Matt Rodda MP is calling for Reading Gaol to be saved and turned into an arts hub and museum – to commemorate Oscar Wilde and other important historic events. The Prison is a very important part of Reading’s history. It is believed to also contain the burial place of King Henry I , who established Reading Abbey and it also has a number of other historic links.

The Gaol is under threat of being turned into luxury flats after the Ministry of Justice announced it would sell the site to the highest bidder. Matt said “I am working with a wide range of other local people and organisations and I hope that together we can press for a change of Government policy”.

The latest issue of British Archaeology contains a long article detailing the latest archaeological research into Reading Abbey. It also includes articles bemoaning the Ministry of Justice refusal to publish recent MOLA investigations and a call for a properly resourced public research project.

Meanwhile you can sign the petition here

Thursday 11th July 2019 – Marlow lecture: Taplow Princely Burial

Invitation from Marlow Archaeology

Buckinghamshire’s Saxon Prince: the burial at Taplow

by Leslie Webster – former Keeper Dept. of Prehistory & Europe, British Museum

The burial mound in the old churchyard at Taplow, excavated in 1883, contains an early 7th century Anglo-Saxon burial, from a time of great political and religious change in England. The princely burial contained a rich and varied collection of grave goods, now in the British Museum, similar in quality and date to those at Sutton Hoo.

The story of how it came to be excavated is one of the most poignant and tantalising in the annals of Anglo-Saxon archaeology. Examination and comparisons with the other princely burials at Sutton Hoo and Prittlewell, reveal the exceptional nature of the burial, and its significance, both regionally and in a national context.

Leslie Webster is a specialist in Anglo-Saxon art and archaeology. She was formerly senior curator of the Early Medieval collections at the British Museum, and Keeper of its Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory, and is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. She has co-curated several major joint BM/BL exhibitions on Anglo-Saxon and early medieval themes, as well as coordinating a series of international exhibitions for the European Science Foundation’s Transformation of the Roman WorldProject, and an exhibition on The Anglo-Saxon Feast at the Sutton Hoo Centre.  She has lectured and published widely; her most recent books include Anglo-Saxon Art: a New History (British Museum Press and Cornell University Press), and The Franks Casket (British Museum Press) both published in 2012. Amongst other current research projects, she is a contributor to the Staffordshire Hoard publication (forthcoming June 2019), of which she is also co-editor.

Main Room, Liston Hall, Marlow  SL7 1DD  at 8pm 

Pay at the door: Members of MAS/AiM £3, Visitors £4.50, full-time students £1.50 (A shared talk with AiM, organised by MAS)

Free parking is available after 7pm adjacent to the Liston Hall
All queries, including membership and fieldwork, tel: 01628 523896.

Thursday 20th June 2019 – Marlow Lecture: 75 years of the CBA

Invitation from Archaeology in Marlow

Celebrating 75 years of the CBA – a look at the CBA’s past, present and futureb

by Sue Dormer, Trustee for the Council for British Archaeology (CBA)

As the CBA (Council for British Archaeology) celebrates 75 years since it was founded, this talk will look at the CBA’s milestones over the years, it’s current mission and achievements as well as looking forward as it plans some exciting new initiatives.

CBA Trustee Sue Dormer will describe some of the work of the CBA including The Young Archaeologists Club (YAC), the Festival of Archaeology, advocacy work for national issues such as the Stonehenge road tunnel (see photo) and A Level Archaeology and how the CBA is making an impact on consultations as a statutory National Amenity Society.

The talk will follow AiM’s short AGM at which only members can vote.

8.00 p.m in the Garden Room, Liston Hall, Marlow, SL7 1DD

AIM & MAS Members £3.00, non-members £4.50
Free parking at the adjacent car park after 7.00p.m.

For details of AIM’s other activities and how you can join, either log on to our website,, or contact:

Wednesday 24th July 2019 – FORA Annual Outing



contact John Painter to book on

  • 09.45 Assemble for Coach – North Caversham side, Reading Station
  • 10.00 Coach DEPARTURE 
    • C12th Church and Manor part of original foundation to Reading Abbey
    • Burial place of Dame Agatha Christie
    • Cholsey Great Barn – demolished 1815, site now occupied by early C19th replacements 
  • 11.30 Coach to Wallingford 11.40 WALLINGFORD 
  • 11.45 Morning coffee – Old Post Office 12.30 Visit to Town Hall 
  • 13.00 Lunch (own arrangements)
    • Kinecroft – Saxon defences 
    • St Laurence’s church (Norman)
    • Walk to see site of Wallingford Castle 
  • 14.00 Visit to Wallingford Museum – local history exhibition 
  • 14.45 Coach to Dorchester (pick up near Museum) 
    • Dorchester Abbey of St Peter – C12th Augustinian Abbey Cloister Gallery
    • Dorchester Abbey Museum 
  • 15.45 TEA IN ABBEY TEA ROOM (opens at 3.00pm)
  • 16.15 Depart for Reading
  • 17.15 Approximate time of return to Reading

PRICE: £35 by coach / £20 by car 

Both include morning coffee and afternoon tea; entry to Wallingford Town Hall and Museum; and contributions to both Cholsey Church and Dorchester Abbey 

  • COST: £35 pp (30 people max)
    • Coach pp 20.00
    • Morning Coffee 3.00
    • Entry to Museum 4.00 (group entry) 
    • Afternoon tea 4.50
    • Contributions 3.50 


22nd March to 30th June 2019: Excavations at Highwood

Invitation from South Oxfordshire Archaeology Group (SOAG)

High Wood MMXIX – the exploration continues

Come and help with our continuing excavations of a mysterious Roman site in woodland at High Wood, Harpsden, on the Phillimore Estate. Excavations will resume on 22nd March, 2019 and volunteers are required now!

There is plenty to do for everyone, with or without experience, from digging to pottery washing and finds sorting, and all equipment is provided. This year we will focus on extending our knowledge of the walls and rooms found previously, and fixing the size of the whole site (still 2 more corners to go!).

The project is being run by the South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group (SOAG). Digging sessions will run every other (long) weekend, Fri-Tue, from March until the end of June.

You are welcome to come along for just one day, the whole season or whenever you can.

For more information or to sign up please email:
Stephanie Pollard (Admin.) 07833 600449
or Alan Hall (Dig Director) 07807 534701

Opens January 24th 2018 – West Berkshire Museum: Hoards

West Berkshire Museum

Special Exhibition: Hoards

Bringing together for the first time, over 11 hoards from all over West Berkshire.  A chance to see buried treasure from prehistory to the medieval period, ranging from a hoard of Bronze Age Axes, Iron Age hoards of gold coins, Roman hoards of hundreds of coins, to a hoard of coins of Charles I and James I.  Explore the history of each hoard, find out how they were found, and consider why they were hidden and never retrieved.

Entry to West Berkshire Museum is free but donations are most welcomed.
Open: Wednesday – Sunday 10am -4pm

Image: The Crow Down Hoard, Acquired 2006

More info here

Special Exhibition: Hoards