Lectures and talks

Illustrated on-line talks replace face-to-face lectures until the epidemic restrictions permit.

You can register for the next lecture using the link in the Lecture description below

Our lectures are free but if you wish to contribute towards our running cost then you can donate Here .  If you are not a BAS member, the benefits of membership and an opportunity to join online can be found Here.
Lectures are free and in normal times held one Saturday each month in the County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP starting at 2.30pm and lasting about one hour plus time for discussion. Refreshments are available after the event.

Saturday 9 January 2021: 
The Pre-enclosure landscape of Buckinghamshire
Speaker Julian Hunt,  President BAS

During the Medieval period, much of Buckinghamshire and the English Midlands was divided into small villages and hamlets, each with its own set of open fields where farmers planted and harvested their crops and pastured their animals together. Their complex agricultural arrangements were akin to a social contract, which in many places survived into the 18th and even into the 19th century. Julian will survey the present-day landscape, looking for evidence of how open-field farmers ran their co-operative enterprise.

Saturday 13 February 2021:
Provisional reflections on the ‘Marlow Warlord’: an early medieval sentinel burial of the Middle Thames.
Speaker Dr Gabor Thomas, Associate Professor, University of Reading
In August 2020, archaeologists uncovered a richly furnished burial of a tribal warlord dating from the early Anglo-Saxon period. An extensive range of weaponry and other grave furnishings were buried with an imposing, six-foot-tall man representing a high-status warlord from the 6th century AD.

Saturday 13 March: Manorial Records as a source for English and Buckinghamshire history
Speaker Dr Mark Bailey, Professor of Late Medieval History, University of East Anglia
An introduction to manorial records, including how to find them through a national online catalogue (the Manorial Documents Register) which has recently been updated for Buckinghamshire.
Mark Bailey is a member of the Manorial Documents Register Advisory Board.

Saturday 17 April: The Human Costs of Civil War: the Buckinghamshire experience
Speaker Professor Andrew Hopper, Director, Centre for English Local History, University of Leicester and Principal Investigator for the AHRC Civil War Petitions Project https://www.civilwarpetitions.ac.uk/about-the-project/   

The ‘Conflict Welfare and Memory’ project researches how wounded soldiers, war widows and other bereaved family members petitioned for financial relief, some people affected for decades and into the 18th century. The Buckinghamshire petitions have recently been published on the project website.

Saturday 8 May: (2:45, after the Members AGM) The Building and Conservation of Stewkley Church
Speaker John Sheldon BA FRSA  
The evolution of Stewkley Church from the Normans through to the 21st century, featuring the major restoration work carried out by Victorian Gothic revival architect G E Street in 1862, and the conservation work in this century.

John Sheldon (BAS Council member) was churchwarden at St Michael’s Stewkley throughout the period of the recent conservation work and oversaw the work of the architects and conservers. A booklet which accompanies the talk in more detail, was compiled by John from a number of sources.

Saturday 22 May: Stone Temples and Purple Dye: the Maltese Islands from the Neolithic to the Phoenicians
Speaker Sarah Gray  BAS Hon. Librarian and former Bucks County Museum curator
A review of the Archaeological sites and finds on the island of Malta.

Saturday 26 June:  Bells of Buckinghamshire
Speaker:  Chris Pickford
Chris Pickford was formerly County Archivist for Bedfordshire but now lives in Kinver, Staffordshire. He is an authority on bells and bell-frames in the Midlands and is currently helping with the re-hanging of the bells at Little Horwood.

Saturday 24 July:   Purchasing Paradise: the money that financed the great gardens
Speaker: Professor Sir Roderick Floud, who is a BAS member, explores the records which tell their stories and those of the men who created them. The results will surprise even the most devoted of gardeners.

Buckinghamshire has many great gardens or the remnants of them – Stowe, Wotton, Waddesdon, Chicheley, Shardeloes among others. Few people, as they enjoy their beauty, pause to consider how much such gardens cost to make or to maintain, nor where the money came from. They and many other parks and gardens across England cost – in modern terms – many millions, employed hundreds of men (and a few women to do the weeding) and are among the most conspicuous results of spending on luxuries in the 17th-19th centuries.

Saturday 14 August:  Buckinghamshire Artists
Speaker: Sarah Gray, BAS Hon Librarian
Bucks artDepictions of the County’s people and places from the nationally known – van Dyck for Lord Wharton at Wooburn – to the recent artists who have lived in Buckinghamshire and painted the County’s varied portraits and landscapes from more local experience.


Register now for this online lecture Here  (We will email the Zoom meeting invitation to you).

Saturday 28 AugustL.T.C Rolt – Engineer, Author and Pioneer of Railway and Canal Preservation
Speaker: Julian Hunt, Society President.

A review of L.T.C Rolt’s activities and achievements.Canal preservation

Register now for this online lecture Here  (We will email the Zoom meeting invitation to you).

Click on Summer Outings for Septembers activities

Saturday 9 October:  From Cuneiform to Codex
Speaker: Michael Ghirelli, Editor of the BAS Newsletter
CuneiformThe earliest books were written by impressing signs on flat squares of soft clay that were then baked hard under the sun. It took years to learn to write using a complex system of pictures and symbols to represent words, so the ability to read and write was confined to a small male elite. Through thirty centuries, lighter, more flexible materials such as papyrus were used, and words were written phonetically using alphabetic systems, making it easier for people to learn to read and write.



Saturday 13 November:  Royal Forest and Forest Law in Bucks
Speaker: Andy Ford, BAS Council member
Medieval laws for the preservation and protection of Royal huntingforest map


On-line illustrated talks will continue as long as the epidemic restrictions on normal ‘gatherings’ continue, so watch this website’s home page for details.


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