Events and lectures, Spring 2005


Saturday 12 February: ‘A Pile of Horseshoes and an Entire Egg: Recording the Historic Environment of Nottinghamshire County Council’. Virginia Baddeley & Jason Mordan

The 'pile of horseshoes' was illustrated in the last newsletter but the ‘entire egg’ puzzled most members: its significance was one of the many interesting facts revealed in Virginia Baddeley's part of this joint lecture. Virginia described the Historic Environment Records that the County Council has, commendably, been accumulating over 30 years. The records are maintained on a database  and there are so far nearly 20,000 entries, covering a wide range of topics from archaeological and architectural to just odd – hence the ‘entire egg’ which was found in an18th-century excavation at Upton, when Mr Lamb of Southwell reported the discovery of an urn during ploughing. In it were found ‘Roman beads, a curiously enamelled bridle, twenty silver coins and an entire egg covered with a hard mummy’.  

The record is currently available for inspection by visitors, by appointment only, at the NCC offices, Trent Bridge House, Fox Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 6BJ. Write, phone (0115 9772162), fax (0115 9772418) or email Eventually it will be possible to consult the record ‘on line’. A few counties, including Somerset and Norfolk, already offer this facility.          

Jason Mordan, responsible for the project’s architectural side, confined his contribution to an explanation of the various aspects of the planning system, with particular reference to the niceties of listing, scheduling and conservation areas. He reminded members of the powers of the planning authorities – and their limitations when complaints are made about failure to enforce the regulations, possibly owing to legal reasons. Members were able to experiment with the laptop and examine a very clear map of the Bingham Conservation Area. Both speakers were plied with questions; it all made for an informative and stimulating afternoon.
Neville Hoskins

Saturday 12 March: The Maurice Barley Lecture: ‘Beaumaris to Beaumont: The Planned Towns of Edward I in Wales, England and France’. Adrian Henstock

Adrian Henstock has edited the Thoroton Society’s Transactions for more than thirty years, and he is widely known as an authority on most aspects of Nottinghamshire’s history. So this was a new venture on the part of the recently retired county archivist. Some years ago, when Adrian’s in-laws moved to Anglesey, he developed an interest in the planned towns of north Wales laid out by King Edward I. The lecture took us from Caernarfon, Conwy and Beaumaris, to New Winchelsea in Sussex, and then to the fossilized hill towns known as ‘bastides’ in the Gascon region of the Lot and Dordogne in south-west France. The result was an absorbing lecture, fully illustrated, which greatly aided our understanding of new towns and castle building in the days of Edward I. It reminded us that this was a king with possessions in England, Wales and France, who saw them all as part of a single empire. Maurice Barley would have enjoyed it.
John Beckett