Thursday, 30 October 2014

Averting Evil: Evidence from Worcestershire Buildings

As we celebrate Halloween and gorge ourselves on chocolate and sweets, the idea of all-pervading evil seems a long way away. But in the past this wasn't the case. In the medieval and post-medieval periods, there was a real belief in evil, witches and demons. It was felt that they could attack you, your household, buildings or their contents and protective practices were developed to prevent harm from the evil. In historic buildings you can often find marks that were intended to protect the occupiers or contents of the building.


 Gorgoneion – Head of Medusa used to ward off evil

Shona Robson-Glyde, our Historic Buildings Archaeologist, has put together a fantastic Powerpoint, which looks in detail at examples of apotropaic marks that were used to ward off evil throughout the centuries and provides real examples of these found across historic buildings in Worcestershire. You can access the full slideshow here

Daisy wheel found at Court Farm, Himbleton


Do you know of any apotropaic marks in Worcestershire? If so, please send photographs and details of their locations to archaeology@worcestershire.gov.uk or leave us a comment here on the blog. 




Wednesday, 29 October 2014

World War One War Memorials School Packs



As part of the Worcester World War One Hundred project we are producing resources for schools to help them with a local focus to looking at the World war One.

 



 The first is based around war memorials and tracing soldiers, which many schools are undertaking. In the pack are lesson plans and ideas. The majority of this relates to Key Stage 2, but the principles of investigating the lives of soldiers can be used in secondary schools too as part of projects.


The next being produced is about Worcestershire during the war, looking at the experience on the home front. This is still being worked on but we can send you a copy as soon as it is available if you let us know.

We are in the process of e-mailing the completed pack to schools, but if your school hasn't received one please email us on explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk or ring 01905 766352 and we'll happily send you a copy.


For more details about the Worcestershire World War One Hundred project please visit our website www.ww1worcestershire.co.uk




Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Pershore Hoards and Votive Deposition in the Iron Age

Twenty years ago almost 1,000 Iron Age coins were discovered at Pershore by metal detectorists, which turned out to be one of most important archaeological finds in recent years. Archaeologists were informed quickly and this led to an excavation revealing an Iron Age/Roman settlement which professionals had been unaware of until then. The coins, both gold and silver, were declared Treasure Trove and were subsequently bought by the British Museum.

The reverse view of the Pershore type gold stater, named as such for the first  time as a result of the discovery in Pershore. 
Image supplied courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum 


Derek Hurst, one of our Senior Project Managers, has written up the report of the excavation along with Ian Leins (British Museum) in the 2013 edition of the Proceeding of the Prehistoric Society. They look at the fieldwork which was carried out at the time as well as the analysis from the post excavation work, and the subsequent discussions.  This journal is available to see on level 2 in The Hive, just to the left of the Explore the Past desk, along with many other archaeological journals. It is also available from the Society.

The Pershore hoard is the subject of the next meeting of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society on Mon 3rd November at 7:30pm when Derek will share details about the find and the latest interpretations. More details about the talk can be found at http://worcestershirearchaeologicalsociety.org.uk/141103PershoreHoards.pdf


Monday, 27 October 2014

Upcoming WWI in the Archives workshop at The Hive

On Monday 10th November we are running a workshop about World War I in the Archives here at The Hive. Although there have always been people using us to research WWI soldiers and local places during the war, there has been a large increase recently due to the centenary, prompting many individuals and groups to investigate ancestors of their local communities.



During this workshop we'll look at how you can use the resources here to research more about soldiers' lives, find out whether your ancestor or as part of a study on a war memorial. We will also go through how to search our archives for information about the war, the period and links to local communities.


The workshop runs from 10am to 12:30pm and will be at The Hive. Places cost £8 and will need to be booked in advance. You can book now by emailing explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk or by phoning 01905 766352. 

Please note this is a repeat of the workshop we ran in June this year.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Worcestershire's War: Voices of the First World War book launch event at The Hive





On Tuesday 28th October a new book about Worcestershire during WWI will be launched here in The Hive, co-authored by our Archive Collections Manager, Dr Adrian Gregson. 'Worcestershire's War: Voices of the First World War' is a collaboration between Adrian, Dr Maggie Andrews and Dr John Peters, who have been working closely together on the Worcestershire WWI centenary events. Adrian has had a long standing interest in the First World War, and did his PhD on the experiences of a Battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment as well as those they left behind in Southport. He's currently co-ordinating Worcestershire World war One Hundred HLF Project.

The book uses letter, diaries and other historic sources to tell the story of Worcestershire in the war,  the experiences of those living in the county, rural identity, as well as the experience of Worcestershire men fighting on the front line around the world. This remarkable collection of voices gives a unique insight into this county's  First World War.


The launch will start at 4:30pm on Tuesday 28 October, and will be followed 5:30-7:30pm by two talks based around the Battle of Gheluvelt, the centenary of which is on the 31st October. The Battle plays a significant role in the history of the Worcestershire Regiment, and Barbourne Park was renamed Gheluvelt Park after the war due to its significance. Dr Spencer Jones of the University of Wolverhampton will speak on:  The Demon Saves the Day:  Charles FitzClarence VC and the Battle for Gheluvelt and be followed by Dr Janis Lomas (Independent Scholar)  discussing  The Women Gheluvelt Left behind: WW1 Widows.  

Adrian Gregson said, "In amongst the commemorations we are hoping that this book will be of interest to anyone wanting to know more about the impact of the Great War here in Worcestershire. It brings together the research myself, Maggie and John have been doing . We're also pleased to be able to have the Gheluvelt seminar in The Hive. The battle is an important part of the county's regiment history, and it is an opportunity to hear more about it and the significance of what the regiment did, three days before the centenary of the battle."


The launch will be in the atrium here in The Hive, and the talks will take place in the Studio. To book a place for the talks please email Maggie.andrews@worc.ac.uk. The book will be available to purchase for £14.99 from the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service shop, which is located on Level 2 of The Hive

For further information on commemorating Worcestershire in the Great war see: