BHS Lectures 2018/9 | Banbury Museum

Banbury Historical Society presents a programme of events from September to July.

There are lectures from September through to March or April, held (with one exception) in the education room of the Banbury Museum, starting at 7.30 pm, and in May and June, there are outings to places of interest.  The society’s AGM is held in a different historic venue each year in July.




All meetings (except September 13th) take place in the Education Room, Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Road, OX16 2PQ at 7.30 pm

Sept 13, 2018

Drinks from 6.30 pm at St. Mary’s Church Banbury


Sept 13, 2018,
7.30 pm

St. Mary’s Banbury: how architecture, theology and liturgy combined to build it

The intellectual and theological climate when Banbury’s new church was designed in the 1790s had changed radically by the 1850s and 60s. The 19th-century transformation of the interior of the church reflected both a different way of doing theology and a different way of thinking about architecture and sacred space.

The Revd Canon Jeff West FSA

Jeff is an architectural historian who worked as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and for English Heritage for over 30 years. In 2005 he resigned to train for the church and has been one of the clergy at St Mary’s since 2007. He was Area Dean of Deddington from 2012-17.

Oct 11th, 2018, 7.30 pm

Exploring the origins of domestic animals using ancient DNA

Though our modern world rests on a foundation of domestic plants and animals, we lack an understanding of how we have become so dependent on them. In this talk Greger Larson will present findings and new perspectives that have been uncovered by sequencing the DNA of the archaeological remains of our closest animal friends.


Professor Greger Larson

Greger received his PhD in Zoology from Oxford in 2006. After doing a postdoc in Uppsala, Sweden he started his own ancient DNA lab in Durham before moving down to become the Director of the Palaeogentics and Bio-Archaeology Research Network (Palaeo-BARN) in 2014

Nov 8th, 2018, 7.30 pm
(Includes book sale)

the constant terror of this loathsome and fatal disease’; facing smallpox in 18th-century Banbury

The talk takes an in-depth look at the transmission of smallpox in Banbury in the eighteenth century and the impact of the disease on local families. It will also discuss the ways in which communities were successful in helping to control the disease.  

Dr. Rosemary Leadbeater

Rosemary is an Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University where she teaches social history and the history of medicine and health. In 2016 she completed her PhD thesis: Experiencing Smallpox in Eighteenth-Century England. She has also investigated pauper letters as a historical source and written on Florence Nightingale.

Dec 13th 2018, 7.30

Tranks, slitters and fourchettes: the rise and fall of glove-making in west Oxfordshire

Once of the County’s major industries, by the 19th century glove-making was concentrated in the market towns and villages of west Oxfordshire. Social change and foreign competition led to the decline and eventual demise of an industry that flourished in the ‘days of keen Christians, cold carriages and formal elegance’.

Carol Anderson FSA

As Curator of the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock, research in advance of a new gallery enabled Carol to explore the development of several once significant local industries, including glove-making. An archaeologist and teacher by training Carol is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Museums Service Manager for Oxfordshire County Council.

Jan 10th 2019, 7.30

The Rise and Rise of Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk (d. 1475)

The granddaughter of Geoffrey Chaucer, Alice was born a commoner with no land or titles. Through her marriages she became a countess and then a duchess. Widowed in 1450 she spent 25 years defending her only son and the family lands, property which made her one of the wealthiest nobles of the 15th century.

Dr Rowena E. Archer

Trained as a medieval historian at Bristol and Oxford Rowena is a Fellow of Brasenose college Oxford and lecturer in medieval history at Brasenose and Christ church. She researches aristocratic culture in general but with specific interests on women.

Feb 14th 2019, 7.30

Discovering the Broughton Hoard and the Broughton Roman Villa

The Broughton Castle estate is rich in history, as might be expected, and recent discoveries have opened up previously hidden secrets.   The Broughton hoard may have been the Queen’s coins from selling off the Crown Jewels and a theory led to the discovery of one of England’s largest courtyard Roman Villas.

Keith Westcott FInstLM FCIPHE RHP

Alongside many National roles (Chair of British Standards for Heating Systems and UK Principal Expert within Europe) , for 25 years Keith has pursued his interest in local history. Following archaeological principles, Keith is forming the Institute of Detectorists and will be lecturing at an OUDCE day school.

March 14th 2019, 7.30“It will do him more good than going to school”: Child labour in nineteenth-century Oxfordshire   ‘Child labour’ evokes an image of young children toiling in the grimy factories and mines of the Midlands and the North. Yet in rural Oxfordshire, child labour was as much a feature of everyday life in the 19th century as in industrialised areas. This talk tells the story of our county’s child workers, many of whom started work part-time at the age of six or seven. They worked in agriculture, in domestic service and in lace-making, gloving and in a host of other small-scale occupations. The talk highlights the differences between girls’ and boys’ experiences of work, and the particular fates of pauper apprentices. It also shows that, contrary to popular belief, cottage industry and agricultural work were by no means the ‘soft option’ in comparison with work in the factories and mines of industrialised areas.

Liz Woolley is a local historian specialising in aspects of the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire. She is particularly interested in the history of the city’s “town” – as opposed to “gown” – and in the everyday lives of rural people across the county, chiefly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Liz has lived in Oxford since 1984. She completed an MSc in English Local History at OUDCE in 2009. She is an experienced speaker, guide, tutor, researcher and writer who is keen to help individuals and groups to enjoy finding out about the history of their local area.

April 11th 2019, 7.30Reminiscences: Banbury in WW2 April 11th 2019, 7.30
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