*** We wish all our Members a Very Happy 2003 ***

Last Lecture

Our last lecture was Medieval Instruments and Music by Jonathan Weeks. This was quite different to our usual type of lecture (although Jonathan does have a degree in Archaeology!) and it was very much enjoyed. Jonathan took us through the historical development of woodwind instruments over the medieval period, and explained that many of our 'well-known' instruments actually came from the East. For example, the bagpipes were known by the Hittites and may have been introduced to Britain by the Romans. Before playing the Shawm, which is an early member of the Oboe family, Jonathan warned us about the noise, and then a very loud, distinctive eastern sound (like a snake charmer) pierced the whole of Allendale House and probably the Dormers opposite. Jonathan expertly played on each instrument some music typical of its time, and demonstrated the sounds in the towns and streets of medieval Britain. His talk covered poignant and interesting moments of history, like the piece composed by Richard I (the LionHeart) when he was the prisoner of Henry IV of Austria and being held to ransom.

We thank Jonathan very much for an extremely interesting and different sort of lecture. (Jonathan also gives a similar lecture based on ancient String Instruments, so perhaps we might see him again in the future !)

Roman Towns And Cities, starting Tue 14th January

Series of weekly evening lectures by Bill Putnam (Course No. D02J004RP). The course will 'look at the urban centres of Roman Civilisation. The great cities will be examined, including Rome itself, but the main part of the course will consider the towns of Roman Britain, including Dorchester (Durnovaria), the tribal capital of the Durotriges'. The course is being held in Stratton Village Hall, with 10 weekly meetings starting on Tuesday 14th January, 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, and it costs 38. For further information, or to book, contact Bristol University enrolment on 0117 928 7165. You can pay with a credit card over the phone. Three EDAS members went on the corresponding course last year (Bill on Roman Roads), and it was very good indeed. Those same three members have already enrolled for this year's course!

Thu 30th Jan - Dorset Maps
An illustrated talk by David Beaton, author of the recently published book Dorset Maps, which has received excellent reviews in the press, and on television and radio. His illustrated talk on Maps and Map Making gives some fascinating insights into the colourful history of the County and highlights the the remarkable changes that have taken place over the last five centuries. EDHT talk at Allendale House, starting 7.00 pm. EDHT Members 4, non-members 5. (Tel 01202 888992)

Sat 1st March - Day School: 'The Romans in Dorset and Beyond'.
A day school with Nick Griffiths FSA, who has lectured for Bristol University and local WEA groups. After fierce opposition to the Romans, Dorset became a successfull part if the empire. The day school will examine how this was achieved, drawing on evidence from across the Roman world of Dorset to Africa and elsewhere, as well as concentrating on individuals. The Romans ruled the West Country for nearly four centuries, and evidence of their presence is widespread in our local area and further west. They developed a very sophisticated lifestyle, as can be seen from the remains of the splendid villas and baths. EDHT day school at Allendale House, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Tickets: EDHT members 10, non-members 12, to include a hot lunch (with a vegetarian option) and tea and coffee. (Tel 01202 888992 for more information and to order tickets)

Sun 7th June - Fri Jun 13th: EDAS Field Trip 2003
Arrangements for this are now underway, courtesy of Keith Allsopp who will taking us to East Anglia. You will find an application form included with this Newsletter. Please see this for some of the planned highlights.

Christchurch Antiquarians Grant
The Christchurch Antiquarians are to receive a 50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for detailed research into Christchurch Castle and the early history of the Norman conquest. The Chairman of the group, Roger Hills, is delighted that the HLF has assessed the project on its merits and agreed to supply the funding for the project. This is the culmination of eighteen months' work by the group to ensure that organisations such as English Heritage would accept that the work to be undertaken was in line with their policies. The whole of the Castle site, including the motte, bailey and Constable's House, is part of the scheduled monument and consent is required from English Heritage before any work can be contemplated.

The work will begin after Christmas when research gets under way. The plan is to gather all the documentary evidence from sources such as the British Library, the Public Record Office and various universities which contain any information about the Castle. A systematic search for charters and other documents will provide evidence for piecing together the history of the Castle and the development of the town in the 12th and 13th centuries. In conjunction with this there will be a geophysical survey carried out by Bournemouth University to locate the ditches attached to the Castle, and the extent of the bailey. In order that the scheduled site is properly cared for, a Conservation Statement will be drawn up to ensure that Christchurch's ancient monument is maintained for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.

This is a community project and The Christchurch Antiquarians would be delighted to hear from anyone wishing to help or who would like more information about the project or organisation. There is to be an exhibition at the Red House Museum in 2005 which will contain the results of the investigations and there will be various updates on the project as it proceeds. Also a heritage trail will be inaugurated, using handheld audio equipment to guide visitors around the site. The Christchurch Antiquarians can be contacted on 01425 613569.


The dates for EDAS events are underlined. Walks and field visits usually meet at 10.30 am at the published Grid Reference. Ring the leader if the weather is doubtful or if more details are required.

Sat 11 Jan Day School - Iron Age and Roman Poole Harbour. See last month's Newsletter for details
Tue 14 Jan Bristol University Evening course starts on 'Romans Towns' with Bill Putnam. See earlier for details.
Wed 15 Jan Wareham Group Meeting. 'The Roman Fort at Dorchester' with Bill Putnam. Wareham Middle School, 7:30pm
Sun 19 Jan This walk is cancelled. see 'Walks' earlier in this Newsletter.
Thu 30 Jan EDHT Lecture 'Dorset Maps' at 7.00 pm. See earlier for details.
Wed 12 Feb EDAS lecture - 'Medieval Tiles' with Diana Hall, plus a Talk on the last Field Trip to the Cotswolds with Graham and Susan Adams
Sun 16 Feb Walk around Turnworth with Alan Hawkins. Details to follow.
Wed 19 Feb Wareham Group Meeting. 'Maces and Macebearing: Wareham's place in the history of Civic Regalia' with Nigel Spiller. Wareham Middle School, 7:30pm
Sat 1 Mar EDHT Day School: 'The Romans in Dorset and Beyond' See earlier for details.
Wed 12 Mar EDAS lecture - 'Monasteries' with Prof. Mick Aston NB MEMBERS ONLY EVENING
Wed 19 Mar Wareham Group Meeting: 'Potterne: Bronze Age Ritual and Rubbish' with Andrew Lawson. Wareham Middle School, 7.30 pm.
Wed 26 Mar AGM, followed by a talk from Martin Green on his recent work.