Recent Lectures

Tue, 7 Jun 2022

Start time: 7:30 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn Only

About the lecture:

Famous Local Folk – blue plaques of South Oxfordshire. Who has walked the hallowed streets of our villages and towns? Why not learn more about the famous people who called our area home – and who merited blue plaques to mark their stays!

PLEASE NOTE: This lecture will not be on ZOOM and unfortunately we are unable to record it.

Our lecturer: Marie-Louise Kerr

Tue, 3 May 2022

Start time: 7:30 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

HEIR is part of the Institute of Archaeology Archive at the University of Oxford.

This project unlocks the research potential of historic lantern-slide and glass plate photographs. Bringing together scholars, software developers and a worldwide community of  “citizen scientists”. This digitizing and crowd-sourcing initiative aims to keyword and identify old photos of monuments, landscapes and environments taken across the world and to re-photograph their modern settings.

It has been digitising images taken from largely forgotten, technologically obsolete resources warehoused in various parts of the university since 2013. Its image collection has expanded to nearly 35,000 pictures from multiple university departments, libraries and colleges.

Dr Kinory’s lecture will provide the history of the project, stories about unexpected research findings from some of the antique images in the collection, and a brief tutorial on how to use HEIR.

Our lecturer: Dr Janice Kinory

Janice Kinory was born and raised in the USA. She has lived in the UK since 1999. Janice earned her DPhil in Archaeology at Oxford in 2011 and now works as an independent archaeologist. She has been a research associate at the HEIR Project, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford since 2014.

Tue, 5 Apr 2022

Start time: 7:30 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn AND in your home!

About the lecture:

Michael will explore the paradox of a flourishing teetotal movement in Victorian Henley with its strong and lively commitment to spiritous liquor. 
  • How did the teetotallers take control? 
  • What part did they play in the life of the Victorian town? 
  • What was their relationship with the town’s social structure and politics? 
  • What resistance did they meet within the town and more widely? 
  • And why did the total abstention movement die away more or less completely by the time of the First World War? 
One of the main questions is whether the total abstention movement was really all about drink in any case, or had a wider social meaning?
 
Picture from:  From David Whitehead’s Henley on Thames: A  History, p.73

Michael Redley, our newly elected Chair, lives in Norman Avenue in Henley. His doctoral work in history was on East Africa in colonial times. He made a career in central government and in statutory agencies concerned with broadcasting and at the University of Oxford. More recently he has returned to his roots in history.  He has published on various topics and teaches courses at the Department for Continuing Education in Oxford on twentieth-century British history and politics.

Tue, 1 Feb 2022

Start time: 7:30 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

Swan Upping takes place once a year on the River Thames.  The Swan Uppers weigh and measure the cygnets and check them for any signs of injury, commonly caused by fishing hooks and line.  The young cygnets are ringed with individual identification numbers that denote their ownership if they belong to the Vintners or the Dyers livery companies; the cygnets’ ownership is determined by their parentage. However, all Crown birds are left unmarked.  The Queen retains the right to claim ownership of any unmarked mute swan swimming in open waters, but this right is mainly exercised on certain stretches of the River Thames.

For more information visit: Royal swans

 

Our lecturer: David Barber

The Queen’s Swan Marker.

Tue, 7 Dec 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

A 17th-century Christmas:  an entertaining romp through Yuletide celebrations at the time of the English Civil War and Restoration. Wassailing rites, frost fairs, Twelfth Night customs – and the Puritan backlash against Christmas itself – all encompassed with a wealth of colourful Powerpoint images.

Our lecturer: Tim Healey

Tim Healey is a freelance writer and broadcaster. A frequent contributor to the Oxford Times colour magazine Limited Edition, he has also presented many programmes on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, chiefly on heritage themes and the popular music of the past.  Tim is also director of the 17th-century costume band the Oxford Waits with whom he appears in period attire.

Tue, 2 Nov 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

Michael Fulford , Project Director and Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading has been excavating at Silchester since 1974.

He will summarise the excavation work carried out this summer at Calleva and update us on new discoveries made since our visit (pre-Covid), concerning the development of the different building phases, especially in the areas of the  Caldarium, Palaestra and Ambulatory.

Our lecturer: Professor Michael Fulford

 

He directs:

The Silchester Roman Baths Project, 2018- Silchester Archaeology

This project has two principal aims: one, to gain a better understanding of the structure and development of the baths, which were originally excavated by the Society of Antiquaries in 1903-4; two, to investigate the deposits which accumulated outside the building in order to understand better its environment and the changing behaviour of its users through the Roman period.

Tue, 12 Oct 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

The rowing competition in the Olympic Games of 1908 was staged at Henley, which was then called upon to represent Britain to the world.
What part did the annual regatta play in the life of the town?
Why did the Olympics come to Henley?
What extra demands did the event make, and how did the town react
?
The episode casts an interesting light on its political and social life in the years leading up to the First World War.

Our lecturer: Michael Redley

Michael Redley lives in Norman Avenue in Henley. His doctoral work in history was on East Africa in colonial times. He made a career in central government and in statutory agencies concerned with broadcasting and at the University of Oxford. More recently he has returned to his roots in history.  He has published on various topics and teaches courses at the Department for Continuing Education in Oxford on twentieth-century British history and politics.

Tue, 1 Jun 2021

Start time: 7:45 am
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Meeting by Zoom – see below

About the lecture:

Poster art in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s was a thriving industry enabled by enlightened clients such as Shell-Mex, the London Underground, and the four railway companies. This talk will explore the works of the pioneers of British poster art including Tom Purvis, E. McKnight Kauffer, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland. Initially placing the illustrated poster in an historical context, the talk will focus on the innovative poster campaigns mounted by the London Underground, GWR (with local references), LNER and Shell-Mex.

Join us on zoom by clicking here

Meeting opens at 7:30 and the lecture starts at 7:45 pm

 

Our lecturer: Graham Twemlow

Locally based, Graham is a retired University academic. He writes and lectures on design history and decorative arts subjects. He is interested in all aspects of the applied arts, but with a particular passion for illustrated posters from the mid 19th Century to the mid 20th Century. An experienced speaker, he has given talks at venues such as the Royal Society of Arts, London, the Grolier Club, New York, Christie’s South Kensington, the River & Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and numerous other venues in the U.K. His publishing credits include a role as a specialist consultant, editor and contributing author to the highly acclaimed Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

Tue, 4 May 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Meeting by Zoom – see below

About the lecture:

The talk will concentrate on the often hidden mostly 14th and 15th century Henley houses, and especially on those for which we have secure building dates, through tree ring felling analysis, which has been carried out by local dendrochronologist Dr. Dan Miles of the Oxford Dendro.Lab. This data together with the recorded structural evidence has allowed us some windows into medieval life in the town and thoughts about possible reasons for undertaking what would have been major building operations at those particular times.

ZOOM link:

Meeting ID: 867 8384 6626
Our lecturer: Ruth Gibson

Ruth Gibson joined the Henley Archaeological & Historical Group in the early 1980s and became interested in historic buildings through the nationwide barns survey run by SPAB ( Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings). To find out more about the reason for the abundance of historic barns and other farm buildings, most of them vacant, or on the verge of residential conversions, she went to Reading University and got an honours degree in Archaeology and History, specializing in farming history. Her dissertation on the Harpsden Court Estate was based on the 1586 survey/map  of this estate by the Blagrave Map makers family of Reading. She then worked as an Historic Buildings Officer for Bedfordshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale D.C and the National Trust. She has been recording medieval buildings in and around Henley for the past 30 plus years and is our acknowledged expert.

Tue, 6 Apr 2021

Start time: 7:45 am
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Meeting by zoom – see link below

About the lecture:

The results of the UK’s largest ever archaeological LiDAR survey have recently been made publicly available for citizen science analysis. The 1400 km2 survey, covering the Chilterns AONB and its surroundings, records the topography of the landscape in great detail. Any archaeological sites surviving as earthworks, even just a few centimetres high, will be detected, giving us evidence of people living and working in the region from the Neolithic to the 20th Century.

The technique is particularly powerful in wooded landscapes, able to show up sites beneath the tree canopy where the archaeological survey has traditionally been very difficult; with more than 20 % tree coverage, the Chilterns AONB has many secrets to reveal. In this talk Dr. Ed Peveler will be introducing this National Lottery-funded project, explaining more about the survey, letting us know how we can access the data to do our own archaeological exploring, and showing us some of the exciting results that are already emerging.

Dr Ed Peveler is the Landscape Heritage Officer at the Chilterns Conservation Board, responsible for the technical elements of the Beacons of the Past project, and for the development and delivery of volunteering opportunities such as skills workshops. Prior to joining CCB, Ed completed his AHRC-funded DPhil at the University of Oxford, investigating the process of construction and building materials in Roman Oxfordshire. He also worked as Assistant Director of the University of Oxford excavations at the Roman small town of Dorchester-on-Thames between 2014 and 2017 and has excavated at sites in Britain, Italy, Albania, Tunisia, and India.

ZOOM Meeting link …
Time: Apr 6, 2021 log in 07:30 start 7.45 PM London
Meeting ID: 886 6441 2746
Our lecturer: Edward Peveler
  • Edward Peveler
  University of OxfordSchool of ArchaeologyVisiting Researcher

I am currently the Landscape Heritage Officer for the Chilterns Conservation Board ‘Beacons of the Past’ project (2018-2021).

I completed my doctorate in 2018 at the University of Oxford School of Archaeology, which explored the technical, economic, logistical, and social aspects of Roman building material production and trade in southern Britain.

Between 2014 and 2017 I worked as Assistant Director of the Discovering Dorchester excavation project, run jointly by the University of Oxford, Oxford Archaeology, and the local community of Dorchester on Thames.

I completed my Bachelors (in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History) and Masters (in Archaeological Science) also at the University of Oxford, producing theses on social and cultural readings of Roman construction techniques at Butrint, Albania, and on the trade of Roman grey coarseware pottery in Oxfordshire, respectively.

Tue, 2 Mar 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Zoom meeting – see below

About the lecture:

Join Zoom Meeting from 7:30 pm for 7:45 pm start

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84249117824

Meeting ID: 842 4911 7824      Passcode: henley

The AGM will be followed by a short talk by John Whiting entitled “The history of the Henley Branch Railway line”.

The Henley Branch line was built in 1857 to connect the town to the new mainline Great Western Railway at Twyford at the time when Isambard Brunel was their Chief Engineer.

The track was initially laid down as broad gauge (7′ 0¼” )  (the extra ¼” making all the difference to the ride), but was later changed to (4′ 8½”) when it became the nationally standard gauge.*

At the time, Henley’s fortunes were on the decline because of the loss of river trade and the decrease in road transport through the town.

The railway gave much easier accessibility to London and was one reason why the Henley Regatta blossomed.

*For the younger reader, this means that the width between rails was reduced from 2140 mm to 1435 mm.

 

Our lecturer: John Whiting – our Chair

Tue, 2 Feb 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Zoom.

About the lecture:

The life of Margaret Beaufort is one of staggering highs and heartbreaking lows.

Margaret was forced to give up the son whose birth almost cost her her life, but later, through her son the first Tudor king, she became the most powerful woman in England. Margaret was not only a survivor, but she would also become an Uncrowned Queen.

 

Our lecturer: Dr Nicola Tallis

Dr Nicola Tallis is a Tudor historian who has worked as a curator, researcher and lecturer. She is the author of three books: Crown of Blood, Elizabeth’s Rival, and Uncrowned Queen, a new biography of Margaret Beaufort.

Nicola also has a PhD from the University of Winchester, the subject of which is the jewellery collections of the Yorkist and early Tudor queens of England.

Tue, 5 Jan 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: via Zoom – see below

About the lecture:

Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-52) was one of the most important figures in the Gothic Revival of the nineteenth century.  He was an architect, a theorist, and above all a talented designer of decorative art, being a ground-breaking advocate for flat patterns and bold colouring.  This lecture will evaluate Pugin’s contribution to nineteenth-century gothic architecture and design as well as exploring the activities of the house decorating partnership he formed with John Gregory Crace (1809-89) in 1844.  The two men, in collaboration with the Pugin team, went on to execute the interiors of the Palace of Westminster and the Medieval Court of the Great Exhibition in 1851.

It may be noted that the Catholic Church in Henley has Pugin reredos and stained glass windows.
Details can be found at: https://www.sacredhearthenley.co.uk/page/?title=Heritage+Page&pid=22 

Our lecturer: Megan Aldrich

Megan Aldrich began her career in the Victoria and Albert Museum in the 1980s before joining Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, where she was Academic Director from 2009-14.   She is currently an adjunct professor of architectural and design history at Richmond the American International University and a part-time tutor in the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education.  She is Hon. Editorial Secretary of the Furniture History Society, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and has published many books and articles over the years.

Tue, 10 Nov 2020

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87972176494?pwd=SEVUbTE2ODRDT0ttME14Vi9lNTFSQT09

About the lecture:

Silchester is the modern name of Roman Calleva Atrebatum and the location of the University of Reading’s Field School, Iron Age Environs Project and Nero at Silchester excavations.

ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87972176494?pwd=SEVUbTE2ODRDT0ttME14Vi9lNTFSQT09

PASSWORD: henley   (lowercase)

Our lecturer: Professor Mike Fulford

Project Director and Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading has been excavating at Silchester since 1974.

Tue, 6 Oct 2020

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: ZOOM

About the lecture:

The Chilterns landscape is justly famous but this beautiful area reflects centuries of people working the land, including the woodland, and exploiting resources in an imaginative way.  Jill will describe the rich mixture of work in the Chilterns that has developed through the years from farming and agriculture, woodland industries and furniture making, food processing, mineral extraction, to wartime industries and modern-day industries based around recreation and leisure, plus many others.

ZOOM link:    Join the meeting here:

Password: henley

Our lecturer: Jill Eyers

Jill was a professional geologist who undertook research projects within the UK (Bucks, Berks, Oxfordshire, Cumbria, Norfolk) as well as abroad (Brazil, Northern Spain, Turkey, and the Grenadines). More recently (from 2006) she works as an archaeologist (Director of Chiltern Archaeology). Archaeology projects include the Roman villas at Hambleden in Bucks, Bisham Abbey, Iron Age sites, and Saxons and others at Monks Risborough. Dr. Eyers has been a lecturer for the Open University since 1987 and regularly lectures for other universities, as well as being a publisher of geological guides in the Rocks Afoot series and archaeological books.

Tue, 3 Mar 2020

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: Proposed
Venue: The Barn

About the lecture:

At the outbreak of WW2 an ambitious scheme was set up to employ artists on the home front. The result was a large collection of watercolors and drawings that make up a fascinating record of British lives and landscapes at a time of imminent change. Graham’s talk will tell the story of this enterprising scheme and highlight the works that featured Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire landscapes and landmarks recorded by artists such as John Piper, Walter Bayes, Barbara Jones, Stanley Anderson and William Fairclough.

Many local scenes were recorded, including views of Henley, Stonor, Fingest, and Hurley.

Our lecturer: Graham Twemlow

Locally based, Dr Graham Twemlow writes and lectures on design history and decorative arts subjects. An experienced speaker, he has given talks at venues such as the Royal Society of Arts, London, the Grolier Club, New York, Christie’s South Kensington, the River & Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and numerous other venues in the U.K.

Tue, 4 Feb 2020

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

Reading Abbey was a leading abbey, the burial place of a king, a royal palace & a Civil War redoubt.

Hear about the impact of the dissolution and its subsequent use as a royal palace, the destruction of the Civil War, and the subsequent re-development of the Abbey Quarter and preservation of the Abbey Ruins up to the present day.

John Painter is the co-author of “Reading Abbey Abbey and the Abbey Quarter” (Two Rivers Press, 2018) and secretary of the Friends of Reading Abbey.

Our lecturer: John Painter

John Painter is the co-author of “Reading Abbey Abbey and the Abbey Quarter” (Two Rivers Press, 2018) and secretary of the Friends of Reading Abbey.