Other Events and Activities
Volunteering opportunities in Surrey, with Hannah Potter, Assistant Community Archaeologist.
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Find out more about heritage and archaeology in Surrey:
Knole Archaeology Lectures:
A note from Laura Ellis:
You may know that we are currently undergoing a £20m conservation project and as part of this there is a strong archaeological thread. To this end we are holding some key archaeological lectures to share some of the findings, particularly from our parkland.
Thursday 14 August, 7-8.30pm
Great Hall Lecture: From ‘designed landscapes’ to landscapes of work: understanding medieval sites in South-Eastern England
In the majestic surroundings of Knole’s Great Hall this lecture, led by Professor Matthew Johnson of Northwestern University, hear the results of survey at four National Trust properties: Bodiam, Scotney, Ightham and Knole. Over four years a team of archaeologists from the University of Southampton (UK) and Northwestern University (USA) have worked in partnership with the National Trust to understand these places in terms of the medieval landscapes that surround them. The findings showed that in the Middle Ages, these places were not just military castles or pleasure palaces for the elite- they were also places of work for all classes.
Adult £10, Concession £8, Booking at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole or call 0844 249 1895
Tuesday 4 November, 3-5pm
Witchmarks and Demon Traps: recent discoveries at Knole
James Wright, buildings archaeologist with Museum of London Archaeology, presents the results of building recording during our conservation project. A lecture in the Great Hall.
Adults £10, Concessions £8, Booking at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole or call 0844 249 1895
Saturday September 6th at 9.30am - Conference "Animals! Understanding human culture through the ubiquitous others"
This conference will be held at the Mitre Lecture Theatre, Chichester University, Bishop Otter campus. Tickets are £30 and full details can be found here.
Saturday November 29th at 9.00am - South-East Regional Conference of The Geologists' Association
The conference is hosted by the West Sussex Geological Society in the Exhibition Hall of Worthing College at their new college campus on the northern outskirts of the town. Conference fee is £25 for the day, including coffee/tea, buffet lunch and Conference publication. Programme and Booking form.
Major Publishing Event dedicated to the memory of Peter Drewett:
Archaeology and Landscape of South-East England to 1066 (eds Michael J Allen & David Rudling)
This is a new peer-reviewed book on archaeology of SE England, written by the recognised leading authorities in their field. It provides an overview and review of south-east England, allowing comparison with Sussex, Surrey and Kent (and the east Thames basin) which has rarely been achieved or attempted. It will also allow comparison within and between both the three counties, and the main topographic zones of Downs, Weald, Coastal Plain, River Valley and Thames Estuary.
The book will provide an informed narrative of an interpretation of the history of the south east and re-addresses, renews and re-evaluates the work and interpretations presented previously. It will be the new textbook for the South-East. As such we it hope provides a fitting tribute to the late Peter Drewett who inspired many in the current generation of archaeologists (professional and amateur) working in south-east England. Peter published a series of major excavations in Sussex and southern England 1974-82, and this book will be dedicated to Peter Drewett with great thanks, admiration and affection.
Toby’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ reveals secrets of Kent churches
For more than ten years Dr Toby Huitson (pictured above) has been fascinated by what went on in the upper storeys of our medieval churches and cathedrals.
His curiosity led him up spiral staircases above towers, naves and chancels all over Kent and further afield and into mysterious lofts, galleries and passages that were used as, among other things, dovecotes, treasuries and libraries.
He has now published a book, ‘Stairway to Heaven’, in which he describes and illustrates his hundreds of discoveries.
‘It all began as a doctoral thesis on ecclesiastical staircases, galleries and upper chambers, for which I was awarded my PhD in history,’ said Toby, who is an assistant archivist at Canterbury Cathedral and a history lecturer at the University of Kent in Canterbury.
‘Then, in 2009, it won the Kent Archaeological Society’s £3,000 Hasted Prize for the best doctoral thesis on any aspect of the county’s archaeology or history.
‘I went on to carry out further research and develop the thesis into a full-length book, using most of the prize money to publish many of the 130 illustrations in colour.
‘The original purposes of church upper spaces represent an unsolved mystery for generations of antiquarians, archaeologists and architectural historians. My book presents the evidence for over 35 different practical functions these hidden areas could have had’.
Among the unusual upper storeys Toby has found in Kent are the so-called 'Indulgence Chamber' at Rochester Cathedral (which may have been used as a muniment room for storing official documents); the 'Old Bakery' chamber at Canterbury Cathedral (a former Romanesque upper chapel, converted into a room for the Shrine Wardens around 1400 and used as a craftsmen’s restoration workshop in the late 17th century); the so-called 'Watching Tower' at St Mary of Charity, Faversham, (used as a sexton's room in the early 16th century); and a blocked staircase to the lost upper chapel of St Blaise at Canterbury Cathedral (probably used for storing candles or documents).
The 'Indulgence Chamber' at Rochester Cathedral
View from the ‘Old Bakery’ chamber at Canterbury Cathedral
■‘Stairway to Heaven’ will be formally launched at the University of Kent this autumn (2014). It is published by Oxbow Books at £35 RRP and is available from www.oxbowbooks.com, www.amazon.co.uk and other outlets. Signed copies can be ordered direct from Toby Huitson (email email@example.com ) for £30 (cash payments, collection in person only).