NEWSLETTER - FEBRUARY 2004

St Catherine's Hall Car Park
We have been informed that the car park is to be re-surfaced next month so that there may not be sufficient spaces available for those attending our meeting on 10th March. If you find the car park full, then there are plenty of public car parks, which are free of charge after 6 p.m.

RECENT EVENTS
Our evening lecture last month was "The Ancient Druids" by Dr. Andrew Fitzpatrick. People's understanding of the Druids can come from the romanticised version created by the Victorians, and news reports about Stonehenge. However, there is of course a factual archaeological basis for them, although written evidence such as the text by Julius Caesar is very slight. Andrew has studied the few available sources to better understand the structure of society and practices from this Celtic period. This indicates that the Druidic caste was an important authority in society. (The influence of the Druids was such that the encumbent governor Suetonius Paullinus was forced to take a large part of the army to crush them in North Wales, thus encouraging the Boudiccan rebellion in AD 60- 1.) Andrew's work on the artefact evidence suggests a loosely coupled Druidic culture across Britain and western Europe. The artefacts include a variety of sophisticated objects, such as ritual blades that are decorated with astronomical symbols, and horned figurines.

We thank Andrew for a very interesting and informative presentation that has undoubtedly corrected some of our misconceptions.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS
EDAS AGM

Don't forget that we have also have the AGM on our second meeting in March, so don't miss it, as it is your chance to tell us what you think. The business part of the meeting is over very quickly, and in the second half Martin Green will be telling us about the archaeology of Peru.

Your current Committee is:

    Chairman: John Day
    Membership Secretary: Della Day
    Treasurer: Peter Walker
    Programme Secretary: Steve Smith
    Acting Secretary: Sue Churchill
    Special Advisor: Martin Green
    Ordinary Members: Graham Adams, Keith Allsopp, Janet Bartlett, Steve Bungay, Mike Fryatt, Phil Roberts

In accordance with our Constitution, 2 ordinary members and all officers must step down to submit for re-election. This year, the 2 ordinary members are Steve Bungay and Janet Bartlett, who does not want to apply for re-election. You will find a Nomination Form at the end of this Newsletter. Nominations must be received by Sue Churchill, the acting EDAS Secretary, by March 5th, or otherwise at the first March meeting itself.

Membership Fees
For three years running we have not had to put up the subscription, so membership is still 8.50 for an individual, 12.00 for a Family or Institutional membership, or 5 for student. We think this is good value for nine lectures a year, a monthly Newsletter, and organised walks. We are trying to encourage EDAS Members to pay 'electronically' for their subscription, as this vastly reduces the paper work the Committee has to process at this time of the year. (See last month's Newsletter about about the suggested change in the payment method.) If you intend adopt this method and have have not yet completed the Standing Order form which was included with last month's Newsletter, could you please do so as soon as possible so that the new system is set up in good time. There is one point that I did not mention in last month's article is that all renewal fees are due at the beginning of April no matter what month of the year you joined EDAS. If you have any queries concerning the standing order please contact me on 01425 - 471326 or email me at peterdwalker@dsl.pipex.com
Peter Walker, Treasurer

EDAS Field Trip 2004 Please see the separate fact sheet in last month's Newsletter, and return your replies as soon as possible. Early booking of accommodation is recommended. Suitably placed accommodation for the trip would be somewhere in the Haydon Bridge/Hexham/Wall area. If you require any further information regarding the Trip or accommodation, please contact Peter Walker on 01425 471326 or email him at peterdwalker@dsl.pipex.com

HOLIDAY 03
Last year's family holiday took us to Durham, South Scotland, Cumberland and Warwickshire. This involved many interesting sites, not least Rosilyn Chapel, just south of Glasgow. This was our second visit there, it is a fascinating place with a multitude of sculptures. We looked in at the Pencil Museum in Keswick and found it more interesting than anticipated, not least because the local Graphite industry helped make the Banks family wealthy. Travelling on the way home we stayed at St. Bees, where we met Clive and Ronni Bowd, ex-EDAS members, and had an enjoyable and instructive day with them, among other things visiting the St. Bees Roman Fort. (They asked to be remembered to members). All of these places are worthy of articles in their own right but we would like to dally on our last site visit.

We are not castle people. We know very little about their designs and history. On a nice day they can make pleasant places to wander about, even sleep on the lawns. Our decision to visit Kenilworth Castle was partly out of a sense of duty and partly having recently read about it and some of the famous owners, and it could be fitted comfortably in to our itinerary. We are glad we did.

Kenilworth, like many castles, is in ruins. Despite this its grandeur remains. The castle stands on a knoll of rock and gravel from which are magnificent views. At one time a great lake a kilometre long and half a kilometre wide practically surrounded it. In its medieval heyday it was the second most important castle in England.

King Henry I gave the estate in which the castle stands to Geoffrey de Clinton, his chamberlain. The first Norman Castle was a simple round enclosure defended by an earthen bank and ditch, with a timber palisade on top of the bank and a tall mound topped by a watchtower. Within the enclosure were a hall, kitchen, stables and barns. The substantial household would have been as self sufficient as possible. By the end of the 12th. century most of the castle had been rebuilt in stone, with a large Keep encasing the earth mound. At the beginning of the 13th. century King John radically extended the castle. An outer perimeter wall was built with towers. The old castle ditch became redundant and replaced by another. A fortified dam was thrown up to create an enormous shallow lake upstream of the castle Island. In 1400 John of Gaunt substantially improved the domestic buildings, creating a magnificent palace overlooking the lake. Soon afterwards King Henry V built a banqueting house on the far side of the lake. In Tudor times the Earl of Leicester further improved the palace by erecting a range of buildings between the old keep and the medieval hall and chambers, together with stables an outer gatehouse and Pleasure Garden.

King Henry the elder took possession of the castle as a stronghold against his rebelling son, the 'young King'.

The siege of Kenilworth Castle was a major incident in the Baron's war against King Henry III. Simon De Monfort had custody of the Castle in 1244 and later had a life time grant but he was dissatisfied with Henry's treatment of his family, created a Barons revolt and controlled England after the battle of Lewes in 1264. He imprisoned Edward, the King's son in the castle, but he escaped. De Monfort's son, also Simon, encamped with a large army outside the castle as there was not enough room inside, but Edwards's army made a surprise night attack and slaughtered De Monfort's army. The young Simon escaped into the castle by swimming the great Mere. Three days later Edward won the battle of Evesham and the elder de Monfort was killed. (Simon de Monfort held the manor of Bere Regis and after his death was treated as a saint by many people). The young Simon later found himself holed up in the castle and was besieged for nine months by Henry III. The castle was captured with a combination of massive, well armed forces and an epidemic disease surging through the castle defenders.

Kenilworth Castle became the property of the Dudley family and is famous for the entertainment arranged for Queen Elizabeth I by Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester in 1575, said to be one of the most magnificent displays ever: no expense was spared. (Robert was high in the favour of the Queen, his wife mysteriously died and it was rumoured he was going to marry the Queen.) The Queen was entertained for nineteen days, and the castle, including the Great Lake, was decorated out in the most sumptuous fashion.

After Robert Dudley's death in 1588 the Crown reclaimed it and it was sold at a knock- down price, becoming part of Queen Henrietta Maria's marriage portion. It changed hands twice during the Civil War though there was little fighting. After the Battle of Edgehill the Parliamentary Army was determined to completely destroy it, but they were persuaded to only slight the outermost wall of the Keep and breach the wall of the Outer Ward.

Space does not allow us to give more than this very scrappy sketch of Kenilworth's history or describe the splendour the ruins sparkle with as it stands overlooking the village: a most appropriate edifice for what is the centre of England. We wonder if in the year 2006 somebody will organise our annual EDAS field trip to take in Kenilworth? Still we have the 5th. June and Hadrians Way this year and the Lakes the year after, so there is time to reflect about Warwickshire. But, where is the family holiday to be this year?

More important where is yours to be?
John & Della

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

The dates for EDAS events are underlined. The monthly evening lectures start at 7.30 pm.
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.

Wed 11 Feb EDAS Lecture: 'Aspects of Dorset's Medieval Archaeology' with lan Hewitt of Bournemouth University
Wed 10 Mar EDAS Lecture: In the first half Teresa Hall of EDAS will talk on 'Early Monasteries and Minsters' with, and in the second half there will be a lecture by Mick Aston (topic to be announced).
Wed 24 Mar AGM. and then a lecture 'Peru. Past and Present' with Martin Green of EDAS.
Sun 28 Mar Walk around Hambledon Hill with Gill & Alan Broadbent. Details to follow.
Wed 14Apr EDAS Lecture: 'Poole Harbour - England's First International Port of Trade' with Eileen Wilkes of the School of Conservation Sciences.
Wed 12 May EDAS Lecture: 'Pyrolithic Technology: A new look at burnt stones' with Trevor Steptoe.
Sun 18Apr Walk around Turnworth and Ringmoor with Alan Hawkins. Details to follow.


NOMINATION FORM for EDAS Committee Membership - 2004/2005

To: Sue Churchill (Acting EDAS Secretary), 127, Kingswell Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH10 5DG.

TO ARRIVE BEFORE 5th MARCH

I would like to nominate ........................ for the post of.................

Signed:

Seconded:

Signature of nominee: