Kids Go Free
Louth Museum

Lectures and Outings

2021 PROGRAMME

Our lectures and visits in 2021

The 'Ants & Nats' lectures in Spring 2021 will be held online using "Zoom". Anyone wishing to participate (other than those already registered) needs to email start.david@btinternet.com.

In the summer there will be an organised visit to Spalding Gentlemens' Society Museum, and a guided tour of the Abbeys along the Witham.

The series of twelve lectures in the autumn will begin on 21 Sep 2021, hopefully in the ConocoPhillips Room, Louth Library, Northgate, Louth, LN11 0LY.

'The Cros in the Markitte Stede’. The Louth Cross, its Monastery and its Town

Tuesday, 9th March 2021 7:30pm by Paul Everson & David Stocker

READ MORE

'The Cros in the Markitte Stede’. The Louth Cross, its Monastery and its Town

Paul Everson began his career working for the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in Lincolnshire in the 1970s and, although his role encompassed the whole of England by the time of his retirement from the State Archaeology Service as Head of Archaeological Survey in 2006 (then called English Heritage), he has retained a strong research interest in matters Lincolnshire – often working in conjunction with David Stocker.

David Stocker’s career began in York, before he moved to Lincolnshire in 1980 to work for archaeology and heritage organisations. He then joined the newly-formed English Heritage, from which he retired in 2012. His research interests have also had a Lincolnshire focus and our speakers have co-authored articles and books on the county’s medieval archaeology. Amongst these, the best known are: Summoning St Michael. Early Romanesque Towers in Lincolnshire (2006); Custodians of Continuity. Barlings Abbey and the Landscape of Ritual (2011); and The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture Volume V: Lincolnshire (1999). They published their research on this important early-sculpture find at Louth in Medieval Archaeology Volume 61/2, 2017.

In 2015, the discovery of two fragments from a major pre-Conquest stone cross-shaft at Louth prompted, not just a description and assessment of the sculpture, but also an exploration of the evolution of the early monastery here and of the town itself. We suggested that this impressive monument was erected as an emblematic market cross, which marked the bishop of Lindsey’s mid-10th-century promotion of a market and market town at Louth, as part of his effort to re-establish himself in the region after the Viking destruction of the monastery.

Railways at War

Tuesday, 16th March 2021 7:30pm by Alan Stennett

READ MORE

Railways at War

Alan is the son of a Lincolnshire farmer who has worked for the BBC since 1964. He was a founder member of BBC Radio Lincolnshire, and continues to produce a weekly farming programme for the station. He has written ten books on Lincolnshire subjects, including farming, railways and the Lincolnshire Regiment in the 2nd Boer War.

The invention of railways allowed large quantities of troops and supplies to be moved in support of military action, but also provided new targets for regular and irregular forces. In this talk Alan considers how railways have been used in conflicts from the Crimean War to WWII and beyond.

Dykes and Early Mediaeval Warfare

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021 7:30pm by Dr Erik Grigg

READ MORE

Dykes and Early Mediaeval Warfare

Erik studied early mediaeval earthworks for his PhD at the University of Manchester and worked in the Heritage Service for Lincolnshire County Council for 12 years. He now lectures in history (and sometimes archaeology) at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln

His talk looks at the evidence for early mediaeval warfare concluding that it was characterised by raiding rather than pitched battles. Many of the large earthworks that snake across the British landscape like Wansdyke are possibly attempts to stop raids.

The Dalby Autochromes: Early Colour Photography in Lincolnshire

Tuesday, 30th March 2021 7:30pm by Ray Emery

READ MORE

The Dalby Autochromes: Early Colour Photography in Lincolnshire

Ray is a retired lecturer & administrator in Further Education & Adult Education.   He lectures in Social Sciences, Photography and Astronomy.

In the drawer of a piece of stored furniture at Dalby an unexpected find was made: a number of pre-First World War colour photographs on glass plates. Our speaker will tell us the history of the Autochrome process, and reveal the puzzle of the glorious Dalby views.   Some images seem to be of a house now lost – see if you can help us identify them!

The Curious Case of the Hidden Houses; RUBL and Lincoln Lane Farmhouse, Sixhills

Tuesday, 6th April 2021 7:30pm by Jenne Pape

READ MORE

The Curious Case of the Hidden Houses; RUBL and Lincoln Lane Farmhouse, Sixhills

Having grown up in Chichester and then enjoyed a training dig at Fishbourne Roman Palace, Jenne had been bitten by the archaeology bug and so read History with Archaeology at Bangor.  She joined the RAF on graduating and spent six and a half years as a Fighter Controller, mostly in the north east of England.  When she left the RAF on the birth of her son, she was offered retraining, so did a PGC in landscape and buildings archaeology.  Having surveyed a mud and stud cottage for her final project, she met some of the members of RUBL at a Vernacular Architecture Group conference, and since then has been heavily involved in their work around the county.  She has balanced full time parenting, volunteering and archaeology ever since.  She specialises in the rural vernacular timber framed buildings of Lincolnshire, and is happiest when covered in dust in a forgotten attic surrounded by ancient timbers!

Lincoln Lane Farmhouse, in Sixhills, is a remarkable building.  RUBL, the building recording group of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, were fortunate to be invited to survey the building by Christopher Heneage, the owner, but neither they nor he could have guessed what they would find.   The project turned into the most complex investigation RUBL have yet undertaken, involving experimental techniques and producing evidence of not just the house as it currently stands, but two earlier houses, hidden within the building.  The talk will briefly introduce RUBL and the work they do, and then tell the story of this captivating building.

Louth’s Parish Guilds & the Building of St James’ Spire: Popular Piety in Late Mediaeval Lincolnshire

Tuesday, 13th April 2021 7:30pm by Dr Claire Kennan

READ MORE

Louth’s Parish Guilds & the Building of St James’ Spire: Popular Piety in Late Mediaeval Lincolnshire

Dr Claire Kennan specialises in the social history of Britain between 1300 and 1550, with a particular focus on mediaeval religion, urban centres, local history, trade and guilds. Claire completed her PhD entitled ‘Guilds and Society in Louth, Lincolnshire c. 1450-1550 in 2018. She is currently working on a proposal to turn her doctoral thesis into her first book along with researching Lincolnshire’s Corpus Christi guilds and editing the 1389 Lincolnshire guild returns for publication. Claire’s research has been used for collaborative work with The National Archives, the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BBC Radio 4. She has taught Mediaeval History at King’s College London and Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2019 Claire was one of the AHRC’s Creative Economy Engagement Fellows at The National Archives (London) and between 2017 and 2020 she was the Mediaeval Specialist on the £1 million National Lottery Heritage funded Citizens Project.  She is currently the Heritage and Creativity Impact Development Manager at the University of Reading and the Digital Engagement Fellow for the British Association for Local History. She is also the co-editor of the Brepols Series, “Reinterpreting the Middle Ages: From Mediaeval to Neo”.

Louth St James’s church has the tallest mediaeval spire in England, yet without the assistance of the town’s parish guilds and churchwardens this spectacular spire may never have existed.  St James’s was the physical and spiritual focus of life in the town.  This talk will trace the important role that the town’s major guilds of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Holy Trinity played in the building of the spire, completed in 1515.  The myriad ways in which these two guilds managed and maintained various aspects of town and parish life will also be explored.

Little Carlton, Lincolnshire & the Early Mediaeval ‘Productive Site’

Tuesday, 20th April 2021 7:30pm by Dr Duncan Wright FSA

READ MORE

Little Carlton, Lincolnshire & the Early Mediaeval ‘Productive Site’

Duncan is currently lecturer in Mediaeval Archaeology at Newcastle University but previously spent several years as senior lecturer and programme leader in Archaeology and Heritage at Bishop Grosseteste University. He is a mediaevalist specialising in settlement, landscape, and conflict, and is particularly interested in the archaeology of north-west Europe. Duncan’s work often marries documentary, anthropological, and topographic material, with archaeological data to explore the articulation of power and authority in the mediaeval landscape. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter.

In March 2016 the village of Little Carlton hit the headlines in the national press when a Louth metal detectorist discovered rare and unusual Anglo-Saxon treasures in a marshy field in the village. It seems that Little Carlton was the site of an important seventh-century trading and religious centre; one of the most important, high-status, Anglo-Saxon settlements in the country.

Duncan is part of the team of academics who have been trying to unravel the Little Carlton enigma and this talk will bring his latest ideas and theories on the origins and functions of this special place.

Spalding Gentlemen's Society and Its Collections 1710-2020

Tuesday, 27th April 2021 7:30pm by Dr Dustin Frazier Wood

READ MORE

Spalding Gentlemen's Society and Its Collections 1710-2020

Dustin Frazier Wood is the Librarian and Archivist at the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, and Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Roehampton. His research interests include Anglo-Saxon studies, antiquarianism, the history of collections, and cultural heritage. In addition to his work with SGS, Dustin is currently collaborating with the Society of Antiquaries of London, Kew Gardens, U3A and Museum Development East Midlands on a range of archive-based projects.

The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society (SGS) is Britain’s oldest provincial learned society and its second-oldest museum, after the Ashmolean in Oxford. From their first meetings in a Spalding coffee house in 1710 members of SGS have focused their efforts on developing and maintaining extensive library, archive and museum collections for the benefit of members and the public. Recent research on the collections has allowed us to begin reconstructing the earliest SGS museum space in what is thought to be the most complete, detailed record of any collection in the English-speaking world. This talk will explore the SGS collections in the 18th century and chart their development to the present day, considering how the SGS’s approach to collecting and using artefacts, books, manuscripts and other items continues to shape the Society and its engagement with the world.

Louth Railway Station … Before and After Closure

Tuesday, 21st September 2021 7:30pm by Mike Fowler

READ MORE

Louth Railway Station … Before and After Closure

Mike is a retired teacher, broadcaster and film/video producer. He grew up in Spilsby and spent many happy hours on Spilsby and Firsby stations watching trains. He bases his presentations on these experiences and draws on extensive memories and research with considerable enthusiasm.

We welcome back Mike Fowler with another of his railway talks. The theme will be the East Lincolnshire Railway just before and after closure. Mike has been developing his content and now includes film footage around Louth on the final day and some absorbing audio visual sequences plus all the usual fascinating images.

Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley

Tuesday, 28th September 2021 7:30pm by Michael Allen

READ MORE

Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley

After a lifetime spent working in industry Michael took a PhD at Anglia Ruskin University on the ‘Victorian Sonnet’. Following this research he published the five-volume ‘Anthem Anthology of Victorian Sonnets’. In conjunction with Rosalind Rawnsley, he is currently researching the life of her great-grandfather, Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley. A biography, ‘Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley: An Extraordinary Life’, will be published by Methuen in May 2021.

When he died in 1920, Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley was a national figure and a pioneer in the early conservation movement. He is best remembered today, if at all, as one of the co-founders of the National Trust. His achievements, however, spread way beyond the field of conservation. Although not born in Lincolnshire, he had strong connections with the county. After a brief overview of his life and diverse interests the talk will focus on how Lincolnshire, its people and countryside, helped to shape the character of this intriguing individual.

Bishop Robert Grosseteste

Tuesday, 5th October 2021 7:30pm by Jack Cunningham

READ MORE

Bishop Robert Grosseteste

Jack Cunningham came to this country from Donegal in Ireland twenty years ago to take up a position as head of theology at Bishop Grosseteste University where he is also a Reader in ecclesiastical history. He began his academic career as a researcher in Reformation studies but soon turned his attention to mediaeval theology and Robert Grosseteste in particular. For the last six years he has worked on the Ordered Universe Project at Durham University which brings together mediaeval historians with modern scientists to produce the edited works of Robert Grosseteste. Jack is an experienced public speaker whose media presence includes a Tedx talk and an appearance on Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time

Bishop Robert Grosseteste (c. 1167-1253) was a remarkable man. In his long lifetime he became the first Chancellor of Oxford University and the bishop of the largest diocese in England stretching from the Humber to the Thames at Oxford. He was a scientist, some would argue the first, a poet, a translator, a philosopher and a theologian. He was the first person to describe accurately how the rainbow works and he produced a remarkable discussion of the creation of the universe which resonates astonishingly well with modern Big Bang theories. This talk will discuss the life and works of a truly remarkable genius who might be described as Lincoln’s mediaeval Einstein.

Placenames & Parishes: Understanding the English Countryside

Tuesday, 12th October 2021 7:30pm by Dr Matthew Godfrey

READ MORE

Placenames & Parishes: Understanding the English Countryside

Dr Matthew Godfrey studied at Leicester University for his PhD on the Churches and Parishes of Early Medieval Norfolk. Matt came to Lincolnshire in 2010 to set up the countywide Heritage at Risk Survey for the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire and became a well-known figure, training hundreds of heritage stewards around the county. Following the successful completion of the Heritage at Risk project, Matt joined the team at the Diocese of Lincoln as their Historic Churches Support Officer and remains in that post to the present day.

Parish boundaries are something that we are all familiar with on today’s maps, but do we know why they appear in often such a complex network following an old Roman road, a stream, a woodland or a seemingly random zigzag pattern across open fields?  In this talk Matt will look in detail at these boundaries and the parishes that they define. He will illustrate how they evolved, why they were needed and why place-names and early parish churches are crucial to our understanding of parishes and the organisation of the medieval landscape. The talk will be illustrated using examples from his research in Norfolk together with some examples from around Lincolnshire.

The East Indies Comes to Lincolnshire: the Story of Maidenwell Manor

Tuesday, 19th October 2021 7:30pm by Naomi Field

READ MORE

The East Indies Comes to Lincolnshire: the Story of Maidenwell Manor

Naomi Field has spent all her working life based in Lincolnshire although her work has taken her all over the country.  After running an archaeological business for more than 20 years she now works as a consultant specialising in planning application work and historic building surveys.

What connection does a tiny hamlet in the Lincolnshire Wolds have with an Elizabethan buccaneer, the Skinners Livery Company of London, Basingstoke Corporation and a Louth architect? In 2019 a planning application was made for the demolition of the old farmhouse at Maidenwell and its replacement with a new one. A programme of documentary research, combined with archaeological and historic building investigations has thrown light on the history of Maidenwell Manor and its farm.

Wallis lecture: Lincolnshire’s Angelic Host: the Wonderful World of Mediaeval Roof Angels

Tuesday, 26th October 2021 7:30pm by Geoff Wheatley

READ MORE

Wallis lecture: Lincolnshire’s Angelic Host: the Wonderful World of Mediaeval Roof Angels

Geoff was one of the founder members of the Spirit of Sutterby Project which has been running now for seven years.   The project is based on the tiny church and Deserted Mediaeval Village of Sutterby in the Lincolnshire Wolds.   It is a community heritage project with members pursuing a wide range of research interests.

From this and a passion and love of churches in all their aspects, was born this particular project undertaking new research into mediaeval roof angels in Lincolnshire.

Toresbi - a Marsh Village

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021 7:30pm by Stuart Sizer

READ MORE

Toresbi - a Marsh Village

Stuart is a retired Headteacher and Local Historian with particular interest in Louth Navigation, The Marsh and Churches with particular onus on Louth St James’.

This talk will consider what North Thoresby may have looked like at the time of the Domesday Survey and after.  What evidence is there of its past on the ground and written? The lecture seeks to build a picture of this marsh village during that period of history and for some years after. The village comes to life with its people and daily life, both imagined and real.   To achieve this we will use the Domesday Book, maps, aerial photography, written account and, just a little imagination.

A Tudor Page-turner: St James’ Churchwardens’ Accounts 1527-1570

Tuesday, 9th November 2021 7:30pm by Dr Brian Hodgkinson

READ MORE

A Tudor Page-turner: St James’ Churchwardens’ Accounts 1527-1570

Brian was for many years a bus and coach driver in Nottingham.  In 1995 he ‘retired’ and started courses at the Nottingham WEA, mostly in history.  The lecturers suggested he took the Certificate in Archaeology in the School of Continuing Education at the University of Nottingham.  Success in this led him to complete a BA (Hons), MA in Local History and finally a PhD on the subject of the dissolution of the monasteries in Lincolnshire.   It was during that research he came across the Louth churchwardens’ accounts.  Following a talk for the Lincoln Record Society, Nicholas Bennett suggested he transcribe the second book of accounts, the results of which await publication

The Louth Churchwardens’ Accounts are some of the country’s most comprehensive surviving parish documents, continuing in an almost unbroken sequence from the beginning of the 16th century until the present day.  These documents open a panorama on the undertakings of a large, wealthy parish church and its interactions with the local community during the period of the Reformation.  This talk will illustrate small examples of the vast number of entries that together bring an understanding of the trials and tribulations of a market town during this period of unrest, both political and religious.

The Lincolnshire Wolds in the Roman Era

Tuesday, 16th November 2021 7:30pm by Steve Willis

READ MORE

The Lincolnshire Wolds in the Roman Era

Dr Steven Willis is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Kent.    He obtained his MA and PhD from Durham University and subsequently became Senior Research Fellow in their Department of Archaeology.   He is former President of the Study Group for Roman Pottery, and now edits the group’s journal.  In addition to a specialization in Roman ceramics, his main areas of expertise are the archaeology of settlement, society and material culture in the Iron Age and Roman era in western Europe. He has been based at the University of Kent since 2004.

Over 20 years ago Dr Willis chose the Lincolnshire Wolds as an area for study because it had been so under-researched.  Tonight he will talk about his many discoveries of Roman Lincolnshire including the probable shrine at Nettleton/Rothwell, which yielded a curse tablet; the rural farm complex at Hatcliffe Top; a site at Brookenby where many metal objects and tile fragments have been found; and a site near Walesby where the volcanic building material, tufa, may evidence the remains of an architectural feature at the source of the River Rase.

Hidden Gems in Richard Goulding’s Library

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021 7:30pm by Jean Howard

READ MORE

Hidden Gems in Richard Goulding’s Library

Although a Norfolk Dumpling Jean is most at home in Lincolnshire and happiest among books.   During the 1970s and 80s her service with the Lincolnshire Library Service included dealing with local history enquiries across the east of the county.  Often she delved into the Goulding Collection to retrieve the answers.

Richard Goulding was the son of a Louth printer & bookseller but his meticulous and studious nature led to his appointment as private librarian to the 6th Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey, Notts.  Richard’s research combined with the family printing business resulted in his producing numerous publications on the two counties.  His collection of papers was left to Louth and his library is kept in the Conoco-Phillips Room in Louth Library, very little used.  Tonight Jean will share with us some of her favourite research sources.

John Betjeman & Lincolnshire

Tuesday, 30th November 2021 7:30pm by Horace Liberty

READ MORE

John Betjeman & Lincolnshire

Horace has worked as a schoolteacher and Associate Lecturer with the Open University and had a wide range of interests.   He is a member of the Betjeman Society and edits The Betjemanian, the annual journal of the Society

John Betjeman, Poet Laureate and conservation pioneer, was a regular visitor to Lincolnshire.  He was drawn to the county by friends and his admiration of Tennyson.  He loved the place names and the churches – and these feature in a number of poems that are firmly located in the county.  This talk examines what John Betjeman found to be special about Lincolnshire.

New Archaeological Discoveries; Finds & Sites in the Louth Area & Wider County

Tuesday, 7th December 2021 7:30pm by Dr Lisa Brundle

READ MORE

New Archaeological Discoveries; Finds & Sites in the Louth Area & Wider County

Originally from Grundisburgh in Suffolk, Lisa completed her PhD at Durham University.   She then worked as a field archaeologist in East Anglia, going on to teach with the WEA and at Canterbury Christ Church University. After this, she took an internship post with the then Lincs Finds Liaison Officer, Adam Daubney and ultimately ended up with his job!   She recently published a book on early Anglo-Saxon art and burial archaeology and has had various articles in international journals. In tandem with her day-to-day responsibilities, she is currently cataloguing the small finds recovered from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Scremby and is project lead on an archaeological investigation of another 5th-6th century cemetery in Lincolnshire.

This talk explores new interesting archaeological finds from prehistory to the post-period in the local area which were reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. It also includes a ‘first look’ at current archaeological research projects within the wider county including a newly discovered early Anglo-Saxon cemetery found just north of Lincoln.