Autumn 2015

26th SeptemberqueenMore details Early Merovingian Gaul (c.450-650).Professor Guy Halsall (University of York) We will explore Anglo-Saxon England’s nearest mainland neighbour, Frankish Gaul, to the mid-seventh century. In spite of this proximity and of the fact that it was the most successful post-imperial realm, Merovingian Gaul remains under-studied in the UK. We will attempt to put this right.
FULL – email to be added to waiting list.
3rd OctobersealMore details English Medieval Queenship. Dr Rosemary Horrox (University of Cambridge) It is only relatively recently that historians have become interested in queenship rather than individual queens. This Study Day draws on a range of examples to explore what was expected of medieval queens as wives and mothers, and how far they were in a position to wield power.
Nearly Full
10th October

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Celtic, Pictish, & Anglo-Saxon Visual Culture (c.550-850). Professor Michelle Brown (University of London) The period c.550-850 saw the formation of one of the most innovative phases of artistic development in Britain and Ireland. Iron Age, Romano-British and Germanic elements merged with influences from the Continent to produce artworks of the magnitude of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Tara Brooch, and the carvings of Pictland. This Study Day introduces students to the historical context within which such works were made and to some of the ways in which their rich imagery can be interpreted.
FULL – Please email to be added to the waiting list
17th October

Bartlow Mound

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The Battle of Assandún (18th Oct. 1016).Dr Sam Newton (Independent Scholar) A 999th Anniversary Special on one of the great battles of English history, which was a heroic defeat for the Anglo-Saxons and a kingdom-winning victory for the Danish king Cnút. It was an event at least as important as the Battle of Hastings 50 years later. We shall reconsider the drama of the year 1016, using the evidence of the near-contemporary entries in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and in Old Norse poetry, as well as the question of the site of the battle in the Essex landscape.
FULL – Please email to be added to the waiting list
24th October

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The Battle of Agincourt (25th Oct. 1415). Tobias Capwell, FSA, (Curator of Arms & Armour at the Wallace Collection, London) A 600th Anniversary Special on the famous Battle of Agincourt. This battle has historically been the subject of much misconception. It has come to be bound up with modern notions of national identity and Anglo-French rivalry, and in the popular imagination is often imagined as a fight solely between low-born English archers and aristocratic French knights. This basic mistake has distorted our popular perception of the battle in fundamental ways. Understanding something of the authentic physical realities of the battle can do much to bring the real historical event back into focus.
FULL – Please email to be added to the waiting list
7th November

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Medieval Drama in Suffolk.Dr Kate Jewell (Independent Scholar) This Study Day explores the vibrant drama of the medieval period. Starting with the Mystery Cycles of the northern cities, we will then focus on the drama of East Anglia, both of which are fascinating and spectacular. We will examine scripts of some surviving plays as well as considering their practical side – costuming, finance, staging and special effects. We will also discuss how drama was an important community event.
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21st November

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Sutton Hoo: the Other Barrows and Burials. Dr Sam Newton (Independent Scholar) A look at what we can ascertain about the other barrows and burials at Sutton Hoo and in the surrounding landscape, which form the most immediate context for our understanding of the great ship-burial. Starting with Basil Brown’s excavations in 1938, we shall look at other burials and assess their significance.
28th November


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The Female Saints of Anglo-Saxon England.Dr Rosalind Love (University of Cambridge) The many surviving texts (all written by men) recording the lives of Anglo-Saxon female saints shed fascinating light on the contemporary mind-set. The day will begin with an exploration of what made a woman saintly, followed by three case-studies of particular women and the men who wrote about them: the abbesses of Barking; Æthelthryth of Ely and her sisters; and the holy women of early Kent.
FULL – Please email to be added to the waiting list
5th December

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First Steps in Old English.Stephen Pollington & Maria Legg (Independent Scholars) This will be a beginner’s guide to the wonders of the Old English language and its literature. Starting with the rudiments of the language and its written forms, we shall analyse some sample texts, not just for the excitement of reading words written so many centuries ago, for example by Alfred the Great himself, but also to unlock the beauty of the language in action. Finally, there will be an opportunity to reflect on the echoes of the Old English language in current forms of English.
Nearly Full
12th December

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The Old English Yuletide Festival.Dr Sam Newton (Independent Scholar)Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a look at the history of the great midwinter festival, with special attention to the feasting vessels from Sutton Hoo and related sites, which together paint a picture of its significance and how it was celebrated in early England.