Saturday Study Day Programme

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Autumn 2017

 23rd September

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William Marshal, England’s Most Famous Knight.
Professor Nigel Saul (University of London).
William Marshal (d. 1219) was the most admired and remarkable knight of his day.  Through the prism of the unique near-contemporary biography of him, the course will look at the career and conduct of a man who rose from obscurity to become saviour of his country under Henry III.
Nearly Full
30th September

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Viking Warfare and Military Organisation
Dr Gareth Williams (British Museum).
The word víkingr originally meant ‘pirate’ or ‘marauder’, and the Vikings’ violent reputation still forms a major part of their popular image. This study day explores the reality behind the myth, and the place of warfare within wider Viking society.

FULL – Please email to be added to the waiting list
 7th October

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The de la Poles: the rise and rise of an East Anglian family.
Dr Rosemary Horrox (University of Cambridge).
The de la Poles are often cited as ‘the’ classic example of social mobility in medieval England: Hull merchant to duke of Suffolk to brother-in-law of two kings. But their rise is accompanied by some dramatic falls and, ultimately, extinction, all in the space of about two centuries. This day-school narrates their story but also explores the political realities and social assumptions behind their trajectory.

Nearly Full
 14th October

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William the Conqueror.
David Bates (Professorial Fellow, University of East Anglia).
On the day of the 951st anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, David Bates will start with reflections on the writing his newly published biography of William the Conqueror (in the Yale University Press English Monarchs series) and then go on to reconsider the historical significance of the Norman Conquest and of the life of King William. 
21st October Anglo-Saxon Barrows in the Landscape.
Steve Pollington (Independent Scholar in Anglo-Saxon Studies) & Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).
We shall look at barrow burial in its wider European context, the distribution of barrows in England, the methods used in their construction, the social meaning of barrow burial, and the ways in which such tombs influenced medieval thought on the Otherworld. We shall also consider the barrows of East Anglia.
Nearly Full
4th November ‘Soggy Saints’: Landscape and Sanctity in Medieval East Anglia.
Dr Rebecca Pinner (University of East Anglia).
In the late tenth century, Abbo of Fleury described East Anglia as ‘washed by waters’. In this study day we shall explore the significance of water and wetlands in the legends and histories of East Anglian saints and their cults.
Nearly Full
18th November The Forgotten History of King Edmund and the Danish Kingdom of East Anglia (c.855-917).
Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).
The day before the eve of the 1148th anniversary of the martyrdom of King Edmund, we shall attempt to chart what we can of the history of the last days of the kingdom of the Wuffings and of the subsequent rule of the Danish king Guthrum and his successors.  The history of East Anglia from the mid-ninth to the early tenth centuries has been largely eclipsed by the later legends of St Edmund. 
FULL – Please email to be added to the waiting list
25th November Prehistoric Pompeiis? An exploration of sites with exceptional preservation.
Edward Martin (Independent Scholar).
An exploration of sites, both Continental and British, where volcanic activity, waterlogging, dryness or an unusual chemical environment has led to the exceptional preservation of ancient artefacts and structures, enabling a fuller than usual understanding of the lives of people in prehistory.
2nd December Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene: Myth, Monsters, and Romance.
Dr Matthew Woodcock (University of East Anglia).
This study day provides a structured introduction to the greatest poem of the Elizabethan age: Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596). After exploring how to read and interpret Spenser’s allegorical epic, we’ll locate the poem within the wider picture of Tudor mythography, and the religious and political history of Elizabethan England.
9th December The Old English Yuletide Feast.
Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with an exploration of the significance of the great midwinter festival in early England and how it was celebrated. This will include a look at the Old English calendar, which reveals how the pre-Christian year was structured, and a consideration of how this calendar was transformed into the Christian year, in the light of early medieval art, poetry, and archaeology.

Please phone or email to check the availability of places.  All Study Days are £38 each, which includes a full day of lectures from 10:15am to 4pm, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Click here for more details about how to book.  For your first Study Day there is a special introductory price of just £25.

Useful Information:

Please contact us if you would like to be kept informed of future events

Wuffing Education, 4 Hilly Fields, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
email: cliff at
(replace the ‘at’ with @ when sending the email – we have used ‘at’ here to prevent spam robots automatically sending junk mail to us)
phone 01394 386498