March 2015 | Banbury Museum

March 2015

Stephen Wass MA talking to us about the historic landscape around Farnborough Hall

Next Thursday, 12th March, we have Stephen Wass MA coming to talk to us about the historic landscape around Farnborough Hall.  His title is A Way with Water:  Water resources and the life of an eighteenth-centry park, Farnborough Hall, Warwickshire.

This landscape is a remarkable one full of archaeological features, many of which demonstrate the changing ways in which water has been used o9ver the centuries. Stephen Wass has been working with the National Trust as part of a two-year programme of survey and excavation and will be telling us the story.

He is a landscape archaeologist, has an MA in historical archaeology from Leicester University and is currently doing doctoral research at the University of Oxford in architectural history under the title of “Voyages to the House of Discovery: Seventeenth–century Water Gardens and the Birth of Modern Science in Oxford’. We are planning to arrange a tour of the landscape around Farnborough Hall, led by Stephen, as one of our summer outings.

On Saturday 14th March there is a talk in the Museum on the Civil War in Banbury.  Historian Gregg Archer will tell the fascinating account of Banbury’s experience in the Civil War, from its capture by the King in 1642 to the trauma of the siege of 1645. You will hear the stories of the people who fought, died and suffered the depredations of the war in and around the town. The cost is £7.50 and you can book at the Museum shop or see more online. 

Please continue to check your curio cabinets for interesting objects to bring along to our Historical Artefacts Quiz on the 16th April.  The idea is that you should know what they are, and that others might have fun guessing.  There will be a small prize for the most interesting object, and another for the best set of guesses.  Do email me if you have a query about this, or if you have an interesting object and are wondering whether it would be suitable.

Further ahead, we have an exciting event coming up to celebrate 800 years since the Magna Carta.  This will be on June 25th at Broughton Castle, at 7.30 pm, when we will have Professor Miles Taylor who will talk about the history of Magna Carta through the ages, and also Sir Robert M. Worcester, who is chairman of the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.  He will describe the inspiration of Magna Carta and its relevance today.  This will be held in the Great Hall of Broughton Castle,  which is particularly suitable as the ancestor of the Fiennes family, Geoffrey de Say, was one of the 25 barons at the forefront of the opposition to King John which enforced the sealing of Magna Carta in June 2015.  This event is being put on jointly by the Magna Carta Trust, Broughton Castle, Banbury Museum and the Banbury Historical Society.

The gardens at Broughton will be open for picnicking from 5.30 pm and tickets will include a glass of wine.   We will need some help on the day and it would be good if there were some volunteers from among the society’s members – thank you to those who have already volunteered.

Tickets can be booked online.

I’ve been asked to publicise the next OAHS lecture on Tuesday 10th March at Rewley House, Wellington Square, Oxford at 5.30pm.  Professor Christopher Dyer will be talking about the late medieval Cotswold wool merchant, John Heritage.  Chris Dyer’s latest book is all about John Heritage and his world which included north and west Oxfordshire so this is of local interest. ( A Country Merchant, 1495-1520: Trading and Farming at the End of the Middle Ages). We are hoping that Professor Dyer will be coming to talk to Banbury Historical Society during next year on the same subject.

Summer outings in May and June will be confirmed shortly and our AGM in July.  We’d love to find some new committee members who might have new ideas. Do contact me if you would like to find out more about the gaps you might be able to fill.

With best wishes

Deborah Hayter