Cootes, Constables and Chickens – a History of Houghton Grange (Bridget Flanagan)
Bridget will explore the chequered history of this building and show there is much of interest before its sad decline from Edwardian magnificence to a government scientific centre and the present dereliction.
There is very little documented information about the Grange prior to its use as a poultry research business. We know the house was originally built for a Mr Harold Coote. It was a large house situated on the banks of the river Ouse and was approached from the main Huntingdon to Houghton road through a long avenue of lime trees. To the south, terraced gardens led down to the river through extensive lawn areas.
The house has lain empty for nearly 25 years and is slowly decaying into sad disrepair.
The Anglo-Saxons in Huntingdonshire
Dr Upex is probable best known for his expertise on the Romans in the Nene Valley, but his academic range is much wider. Here he ventures later and on to a broader canvas to examine the effects of those who supplanted the Romans.
Whilst the Romans changed the face of Europe and England for ever with towns and particularly our road structure that we are still using today, the Angles and the Saxons who occupied England after them had as much impact on how this country was structured. However, finding evidence in the ground of their existence, buildings, roads and towns is not always as easy as it could be as they built mainly in wood. Recent building and new road constructions has revealed more information of our Anglo Saxon ancestors.
Mr Wright is author of a recent book on actors and the theatre in Lincolnshire, putting the spotlight on the important part that theatre made to Georgian provincial life. In his talk he will expand his scope to bring in Huntingdonshire.
Wednesday 10 October A Landscape through Time – A look at the Archaeology of the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme.
Please note the following important dates including some changes: This and subsequent Lectures: These will be on Wednesdays at our usual venue, Huntingdon Methodist church. From this month onward the usual day of meetings will be the second Wednesday, as the church is no longer available regularly to us on Thursday evenings.
Emma Jeffery, Senior Archaeologist at MOLA Headland Archaeology will talk about the astonishing discoveries taking place as a result of the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme. A walk through centuries of history from prehistoric settlements, pottery and ditches, Roman broaches and pottery production, medieval village lost and found.
Click on the picture for a larger and printable version of the poster.
The lecture this evening will be free to non-members.
The King, the Actress and the Cardinal: the birth of London’s West End.
Dr Simon Thurley’s lecture this year is entitled The King, the Actress and the Cardinal; the birth of London’s West End. The King and the Cardinal one can make a fair guess at, but the Actress is a little more difficult. Come along if you want to know who they are. It is bound to be another revelation on the extraordinary history of our capital city.
The evening will start off with the Goodliff Award Ceremony when Dr Thurley will present awards to:
Jane Adams, St Peter and St Paul’s Parish Church Alconbury – the publication of an information booklet and childrens guide to the church.
Jane Watson, publication of a booklet on the history of Barham village.
The Cromwell Museum Trust (Stuart Orme) – design and production new external signage and display boards.
Beth Davis – publication of the WW2 memoirs of Bert Goodwin.
The Nene Valley Archaeological Trust (Dr Stephen Upex) – magnetometer survey of the walled area of the Roman town of Durobrivae.
All Saints Church Elton Reformation Committee (Joanne Borrett) – publication of information booklet/story board about the stained glass windows and Saxon crosses.
Peter Cooper – Development and publish on-line interactive maps of Holywell-cum-Needingworth.
Huntingdonshire History Festival (Mike Addis) – funding in support of the 2018 History Festival.
The Norris Museum (Sarah Russell)– Production of learning session materials entitled, ‘Cromwell the Man, Friend or Foe?’.
Roger Reynolds – Publication of a book, ‘Ramsey at War’ covering the period 1939 to 1946.
Peter Cooper – Stories from Needingworth Mapping
Peter began developing an interactive mapping system two years ago that provides users with a multilayer view and a multi-time view of the mapped area. He began his work building up information for his ‘One Place Study’ of Holywell-cum-Needingworth overlaying land maps, 1800 enclosure maps, estate maps, OS maps, land valuation documents, Bartholomew and other historic maps and census information.
Peter is a recipient of a 2018 Goodliff Award and will talk about what he has discovered as part of his research and will demonstrate his interactive mapping system and how this will be able to support local history and family studies.
Windows into a Tribal World: Iron Age Coins – Dr Rodney Scarle
Rodney is a member of the Longstanton and District Heritage Society, whose interest in early coinage and what they can tell us about the people who used them was stimulated by his interest in local archaeology.
Over time he has built up quite an interesting and varied collection of coins and considerable expertise in them. In 2012/13 Rodney assisted with the examination and identification of over 30 Iron Age and Roman coins found during excavations at Wimpole Hall. Also, in 2015 he was actively involved with the digging of community test pits at Longstanton when they found lots of pottery and coins.
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.
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.
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