify and encourage new directions in the study of vernacular architecture. Our Fellows Eurwyn Wiliam (Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales) and Ronald Brunskill will be among the keynote speakers. Further information can be found on the conference website.
Assistant Editor, Archaeological Journal
The Royal Archaeological Institute is seeking an Assistant Editor for the Archaeological Journal to take over from our Fellow Richard Hingley on 1 January 2011. The Assistant Editor is primarily responsible for the thirty to forty book reviews that appear in each volume. Our Fellow Patrick Ottaway, current Editor of the Archaeological Journal, will stand down after publication of Volume 168 in late summer 2012 and the Assistant Editor is usually invited to take over as Editor for a five-year period. Candidates must be members of the Royal Archaeological Institute (see the RAIs website) and should have a wide knowledge of the archaeology of the British Isles and considerable experience of academic publication, including the use of digital technology. Although essentially voluntary, there is an honorarium for both posts subject to agreement with the RAI. The Editor is an ex-officio member of the RAI Council and its Committees and the Assistant Editor is invited to attend their meetings. Interested parties should contact our Fellows Patrick Ottaway or Richard Hingley.
Consultant Archaeologist to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral; closing date 6 December 2010
Anticipating the end of Tim Tatton-Browns formal twenty-year association with Salisbury Cathedral, expressions of interest are now being invited from individuals wishing to succeed Tim in the statutory post of Consultant Archaeologist to the Dean and Chapter. The expectations and requirements are those articulated in The Role and Duties of the Cathedral Archaeological Consultant as endorsed by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England. Expressions of interest should be sent to Brigadier C M G Elcomb, OBE, the Chapter Clerk, by no later than 6 December 2010, to allow assessment of the potential field before the programme for further action is finalised in the New Year. For further information, see Salisbury Cathedrals website.
Two new trustees sought for the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund; closing date 13 December 2010
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invites applications for two trustee posts on the boards of the HLF and NHMF. Trustees need to have a broad appreciation of heritage and a commitment to promoting public understanding and enjoyment of it to the widest possible audience, together with strong skills in leadership, strategic and analytical thinking, influencing and communication. For these particular appointments, candidates are especially sought who have expertise in the historic environment, environmental sustainability in relation to the UKs heritage, engaging people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and who have knowledge of the heritage of the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, the East Midlands or the East of England. More information can be found on the DCMS website.
Residential Awards for Research in the Archaeology, History, Art History, Society and Culture of Italy from Prehistory to the Modern Period, 201112; deadline 18 January 2011
Applications are invited for a number of residencies at the British School at Rome. These awards, tenable for three or nine months, give scholars at different stages of their careers a valuable opportunity to pursue their research in Rome. They offer accommodation, food, 24-hour access to the Schools historic library collection and, in some instances, a research grant. For further details and application forms, please visit the British School at Romes website.