News and Outside Events


New Developments in Welford Road Cemetery

In October 2004 a memorial dedicated to the memory of our longest-serving Secretary, Dora Valentine, was installed in Welford Road Cemetery.  Dora Valentine's "Lifetime's devotion to duty" and the dedication of the new memorial seat were covered by an article in the "Mr Leicester" column of the Leicester Mercury (4 October 2004). Link > thisisleicestershire website  (Leicester Mercury).

With help from Leicester City Council, the Society was able to place a new seat in Welford Road Cemetery, carrying a memorial plaque dedicated to the memory of the late Denys Edwards, former Warden of Vaughan College, and his wife Gwendolen.  A report of this event appears in the Autumn 2002 edition of New Frontiers, the newsletter of the Leicester Institute of Lifelong Learning.  The same page also carries a profile of our Secretary, Gerry Stacey.  Link > New Frontiers (Autumn 2002) (see page 3).

However we have heard that renovation of the cemetery, including the establishment of a new visitors' centre, may mean that the Valentine memorial seat will be moved to a new site in the burial ground.  Welford Road Cemetery is one of six Parks and Gardens of special historic interest within the City of Leicester contained in a register compiled and maintained by English Heritage. These are parks and gardens which by reason of their historic layout, features and architectural ornaments are of special interest and an essential part of the nation's heritage. Entries are graded I, II* (II star), or II. The six entries which relate to sites in the city, are all Grade II.
As yet these listed parks and gardens do not have legal protection comparable to that which applies to listed buildings, but the Council must consult interested expert parties on planning applications affecting them. 
Link > Historic Parks and Gardens  (Leicester City Council).

Winter Season 2004/05

The Society's winter programme of talks has several speakers who have recently published, or are about to publish books.  John Smith starts the season with a talk on an "ingenious and daring" crime against the public finances (book: Corruption and Crime in Public Life).  On 15 October, Derek Seaton (latest book: Leicester's Town Hall: A Victorian Jewel) will tell us about the Mayors and Lord Mayors of Leicester, 1209-1999.  On 26 November archaeology enthusiasts can hear Vicki Priest talk about "Treasure in Leicestershire" - the ancient coin hoards found recently in the county, while on 15 January Nick Hill, a surveyor for English Heritage, will deal with Farm Houses and Cottages in East Leicestershire.  Shirley Aucott's February 25 talk has the mysterious title: "The Biography of a Leicester Woman".  Shirley, who is about to publish her third book, will reveal the woman's identity during the talk.  David Ramsey's fifth book in the Villages of Bradgate series is about the people and occupations in the area.  His 18 March talk discusses a subject from the series: the Charnwood Slate Industry.  The season's final talk is the W.G. Hoskin's lecture on 22 April 2005 and Roey Sweet will lecture on "Local History and Antiquarianism in 18th Century England".  Dr Sweet's book Antiquaries: the Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century England was published earlier this year by Hambledon & London.  (All meetings start at 7.15pm.)

Veteran Historian Dies

R.H. (Rupert) Evans, FSA, died on 23 November 2004, aged 83 years.  He was one of the last surviving teaching members of the University College Leicester, the original precursor of the present University of Leicester, and was a colleague of noted historians Jack Plumb, Norman Scarfe and our founding co-President, W.G. Hoskins.  He and his wife, Dr A.K.B. (Babette) Evans have supported this society as members for many years.  His considerable service to the History Department at the University led him to be active in the more academically-minded Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society, serving on its Committee (from 1979) and becoming Chairman for 20 years (from 1983) and Vice-Chairman (from 2003). He was also the Co-ordinator of the Historical Buildings Panel for Leicester and Leicestershire from 1982 till 2003.

He wrote the chapter on Leicester and the County since the great Reform Act in the volume published to mark the meeting of the British Association in Leicester during 1972 [N. Pye (ed.), Leicester and its Region (Leicester, 1972).] . His interest in Victorian Leicester centred on the influential Non-Conformist Biggs family.  He published articles in the Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society about the Biggs family and Non-Conformism in Leicestershire, especially the Quakers and their founder, George Fox (1624-1691).  He also collaborated with a President of this Society, the late Bernard Elliott, on an article on French Catholic clergy living in exile in Leicestershire during the French Revolution.

A memorial tribute to Rupert Evans will be hosted by the University of Leicester at the Gilbert Murray Conference Centre, Manor Road, Oadby, at 2.00p.m. on Saturday, 26 February 2005.

 - Links > Rupert H. Evans obituary | A Memorial Tribute for Rupert H. Evans (School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester)

Mr George Frow

Mr George Frow, died during the weekend of 22/ 23 January 2005, aged 89 years.  Mr Frow and his late wife Phyllis came from Ashbourne and settled in Howard Road, Leicester.  He was a great traveller, "studying bus and train timetables in great detail in order to visit places of interest".  In the summer months he was to be regularly found at Grace Road county cricket ground.  Like many past and current members he was a dual member of this Society and the Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society.  After he was widowed during the autumn of 1992 he continued to attend lectures with the help of fellow members, in particular Mr and Mrs Hammersley.

[from the Newsletter of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, No. 71 (Spring 2005). p.11.]

Website - What's New?

This website has been updated.  On the Links page, the Victorian Society and four heritage or local history societies now have links.  The "Civic Heraldry of England and Wales" website and the College of Arms have also been given links, along with the National Portrait Gallery.  Leicestershire County Council have revised their webpages on Bosworth Battlefield Centre to take account of the development project and the archaeological survey.  Our link to these has been corrected while there is a new link to a website dealing with nearby Polesworth Abbey.

On the Resources page, we have 3 new links to Archives, Libraries and Museums (the Leicestershire & Rutland Museums Forum, the Royal Historical Society Bibliography and the Charles Booth Centre for the Study of Social Investigation) with another 4 on Local Studies and Transport, dealing with: "Wartime Leicestershire"; the Charles Booth Online Archive, covering late Victorian London; the archaeological project in the Foulness Valley, East Yorks.; and the history of the Ashby-Nuneaton Railway.  The links to the Canal Archive and the Aviation Archive websites have been corrected, as have links to the listings of Leicester University seminars in history and archaeology.  Transcripts of the free lectures presented by Gresham College, London, are now available from the Resources page.  Links to publications now include: C.B.A. fact sheets; Old Maps originally produced by the Ordnance Survey, a local history bibliography drawn up for the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire.  The second volume of the Victoria County History of Leicestershire is still in print but it is also available online through the Resources page.


Buried Treasure found in Leicestershire

One of the most valuable and historically important pre-Roman hoards has been found in Leicestershire.  The finds were made by archaeological field walkers in East Leicestershire and are featured in the pages of the British Museum's Compass website. They appear as "a prehistoric coin hoard", dated to the "Iron Age, early 1st century AD", and claimed to be "Britain's biggest hoard of prehistoric coins". The hoard is part of the exhibition Buried treasure: Finding our past, which was on display at the British Museum until 14 March 2004. The exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum, the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service, the Manchester Museum and Tyne & Wear Museums. It is now on tour, visiting each of the partners from 2004 onwards. The exhibition is currently on show at the Hancock Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, until 26 June 2005. (Buried treasure: Finding our past is sponsored by Anglo American plc.) [See also above - Society News - Winter Season 2004/05 (November 26).]

Leicestershire County Heritage Services (former Museums Service)

The County Archaeology section is returning to County Hall, Glenfield,  from Thurmaston during mid-October 2004. They are moving to: Room 500, Rutland Building, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicester (new telephone numbers to be confirmed).  The museums and community archaeology team will be run by Peter Liddle, while Richard Clark will be responsible for planning reviews and the Sites And Monuments Record.

[from The Fieldworker, the newsletter of the Leicestershire Museums Archaeological Fieldwork Group, No. 189 (September 2004)]

Local History via the Internet - Advanced Diploma

The University of Oxford is offering an Advanced Diploma course in Local History. Teaching material is supplied over the Internet with the support of a tutor.  The closing date for applications to the Depart of Continuing Education is 15 July 2005 and the course starts with a non-assessed preparatory unit on 5 September 2005.  The brochure says that, "The course is very popular and placed are limited. To avoid disappointment early application is advised".

The course is a one-year distance learning programme divided into two modules of 10 Units each.  Work is assessed through course assignments. There is no written examination.  Successful students will qualify for an Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History.  This is worth 60 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme CATS points at Level 3.  The Advanced Diploma is recognised by the Open University.  Fee: £790 payable in instalments for EU students; £2,300 for all non-EU students.

Link> Course details - (Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford)


Richard III Seminar Day

Saturday, 5 March 2005. 10.00am-3.30pm. St Mary's Medieval Guildhall, Bayley Lane, Coventry, CV1 5QP. Richard III Seminar Day, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor John Gazey.  Speakers: Joanna Laynesmith, author of Late Medieval Queens; Roger Vaughan, City Arts & Heritage Officer; George Demidowicz, Head of Conservation & Archaeology for Coventry; Richard Goddard, author of Lordship & Urbanisation: Coventry 1043-1355.  A free tour of the Priory Visitors Centre and Undercroft will follow the Seminar Day, but this is only available with advance bookings.  Ticket requests should be made to the Lord Mayor's Office, Coventry City Council, Earl Street, Coventry, CV1 5RR.  Contact Tel. no. 024 7683 3100 or e-mail:  City centre map showing venue, car parks and Park 'n' Ride details, will be sent with tickets.

Fee: £10.00 per ticket.  Hot lunch and tour of St Mary's Guildhall included in price.

Link > St Mary's Guildhall, Coventry (Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry)

Thurgarton Priory: Architecture and Archaeology of the Augustinians

Saturday, 5 March 2005.  10.00am, Thurgarton Village Hall.  Centre for Local History Day School. (School of Education, University of Nottingham). Speakers Dr Trevor Foulds, Documentary Historian, Nottingham Castle; Jill Franklin, Society of Antiquaries; Dr Jenny Alexander, University of Nottingham; Stuart Harrison, Ryedale Archaeology; Dr Nicola Coldstream, President of the British Archaeological Association.  Fee: £29.00.  Link > Day School - School of Education

The Medieval Castles of Nottinghamshire

Saturday, 12 March 2005.  9.00am, Lecture Theatre 2, The Exchange, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham.  Centre for Local History One Day Conference. (School of Education, University of Nottingham). Speakers Pamela Marshall, Secretary of the Castles Studies Group; Dr Sarah Speight, University of Nottingham; James Wright, Sherwood Initiative; Keith Challis, York Archaeological Trust; with Mike Bishop or Ursula Spence, Nottinghamshire County Council.  Fee: £20.00.  Link > One Day Conference - School of Education

Handle Your way Through Leicester's History

Saturday, 19 March 2005.  11.30am, 1.30pm & 2.45pm, Jewry Wall Museum, St Nicholas Circle, Leicester.  Take a trip through Leicester's history from prehistoric hand-axes to 19th Century chamber pots, with a hands on session of finds discovered in Leicester.  Suitable for adults and children aged 8 years and above.  Sessions last 45 minutes.  Link > One Day Conference - School of Education

A History of Leisure and Travel

Mondays, starting 4 April 2005 -  Talks by Ray Sutton, MA, PhD.  At Wigston Magna (All Saints' Church Rooms, Bushloe End) 2.00pm-3.30pm, with a short break for tea or coffee (20p each) .  At Fleckney (The Golden Shield, Main Street) 7.30pm-9.15pm:
  • Week 1. 4 Apr. The Right to Roam: A history of Rambling
  • Week 2. 11 Apr. Smugglers, Wreckers and Romantics: The English seaside during the 18th century
  • Week 3. 18 Apr. Hi-de-Hi: A history of the Holiday Camp
  • Week 4. 25 Apr. Travel By Flying Boats and the Orient Express in the 1920s and 30s
  • Week 5. 2 May. Bank Holiday - no session
  • Week 6. 9 May. Climb every mountain: How the English made the Alps
  • Week 7. 16 May. The Victorian and Edwardian Seaside
  • Week 8. 23 May. Aristocrats Abroad: The 18th century Grand Tour
  • Week 9. 30 May. Bank Holiday - no session
  • Week 10. 6 Jun. When the Riviera was Ours: England and the discovery of the South of France

No prior enrolment - admission £2.00 per session attended.

Midland Viking Symposium

Saturday, 9 April 2005.  Organised by the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham.  To be held at the University of Nottingham.  This event will introduce the latest research in Viking studies for anybody with an interest in the history and culture of the Vikings.  Speakers: Prof. Judith Jesch, Prof. Steve Harding, Prof. John Hunter, Dr Julia Barrow, Dr Paul Cavill, Dr Chris Callow, Dr Christina Lee and Dr Christopher Loveluck.  Contact Dr Christina Lee, School of English Studies, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD.  e-mail:  Links > School of English Studies, Univ. of Nottingham

W. G. Hoskins and the Making of the English Landscape - Oxford

Saturday, 16 April 2005W.G. Hoskins, Making of the English Landscape. 50th Anniversary Conference at Christ Church, Oxford, 9 a.m.–5.30 p.m. Speakers include Dr Robert Peberdy on `Hoskins' Early Life', Professor David Pullizer, `Landscape of Towns', and Professor Charles Phythian-Adams, `Landscape History—Then and Now'. Further details from Academic Study and Travel, 3 Whites Forge, Appleton, Abingdon OX13 5LG. Email:

Turnpikes and Toll Bars: the golden age of road coaching

Saturday, 21 May 2005.  9.00am,  Room A32, Dearing Building, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham.  Centre for Local History Day School. (School of Education, University of Nottingham). Includes by coach to visit a series of coaching-related sites in Derbyshire Speaker Graham Barfield.  Fee: £40.00.  Link > Day School - School of Education

The Jarrow Lecture

Friday 27 May, 2005.  The 2005 Jarrow Lecture is: "Bede and Augustine of Hippo" to be delivered by Dr Alan Thacker, in St Paul's Church, Jarrow at 7.30pm.

The Lecture is published by the PCC. A list of titles, cost and other details re the Lecture may be obtained from the Lecture Secretary, Mrs B McAllister, 28 Kitchener Terrace, Jarrow, NE32 5PU.

Link > Bedesworld - St Paul's Church


A conference to be held at the University of  Leicester,  7-10 July, 2005

W.G. Hoskins’ book, The Making of the English Landscape, was published in 1955, and this conference marks the fiftieth anniversary of that event. This conference is designed to honour Hoskins by celebrating the achievements of the discipline of landscape history which he inspired. The conference includes themes of enduring importance which he included in his book (such as rural settlements, towns and buildings), and adds others which have emerged subsequently (for example perceptions, ritual and spiritual dimensions, and scientific analysis of the environment). Proper attention will be given to the twentieth century, and the period before 500AD, which he did not regard as very significant. The scope of the conference will include Britain, and comparison will be made with the continent. 

The conference takes Hoskins’ contribution as a starting point, but is not intended mainly to praise nor to criticise his work. Its focus is on recent developments and the future outlook in a dynamic interdisciplinary subject.  Participants will include both established and younger scholars. It is to be held at Leicester, where Hoskins taught in three episodes of his life.

The conference is sponsored by the Historical Geography Research Group, the Royal Historical Society and the Society for Landscape Studies.

Link > CELH - Events Full details including programme and booking form (Centre for English Local History)

Link > Advance Notice and Call for Papers Adobe Acrobat format [.pdf] (School of Archaeology and Ancient History)

Brixworth Lecture 2005`

The 23rd Brixworth Lecture will take place in All Saints' Church, Brixworth, Northamptonsshire, at 5.00pm on 29 October 2005. The guest speaker will be Dr Susan Rankin.  Further details to follow. 

[from the Friends of All Saints' Church (Brixworth) website.]

National Archaeology Days 2005

The dates for National Archaeology Days for 2005 have been set.  Events will be held across the UK on the weekend of 16-17 July 2005. For further information contact Jan Cox, Marketing Officer, Council for British Archaeology, Bowes Morell House, 111 Walmgate, York YO1 9WA. Tel: (01904) 671417, e-mail:

Link > Briefing - Council for British Archaeology

Heritage Open Days 2005

Next year's event will take place from 8-11 September 2005

Heritage Open Days celebrates England's architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to interesting properties that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee. Heritage Open Days also includes tours, events and activities that focus on local architecture and culture. In 2004 Heritage Open Days ran from 10-13 September, with places all over England taking part. 

The Civic Trust co-ordinates this annual cultural highlight in partnership with English Heritage who secures the scheme's funding. Heritage Open Days was established in 1994 as England's contribution to European Heritage Days, in which 48 countries now participate.

The organisers have to decided to add Thursday and drop the rather anti-climatic Monday.  They hope that this change will encourage more schools to use the weekday for class outings.  The confirmed dates for 2005 are Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 September.

[from the Heritage Open Days website and Heritage Open Days Newsletter (Autumn 2004)]

Link > Heritage Open Days

Local Bodies & Organisations

Leicestershire Museums Archaeological Fieldwork Group

2005.  Meetings at the Jewry Wall Museum, St. Nicholas Circle, Leicester, 7.30pm.
  • Jan 20, 2005 - Richard Buckley - Recent Excavations in Leicester

  • Mar 17, 2005 - Nick Hill - Buildings of South-East Leicestershire

  • May 19 2005 - Dennis Baker - Landscape evidence of coalmining in Swannington area

  • June 16, 2005 - AGM and Miss Linford Award

[from The Fieldworker, the newsletter of the Leicestershire Museums Archaeological Fieldwork Group, No. 189 (September 2004) & 191 (December 2004)]

New Dishley Society

Tuesday 15 March 2005. 7.30pm, Committee Room, Ticknall Village Hall, Ingleby Lane, Ticknall, Derbs.  Dr John Wilson of Cogges Manor Farm Museum will give a talk to The New Dishley Society on "A Shepherd's Life" - a return visit by last year's popular speaker.  (Ticknall lies on the A514 which runs between Swadlincote and Derby.  There is a sign to the Village Hall where Ingleby Lane turns off Main Street (A514), opposite The Wheel restaurant.)  Fee: £2 each; friends welcome.

The  New Dishley Society has been raising funds to restore the two Bakewell paintings at Brooksby Hall - they are currently undergoing restoration.

Victorian Society, Leicester Group

Lectures take place in the Small Hall of the Leicester Adult Education College, Wellington Street, Leicester at 7.30pm.

Spring Events 2005.

  • Tuesday 5 April. ‘Stained glass’, a lecture by Paul Sharpling.
  • April, date to be confirmed: Evening walk with Richard Gill around the Melbourne Hall area in Leicester.
  • Saturday 21 May. Coach trip (departing Leicester at 9am) to the Victoria & Albert Museum to visit the International Arts & Crafts exhibition.
  • Tuesday 7 June. Evening visit to Leicester Synagogue.
  • 17–19 June. Weekend visit to Bristol.
  • Saturday 9 July. Half day visit to Strutt’s Mill, Belper.Tuesday 1 February. To be announced.

Contact: Mrs Eileen Chambers, 28 Rectory Lane, Thurcaston, Leicester LE7 7JQ. Tel: (0116) 292 5824.

Leicester City Museums

Events and Exhibitions

Castle Tours. The Great Hall of Leicester Castle

  • Saturday 2nd April 2005
  • Saturday 7th May 2005
  • Saturday 4th June 2005

Opportunities to go into the Great Hall of Leicester Castle, not normally open to the public. Tickets: £3.50 (concessions: £3.00).  Tickets available from the Tourist Information Office, telephone (0116) 299 4444.  Pre-booking guarantees a place.  Meet outside the Great Hall in Castle Yard

Link > Leicester City Museums website events pages

Leicestershire County Heritage Services (former Museums Service)

Events and Exhibitions

Donington-le-Heath Manor House

Public Lectures at Donington le Heath Manor House 2005

A series of free public lectures on the archaeology and history of Leicestershire
Wednesday 6th April: ‘Development and Archaeology in Leicestershire’ by Richard Clark, Senior Planning Archaeologist, Leicestershire County Council
Wednesday 1st June: ‘Roman Leicester’ by Nick Cooper, University of Leicester Archaeological Services
Wednesday 5th October: ‘Iron Age Leicestershire and the Roman Conquest’ by Peter Liddle, Keeper of Donington, Leics County Council
Wednesday 7th December: ‘The Vikings in Leicestershire’ by Richard Knox, Assistant Keeper of Archaeology, Leics County Council
For further information telephone (01530) 831259. Admission free - no booking required.


Until March 29th: 'Found in Leicestershire' - A display of archaeological finds by members of the public

"Found in Leicestershire".  It is a look at how fieldwalking and metal detecting have contributed to the massive increase in our knowledge over the last few years.  The exhibition notes have been written by Richard Knox and Wendy Scott. (Preview: Thursday 30th September 2004, 7.30pm. Includes launch of much-awaited book Leicestershire Landscapes.)

31st March - June 30th: 'Excavations at Watermead Country Park'


Could you join the 163 volunteers in 117 parishes who are helping to record, celebrate and conserve our local heritage?

Heritage Wardens work with Parish Councils to help protect and monitor the local environment and heritage, ensuring that important sites are recorded and protected.

The scheme is run through Heritage Watch, which is co-ordinated by the County Council and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Wardens receive guidance, training and quarterly newsletters.

Projects they undertake include surveys of hedgerows, wildlife, local habitats and archaeology.  Local history leaflets have been produced and local folklore and customs have been recorded.

More wardens are needed throughout the county, but particularly in the Market Harborough and Melton Mowbray areas.

To find out more about being a Heritage Warden write to: Leicestershire Environmental Resources Centre, 216 Birstall Road, Birstall, LEICESTER, LE4 4DG; telephone 0116 267 1377 or e-mail:

[From Leicestershire Matters The Newsletter of Leicestershire County Council (Autumn/Winter 2002)]



Please note: The Books sections have been moved to a new Books page > link

Last revised 5 April 2005