Jubilee listings and haunted homes

Woodchester Mansion is considered to be one of the UK’s most haunted buildings, and people pay large sums to spend the night in the freezing cold mansion with their ghost-detecting cameras and radar equipment.…

From scandalous sculptures to Selfridges

The objectionable trough has survived, though the figures are so eroded that you need advanced powers of imagination to see anything erotic or outrageous in these maenads – female followers of the wine god, Dionysus.…

The Faversham Society

‘Widening access’ and ‘access for all’ are two of the slogans that characterise today’s heritage practice, but the community-minded people of Faversham have been doing access for half a century. Open House, held almost every July since 1982, sees the doors of many of the Kentish town’s 500-plus listed buildings…

Ancient aquifers and a sovereign spirit

The death of Prince Philip was marked on Tanna with traditional rites and tribute ceremonies: the consensus among members of the sect is that the Duke’s spirit has returned to its island home...…

The British Sundial Society

The British Sundial Society is compiling a register of all the Mass dials (also known as scratch dials) in the country. So far, 5,500 examples have been recorded and the society is keen to hear from anyone who can help them find more. A typical Mass dial consists of a…

Scanning the Elgin Marbles

The story was seen as a further blow to the argument that the Marbles must stay in London – replicas ‘accurate to a millimetre’ could be displayed at the British Museum and few visitors would know the difference.…

Victorian vents and Roman roads

Inventive Vents has a clever way of engaging younger people with scatological anecdotes, in the style of Horrible Histories. Thus we are told that the innocuously named Carting Lane was known colloquially as ‘Farting Lane’ because of the smell of sewer gas.…

DNA denouements and coining a phrase

People investing in DNA ancestry kits should be aware that they might not get the answers they were expecting: people who want to know if they have Viking DNA or are related to Richard III might instead discover an awkward family secret.…

‘Hippy’ archaeologists

The ‘hippy generation’ prefers to tell archaeological narratives that paint our ancestors as egalitarian, caring for weaker members of society and welcoming migrants for the new skills and ideas.…

Iron Age and Roman Settlement at Highflyer Farm, Ely, Cambridgeshire

This well-produced collaborative volume (with 12 subsidiary authors and two illustrators) presents – very timeously – the results of the 2018 excavation of c.4.5ha of development land on the outskirts of Ely. While intermittent use is attested from the late Neolithic, the periods dominantly represented extend from the middle Iron…

Celebrity beasts

The statues of five elephants surrounding this part of the cemetery have led to the belief that these and other circus animals are buried here along with the human victims of the Hammond circus train disaster of 22 June 1918.…

Clerical sinners and forgeries

Quarreling was commonplace, especially over who was entitled to sit in ‘the best’ pews. Clergy complained about being assaulted: one Kentish aristocrat took his hawk to church in 1514 and punched the vicar in the face when chastised for doing so.…

American advances

activists in Mexico City are claiming that the arrival of Columbus in America opened the door to European oppression and colonialism. Mexico City’s governor has confirmed that the place of Columbus will be taken by a replica of a pre-Columbian statue…

Church Communities and Heritage

Churches are significant repositories of community history; they contain rare and precious objects; they are, in a very real sense, museums at the heart of every community. They are also places of reflection and spiritual sustenance...…

Friends of the City Churches

The Friends organise a rota of more than 100 volunteer ‘watchers’ to keep the churches open. They put on lectures, tours, and special events, while encouraging others to make use of the buildings.…

Seasons, saints, and feast days

When exactly did we begin to lose touch with the natural cycle of the sun, the stars, and the seasons? Was it at the start of the Industrial Revolution, when people moved from land-based activities to working in factories?…

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