Saturday, 20 May 2017

Worcestershire Contributes to 800th Anniversary of Battle of Lincoln

Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service is supporting a major exhibition coinciding with the 800th anniversary of the battle of Lincoln. A rare seal of William Marshal, regent of England and hero of the battle, has been lent for display.

The battle is often overlooked, but is probably one of the major battles on English soil. Prince Louis, son of the King of France, had been invited over by the rebel Barons who wanted King John replaced, and was declared King of England in London. After John's death many rebels switched sides and supported his son, 9 year old King Henry III. William Marshal, who had served the previous kings, was appointed Regent as he was considered one of the most important men in the land. Although Louis held the city he did not hold Lincoln Castle. Whilst they tried to capture the castle Marshal's army stormed the city and attacked the French army, which was routed. By September Louis had given up his claim to the English throne.

William Marshal is a fascinating character. In this region he owned Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire, and it was he who arranged King John's funeral in Worcester Cathedral. He rose up from being a son of a minor noble to serving four Kings – Henry II, Richard I, John and Henry III, being Regent to the latter. He is often overlooked, although in Russell Crowe's Robin Hood film he does appear as a minor character, played by William Hurt.



The document the seal is attached to is a charter from William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, to Geoffrey son of Peter, Earl of Essex. It grants a third part of a Market at Aylesbury to him. At the bottom is William's seal with a depiction of him on horseback, a very rare example. This seal is the reason Lincoln have requested the document.



Why is a document about a Buckinghamshire market in Worcestershire?

Archive collections bring together the documents held by an organisation, family or estate, usually about the administrative history. Many of these cover more than one county. The Pakington family were a prominent family in Worcestershire, but they also owned land elsewhere in the country including Aylesbury, and through this it came into their possession. So this collection, like many others, contains documents about places further afield. The archive still belongs to the family, and the current Lord Hampton kindly gave permission for the document to be used.

Monday, 15 May 2017

We are the ARA Record-Keeping Service of the Year, 2017

We are thrilled to announce that we have been voted 2017 Record-Keeping Service of the Year!

Part of the Worcestershire Archive Service team

This award is part of the Archives and Records Association (ARA) Excellence Awards and aims to recognise the achievements of services across the archive sector.

The award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team, who are committed to ensuring that all our customers receive a good experience of our service.

The winner was determined by the votes of customers of archives as well as archive professionals, so the award is particularly meaningful.

In awarding this recognition John Chambers, ARA’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service was the clear winner of this year’s Record-keeping Service of the Year award. It is not alone, of course, in having committed, professional staff in the local government sector that are determined to maintain a quality service to the wider community in the county despite acute financial pressures. But its range and depth of activities and success in placing itself at the heart of the culture life of Worcestershire are just two reasons that make the Service special. I also pay tribute to the runners-up: Suffolk Record Office, Aviva plc Archives, and Bishopsgate Institute Special Collections and Archives, all of whom would have been deserved winners in their own right.”

We will be presented with our award at an event and ceremony later in the year, by the ARA’s President Dr Alexandrina Buchanan.  Information about the event to come – watch this space!

Thank you to everyone who voted for us.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Broadway Dig in Current Archaeology

Our recent Broadway excavations feature in Current Archaeology Magazine Issue 326, on sale now! There's a double-page spread featuring a fantastic birds-eye view by Aerial-Cam, shown here with some of the archaeologists who've been working on the site.
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service staff from the Broadway excavation and analysis team
We'll be back out on site soon to investigate further on the other side of the stream, but in the meantime post-excavation analysis is well underway: Senior Finds Archaeologist Jane has recorded over 2600 artefacts already, with thousands more to go! We'll share more finds and stories in the coming months, including more information on the mysterious Beaker - the burial seemingly without a body.
The Bronze Age Beaker during excavation in December 2016
Current Archaeology, along with many other magazines and journals, can be found on the shelves to the left of the Explore the Past desk on Level 2 of The Hive.
The excavations are funded by the Environment Agency and Worcestershire County Council, to enable flood alleviation works.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Celebrating the launch of the Worcestershire Manorial Document Register

We have recently completed a project funded by The National Archives to update and computerize the Manorial Documents Register for Worcestershire. 

Come celebrate the launch of the database with us at The Hive on Saturday, 22 April, and learn more about these fascinating records and what they can tell us about Worcestershire's past.  There will be talks, displays and a demonstration.  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available!




This is a free event, but places are limited, so book your place by 19 April. 

To book, please submit an enquiry online and simply quote 'Manorial Document Register Launch' in the information box provided. Alternatively, phone us on 01905 845714

Friday, 7 April 2017

Vote for us in the Record Keeping Service of the Year award

We are thrilled to announce that we have been shortlisted for the 2017 Record Keeping Service of the Year Award!

This award is part of the Archives and Records Association (ARA) Excellence Awards and aims to recognise the achievements of services across the sector. Voting is open now until 30th April and we would be hugely grateful if all of our readers would support us. Voting only takes a few seconds and can be done by following this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ara_awards2017