Answers to the Quiz in the Winter 2019/20 Almanack Supplement

Here are the answers to the Quiz ‘Who Might Use These’ that were in the Winter 2019/2020 Almanack Supplement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                      G                                               H                                           K
 
G: Coprolite wagon – can be seen at Ramsey Rural Museum
 
H: Culinary water sprinkler – on display at the 2019 History Festival re-enactment camp
 
K: Sculptured faces – on the frontage of NatWest Bank on Huntingdon High Street
 
We will have another quiz in the next copy of the Almanack Supplement, to be issued Summer 2020

Message from our Chairman – Impact of Covid-19

Dear Huntingdonshire Local History Society member,

It will come as no surprise to you that due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have had to cancel our Annual General Meeting due on 15th April and our President David Starkey’s first lecture to us, with presentation of Goodliff awards, on 20th May.  We hope to re-arrange both for the Autumn, but it is too early yet to say when that will be and Dr Starkey’s lecture will depend when he can fit us into his busy diary, no doubt even fuller now with postponed events. 

The Cambridge Historic Churches Trust conference on 18th April and Cambridgeshire Association for Local History conference on 2nd May, of which I promised to circulate details at our last meeting, have similarly been cancelled. How quickly the world has changed!  CALH and the Cambridge Antiquarian Society have cancelled its meetings into the summer.

We were in the process of arranging excursions and have a visit to Spalding arranged for Wednesday 10th June that is now also likely to be postponed.  That makes the lecture by Dr Stephen Parissien on Palace House Newmarket in the Huntingdon Town Hall on Wednesday 8th July our next meeting.  This event is in connection with the Huntingdonshire History Festival but even if the Town Hall has reopened for use it will depend to some extent on whether the Festival will go ahead.  A decision on that will be made no later than May.  During July we also have planned an evening visit to Leighton Bromswold church for Thursday 23rd July, followed by the opportunity for dinner at The Green Man. There’s no harm in putting these events in your diary now, but with a question mark.

The Goodliff Awards scheme continues. The deadline for applications is just one week ahead, on 31st March. The committee will assess these without meeting, which may take a little longer but applicants can expect to hear by the end of April at the latest if they have been successful. 

We hope to produce a summer Almanack with excursion and/or meeting details as soon as it is safe to reorganise these.  Meanwhile we will endeavour to keep you up to date with developments, and David Smith will publish the latest information on the society’s website.  We are also thinking of sending out an occasional bulletin of some sort, which might just be some local history thoughts and jottings, so contributions to that would be welcome. Either get a friend to email them to me or give me a ring.

You will be pleased to hear that we have booked the Huntingdon Military Wives’ Choir for our Christmas Social at the Town Hall on Friday 4th December.  Let’s hope and pray that we shall be through this awful period by then and we will all be still here to enjoy it.

With very best wishes to you and your families during this anxious time,

Yours sincerely

Philip Saunders

Chairman

May Weekend to Kent – CANCELLED

It is with deep regret that we have cancelled the weekend trip to Kent this year due to the Cornovirus situation. The current forecast is that the number of confirmed cases of Cornovirus will escalate to epidemic proportions over the next 4 to 6 weeks which puts the peak at the same time as we had planned the weekend away. We have discussed this with each of the venues we had planned to visit and although they could not categorically confirm they would be open, there was every possibility they would be closed as part of a Government step to contain the spread of the virus.

Full refunds will be sent to all those members who had booked for the weekend.

 

Rectory Farm Godmanchester – Publication of the Report

Rectory Farm, Godmanchester – Publication of the Report

A book about the complex multi-period landscape excavated at Rectory Farm, Godmanchester has been published by East Anglian Archaeology. The site includes a Neolithic trapezoidal enclosure of national importance and a scheduled Romano-British villa. For details of the publication go to:   http://eaareports.org.uk/publication/report170/  

Oxford Archaeology East was commissioned by Historic England in 2013 to produce this monograph. The excavations at Rectory Farm, Godmanchester were undertaken between 1988-1995 by Historic England’s (formerly English Heritage) Central Archaeological Service in advance of gravel quarrying. Aerial photography had revealed a Neolithic trapezoidal enclosure of national importance and a scheduled Romano-British villa. The site lies within the valley of the Great Ouse, along which extensive prehistoric landscapes have been the subject of archaeological work for some time. Many of these sites have been excavated by OA East, including the complex of Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age ceremonial monuments at Brampton.

Copyright Godmanchester Museum

Copyright Godmanchester Museum (www.godmanchester.co.uk)

At Rectory Farm, the earliest activity was a large Early to Middle Neolithic monument consisting of a series of twenty-four large posts arranged with great precision and enclosed by a continuous ditch and internal bank with an ‘entrance’ on one side. A small mound further west evidently served as a viewing point for the trapezoidal enclosure. It is of unusual form and it is of particular interest in terms of its wider setting in a developing monumental landscape. Radiocarbon analysis dates the use of the enclosure to 3685-3365 cal BC (95% probability). This enclosure appears to be unique in the archaeological record and is therefore of national and international significance. The publication contains a major new analysis of its archaeoastronomical significance conducted by Professor Clive Ruggles of University of Leicester. The alignment of the posts with the early May and/or August sunrises suggests that the monument was used as a place for people to gather and mark the changing seasons, and possibly key points of the agricultural cycle.

This part of the Ouse Valley suffered regular flooding throughout the later Bronze and the Early to Middle Iron Age. Once the floodwaters had receded, the prehistoric remains influenced subsequent re-occupation of the landscape.

A Roman villa farm complex developed in three identifiable phases, linked by a road to the Roman town of Durovigutum (Godmanchester). Notable remains included a furnished cremation cemetery, set within a complex of gardens. One of these contained plant and tree species reminiscent of the Mediterranean style, while close to the cemetery and a possible triclinium (a dining area) was a kitchen courtyard garden with nearby bee hives. Three substantial wells nearby contained painted wall plaster, tesserae and a large column capital. The discovery of a finely made cockerel figurine within one of the wells may indicate an association with the god Mercury. By the early 5th century, the buildings were derelict, but although settlement had ceased the land remained in agricultural use until gravel extraction and landfill took place in the late 20th century.

The lead author was Alice Lyons, formerly of OA East. The project was managed by OA East’s Head of Post-Excavation & Publications, Liz Popescu, said “Oxford Archaeology is proud to have brought this major site successfully to publication – the results will undoubtedly be of interest to locals and academics alike.”

Brian Kerr, Head of Archaeological Investigation at Historic England said: “We are delighted to see the publication of a book about this important site, and we congratulate Oxford Archaeology East on the successful completion of the project that we funded. We are grateful to all our colleagues who contributed so much to the fieldwork, including a number of specialist analyses including human and plant remains, geoarchaeology and scientific dating.”

About Oxford Archaeology East:

Oxford Archaeology is one of the largest independent archaeological and heritage practices in Europe, with over 250 specialist staff working out of offices in Oxford, Lancaster and Cambridge. Founded in 1973, we have over 40 years of experience in professional archaeology, and a tradition of quality, innovation and service on projects ranging in scale from domestic extensions to international transport infrastructure. We are a registered educational charity, we help people to discover and enjoy their heritage through our publications and outreach. Across the country, we have welcomed many thousands of visitors to our sites on open days, regularly provide presentations and information panels, and volunteers of all ages have participated in our wide variety of excavation and survey projects that span all periods of human history. For further information, visit our website: www.oxfordarchology.com

Based in Cambridge, Oxford Archaeology East (OA East) operates primarily across the East of England from the Thames to the Humber. It has existed since the 1980s, previously as a local authority in-house contractor and since 2008 as part of Oxford Archaeology delivering commercial services for development projects and community archaeology opportunities.

About Historic England:

Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. They protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. They care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists Historic England share their passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.

Cromwell Museum – Must Do Activities before the Reopening.

The Cromwell Museum

In the run up to the Museum reopening on Sunday 1st March after its refurbishment the Museum is running three (3) events. The first on 12 February, a sneak peek behind the scenes of the refurbishment work. The second, on the evening of the 19th February an atmospheric guided tour of the old court rooms by candle light. Finally, on Saturday 29th February the second chance to see the re-enactment of the Trial of Charles 1st, this event when first staged was sold out within a few days.

For further details, see below

 

Cromwell Museum Sneak Peek

Wednesday 12 February at 7pm, £15 per person (includes drink)

Join our curator for an exclusive tour and chance to see the newly refurbished Museum in advance of its public opening at the beginning of March 2020. You’ll be able to see the works in progress, view some of the Museum’s treasures up close and find out more about what has gone on behind the scenes during the refurbishment. Ticket price includes a celebratory glass of Prosecco or fruit juice; tour lasts about an hour. All proceeds from the evening go towards the Museum Trust, to help fund the refurbishment. Tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cromwell-museum-sneak-peek-tickets-82202127777

 

Courtrooms by Candlelight at Huntingdon Town Hall

Tours at 4.30pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 6pm, 6.30pm, and 7pm on Wednesday 19 February 2020. FREE

A rare chance to explore the historic 18th century courtrooms across the road from the Cromwell Museum by candlelight, with an atmospheric guided tour. with the museum’s curator. Hear about some of the trials that have taken place on this site over the last 400 years including those of alleged witches and gruesome murders – and the punishments that awaited them. Tours last 30 minutes. Due to the dark spaces and content, parental discretion is advised and the tour is not recommended for those aged 8 and under. Please do let us know if you need to cancel so we can reallocate spaces. Due to the nature of the historic space, there is restricted access on the tour for wheelchair users. Toilets and the Museum shop will be available. Tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/courtrooms-by-candlelight-19-february-2020-tickets-82213726469

This event is part of Cambridgeshire’s ‘Twilight at the Museums’ Programme for 2020.

 

The Trial of Charles I

Saturday 29 February, performances at 10.30am, 12noon, 2.30pm and 4pm. Tickets: £10 per person

The Cromwell Museum is staging dramatised performances recreating the tumultuous events of the trial of King Charles I in January 1649, to be held in the atmospheric surroundings of one of the historic courtrooms in Huntingdon Town Hall.

Working with members of the Sealed Knot historical re-enactment society, and using original trial records from the Parliamentary Archives, the Museum has produced a dramatised version of the trial, which will be recreated with all the key figures including King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell being played by amateur actors. The trial is an immersive experience – so whilst there is a narrator who will introduce and interject into the performance, there will be members of the cast interspersed with the audience, who will heckle the trial and cause some disturbance, as the audience at the real trial did, so be warned!

When this was held in 2019, the performances all sold out – book early to avoid disappointment! The performances last just over an hour each. Tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-trial-of-charles-i-tickets-89569281131

May Weekend to Kent

See the source imageThis year we are pleased to announce that we will be returning to Kent to visit some of the historic houses and building in the northern part of the County. For those who were lucky enough to join us for our tour of the Castles of Kent in 2016 will remember the outstanding visits to Leeds Castle, Penshurst, Dover Castle, Walmer Castle, Lullingstone Roman Villa, Igntham Mote and Hever Castle.

This year our weekend is filled with visiting some of the other areas of this County: 
Day 1: Darwins House and Riverhill Himalayan Gardens
Day 2: Scotney Castle and Maidston Museum
Day 3: Smallhythe, Ellen Terry’s house and kitchen garden, Church of St Thomas a Becket, Capel
Day 4: Chartwell, home of Winston Churchill, visit to the house and gardens followed by a cream tea before heading back to Hutingdon in the afternoon.

For a printable copy of the itinerary for this years visit to Kent please click [here].

Magdalene College Old Library – Public Opening, including Ferrar Papers Exhibition

The Library rooms will be open to the public for viewing on the First Thursday of each month in Spring 2020, 11am to 1pm. 

As well as enjoying the historic, book lined rooms, visitors will be able to see displays of items from the College in First Court since the 15th Century, in what was the medieval Prior’s residence. You can view more information about the Old Library online at [https://www.magd.cam.ac.uk/old-library].

The small displays referred to in the poster on the left to Huntingdonshire LHS members, particularly the April one to those who read the article on Virginia Ferrar by David Ransome in the last issue of Records or earlier papers by David on the Ferrar family published online in [Local History Articles] page

In addition to the Old Library, the College also houses the Pepys Library which is a separate library. 

Answers to Quiz in Summer Almanack Supplement

Here are the answers to the Quiz ‘Who Might Use These’ that were in the Summer Almanack Supplement.
 
 
CONFECTIONER’S HAMMER for breaking up toffee brittle. 
 
HATTER’S MEASURE for determining the size of a gentleman’s hat.
 
STAIRS CARPET FIXING – In Victorian time the carpet covering stairs was held in place by brass rods, each rod was secured to the stair with a pair of these eyes. 
 
 
Look out for our next quiz in the new edition of the Almanack Supplement 
 

Farewell to our President Dr Simon Thurley

On the evening of 19 September 2019, over 30 members and friends joined our Chairman, Dr Philip Saunders, at Island Hall Godmanchester to bid a fond farewell and heartfelt thank you to our retiring President Dr Simon Thurley. 

Dr Thurley, who became our President in 2003, is a local Godmanchester boy who has had a successful career as an Academic and Architectural Historian. Former Director of the Museum of London and Chief Executive of English Heritage and an accomplished author of a number of books on English Palaces and the buildings of England. 

Throughout his tenure as President of the Society, Dr Thurley, gave over 18 addresses and talks on such subjects as ‘The Englishness of England’s Heritage’, ‘Hampton Court, a Secret History’, ‘The English Royal Court during the Civil Wars’, ‘The Invention of Heritage: How the Government fabricated our History 1930-1950’, and more recently ‘The King, the Actress and the Cardinal: the birth of London’s West End’, and ‘Heritage and Housing’ (the changing face of housing development)

 

CROMWELL LECTURE SERIES 2019

Cromwell Lecture Series 2019

Tickets are available via the Museum’s website: https://www.cromwellmuseum.org/events/filter?type=upcoming, Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-cromwell-lecture-series-2019-tickets-66799696691 or in person from the Cromwell Museum.

Wednesday 6th November at 7.30pm, ‘The Leveller Revolution’: A talk by writer and journalist John Rees

The Levellers were a 17th century radical movement that emerged from the tumult of the Civil Wars advocating ideas that would be central to the development of democracy. this talk will examine their development, key characters such as John Lilburne and Thomas Rainsborough and their role in creating a political revolution which still has a legacy in the struggle for freedom and democracy across the world. (Book signing after talk)

 

Wednesday 13th November at 7.30pm, ‘Cromwell and Ireland’: A talk by historian Professor John Morrill

Cromwell’s reputation is considered by many to have been blackened as a consequence of his nine month campaign in Ireland from August 1649 to May 1650. The sieges of Drogheda and Wexford have become bywords for brutality for many people, and Cromwell’s name is widely reviled in Ireland even today. Historians have differed on this subject; this talk will look at these different opinions and try to reveal what really happened on this campaign.

 

Wednesday 20th November at 7.30pm, ‘Wounded, Widows & Orphans: Civil War Petitions’: A talk by historian Dr Ismini Pells

The English Civil Wars were a time of terrible conflict, with a greater proportion of the population killed than in the First World War. For those who survived, thousands suffered from terrible injuries whilst wives, children and other family members faced daily struggles as a result of bereavement. During and after the Civil Wars, wounded soldiers, war widows and other family members submitted petitions to the state for financial relief. The Civil War Petitions Project has compiled online over 4,000 petitions revealing the human stories of maimed soldiers and war widows; this talk will examine some of those stories and what they reveal about this tumultuous period.

 

Wednesday 27th November at 7.30pm, ‘Churchill and Cromwell’: A talk by archivist Allen Packwood

Churchill wrote about Cromwell; he named military operations and even a tank after him. There two men served as soldiers, politicians and courted controversy. This talk will look at the parallels between them and examine what the Prime Minister thought about the Lord Protector. (Book signing after talk)

 

The talks all take place at Huntingdon Town Hall, with the ticket price including refreshments. Tickets cost £10 per talk (£8 for students), with a combined ticket for all four talks at £30 (£25 students). There are discounts for members of the Friends of the Cromwell Museum.

Tickets are available via the Museum’s website: https://www.cromwellmuseum.org/events/filter?type=upcoming, Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-cromwell-lecture-series-2019-tickets-66799696691 or in person from the Cromwell Museum.