Archaeology Field Trip: Cadbury Castle and its ancient landscape with Dr Clare Randall

The walk will comprise a tour of Cadbury Castle hillfort, looking in particular at areas which demonstrate the development in the use of the hill from the Neolithic period, through the creation of the hillfort in the early and Middle Iron Age, Roman use as a barracks, important post-Roman refortification and construction of a hall, through to the early medieval period, when it became a burh and a mint. The contemporary sites in the surrounding landscape will be discussed. There will be an optional visit to the South Somerset Archaeological Research Group base at Sutton Montis after the walk.

Cadbury Castle Hillfort

Cadbury Castle Hillfort

Dr. Clare Randall

Dr. Clare Randall

Clare Randall is an archaeologist and zooarchaeologist specialising in the prehistoric period. She currently works as an Archaeological Officer for Context One Archaeological Services Ltd, where she works on projects of all periods across the south west.

She was Research Assistant for the South Cadbury Environs Project, and completed her PhD at Bournemouth University studying the successive prehistoric landscapes around Cadbury Castle in conjunction with the information on livestock husbandry from the animal bones recovered during excavation of the hillfort and surrounding sites.

She has been Research Director of the South Somerset Archaeological Research Group, which continues to work in the area, since 2007.

The walk is on Saturday 1 July 2017 starting at 2.00pm at the car park at Cadbury Castle. The walk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information about this walk and other forthcoming events contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

For Directions

Meet at the car park at Cadbury Castle, South Cadbury, Yeovil, BA22 7HA (The Camelot Pub is nearby)

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Dorset inspires exhibition by local artists

Barleyfields by Dick Hewitson

Barleyfields by Dick Hewitson

A new exhibition opens at Dorset County Museum, Dorchester on 10th January 2015. Dorset: A Contemporary Response is the annual exhibition from Bournemouth Arts Club. The exhibition will be a display of high quality work bringing together members’ individual responses to Dorset.

“We are really looking forward to this exhibition which has been inspired by how artists feel about the county of Dorset,” said Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum. “We anticipate a great variety in the work, but with the consistently high quality the club always demands.”

The selection for the exhibition will be made by Dr Brian Graham, a highly respected Dorset artist fascinated by the past and inspired by Bronze Age and Neolithic archaeological sites.

Running alongside the main exhibition will be a smaller display of additional works by club artists. This will consist of sketch books, small dimensional pieces and smaller works on paper. Julie Herring, recent Curator of Art at Bournemouth University, is selecting these works which will be arranged to complement the main show.

Most of the pieces on display will be for sale and there should be something to suit even modest budgets. Of particular interest this year will be Postcards from Dorset – a display of postcard-sized works, one from each exhibiting artist, all of which will be for sale at the fixed price of just £30 each.

Other artworks will range in price from £50 to over £1000 with many on sale between £200 and £500.

Bournemouth Arts Club exhibition runs at Dorset County Museum from 10th January to 14th March 2015. The Museum also has a well-stocked gift shop and a popular tea room. For more information phone 01305 262735 or visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.

Dorset County Boundary Seminar at Museum

Dorset County Boundary Research GroupThe Dorset County Boundary Research Group is holding a seminar on Saturday 15th November 2014 from 9.30am to 2.00pm. The subject is Charting and Chartering the Borders of Dorset: county boundary-making set in a wider historical context. The guest speaker will be Dr Mark Gardiner of Queen’s University, Belfast.

“We will be exploring the wider concerns, the deeper history of boundaries; those processes involved in boundary-making over time,” said Dr Gardiner.

Dorset, as a defined territory, is extremely old. Hints of British origins are found in its very name, Dornsaete. The first written mention is in 845 when a combined Dorset and Somerset force attacked the Danes raiding up the river Parrett. The boundary was redefined by the Normans in 1086 and more recently in 1974 when Bournemouth was brought into Dorset to increase county revenues.

Members of the Group will be picking up these themes with reference to the exploration of Dorset’s boundary since 2007 using evidence from six Anglo-Saxon charters. The day will provide a rare opportunity to explore and discuss the composite nature of this unique historic linear landscape feature, lengths of which are now being submitted for formal Dorset County Council listing and protection.

Everyone is welcome – enquiries can be made to Katherine Barker on 01935 816764.
Tickets cost £12.50 for adults and £5 for students and are available from the Museum Shop on 01305 756827. Alternatively send your request with a SAE to Charting and Chartering Dorset, Dorset County Museum, High West Street, Dorchester DT1 1XA. Cheques are payable to the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.

The Dorset County Boundary Survey Day School 2014

Lyme in Dorset and Lyminge in KentOn Saturday 15th November 2014 at Dorset County Museum from 9.30am – 3.30pm the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society ‘The Dorset County Boundary Survey‘ are holding their annual day school ‘Charting and Chartering the Borders of Dorset: county boundary-making set in a wider historical context’.

This years guest speaker Dr Mark Gardiner, who will be exploring the wider concerns, ‘the deeper history of boundaries; those processes involved in boundary-making over time.’
Katherine Barker will be picking up these themes with reference to the discoveries made in the exploration of Dorset’s boundary since 2007. Members of the Group will then be taking as base that ‘eye-witness’ evidence presented by those Anglo-Saxon charter boundaries coincident with Dorset’s border. To help ‘set the scene’ we will be pleased to welcome Dr Alex Langlands of the ‘Mapping Anglo-Saxon Charters Project.’ The day will provide a rare opportunity to explore and discuss the composite nature of this unique historic linear landscape feature, lengths of which are now being submitted for formal Dorset County Council listing.

During the intervals an aerial view-cum-perambulation of the Up/Lyme Anglo-Saxon charter boundary will be digitally-staged by Mark Ford on the big screen.

Day School Programme:

  • 9.30-10.00 Registration (coffee will be available). Welcome by Dr Jon Murden, Director
  • 10.00-10.10 Introduction by Andrew Morgan, Chairman
  • 10.10-10-50 Dr Mark Gardiner, Senior Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology, Queen’s
    University, Belfast; ‘Boundary-making as a Long-term Process: examples from
    Anglo-Saxon England and elsewhere’
  • 10.50-11.00 Questions
  • 11.00-11.20 Coffee with Dorset biscuits and apple cake
  • 11.20-12.00 Katherine Barker, Hon Research Fellow, Bournemouth University ‘Dornsaete-shire: charting the identity of Dorset’s boundary’
  • 12.00-12.10 Questions
  • 12.10-12.30 Robin Walls, ‘Latter-day Meresmen: the establishing of a contemporary methodology for recording and classifying boundaries’
  • 12.30-1.30 Lunch – please make your own arrangements. The Museum café will be open.
  • 1.30-1.40 Dr Alex Langlands, Winchester University, ‘The Mapping Anglo-Saxon Charters Project.’ Followed by short presentations by members of the Group on those lengths of Dorset’s boundary coincident with Anglo-Saxon charter boundaries.
  • 1.40-2.00 Andrew Morgan, ‘Dorset East with Damerham AD 944 & Ringwood AD 961’
  • 2.00-2.20 Graham Hoddinott, ‘Dorset North with Handley AD 956’
  • 2.20-2.40 John Newbould, Dorset West with Halstock AD 847 & Abbot’s Wootton AD 1044
  • 2.40-3.00 Katherine Barker; ‘Dorset South-west with Uplyme AD 938 and AD 151.
  • 3.00-3.30 Questions and closing session (the Museum closes at 4pm)

Tickets are £12.50 for adults and £5.00 for students available from the Museum Shop telephone 01305 756827 – or at the door on the day. Just phone and pay by card or, if you prefer, send your request with a SAE to ‘Charting and Chartering Dorset’ Dorset County Museum, High West Street, Dorchester DT1 1XA. Cheques are payable to the ‘Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.’

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The Swash Channel Wreck by Dave Parham

Carving raised from the Swash Channel Wreck

Carving raised from the Swash Channel Wreck Photo: Michael Spender Poole Museum ©2013

Lying just off the Dorset Coast is a famous 17th century shipwreck known as the Swash Channel wreck.  A Bournemouth University marine archaeology team has been studying the wreck since 2006 but are now so concerned at the rate of deterioration that they have decided to raise and preserve part of the hull.

The 40 metre long 400 year old vessel lies in approximately 7 metres of water next to the Swash Channel in the approaches to Poole Harbour. The wreck includes ornately carved timbers, the earliest still in existence in Britain, but as the sands shift and expose the timbers to the air, they are literally being eaten away by bacteria and tunnelling shipworms. Dave Parham, a Senior Lecturer in Marine Archaeology at Bournemouth University, is leading a team to save as much of the wreck as possible.

The plan is to remove some of the timbers and preserve them, whilst reburying the rest.  It is not possible to cover up the entire wreck as it would create a shipping hazard in a busy channel.  Once preserved, the remains will go on display in Poole Museum.

Dave Parham’s talk will discuss the history of the Swash Channel Wreck project and bring the audience up to date with news on the most recent excavations and research.

This archaeological lecture is on Friday 6th December 2013. The talk is FREE of charge but a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.  Doors open at 7.00pm and the talk will commence at 7.30pm.

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

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Ship ahoy!

Archaeology National Trust SW

Being an owner of large parts of the coast, the National Trust ends up with some unusual responsibilities. Flotsam, jetsam and lagan land on our beaches and rocky shores, which is good and bad depending what it is!

In the seas off Studland Bay are many ship wrecks, some known about but others only appear when dredging work on the channel into Poole Harbour is needed or a trawler snags something with its nets. Or large timbers wash up on the beach!

I have had to add another string to my archaeological bow – marine archaeology and I don’t even know how to swim!

Over the last 12 years or so various timbers have appeared on the beach at Studland in Dorset after the winter storms.

The very large piece pictured above had to be cut in two to transport to a holding tank, as it had to be kept wet. Water-logged wood has…

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Happy Feet animator comes to Dorset County Museum

Sofronis Efstathiou, National School of Computer Animation, Bournemouth University

Sofronis Efstathiou, National School of Computer Animation, Bournemouth University

The current exhibition at Dorset County Museum, Pardoes ANIMATE!, has proved to be very popular with summer visitors.  As part of its ongoing animation theme, a professional animator and lecturer at
Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation is giving a talk about how Animation can become a viable career.

Sofronis Efstathiou will discuss a variety of student animation projects, explaining the different types of technical and creative skills used in their creation.  He will also emphasise  the importance of art, maths and science in this field and explain how they can directly affect the success of an animated film.  The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Before becoming Programme Leader of the MA course in 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University, Sofronis worked in the Film and Games industry on projects such as “Happy Feet”, “300” and “Fable 2”, training artists and production staff on projects that would go on to win an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Games BAFTA.

Sofronis Efstathiou talk takes place on Thursday 12th September 2013 at 6.00pm. Entry to this lecture is FREE

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

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