Wuffing Education Online Study-Days
Provisional Programme, Autumn Term 2020

These online events consist of three, one-hour sessions via Zoom, with relaxed breaks for refreshments and lunch, starting at 10.30am and finishing at 3.00pm UK time.  Tickets are £30 per person, or just £45 for a couple viewing one screen.  Booking is via the Eventbrite booking service.  Cancellations and transfers can be managed on-line once you have created an Eventbrite account.

Saturday 26th September 2020.

Sutton Hoo and the Golden Age of the Old English-Speaking Peoples with Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education).

An exploration of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial and of some of the wonders found aboard.  The masterpieces of gold cloisonné jewellery were probably made in the East Anglian royal workshop for the king who lay in state amidships, most likely Rædwald (died c. 625), the first overlord of all England after his victory at the Battle of the River Idle (c. 617). In the light of Sutton Hoo and related treasures, we may now see that the culture of early seventh-century England was a real Golden Age.  

Saturday 17th October 2020.

The Battle of Assandún and Its Memorial Minster with Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education).

This year is the 1000th anniversary of the dedication of Cnút’s minster-church for the souls of those killed in the Battle of Assandún. This battle was the climax of over 20 years of Anglo-Danish warfare and the victory through which the Danish king Cnút finally conquered England. It was a heroic defeat for the English, and as significant historically as the Battle of Hastings almost exactly 50 years later.  Yet Assandún is far less well-known.  Even the site of the battle – somewhere in Essex – is a matter of controversy.  We shall reconsider the background and drama of the battle and the assess the possible location of Cnút’s minster in the Essex landscape.

Friday 6th November 2020.

Trees, Woodland, and Timber in Early Medieval England: Literature, Landscapes, and Material Culture with Dr Michael Bintley

When is a tree not a tree? This exploration of literature, material culture, landscapes, and religious beliefs will introduce you to some of the numerous ways in which woodlands and their various offshoots played an important role in the cultural landscapes of early medieval England.

20th November 2020

St Edmund’s Day Special – Bury St Edmunds: The Abbey and the Antiquaries with Dr Richard Hoggett FSA, MCIfA (Heritage Consultant).

Another millennial anniversary this year is the foundation of the Abbey of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds.  We shall look at the ways in which artists, antiquarians, and archaeologists have approached the abbey site since the Dissolution, and consider what their work tells us about one of England’s most important monastic sites.

Saturday 5th December 2020.

Diplomacy with Axe, Lance and Sword: The Field of the Cloth of Gold (7th-24th June 1520) with Dr Toby Capwell (Curator of Arms & Armour, The Wallace Collection, London).

King Henry VIII was a great jouster and skilled swordsman, and he was fond of showing off his knightly prowess. But he only ever fought one field battle, ‘The Battle of the Spurs’, against the French in 1513.  The ensuing Anglo-French peace-treaty was followed in 1520 by an attempt to outlaw all war between Christian kingdoms. At the Field of Cloth of Gold, in the Pas de Calais, Henry met the French King Francis I in a lavish courtly spectacle. The meeting took the form of an enormous tournament, with jousts and other supposedly friendly combats taking place over more than two weeks. Despite being one of the most famous events in Tudor history, the nature of the martial contests themselves has remained largely mysterious. We shall delve into this oft-misunderstood subject, to uncover both the splendour and the sinister undertones of this extraordinary moment of history.

Saturday 12th December 2020.

Christmas in Early England with Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)

Rediscover the magic of Christmas with an exploration of the significance of the midwinter festival in early England.  We shall begin with the Old English calendar, which reveals how the pre-Christian year was structured, before a look at the archaeological evidence for feasting and celebration.  We shall complete the day with the vivid account of Christmas at Camelot in the great Middle English poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.