The Dorset Archaeological Award 2015

The Dorset Archaeological Award 2015The 14th biennial award to celebrate contributions to the present understanding of Dorset’s archaeological past

Dorset Archaeological Committee

The Dorset Archaeological Committee consists of representatives from local government, museums, archaeological societies, the National Farmers Union, the County Landowners and Business Association and other interest groups.

The committee promotes all aspects of archaeological work in the county of Dorset and has established three awards to recognise outstanding contributions to Dorset archaeology.

  • The Dorset Archaeological Award
  • The Ian Horsey Memorial Award
  • Young Archaeologist’s Award

The judges for the 2015 Dorset Archaeological Awards are:

  • Mr Les Ames MBE
  • Mr David Carter
  • Mrs Penny Copland-Griffiths
  • Dr Jon Murden (Chair)
  • Mrs Maureen Putnam
  • Mrs Francesca Radcliffe

 

The Dorset Archaeological Award

Nominations can be made for any project involving the preservation or conservation of the county’s heritage, excavation, publication, surveys, reporting of finds, education or sponsorship.

Nominations can be submitted either by those personally involved in projects or by another individual or group, provided that the permission of the nominee is obtained.

The nomination should consist of a written submission together with a description, maps or diagrams, and a selection of photographs. Wherever possible five images should be submitted to support the application.

Credits should be given for images and permission obtained for their possible publication. Projects will be summarised and may be displayed by the Dorset Archaeological Committee, and may be used in publications subsequently.

The Ian Horsey Memorial Award

An occasional award given, at the judges’ discretion, to an individual for a significant personal contribution to archaeology in Dorset.


The winner will receive a trophy; in previous years this has been an engraved glass bowl.
Written nominations alone are required for the Ian Horsey Memorial Award.
The winner will be presented with a trophy, to be held for two years and a commemorative certificate. Certificates will be given to the runner-up and up to two highly-commended entries.

The 2013 Dorset Archaeological Award was won by St Mary’s church, Puddletown for a major conservation programme involving the relocation of the important monuments in the Athelhampton Chapel. The Ian Horsey Memorial Award was won by Dr Alistair Somerville-Ford, Julian Richards, and Claire Ryley, for the ‘What’s Under Your School?’ project.

Previous winners are:

  • 1988 The Studland Bay Wreck
  • 1990 The Duchy of Cornwall (sponsorship)
  • 1992 Norman Field (Roman Dorset)
  • 1994 David Strange (Worth Matravers)
  • 1996 Jill Phillips (quarr houses in Purbeck)
  • 1998 The Bestwall Quarry Project
  • 2000 John Stark and Crickmay Partnership (Roman Town House)
  • 2002 Bill Putnam (Dorchester Roman aqueduct)
  • 2004 Ed Cumming (Earl of Abergavenny)
  • 2007 Christopher Dalton (bells and belfries of Dorset)
  • 2009 Dan Carter (buildings of the Verwood Pottery industry)
  • 2011 Priest’s House Museum and Garden, Wimborne Minster (‘Dig it!’ community project)

Young Archaeologist’s Award

Any young person who is still at school or college can be nominated for this award for an archaeological project, presentation of an archaeological or historic site, or an exceptional examination achievement.

Written nominations alone are required for the Young Archaeologist’s Award, but may be accompanied by images or examples of the person’s work, as appropriate. The winner will receive a certificate.

This year the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership is sponsoring an additional award for a project that focuses on the prehistory of the South Dorset Ridgeway.

This ancient ceremonial landscape stretches parallel to the coast, from Eggardon Hill in the west to the villages of Osmington and Poxwell in the east. The South Dorset Ridgeway has been a place of importance since the Neolithic period (4000-2000 BC) with over 500 ancient monuments recording the history of the Ridgeway at that time.

The winner will receive £25 to be spent on a book related to the South Dorset Ridgeway.

Find out more about the Partnership and the Ridgeway at www.southdorsetridgeway.org.uk


Nominations should be sent by email to c.j.pinder@dorsetcc.gov.uk or by post to: Dorset Archaeological Awards (for the attention of the Hon Secretary, Dorset Archaeological Committee), Dorset County Museum, High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XA by 30th June 2015.

Presentation

The 2015 awards will be presented by Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn MA, PhD, Hon DLitt, FBA, FSA. The ceremony will be held at The Corn Exchange, Wareham on Friday 16th October 2015 at 6.30pm.

The ceremony is open to all, but attendance is strictly by ticket only because accommodation is limited.

Tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Please apply for tickets to the Hon Secretary, Dorset Archaeological Committee, 20 Frome Terrace, Dorchester DT1 1XJ. Please note that tickets will be circulated shortly before the ceremony.

 

Events: Lunchtime Music performed by Thomas Hardye Students

Thomas Hardye School at Dorset County MuseumThis lunchtime concert taking place on Wednesday 25th February provides the chance to listen to music makers of the future.

A-Level students from The Thomas Hardye School will be giving a FREE concert at Dorset County Museum on Wednesday 25th February as part of their studies – it is an opportunity for them to perform to a live audience, and for visitors to hear music from potential star performers of tomorrow.

Museum director Jon Murden said, “It is wonderful to see the students from The Thomas Hardye School return to perform their music. We hope that visitors to the museum will come to support these local students as they progress with their musical studies”

The concert is FREE although the Museum encourages donations. It takes place on Wednesday 25th February at 1.00 pm and will last for approximately one hour. A further concert by Hardye students will be performed at lunchtime on Wednesday 18th March.

For further information please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.

Here lies the Body: Dorset Tenant Farmers and their Tombs a Literary Talk by Tim Connor

Churchyard GraveTim Connor is a retired school teacher who has written several articles on Dorset architecture of the nineteenth century, including Thomas Hardy’s Master: Church building and Reputation in the Dorset Career of John Hicks, published, by Museum, last year.

This talk has a slightly different focus, concentrating on chest tombs of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in churchyards of West Dorset. These monuments have not been studied in any part of England before, and this study, shortly to be published, looks at both the design and social context of chest tombs, of which those of Dorset are turn out to be of considerable interest.

The lecture takes place at Dorset County Museum, 7.30pm on Thursday 19th February and doors are open from 7.00pm. The event is FREE of charge but a donation of £3.00 is encouraged to cover costs. For further information please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.

Learn to Paper Basket Weave at Dorset County Museum

Paper Basket WeavingThe first of this year’s adult craft workshops takes place at Dorset County Museum on Wednesday 18th February at 1pm.

This session will teach the art of Paper Basket Weaving a classic craft that is simple and fun. There is a maximum class size of fifteen people for the event and pre-booking is essential. The cost is £10.00 and you are asked to bring a couple of newspapers – the more colourful the better.

Tickets are available now from the Museum shop on 01305 756827. These sessions tend to sell out fast so early booking is recommended. All are welcome – especially complete beginners!

Is your Turkey Cooked Victorian Style

Dorset County Museum volunteer, Marion Tate and Stuart Jury stand outside County Town Butchers

Dorset County Museum volunteer, Marion Tate and Stuart Jury stand outside County Town Butchers

A splendid turkey has been kindly donated by County Town Butchers, Stuart Jury, to play centre stage at the display of a Victorian dinner. The Countess Elizabeth invites you to view an informal dinner party, only five-six courses, on Sunday 22nd February from 2.00pm to 5.00pm at the Victorian Fayre, Dorset County Museum, Dorchester.

At the Fayre children and adults can also experience a whole range of activities which will include learning about life in Victorian times from classroom lessons reciting Dorset dialect words to traditional rural crafts. There will be demonstrations of Dorset buttons, making bonnets, perfumery and net making. A variety of stalls will include Victorian children’s toys and popular parlour games. Have your photograph taken in Victorian costume as a memento of a very special day. There will also be a Victorian Tea as well as a raffle and quiz.

Tim Laycock, well-known folk musician, actor and storyteller and other performers will provide traditional singing, music, dance and poetry reading throughout the afternoon.

This fundraising event is free and offers members of the public an afternoon of live demonstrations, entertainment and stalls. The funds raised from the fayre will go towards the refurbishment of the Museum’s William Barnes collection and gallery which is dedicated to Dorset’s greatest dialect poet.

We are very grateful to Battens Charitable Trust which has sponsored this event

The Victorian Fayre takes place at 2.00pm to 5.00pm on Sunday 22nd February. The event is FREE but donations are welcome and all are welcome to attend.  For further information please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.

Purbeck’s Shrove Tuesday Custom of “Kicking the Ball”

Shrove Tuesday 1976: The football is kicked through the village of Corfe Castle by the Purbeck Marblers DCM © 2015

Shrove Tuesday 1976: The football is kicked through the village of Corfe Castle by the Purbeck Marblers DCM © 2015

Shrove Tuesday, also known as “Pancake Day” always falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent in the Christian faith. Dates vary from year to year, but it usually falls in February, sometimes early March. It is the day of preparation for Lent, when the eating pancakes was made obvious by the need to up the eggs and fat, the eating of which were prohibited during the forty days of Lent.

At Corfe, the village holds the annual custom of Shrove Tuesday Football Ceremony of the Purbeck Marblers. This occurs on this day that new apprentices are introduced to the Ancient Order of Purbeck Marblers and Stonecutters.

Dorset Folklorist, John Symonds Udal wrote about the traditions of Shrove Thuesday in Dorset in his book ‘Dorsetshire Folklore’ published in 1922:-

Quarrymen’s customs. — One of the oldest and most interesting amongst the customs of the Isle of Purbeck is that connected with the quarrymen of the district—the ” Purbeck Marblers “, as they were anciently called. These quarrymen, who were resident in the districts of Corfe Castle and Swanage, were formed into a strong company or guild, to whom was granted a charter confirming all their rights and privileges. These were evidenced by a series of Articles of Agreement. Corfe Castle was the proper metropolis of the quarriers’ country; though Swanage, being the place of shipment of the stone, the business tended more to that quarter. At one time, it is said, the general meeting was opened at Corfe, and adjourned to Swanage; but afterwards the meetings were held at Corfe and Langton respectively.

Hutchins (vol i, pp. 682-4) gives an account of the Marblers’ • Company and of the articles of their charter, which account was taken from a paper by the late Mr. Oliver W. Farrer, which appeared in that interesting but short-lived—and now very scarce—publication, The Purbeck Papers, in 1859. Hutchins states that the early history of the company is involved in obscurity, the ancient records having been destroyed in a fire at Corfe Castle. They were governed by certain rules or articles of agreement, which it seems to have been customary to renew at intervals, for several copies, varying only in orthography, are extant. To one of these, in the possession of the only member of the company then resident in Corfe Castle, and one of the wardens, was attached a seal, purporting to be the seal of the Company of Marblers, but it was a heraldic device, viz. On a pale three roses slipped proper. (The Roses of Kempstone in Corfe Castle bore “on a pale three roses slipped “.)

To this account of Mr. Farrer’s I would refer those who desire a fuller account of the company and its constitution. (References might also be made to Biggs’s Isle of Purbeck, pp. 27-8 ; and for privileges and customs of Corfe to the late Mr. Thomas Bond’s History of Corfe Castle (1883), p. 125.) In the Standard newspaper of 10th March, 1886, appeared a very good and succinct account of a meeting of the Purbeck quarrymen at Corfe Castle on Shrove Tuesday (their customary day of meeting) of that year. This account I, many years after, sent to the Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries (1907), vol. x, p. 249, with references to Mr. Farrer’s article in the Purbeck Papers ; and as it expresses all that it seems to me necessary to state here about the Company and its customs, I reproduce it.

“A curious old custom among the quarrymen of the Isle of Purbeck was observed yesterday at Corfe Castle. There is among the quarrymen a charter bearing the date 1551, which is rigorously obeyed in order to keep the working of the stone quarries in the Isle of Purbeck in the hands of the freemen. To be able to take up one’s freedom one must be the legitimate son of a freeman. He must be 21 years of age, up to which time his wages belong to his parents.

“Once during the year the quarrymen used to meet at Corfe Castle Town Hall and there read the charter, and on that occasion, viz. Shrove Tuesday, ‘ free boys ‘ claim and take up their freedom. Yesterday morning a large number of quarrymen assembled in the Town Hall, Corfe Castle, and proceeded to the election of officers, after which about twelve freemen were sworn in. Each man has to sign the roll of freemen, pay a fee of 6s. 8d., provide a penny loaf made on purpose by the baker of the place, and buy a pot of beer. The man thus sworn in becomes his own master. Should any of the freemen desire to marry during the next year he has to pay to the stewards a ‘ marriage shilling ‘, and should he neglect to do this his wife loses all interest in the quarry and cannot take an apprentice to work for her. After the above business was transacted the ceremony of ‘ kicking the ball’ commenced. The ball is provided by the man who was last married among the freemen, and is presented in lieu of the ‘ marriage shilling ‘. If it should happen that no freeman has married since the previous Shrove Tuesday the old football is used. The ball was taken from the Town Hall to a field at Corfe Castle, and there kicked about by any one who wished.

“These very novel proceedings terminated by the ball and a pound of pepper being taken to the lord of the manor as an acknowledgement to him in respect of the way to the River Ower.”

(ii) Kicking the Ball. — The custom of kicking the football “to be provided by the man who was last married amongst the freemen “, is alluded to in the above account. In a later set of rules provision was made for the carrying of the ball to Ower — I believe on the following day, Ash Wednesday. I have seen it stated somewhere that in these degenerate days it was carried, not kicked, to its destination. The Bridport News in March, 1884, speaks of the annual custom of the Swanage Freemen ” kicking the ball ” as having taken place at Corfe on Shrove Tuesday. It says that the custom was one that had been kept up annually for generations past. The ball was taken to Corfe Castle, and kicked from the Castle grounds through Corfe on towards Swanage.

The Custom of St Valentine’s Day

A Victorian Valentine Card from the Dorset County Museum Collection © DCM 2014

A Victorian Valentine Card from the Dorset County Museum Collection © DCM 2014

The 14th February is better known as ‘St Valentine’s Day’ and it is without question the most popular day of the year for romance. Dorset Folklorist, John Symonds Udal wrote about the customs and traditions of St Valentine’s Day in Dorset in his book ‘Dorsetshire Folklore’ published in 1922:-

“Amongst my Dorset notes for this day I find one from the Illustrated London News in February, 1880, which states that on St. Valentine’s day the maids suspend in the kitchen a nosegay of early flowers tied up with a “true-lover’s knot” of blue ribbon. It is not stated, however, what was the object or purpose of this act; though it is not difficult, I think, to believe that it indicated some manifestation or expression connected with the young women’s attitude towards those subjects to which the lover’s Saint’s day is dedicated.

Somewhat akin to this, perhaps, is the belief that it is unlucky if a male is not the first visitor that comes to the house on St. Valentine’s Day.

Formerly in Dorsetshire, as elsewhere, large numbers of ” valentines ” were exchanged between young people, a practice to which this day gave special licence ; some of these, especially those sent in ridicule, being both vulgar and wanting in good taste. A great improvement has, however, set in in late years with regard to this; and now the custom is mostly confined in regard to ” valentines ” to the exchange or sending of presents of a more useful or valuable nature.

Hone, in his Every-Day Book, vol. i, p. 118, records a custom which prevailed many years since in the West of England, and may well, therefore, be known in Dorsetshire, although I am not myself personally acquainted with it: —

“Three single young men went out together before daylight on St. Valentine’s Day, with a clapnet to catch an old owl and two sparrows in a neighbouring barn. If they were successful and could bring the birds to the inn without injury before the females of the house had risen they were rewarded by the hostess with three pots of purl in honour of St. Valentine, and enjoyed the privilege of demanding at any house in the neighbourhood a similar boon. This was done, it is said, as an emblem that the owl, being the bird of wisdom, could influence the feathered race to enter the net of love as mates on that day, whereon both single lads and maidens should be reminded that happiness could alone be secured by an early union.”

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, why not head down to Dorset County Museum and discover Dorset’s own answer to Romeo and Juliet.

Cupid drawn by William BarnesIf you were asked to name great romance stories, you would not be alone in recalling tales of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. However, on our own Dorset doorstep, one of the most epic love stories took place which not so many people may be aware of. This is the real-life love story between William and Julia Barnes.

The story began one morning in March 1818 where a chance encounter led William Barnes to first set eyes on a young Julia Miles as she stepped down from her stagecoach outside the King’s Arms Hotel in Dorchester. At which point he was described as being smitten immediately and even ‘involuntarily muttering to himself “that shall be my wife” (Chedzoy, 2010: 27). Their courtship was one worthy of any Shakespeare play or Hollywood movie script. Their love was forbidden by Julia’s disapproving father so the couple were forced to express their feelings in a series of intense love letters.

Shown below are two authentic examples of the handwritten letters from William to Julia.

William Banes Love letter

This letter c. 1820, points out the difficulty for the couple to have a conversation face-to-face. However, this obstacle does not stop the love-struck William from attempting to entice Julia into ‘granting him the happiness’ of attending a concert with him.

William Banes Love letter

This letter divulges William’s attempts to arrange an ‘accidental’ meeting with Julia. This highlight the need to keep their courtship a secret because it was strictly forbidden. It is this forbidden love and the couple’s determination to follow what their hearts desired which is so reminiscent of Shakespeare’s famous ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story. William and Julia both use phrases such as, ‘Yours devotedly’ and ‘Yours faithfully’ to end nearly all of their communications, showing the deepness of the star-crossed lovers’ feelings for one another.

This exchange of letters and series of ‘accidental’ meetings continued over an incredible nine years. (A time span not many modern men would have the patience to withstand nowadays!) Until, they finally married in 1827. So whatever romantic plans you have for your Valentine this February, be sure to remember true love can last much longer than one lifetime.

These love letters make up a small part of the extensive collection held by Dorset County Museum on the life of William Barnes. The Barnes’ gallery is due to undergo an extensive redevelopment where Barnes’ love life, poetry and achievements are to take a more prominent place. The refurbished gallery is expected to be opened in August 2015. For more on the lives and love story of William and Julia Barnes please visit Dorset County Museum.

To find out more information about Dorset County Museum’s Barnes collection or to plan your next trip to the museum, please visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

Gabriella Crouch

Further reading:

  • Chedzoy, A. (2011), The People’s Poet: William Barnes of Dorset. The History Press: Gloucestershire.
  • Lindgreen, C. H. (ed.) (1986), The Love Poems and Letters of William Barnes and Julia Miles. Dorset Record Society: Dorset.

Related Links:

Winner of Dorset County Museum’s Christmas Quiz

Fundraising Team Leader, David Taylor holds the Christmas Quiz Prizes

Fundraising Team Leader, David Taylor holds the Christmas Quiz Prizes

We are pleased to announce the winner of our Christmas Quiz is Sarah Bolton from Dorchester. She was delighted that her entry had all the questions correctly answered. All the proceeds from the Christmas Quiz have helped the Dorset County Museum’s Collection Discovery Centre Fundraising Appeal, which has so far raised £16,000.

An exciting programme of fundraising events has been planned including a Dinosaur Egg Trail family quiz over the Easter Holidays. The trail will be available from the Museum reception.

For further information about the museum and the development appeal please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.

Spring holiday family fun at Dorset County Museum

Iron Age Round HouseHoliday Family activities continue to be FREE at Dorset County Museum thanks to generous sponsorship from Battens Solicitors.

The activity during spring half term is on Wednesday 18th February. Find out all about the amazing round houses that Iron Age people lived in on top of Maiden Castle and all over Dorset, then build your own model to take home. This takes place between 10.30am and 12.30pm and there’s no need to book.

At Easter the family activities focus on some of the burial customs from ancient times – looking at how people were buried and what special objects were chosen to go into the grave. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about the Museum’s famous horned Ooser.

Dorset County Museum welcomes families and has a range of family trails and plenty of activities for children in the galleries.

For further information please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.

Dates of Family Activities at the Dorset County Museum as follows:

  • 18th February: Make a Replica Iron Age Round House – 10.30am and 12.30pm
  • 1st April: Brilliant Burials and Skeletons – 10.30am and 12.30pm
  • 8th April: Make a Dorset Ooser Mask – 10.30am and 12.30pm