January 20th “Thrussington and Hoby: A comparison of their changing use of land through the 18th to 20th centuries” by Celia Cotton
Celia will compare and contrast two Wreake valley villages, Hoby and Thrussington, drawing upon a range of original records to consider the use of land during the 18th to 20th centuries. She will also draw inferences from the naming of fields, an interest developed during her MA studies.
Celia came to Leicester to study maths in 1975, married a fellow student and then worked for the County Council as a teacher (briefly!) then in IT and project management, taking early retirement in 2012. She has been an enthusiastic family researcher for forty years and recently studied for an MA in English Local History at Leicester. Currently she is enjoying looking at whole settlements and the landscapes they inhabit and has enough projects lined up to keep her busy for years to come.
March 23rd “Bradgate Park – what lies beneath the bracken” by Peter Liddle
Bradgate Park is probably Leicestershire’s best known tourist attraction. Very few Leicestershire people have failed to walk around the Park – but beneath the bracken is a fascinating story of earlier users going back to the end of the Ice Age, with hunter-gatherer camps, possible Iron Age and Roman settlements, the medieval park, the Tudor mansion and a Georgian racecourse. The University of Leicester is one year into a 5 year study of the Park’s long and eventful history but already the results are exciting.
Peter Liddle has worked in Leicestershire Archaeology for over 40 years as an excavator, survey officer, museum curator, community archaeologist and Head of the County’s archaeological team. He was awarded an MBE for services to community archaeology and is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester.
May 25th in Brooksby Hall “Admiral Beatty & The Battle of Jutland” by Robert Urquart’
As the British Fleet returned to base on the morning of June 1st 1916, it steamed through a battle-field strewn with wrecks, the bodies of sailors and the detritus of the bloodiest naval battle in history. In this talk, the main events in the battle and those influencing its course are covered, providing an understanding of the key aspects. At the start of the war expectations of the Royal Navy where high, but it took almost two years for a clash of main fleets. At Jutland the German Navy was outnumbered and outmanoeuvred yet when they returned to harbour they claimed victory. By using eyewitness accounts and recollections from both sides, the talk progresses the battle from the perspective of those who risked life and limb in the largest and bloodiest naval battle in history.
Robert studied naval and military history at De Montfort University. His interest in the Edwardian Navy stretches back twenty years in which time he carried out research at the British Library St Pancras, the National Archives at Kew, MoD Naval Library Whitehall and Cambridge University Central Library. With the pending centenary of Jutland, he was invited to work with a group based at Brooksby Hall to commemorate the battle. In revisiting a handful of his undergraduate and postgraduate papers Robert has written a book on the battle, due for release in May 2016. He is Chairman of The Melton Mowbray & District Historical Society and is working closely with the Brooksby Hall Jutland Centenary group, who are liaising with descendants of Admiral Beatty to prepare materials for a series of commemorative events at Brooksby Hall.
May 29th MORE INFORMATIONin St Michael & All Angels Church Brooksby “Service of Commemoration to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland” evening concert by Ratcliffe Choral.
May 31st MORE INFORMATIONin All Saints Church Hoby “Half Muffle Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private Walter Pick”
June 5th MORE INFORMATIONin All Saints Church Hoby “Half Muffle Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Brig. Gen. Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson”
June 8th MORE INFORMATIONin All Saints Church Hoby “Half Muffle Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private Alfred Higgins”
July 13th at Brooksby Quarry “The Archaeology of Brooksby Quarry” evening visit
September 4th ” Field Walking near Hoby” with Richard Knox
September 14th “Revealing Grey Friars, The Archaeology of Leicester’s Lost Franciscan Friary” by Mathew Morris
In 2012 Mathew Morris led the excavations of the Council car park covering the site of Leicester’s lost Franciscan Friary which, as the whole world now knows, led to the discovery of the remains of Richard III. However, this and further excavations in July 2013 also produced a much clearer picture of the church’s layout, dimensions and allowed investigation of the other burials found in the church.
Mathew will talk to us about the archaeological discoveries from these two excavations of the site and what they tell us medieval Leicester and one of its great religious houses.
Mathew graduated from the University of Leicester in 2003 with a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Landscape Studies. Since graduating Mathew has worked for archaeological units and museums in Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire, excavating a wide range of rural and urban archaeology from the prehistoric period to the Industrial Revolution. Since 2004 he has worked for ULAS where he has participated in a series of major urban excavations.
September 24th MORE INFORMATIONPrivate Harry Jeffs
Choral Evensong and Quarter Peal All All Saints Church Hoby 3pm
A choral Evensong will be held in All Saints Church Hoby to commemorate the centenary of the death of Harry Jeffs of Hoby who died of wounds sustained in the later stages of the Battle of the Somme. Harry was a bell ringer and member of the choir at All Saints and at 7pm The Society of Framland Ringers will ring a commemorative quarter peal in his honour.
Immediately after evensong light refreshments will be served. Everyone is most welcome
November 16th “From Romans to Debenhams:The Archaeology of Highcross Leicester” by Richard Buckley,
Richard Buckley, Director of ULAS and consultant and project manager of the Highcross project, will talk to us about this important project and what it revealed about the historic core of Leicester.
Between 2003 and 2006, the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) excavated three sites in the centre of Leicester in connection with the largest single development the city has ever seen: the extension to the Shires Shopping Centre, now known as ‘Highcross Leicester’. The £4m project revealed important new evidence of Leicester’s Roman and medieval past, including the complete plan of a Roman courtyard house, the collapsed gable-end wall of the Roman market hall or macellum, the lost churches of St Michael and St Peter with over 2000 burials and evidence for a medieval brewery. Amongst the many finds from the excavations were two Roman curse tablets which made national headlines.
After graduating from the University of Durham, Richard was a field officer with Leicestershire Archaeological Unit and in 1995 helped form University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) where, as co director, he manages archaeological fieldwork projects, specialising in urban sites and historic buildings.
December 7th Members evening