Romans and Natives in Central Britain

Recent large projects, many funded by developers, have highlighted a growing interest in the frontier lands on either side of Hadrian’s Wall, an area that can loosely be called Central Britain. The focus of this geographical region is arguably centred on territory that came to be associated with the Brigantes, but a gulf still exists.

Grassington, 29 October. Here’s the programme and more information:

Romans and Natives in Central Britain

Holding / Held By the Book

University of Leeds Colloquium this Friday, 1 July 2016, starting at 9.30am at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, Parkinson Building.
Centre for the Comparative History of Print announces that registration for their conference Holding / Held By the Book is now open. Registration for this one-day conference costs £10 and is available here. And the programme is here.

Prehistory at Creswell Crags

Coming up at Creswell Crags, south of Worksop, events organised by the Creswell Heritage Trust:

A team from Durham University on site 4 to 16 July excavating outside Mother Grundy’s Parlour, providing free public tours of the excavation site on Saturday 9 July at 12 noon and 3pm, and a talk on their findings at 1.30pm (tickets £3), bookable on 01909 720378.

Sheffield University team sharing new techniques and proposals on Saturday 16 July.

Creswell Crags celebrates the Festival of British Archaeology on Saturday 23 July, with an ‘Ice Age Survival’ day – John Lord will be demonstrating flint knapping, and Paul Preston (Lithoscapes) running a flint identification drop-in workshop. A chance to try your hand at outdoors survival skills (£5 charge for event).

‘Wildflowers of the Limestone gorge’ with Debbie Alston of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on Tuesday 26 July, 2pm – 4pm (£4 charge – please book ahead).




Ironstone railways in the North York Moors

This isn’t the kind of view you might expect on a walk with the Railway Ramblers… and normally sunburn isn’t a big risk on the North York Moors. So Industrial History Section member Jane Ellis’s guided walk around the remains of ironstone lines at the top of Rosedale and Farndale was full of surprises, and took us to what must be Yorkshire’s highest railway (at 1,200 feet, tops the Settle-Carlisle). Across Rosedale calcining kilns stand next to the railway. There are also remains of a late-19th c. settlement near the Blakey junction. From here, iron was shipped out westwards via Ingleby incline and Battersby.

Jane, who is the new excursions organiser for YAHS, also does guided walks around the NYM National Park (and elsewhere) including a leisurely three-mile local history hike from Lealholm next Saturday, 2 July, 11 am.


Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape

A new exhibition at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, ‘Noble Prospects‘ celebrates Capability Brown’s designs at some of Yorkshire’s great houses. Sponsored by the Yorkshire Gardens Trust, it opens to the public today and runs until 11 September, free of charge, with lots of associated events. The show was curated by YAHS member Karen Lynch (on the right of the photo), who has written a book to accompany it.

I was invited to last night’s preview as YAHS has loaned the Rev. Hale of Harewood’s book of watercolours for the exhibition. It’s worth going just to see Brown’s vast plan for Temple Newsam!


Battle sites of 1066

The 950th anniversary will be commemorated with a programme of events at Fulford, the least known but possibly largest of the three battles in 1066. It took place only five days before the battle of Stamford Bridge.
Medieval Section  has further information about visiting the Fulford site, which is under active investigation and where there may also be opportunities to excavate.
English Heritage is organising a battle re-enactment at Stamford Bridge on 25 September.

The St Bees knight

Of all the section lectures I attended over the 2015-16 season, one in December by Chris Robson has stayed with me. It was the astonishing story of the St Bees knight, the discovery in 1981 at St Bees priory in Cumbria of the best preserved medieval body ever found. Chris provisionally identified the man as Sir Anthony de Lucy, and a woman found nearby as his sister Maud.

Most interestingly, Sir Anthony was a casualty of the Northern Crusades, annual forays into northern Germany to defeat the Lithuanian infidel. Hearing about this little-known crusading, I wondered why no one had made a film. Well now they have – Medieval Section has produced an edited version of the lecture, and here it is on their website.

Further reading: see Eric Christiansen, The Northern Crusades (1997).

imagesSt Bees Priory