19 Feb 2019 7.30pm*
Fantastic Beasts and where to find them
Find out more about the Bonicon, a medieval beast found at Longthorpe Tower, Castor church and the Peterborough Besitary. This talk focuses on the Romanesque capitals of St Kyneburgha church, Castor and the local landscape in medieval times.
Dr Susan E Kilby, Medieval Historian, University of Leicester
The Changing Fields of Huntingdonshire – William Franklin
If you have wondered about the shape and structure of field boundaries, how they were formed, when they were laid out and by whom, and how this was influenced by the then owner of the land, the King, Church, Lord or State. Then come along to the Methodist Church on Wednesday 13th March and get to know about the intricate and often bizarre shape of our field boundaries.
The speaker tonight is William Franklin, whose most recent book, “An Agricultural History of Ely” was given an award by the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History (CALH). This is, however, only part of his broader investigation across the county into the development of fields from antiquity to the age of parliamentary inclosure.
Your Roman Past – Saturday 30th March 9AM to 5PM – Castor CP School
The Nene Valley area is literally covered with Roman forts and occupation following the main arterial road Ermine Street. Perhaps the most well known site is just to the north of Peterborough close by Water Newton just off the current A1. The Roman Town of Durobrivae and the Roman fort adjacent to the town protecting the crossing of the river Nene.
Come along to this exciting day of exploration of our Roman history and listen to the guest speakers, Geoffrey Dannell, Chris Evans, John Peter Wild, Ralph Jackson, Stephen Upex and William Burke, talk about the influence of Roman occupation in the Nene Valley.
Tickets can be obtained through Eventbrite, cost £25 including lunch. Student concession £20
The Curious History of Labyrinths and Mazes – Julie Boundford
Following a book on Heffers, the Cambridgeshire bookseller, Julie was commissioned to write one on Mazes and Labyrinths. From prehistoric times mazes and labyrinths have served as different symbolic, ritualistic and practical purposes. She will tell us about her discoveries, local and further afield.
We have our own mystical labyrinth at Hilton, which the Society visited in 2016
The symbolic meaning of labyrinth is often associated with the various symbolic meanings of the spiral in that we can trace our footsteps (both metaphorical and literal) back to and from the centre.
HUNTINGDONSHIRE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
MAY WEEKEND 10TH TO 13TH MAY 2019 BIRMINGHAM AND WARWICKSHIRE
For a copy of the program click [here]
Depart Huntingdon 9am Arrive 11am
Day 1 Friday
Forge Mill Needle Museum & Bordesley Abbey
Tour includes coffee on arrival and lunch.
Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch is an unusual and fascinating place to visit. This historic site illustrates the rich heritage of the needle and fishing tackle industries. Models and recreated scenes provide a vivid illustration of how needles were once made, and how Redditch once produced 90% of the world’s needles.
On the same site, just a very short walk from Forge Mill Museum, are the ruins of Bordesley Abbey – a medieval Cistercian Abbey which has been extensively excavated. Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre, which is set in an original reconstructed 16th century barn, tells the extraordinary story of the Abbey from its development in the 12th century to its destruction in 1538 by Henry VIII during the dissolution.
depart at 4pm for Ramada Birmingham Sutton Coldfield
Penns Lane, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield B76 1LH 0121 351 3111
Day 2 Saturday
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Depart Hotel at 9.45am arrive at 10.15am
The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is built around a perfectly preserved jewellery workshop offering a unique glimpse of working life in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter.
When the proprietors of the Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firm retired in 1981 they simply ceased trading and locked the door, unaware they would be leaving a time capsule for future generations.
Today the factory is a remarkable museum, which tells the story of the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.
Arrive 1.00 Time for Lunch
Aston Hall is a magnificent seventeenth century red-brick mansion situated in a picturesque public park on the north side of Birmingham. Built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte and home to James Watt Junior from 1817-1848, Aston Hall is steeped in history. Now a grade I listed building, the hall is restored to its former Jacobean splendour and is hugely popular with visitors of all ages. Walk through the stunning interiors and see the home that received royalty, was besieged during the English Civil War and inspired an author.
Depart 4.30pm for hotel
Day 3 Sunday
Depart 9.15am arrive 10.00am
Black Country Museum
The story of the Black Country is distinctive because of the scale, drama, intensity and multiplicity of the industrial might that was unleashed. It first emerged in the 1830s, creating the first industrial landscape anywhere in the world.
Beneath the smoke and glare from blast furnaces and forges, Black Country innovation, entrepreneurial and manufacturing skill established the region’s supremacy for the making of wrought iron. The Black Country also possessed important hardware and other manufactures distinctive to itself – structural ironwork, chain making, locks and keys, tube manufacture, trap making and many others – which brought fame to Black Country towns across the globe.
Our award-winning corner of the West Midlands is now one of the finest and largest open-air museums in the United Kingdom. After very humble beginnings, a bright idea and 40 years of inspiration, this is twenty six acres worth exploring. Amazing as it may seem, we have created a ‘place’ – a real and lively place, where once there was nothing and nobody. Depart Museum at 2.00pm arrive Winterbourne at 2.30pm
Winterbourne House and Gardens
A Pioneering History. The house was built for John Nettlefold, a pioneer of early housing reform in Birmingham at a time when the city had a serious lack of decent homes for working people. John and his wife Margaret were from prestigious local families who had made their living in industry. Choosing their house to be designed in the Arts and Crafts style reflected their modern outlook. Winterbourne is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century suburban villa and garden. The house was built in 1903 for John and Margaret Nettlefold, of Guest, Keen & Nettlefold.
Originally designed as a small country estate with rustic outbuildings and large gardens, Winterbourne followed the style of the Arts and Crafts movement with examples of local craftsmanship throughout the house.
Margaret Nettlefold designed the garden, inspired by the books and garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll. After a period of restoration, the garden was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 2008.
Depart Winterbourne at 5pm for hotel
Day 4 Monday
depart 9.15am arrive 10.15am
Expect the unexpected. Incredible innovation, devastating loss, remarkable survival and magnificent restoration. All in one place
There’s more than meets the eye at Croome. A secret wartime airbase, now a visitor centre, was once a hub of activity for thousands of people. Outside is the grandest of English landscapes, ‘Capability’ Brown’s masterful first commission, with commanding views over the Malverns. The parkland was nearly lost, but is now great for walks and adventures with a surprise around every corner. At the heart of the park lies Croome Court, once home to the Earls of Coventry with four floors to explore. The 6th Earl of Coventry was an 18th century trend-setter and today Croome follows his lead by using artists and craftspeople in the house to tell the story of its eclectic past in inventive ways, perfect for making new discoveries.
Cream scones and tea will be served before we leave.
depart for Huntingdon 5pm
Further details to follow shortly
Stuart Orme, Cromwell Museum Curator, lives in Peterborough. For many years he was a curator at Peterborough Museum, worked at the Cathedral, written extensively on the city’s past and led many guided walks, so knows its historic nooks, crannies and stories well. Cromwell may get a mention apropos the Civil War, but the tour will take in the Cathedral Precincts, historic shops and pubs, medieval kings and bridges, and the industrial heritage, as well as the stories of riots, rebellions and a man whose life was saved by the bell!
Meet outside Peterborough Museum, Priestgate, at 7:00 p.m. Public or own transport. Best car park is Trinity Street, behind the museum (£2 for evening from 6:00 p.m.)
No charge, donations invited for the Cromwell Museum refurbishment. Book by Friday 7th June, maximum 40 people.
HUNTINGDONDONSHIRE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY – VISIT TO RAF WYTON PATHFINDER MUSEUM – CANCELLED
It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the planned visit to the RAF Wyton Pathfinders Museum which was to be held on the afternoon of Tuesday 9th July has been cancelled.
The Museum is putting on a small display of some of their artefacts on Saturday 13 July in All Saints Church Huntingdon. Whilst this is not a full display of all the Museum’s artefacts, they will be showing a number of the instruments and equipment from some of the Pathfinder aircraft that operated from RAF Wyton and other pathfinder bases in this region.
RAF Wyton, conveniently close to its Huntingdon HQ, was the main station for the Pathfinders. Air Commodore Bennett, CO of the Group, lived here. Since 1955 a valuable collection of historic material has gradually been assembled. The Museum also houses the JARIC collection of air reconnaissance material formerly at RAF Brampton and the RAF Wyton Timeline, giving an overall history of the station from its origins in 1916 to the present day. This will be an afternoon visit to the RAF Wyton Museum and the Pathfinder Museum. Meet at 1:00pm at entrance (Guardroom) to RAF Wyton. Public transport (well served by buses) or own transport (visitors carpark) YOU MUST SUPPLY NAMES OF ALL GOING AND BRING PHOTO IDENTIFICATION WITH YOU. YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO SEARCHES. NO PHOTOGRAPHY EXCEPT WITHIN THE HERITAGE CENTRE. Cost £2, pay on the day. Book by Sunday 22nd June (note early date due to security requirements.
The 2019 Goodliff Awards are being presented at the Society’s President’s Lecture, which this year is taking place during the Huntingdonshire History Festival. Because it is being advertised with other events and we fully expect a full room, admission, even for members, will be by prior booking.
After the presentation of the Goodliff Awards, Dr Thurley will give his lecture, HERITAGE and HOUSING, for which he has provided the following introduction:
Providing enough houses for people to live in is one of the great issues affecting Huntingdonshire and indeed England today. It is an issue for people looking to buy new homes and settle into this area, but also one for those wanting to protect the distinctiveness of their historic towns and villages. Most new house building is undertaken in disregard of the vernacular traditions of the places in which it is undertaken. Historic settlements all over England are fighting what they regard as inappropriate development on their doorstep. Does it have to be like this? Can heritage and conservation be reconciled with the ambitions of the volume housebuilder? I will look at the issues in historical, geographical and economic context and suggest a way forwards.
Please use the BOOKING FORM accompanying the Summer 2019 Almanack to tell us you are coming, or otherwise let David Smith know by email firstname.lastname@example.org..uk or phone 01480 350127 by Sunday 30th June at the latest