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Wednesday 4th December 2019 – BAS Study Group: Roman Berkshire

The study group will meet at Brock Keep on Wednesday 4th December 2019 starting with lunch at 12:00 and ending about 15:00

  • Review the Roman landscapes round Wanborough (Wilts) and Wantage 
  • Discuss the activities of the Roman military in the Berkshire Region in the period AD 43 to AD 75
  • Review the results of the Hall Farm, Arborfield geophysics survey

OpenHand OpenSpace
Brock Keep, 571 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1HL.
Entry and free parking via Brock Gardens, then first left through the gates of Brock Keep.
Buses 15,16 and 17 alight at Brock Gardens stop.

Saturday 14th December 2019 – BAS Lecture: Members Talks

Celebrating 75 years of the CBA: Past, Present and Future by Sue Dormer

The Council for British Archaeology was set up 75 years ago in response to the intense pressure on the historic environment  from post-war redevelopment. It’s aims are to increase public awareness and knowledge of the UK’s archaeological heritage, enhance its protection and work to increase public participation in archaeology. The talk will look back at the highlights of the last 75 years, celebrate the present and look forward to plans for the future

Observatories and other monuments of astronomers in Berkshire by Kenelm England FRAS

The talk is about some of the astronomical observatories which have been constructed in Berkshire and the memorials to some astronomers.  This builds on the recent discovery of the remains of William Lassell’s observatory in Maidenhead and the uncovering of his gravestone in 2018

The History of the Society’s Logo by Tim Lloyd

The Berkshire Archaeological Society was founded in 1871 and has used a number of graphic devices over the years. With our 150th anniversary coming up we are looking back at our heritage and forward to the new age of digital media.

As this is our last lecture before Christmas you will be treated to mince pies!

2.00 pm for 2.30 pm at the RISC Centre, London Street, Reading RG1 4PS Google map reference

PARKING AT RISC: There have been changes to parking at the rear of the RISC building. Only certain bays are available and payment is by phone only. Please see notices for details.

Tuesday 21st January 2020 – BAS Visit: Wittenham Clumps

Visit to Wittenham Clumps Iron Age Hillfort

An exciting opportunity to visit the dig at Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire. The visit will include a walk on the Clumps, a visit to the dig and the artefacts.

For more information see:

The society have booked a slot for 15 people on Tuesday 21st January 2020 from 10.00 to 1.00. This booking is provisional, and we need to pay for the 15 places by 19th Dec. If you are interested, please let me have the £5 fee by that date.

Reply to Anne Helmore

It is more convenient for me if you pay online. My account is Nationwide: Sort code: 07-01-16 Account number: 29779396

There will also be an opportunity for  pub lunch at The Plough at Long Wittenham. It is a 5 mins drive from the dig.

21st November 2019 to 8th March 2020 BM Exhibition: Troy

British Museum: Troy – myth and reality

The legend of Troy has endured for more than 3,000 years. The story of a great city, plunged into a 10-year war over the abduction of the most beautiful woman in the world, is irresistibly dramatic and tragic. This allure has sent adventurers and archaeologists in quest of the lost city, which is now widely believed to have existed.

But what of the heroes and the heartbroken, the women and the wanderers, who are said to have a played a part in the Trojan War? Why have they inspired so many retellings, from Homer to Shakespeare and Hollywood? Get closer to these captivating characters as you explore the breath-taking art that brings them to life, from dramatic ancient sculptures and exquisite vase paintings to powerful contemporary works.

You can also examine the fascinating archaeological evidence that proves there was a real Troy – and offers tantalising hints at the truth behind the mythical stories.

From Helen of Troy’s abduction to the deception of the Trojan Horse and the fall of the city, tread the line between myth and reality in this phenomenal new exhibition.


Reading Borough Council has submitted a bid to the Ministry of Justice to purchase the goal.

BAS Council have agreed to support the campaign and have written to the relevant authorities

Theatre & Arts Reading (TAR) chairman, Melvin Benn issued this statement:

We are pleased the council has passed this resolution.

However,  our position has not changed – TAR will not bid against the council. What we have done is pass on our bid brochure to the council which may help  its bid. This is full of information about how we would have turned the site into an arts hub, complete with a pop-up theatre, other performance space, museums, a hotel, digital hub, creative hub and more.

We have also included our list of supporters – from  community members to businesses, organisations to official bodies – which TAR has built up over many years campaigning for a new arts hub in Reading, as well as official statements of support from the Arts Council and the University of Reading.

We hope the council is successful in its bid to the MoJ – and we will continue to help in any way we can.

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”.

A recent 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

Until 12 January 2020 – Exhibition: Last Supper in Pompeii

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

This major exhibition will tell the story of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii’s love affair with food and wine.

Located in the sunny paradise of southern Italy, Pompeii was sandwiched between lush vineyards and fertile plains to one side, and the bountiful waters of the Bay of Naples to the other. When the ash from Mount Vesuvius began raining down on Pompeii in AD 79, people were engaged in typical day to day activities: producing, buying and selling food and, most importantly, eating and drinking.

See over 400 rare objects, including fine masterpieces of Roman art which range from the luxury furnishings of Roman dining rooms to the carbonised food that was on the table when the volcano erupted. Everything from the exquisite mosaics and frescoes in the villas of the wealthy to the remains found in kitchen drains, show what the Pompeians loved to eat and drink. This remarkable exhibition provides an extraordinary insight into their everyday lives

Timed tickets will be in operation. Full price adult tickets are £12.25 each. Book here

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