Launch of Pevsner Suffolk Volumes

The two new Pevsner volumes for Suffolk (Yale UP) were launched at UCS Ipswich Waterfront building this evening. Both were prepared by Charles Bettley. The old single volume has been split into two: west and east. We are looking forward to exploring the built heritage of Suffolk with this revised companion.

Suffolk Strategic Heritage Forum at Sutton Hoo

The regular Suffolk Heritage Forum met at Sutton Hoo. The reports reflected a set of active heritage communities working in Suffolk. There are several key projects:

a. Woodbridge Waterfront. This plans to use the quayside in Woodbridge near to the Tide Mill as a space to display Anglo-Saxon maritime heritage.

b. The Heritage Centre. Details are available via the BBC.

c. The Ipswich Museum. Details are available from Rick Mather, Architect.

d. West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. Planning for the 50th anniversary celebrations.

e. The Saxon Shore. Project to link Anglo-Saxon related heritage sites in Suffolk, East Anglia, and the eastern counties.

1601 map of Sutton Hoo

1601 Sutton Hoo survey

Professor Ian Baxter, Amanda Bond and Amy Ruston using a copy of the 1601 map

The Suffolk Record Office kindly supplied us with a copy of the 1601 map of Sutton Hoo and the Deben. Members of the Suffolk Heritage Forum were able to compare the plan with the topography of the Sutton Hoo burial site from the temporary viewing platform.

New perspective on Sutton Hoo

View over the Sutton Hoo burial site (April 2015)  © David Gill

View over the Sutton Hoo burial site (April 2015)
© David Gill

The Suffolk Heritage Forum met at Sutton Hoo earlier today. There was an opportunity to climb the temporary tower close the mounds to obtain a better view of the burial site. The outline of the ship was very clear from this height, in part helped by the different colour of the grass. It was also possible to make our the anti-glider defences from the Second World War that cut across the field system. The viewing platform provided wonderful views over the Deben and Woodbridge making the relationship between the river the burial site much clearer.

Viewing platform at Sutton Hoo (April 2015) © David Gill

Viewing platform at Sutton Hoo (April 2015)
© David Gill

Hadleigh Castle, Essex

Hadleigh Castle (2015)

Hadleigh Castle (2015)

The royal castle of Hadleigh, Essex overlooks the Thames Estuary. The earliest phases of the castle appear to go back to the early 13th century, and the castle was confiscated by Henry III in 1239. It is now part of the national collection in the care of English Heritage. The original Ministry of Works sign remains at the lower part of the site.

UCS Heritage Professor Shortlisted in Poetry Competition

Rotas Opera

Latin inscription from Cirencester © David Gill

Professor David Gill, Director of Heritage Futures at UCS, has been shortlisted in the first Corinium Museum poetry competition. The Corinium Museum in Circencester is one of the leading Roman collections in the UK. The winning and shortlisted poems will be displayed in the museum alongside the objects.

Professor Gill’s poem, ‘Sowing Letters’, was inspired by a Latin acrostic inscription cut into wall plaster that was found in a Roman house at Cirencester in the 1860s. The five lines of text can be read from left to right, right to left, or vertically. The letters can be re-arranged to form the first two Latin words of the The Lord’s Prayer (‘Pater Noster’) with ‘A’ and ‘O’, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet that allude to Jesus Christ as the beginning and the end. The text is perhaps one of the earliest allusions to Christianity found in the British Isles.

The earliest known version of the inscription has been discovered at Pompeii, destroyed during the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Another has been excavated at the site of Dura-Europus on the river Euphrates in what is now modern Syria.

Professor Gill’s poem uses two of the Latin words from the inscription to provide an acrostic structure to his work.

Dr John Disney and Essex

The Morant Lecture 2015

The Morant Lecture 2015

Dr John Disney is best known for the creation of the eponymous chair of archaeology at the University of Cambridge, and the donation of the ‘Disney Marbles’ displayed in the Fitzwilliam Museum. Professor David Gill gave the 2015 Morant Lecture on the theme of ‘Dr John Disney and Essex’ in Ingatestone parish church. The church contains the grave of Thomas Brand-Hollis who bequeathed The Hyde, near Inagatestone, along with its collection of classical sculptures, to Disney’s father, the Reverend John Disney. The Reverend Disney had been co-minister of the Unitarian Essex Chapel in London alongside his brother-in-law the Reverend Theophilus Lindsey. Brand-Hollis was one of the main supporters of the chapel.

The Reverend Disney’s brother, Lewis Disney-Ffytche, lived at Danbury Place near Maldon. His daughter Sophia married (Dr) John Disney, and her sister Frances married (Sir) William Hillary (best known for founding the RNLI).

Dr Disney was recorder of Bridport in Dorset, and on moving back to Essex after his father’s death, stood as MP for both Ipswich and Harwich. He served on the committee to bring the railway to Chelmsford and Colchester. As a member of the Chelmsford Philosophical Society he helped to establish the Chelmsford Museum. He was also a key figure in the establishment of the Colchester and Essex Archaeological Society.

In later years he was a member of the board of Le Nouveau Monde Mining Company that was involved with the California gold rush.

Slides for the lecture can be found here.

See also: