The Croome Lectures
William Iveson Croome
William Iveson Croome, CBE, MA, FSA, was born in November 1891, the only son of Thomas and Mary Croome of North Cerney House. In later years he lived at Bagendon House and, finally, at Barton Mill House, Cirencester,
He was a member of the Archaeological & Historical Society from its inception and succeeded Viscount Dunrossil as President in 1961. He was also a founder member of the Civic Society, and it was to commemorate the man and his interests that the two Societies agreed to establish the annual Croome Lecture. See his full obituary written by David Viner below.
Croome Lecturers from the start
1969 J.B. Ward-Perkins: Town Planning in Antiquity
1970 E. Clive Rouse: The Meaning and Purpose of English Medieval Wall Paintings
1971 Sir Nikolaus Pevsner: Sir John Vanbrugh, Architect
1972 Dr Peter Kidson: The Contribution of the West Country to Romanesque Architecture
1973 Michael MacLagan: John Aubrey
1974 The Very Rev S.J.A. Evans: The evidence for a great 13th century restoration of Gloucester Cathedral
1975 Miss J.D.G. Scott: Personal Reminiscences of Will Croome
1976 Claude Blair: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Armour in Europe
1977 Prof Roy Worskett: Conservation – the realities and opportunities
1978 John Wacher: Some thoughts on urbanisation in Iron Age and Roman Britain
1979 Ashley Barker: Officialdom and the Care of Historic Buildings
1980 Lady Wheeler: North African Journey
1981 The Very Rev. Michael Staffurth Stancliffe, Dean of Winchester: Matter of Life and Death: the Conservation of Churches
1982 David Verey: Gloucestershire Churches in the 19th Century [Abstract in Newsletter 24 by David Verey]
1983 Canon A.J. Turner: Letters from a Cotswold Manor 1815-1867
1984 Prof Maurice Beresford: Some Thoughts on the Boroughs of Gloucestershire
1985 Sir Derek Barber, Chairman of the Countryside Commission: [title unknown]
1986 David Brown: Anglo-Saxon Cirencester and its Environs
1987 Robin Wainwright: Life as a District Commissioner in Kenya
1988 Alan McWhirr: Cirencester’s Contribution to the Development of Urban Archaeology [pub.in Miscellany, no 1, Cirencester Archaeological & Historical Society, 1988, pp.11-16]
1989 Prof Graham Ashworth: Towards a cleaner nineties, the work of the Tidy Britain Group
1990 Peter Gibson: The Stained and Painted Glass of York Minster and its Restoration
1991 Prof Derek Lovejoy: Townscape
1992 Rosemary Verey: Old Gardening Books and their Influence on my Garden
1993 Jonathan Mackechnie-Jarvis, Assistant Secretary to the Diocese of Gloucester: William Iveson Croome – his work for the care of churches [published in Miscellany volume 3]
1994 Dr Isabel Elliott, Mistress of Embroidery for Gloucester Cathedral: Of those that devise cunning works
995 Dr. Timothy Mowl: Palladian Bridges – the crossing to the Elysian Fields
1996 Dr. Steven Blake: Medieval Stained Glass in Gloucestershire Churches
1997 Jonathan Porritt: Tomorrow’s Countryside
1998 Tim Porter: Pilgrimage in Medieval Gloucestershire
1999 Dr Terry Slater: University of Birmingham, Churches and the changing shape of towns
2000 Dr. Warwick Rodwell: Cirencester Parish Church: an archaeological review of its fabric and furnishings
2001 Tom Denny: New glass in old buildings
2002 Nicholas Kingsley: Twentieth Century Country Houses in the Cotswolds
2003 Jim Thompson, Chairman of Cirencester Civic Society: Proverbs and Architecture
2004 Alan Rome: S.E. Dykes Bower: a Gloucestershire architect, with reference to F.C. Eden and Will Croome
2005 David Viner, Chairman of CAHS: A Century Ago: The Cirencester of Daniel George Bingham
2006 Sir Simon Jenkins, journalist and author of ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’: The Future of the Parish Church in England
2007 Keith Barley: The Stained Glass of St. Mary’s, Fairford – Conservator or Restorer?
2008 Richard Morriss: The Archaeology of Buildings
2009 Mark Horton, University of Bristol: Berkeley Minster and the Anglo Saxon Church in Mercia
2010 Malcolm James: The Ongoing Refurbishment of the Parish Church of St John the Baptist
2011 Ray Wilson, GSIA: Sharpness Docks, Past, Present and Future
2012 Henry Russell OBE, Chairman Gloucester Diocesan Advisory Committee: Church Conservation and Repair in the 21st Century
2013 The rebuilding of the Cirencester Church Organ: Mark Venning, Chairman, Harrison & Harrison, with Anthony Hammond, Director of Music playing the organ
2014 John C Goom: Conservation – Truth or Fiction
2015 Leanda de Lisle: The Tudors and Anne Boleyn
2016 Professor Ronald Hutton : University of Bristol – Traditional Festivals of England
2017 Dr David Robinson : The Augustinian Canons in England and The Abbey of St. Mary Cirencester
2018 Christopher Catling: Cirencester: The Development and buildings of a Cotswold town. Revisiting the publication of British Archaeological Report 12
2019 Mark Horton: Cirencester after the Romans – Time for a rethink?
2020 Professor Tim Darville: Early Farmers in the Cotswolds
2021 Professor Patricia Broadfoot; Fighting for our civic future – the role of the CPRE. (Zoom)
2022 No Talk
William Iveson Croome.
Obituary by David Viner
William Iveson Croome, CBE, MA, FSA, was born in November 1891, the only son of Thomas and Mary Croome of North Cerney House. In later years he lived at Bagendon House and, finally, at Barton Mill House, Cirencester.
A devout churchman, the local parish churches of Bagendon and North Cerney in particular bear witness to his care and generosity. His interest in and knowledge of ecclesiastical buildings led to his appointment as Vice-Chairman of the Central Council for the Care of Churches in 1943. He joined the Gloucester Diocesan Advisory Committee on Churches in 1923, becoming secretary in 1927 and then Chairman in 1950. In 1953 he was made Chairman of the Cathedrals Advisory Committee for England, a position which he held until his death in April 1967. He became chairman of the Grants Committee of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust in 1964.
William, or “Will”, Croome was a familiar figure in Cirencester, held in the highest regard by all who knew him, not only for his knowledge and care of ancient buildings but also for his concern for the less fortunate members of society. He held a number of posts in the County magistracy, was a member of the Cirencester bench (1928-66) and its chairman (1946-66), a distinguished period of service.
In Gloucestershire, Croome was President of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society in 1952, and his presidential address on ‘Gloucestershire Churches’ was published in volume 72 of its annual Transactions for the following year.
In Cirencester, he was a member of the Archaeological & Historical Society from its inception and succeeded Viscount Dunrossil as President in 1961. He was also a founder member of the Civic Society, and it was to commemorate the man and his interests that the two Societies agreed to establish the annual Croome Lecture. On the 10th February 1969 Brian Ward-Perkins, the then Director of the British School in Rome, gave the first lecture entitled “Town Planning in Antiquity”. The joint lecture has been given every February since then.
We thank David Viner for this obituary, and Jonathan MacKechnie-Jarvis for the DAC information and photograph. WIC did not look happy as it was his last day as a magistrate, aged 75! He wrote articles for the 1960 and 1962 Newsletter.
Some of the Croome lectures have been published (in abbreviated form) and others reviewed.