© Cirencester Archaeological & Historical Society & Contributors 2016-7 Registered Charity no. 287289
Cirencester Archaeological & Historical Society

Reports of our lectures held during 2014-5

We have reported our lectures in the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard for many years. Each year for some years we have gathered these together at the end of each season and published them in late summer as one of our newsletters. If you should look through our past Lectures page or our publications pages, you can find which Newsletters have reports in them. Back copies of some of our Newsletters may be available on request from our editor. A copying charge may be made. Since 2014 we now only publish these reports online. We will keep paper copies solely for archive purposes. In general reports will appear online about a month after they have appeared in the Wilts & Glos Standard. If you would like to write up a report on a particular talk, contact a committee member as early in the season as possible, as we arrange a rota to ensure that every talk is reported.

The UK’s atmospheric research aircraft

Dr Guy Gratton, University of Cranfield 10 September 2014 - Joint meeting with Cirencester

Science & Technology Society

Dr Gratton’s lecture started with a brief, but detailed, history covering more than a century of the UK’s valuable and pioneering development of aircraft and meteorological research. He traced this story from the early days of the Royal Air Corps Met Division during and after the First World War through to the inter war period when daily met flights were based at Duxford in Cambridgeshire. During the Second World War high altitude research into the problems of condensation trails became of extreme importance and for this the wooden framed Mosquito proved to be by far the best aircraft for the job. Between 1946 and the start of the 21st century cold war science was the driver for the met research flights based at Farnborough. One of the key findings of high altitude work in and just below the stratosphere was the discovery that air pollution from a single source could spread anywhere in the world within a mere 3 days. This sobering result alerted everyone to the dangers of nuclear fallout. By the early 1960’s satellites were beginning to be used effectively and efficiently in regular weather forecasting tasks with the result that the role of manned aircraft concentrated much more on key scientific research. Between 1978 and 2001 the UK employed a modified Hercules transport aircraft nicknamed “Snoopy”. However, this was replaced in 2004 with a highly specialist version of the BAE 146 – 301 operating for the newly created Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM). Over the past decade this highly sophisticated flying research laboratory, able to fly as low as 100 ft above the sea and up to an operating height of 35,000 ft and possessing amongst other unique equipment 400 mile distance radar, has been involved in a number of highly worthwhile research projects. These have included important findings related to aircraft safe flying limits following the 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland, gas leakage measurements from the Elgin platform in the North Sea, research into arid zone surface temperatures in Arizona in 2013 and work on Tundra gas emissions this year. Dr Gratton believes that this fascinating research aircraft has a further ten years’ or more of highly relevant work relating to climate change and airborne research before needing to be replaced. This report from CS&TS was published in the Wilts & Glos Standard, 18 September 2014

Landscapes and Changes in England - Jeremy Lake 22 October 2014

Jeremy Lake of English Heritage, an Historic Environment Analyst, described some of the different landscapes of the country, and how in some areas previous human arrangements of the land can be seen from pre-Roman times. For example west Cornwall has some of the oldest agricultural landscape in Europe. Landscape change by human action has only been going on for about 3500 years, as early peoples started clearing trees for static living. Even today built-on land in England only occupies 7.5% of the land, and that includes 4.5% as gardens, agricultural land about 72%, roads and railways about 2.5%. We have the lowest ratio of forested land in Europe at 8.6%, and the largest farms. Until recent times the “Village England” of John Major, with its cricket and warm beer, was only a narrow strip from north to south through the middle of England. The rural areas either side were characterised by more dispersed settlements with farms and other buildings spread across the countryside, rather than clumped in villages. Since 1851 the population has doubled, but houses have increased by over six times, as we live in smaller family units. Likewise while there are now fewer larger farms, there is a great growth in small “lifestyle” farms. The loss of small family farms has left many agricultural buildings no longer needed, and indeed the growth in rural housing has been through conversion of many of these. Jeremy closed by showing that many early building still exist around the country, with pictures of cruck houses from a number of areas, and a rather nondescript barn which has recently been found by dendro-chronology to be several hundred years old. This report by Peter Watkins was published in the Wilts & Glos Standard, 30 October 2014

 Archeoscan – recent local excavations and projects - Tony Roberts 26 November 2014

Tony Roberts’ company specialises in archaeological surveys and instructional training for individuals, community groups and schools providing a hands-on experience of archaeology for all. Training using different types of geophysical survey equipment, field walking and desktop research is used to identify potential areas for possible excavation. The lecture was illustrated with examples of various geophysical survey scan results with an explanation of how each has been interpreted for a given site. Recent survey work and archaeological projects were explained, working with local councils, local societies and individuals around the Cotswolds. These included a geophysical survey of the former Chipping Campden House site, revealing the layout of paths and features of the formal gardens. At Linton Farm, Gloucester large numbers of finds by metal detectorists had been recorded; a resistance survey identified the route of the old Roman road into Gloucester with possible buildings adjacent. At Guiting Power the remains of a Romano-British settlement were found, and a Roman villa site at Downton, South Gloucestershire. In Miserden geophysical surveys identified an extensive network of roads and ditches. Further surveys and excavations are planned around the Cotswolds for 2015, where again individuals or local groups can experience hands-on archaeology under expert guidance. Following a find of coins in a field by a Tetbury farmer in 2010, Archeoscan were called in and carried out a full excavation. An intact pottery vessel and 1,437 Roman copper-alloy coins from the 3rd century were found. Following fundraising, the collection has been conserved and the vessel with a selection of coins is now on display in the Corinium Museum. This report by Alan Strickland was published in Wilts & Glos Standard, 04 December2014

Cirencester and World War One  By Dale Hjort 28 January 2015

As part of the Cirencester Commemorates 1914 – 1918 project, the Society was pleased to welcome one of its own members, Dale Hjort, to talk on how people in Cirencester were affected by the events of the First World War. Dale explained that he was really talking about the reactions of ‘Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times’. With other Society members Linda Viner and Florence Beetlestone Dale had done a great deal of research into the lives of the many men whose names appear on the War Memorials in the town, and he traced for us what had happened to many of them. He referred to two butcher’s boys, George and Walter who had responded to Kitchener’s call to join a Gloucestershire Infantry Regiment, and how initially, there were no uniforms or rifles, as the depot was full and they were sent home – only to die later. Initially there was little for girls to do, but many became nurses, and the Bingham Hall became a hospital where over 2,000 men were treated. Dale had photographs of some of them relaxing in the grounds of Watermoor House. Some people became fund raisers, and Cirencester was quickly able to supply three ambulances, which were Sunbeam lorries converted by Bridges Garage. At least one Cirencester soldier, Frank Webb, was involved in the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, and he sent home 3 German buttons which he had exchanged for 3 from his own uniform. We know that 15 men from Cirencester had already been killed by Christmas 1914! Women and girls at home often became involved in Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild, and there are records of girls at Lewis Lane School knitting for the soldiers. There is even one woman, Julia Herbert, on the town’s war memorial. She became an assistant cook at a military hospital in France. By 1916 conscription was introduced to replace the numbers killed. It made us all realise the enormity of the situation when we learned that 19,000 men, the equivalent of the present population of Cirencester, were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Dale also had records of men in the naval battle at Jutland, and those in the Royal Flying Corps. Discovering what happened to local men made this talk so relevant to us all. I’m sure we will all think of the great sacrifice the men behind all the names on the town’s War Memorials made for us and future generations. This report by Aileen Anderson was published in Wilts & Glos Standard, 05 February 2015

The Annual Croome Lecture

The Tudors and Anne Boleyn By Leanda de Lisle on 25 February 2015

While the story of the Tudors currently enjoys national prominence on television, it was at this year's 47th Croome Lecture in the Parish Church that the historically rigorous tale of lust and violence was brought to life. The annual Croome Lecture is jointly arranged by Cirencester Civic and Archaeological & Historical Societies in memory of prominent local churchman Will Croome who died in 1967, and it has been held every year since 1969. This year’s lecture was delivered by Leanda de Lisle, a well known writer for historic publications and national newspapers. Leanda eloquently explained the humble origins of the Tudors and the slightly comic manner in which the name came to prominence. A Welsh commoner, Owen Tudor, fell while dancing into the lap of Henry V’s widow, Catherine of Valois: it was this that ultimately led to their marriage. When their grandson defeated Richard III at Bosworth, he was crowned King Henry VII on the battlefield. This violent beginning to the Tudor dynasty continued in similar vein. While they successfully did away with other rivals, close relatives included, producing male heirs proved more difficult. It was Henry VIII's forceful measures to produce a son that brought about Cirencester's connection to the Tudors, The Anne Boleyn Cup. This was made in 1535 and has lived in a glass safe in the Church since 1968. John Lawrence, a Church Guide ,told the story. Its journey to Cirencester began with Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon who was Catholic. Henry broke away from Rome to divorce her and marry Anne Boleyn. The Act of Supremacy made him Head of the Church in England and he closed the monasteries to obtain their wealth. Anne Boleyn managed only to produce a female heir, Queen Elizabeth I. Following the reversion of Cirencester Abbey, Dr Richard Master, physician to Queen Elizabeth, purchased the land from her and built ‘a fine seat, with handsome gardens’ on the site, now the Abbey Grounds. Although it is known that Richard Master exchanged New Year gifts of Plate with Queen Elizabeth, there is no record of the Cup passing from Anne Boleyn to Queen Elizabeth, nor of it being given to Richard Master and thence to Cirencester Parish Church. However, a Cup is first mentioned in the Church’s Vestry Book in 1614, identified in 1633 as ‘one little gilt cupp with his cover and case & one brazen Eagle (falcon badge)’ This badge is personal to Anne Boleyn. Experts are now satisfied that the Falcon finial is both genuine and contemporaneous with the Cup. While accepting that the early history of the Cup is obscure, the legend of how it came to Cirencester is likely to be accurate. This report by Martin Portus was published in Wilts & Glos Standard, 12 March 2015

Reports for March 2015 to June 2015 appear on the next page

Sep 2014 - Guy Gratton

Oct 2014 - Jeremy Lake

Nov 2014 - Tony Roberts

Jan 2015 - Dale Hjort

Feb 2015 - Croome Lecture - Leanda de Lisle

Mar 2015 - Sylvia Warman

Mar 2015 - CA Lecture - Tim Darvill & Neil

Holbrook

Apr 2015 - College Students Prize Evening

May 2015 - Chris Coyle

Jun 2015 - An Evening Visit to RAU

Reports for season 2015-6

© CAHS & contributors 2016-7 Registered Charity 287289
Cirencester Archaeological  & Historical Society

Reports of our lectures held

during 2014-5

We have reported our lectures in the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard for many years. Each year for some years we have gathered these together at the end of each season and published them in late summer as one of our newsletters. If you should look through our past Lectures page or our publications pages, you can find which Newsletters have reports in them. Back copies of some of our Newsletters may be available on request from our editor. A copying charge may be made. Since 2014 we now only publish these reports online. We will keep paper copies solely for archive purposes. In general reports will appear online about a month after they have appeared in the Wilts & Glos Standard. If you would like to write up a report on a particular talk, contact a committee member as early in the season as possible, as we arrange a rota to ensure that every talk is reported.

The UK’s atmospheric research aircraft

Dr Guy Gratton, University of Cranfield 10

September 2014 - Joint meeting with

Cirencester Science & Technology Society

Dr Gratton’s lecture started with a brief, but detailed, history covering more than a century of the UK’s valuable and pioneering development of aircraft and meteorological research. He traced this story from the early days of the Royal Air Corps Met Division during and after the First World War through to the inter war period when daily met flights were based at Duxford in Cambridgeshire. During the Second World War high altitude research into the problems of condensation trails became of extreme importance and for this the wooden framed Mosquito proved to be by far the best aircraft for the job. Between 1946 and the start of the 21st century cold war science was the driver for the met research flights based at Farnborough. One of the key findings of high altitude work in and just below the stratosphere was the discovery that air pollution from a single source could spread anywhere in the world within a mere 3 days. This sobering result alerted everyone to the dangers of nuclear fallout. By the early 1960’s satellites were beginning to be used effectively and efficiently in regular weather forecasting tasks with the result that the role of manned aircraft concentrated much more on key scientific research. Between 1978 and 2001 the UK employed a modified Hercules transport aircraft nicknamed “Snoopy”. However, this was replaced in 2004 with a highly specialist version of the BAE 146 – 301 operating for the newly created Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM). Over the past decade this highly sophisticated flying research laboratory, able to fly as low as 100 ft above the sea and up to an operating height of 35,000 ft and possessing amongst other unique equipment 400 mile distance radar, has been involved in a number of highly worthwhile research projects. These have included important findings related to aircraft safe flying limits following the 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland, gas leakage measurements from the Elgin platform in the North Sea, research into arid zone surface temperatures in Arizona in 2013 and work on Tundra gas emissions this year. Dr Gratton believes that this fascinating research aircraft has a further ten years’ or more of highly relevant work relating to climate change and airborne research before needing to be replaced. This report from CS&TS was published in the Wilts & Glos Standard, 18 September 2014

Landscapes and Changes in England -

Jeremy Lake 22 October 2014

Jeremy Lake of English Heritage, an Historic Environment Analyst, described some of the different landscapes of the country, and how in some areas previous human arrangements of the land can be seen from pre-Roman times. For example west Cornwall has some of the oldest agricultural landscape in Europe. Landscape change by human action has only been going on for about 3500 years, as early peoples started clearing trees for static living. Even today built-on land in England only occupies 7.5% of the land, and that includes 4.5% as gardens, agricultural land about 72%, roads and railways about 2.5%. We have the lowest ratio of forested land in Europe at 8.6%, and the largest farms. Until recent times the “Village England” of John Major, with its cricket and warm beer, was only a narrow strip from north to south through the middle of England. The rural areas either side were characterised by more dispersed settlements with farms and other buildings spread across the countryside, rather than clumped in villages. Since 1851 the population has doubled, but houses have increased by over six times, as we live in smaller family units. Likewise while there are now fewer larger farms, there is a great growth in small “lifestyle” farms. The loss of small family farms has left many agricultural buildings no longer needed, and indeed the growth in rural housing has been through conversion of many of these. Jeremy closed by showing that many early building still exist around the country, with pictures of cruck houses from a number of areas, and a rather nondescript barn which has recently been found by dendro-chronology to be several hundred years old. This report by Peter Watkins was published in the Wilts & Glos Standard, 30 October 2014

 Archeoscan – recent local excavations

and projects - Tony Roberts 26 November

2014

Tony Roberts’ company specialises in archaeological surveys and instructional training for individuals, community groups and schools providing a hands-on experience of archaeology for all. Training using different types of geophysical survey equipment, field walking and desktop research is used to identify potential areas for possible excavation. The lecture was illustrated with examples of various geophysical survey scan results with an explanation of how each has been interpreted for a given site. Recent survey work and archaeological projects were explained, working with local councils, local societies and individuals around the Cotswolds. These included a geophysical survey of the former Chipping Campden House site, revealing the layout of paths and features of the formal gardens. At Linton Farm, Gloucester large numbers of finds by metal detectorists had been recorded; a resistance survey identified the route of the old Roman road into Gloucester with possible buildings adjacent. At Guiting Power the remains of a Romano-British settlement were found, and a Roman villa site at Downton, South Gloucestershire. In Miserden geophysical surveys identified an extensive network of roads and ditches. Further surveys and excavations are planned around the Cotswolds for 2015, where again individuals or local groups can experience hands-on archaeology under expert guidance. Following a find of coins in a field by a Tetbury farmer in 2010, Archeoscan were called in and carried out a full excavation. An intact pottery vessel and 1,437 Roman copper-alloy coins from the 3rd century were found. Following fundraising, the collection has been conserved and the vessel with a selection of coins is now on display in the Corinium Museum. This report by Alan Strickland was published in Wilts & Glos Standard, 04 December2014

Cirencester and World War One  By Dale

Hjort 28 January 2015

As part of the Cirencester Commemorates 1914 – 1918 project, the Society was pleased to welcome one of its own members, Dale Hjort, to talk on how people in Cirencester were affected by the events of the First World War. Dale explained that he was really talking about the reactions of ‘Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times’. With other Society members Linda Viner and Florence Beetlestone Dale had done a great deal of research into the lives of the many men whose names appear on the War Memorials in the town, and he traced for us what had happened to many of them. He referred to two butcher’s boys, George and Walter who had responded to Kitchener’s call to join a Gloucestershire Infantry Regiment, and how initially, there were no uniforms or rifles, as the depot was full and they were sent home – only to die later. Initially there was little for girls to do, but many became nurses, and the Bingham Hall became a hospital where over 2,000 men were treated. Dale had photographs of some of them relaxing in the grounds of Watermoor House. Some people became fund raisers, and Cirencester was quickly able to supply three ambulances, which were Sunbeam lorries converted by Bridges Garage. At least one Cirencester soldier, Frank Webb, was involved in the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, and he sent home 3 German buttons which he had exchanged for 3 from his own uniform. We know that 15 men from Cirencester had already been killed by Christmas 1914! Women and girls at home often became involved in Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild, and there are records of girls at Lewis Lane School knitting for the soldiers. There is even one woman, Julia Herbert, on the town’s war memorial. She became an assistant cook at a military hospital in France. By 1916 conscription was introduced to replace the numbers killed. It made us all realise the enormity of the situation when we learned that 19,000 men, the equivalent of the present population of Cirencester, were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Dale also had records of men in the naval battle at Jutland, and those in the Royal Flying Corps. Discovering what happened to local men made this talk so relevant to us all. I’m sure we will all think of the great sacrifice the men behind all the names on the town’s War Memorials made for us and future generations. This report by Aileen Anderson was published in Wilts & Glos Standard, 05 February 2015

The Annual Croome Lecture

The Tudors and Anne Boleyn By Leanda

de Lisle on 25 February 2015

While the story of the Tudors currently enjoys national prominence on television, it was at this year's 47th Croome Lecture in the Parish Church that the historically rigorous tale of lust and violence was brought to life. The annual Croome Lecture is jointly arranged by Cirencester Civic and Archaeological & Historical Societies in memory of prominent local churchman Will Croome who died in 1967, and it has been held every year since 1969. This year’s lecture was delivered by Leanda de Lisle, a well known writer for historic publications and national newspapers. Unfortunately this report is only available in full on our large screen version

Reports for March 2015 to June 2015 appear on the next

page

Sep 2014 - Guy Gratton

Oct 2014 - Jeremy Lake

Nov 2014 - Tony Roberts

Jan 2015 - Dale Hjort

Feb 2015 - Croome Lecture -

Leanda de Lisle

Mar 2015 - Sylvia Warman

Mar 2015 - CA Lecture - Tim

Darvill & Neil Holbrook

Apr 2015 - College Students

Prize Evening

May 2015 - Chris Coyle

Jun 2015 - An Evening Visit to

RAU

Reports for season 2015-6