Category Archives: Upcoming Event

Wednesday 4th September 2019 – BAS Study Group: Ankerwyke

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

The Geophysics survey at Ankerwycke by Andrew Hutt

This is the site of a Benedictine nunnery on the east bank of the River Thames opposite Runnymede.  We surveyed 4 hectares with the gradiometer and over 1 hectare with the resistivity meter and have identified some 50 anomalies in the results.

All are welcome. As usual, bring your own lunch and hot drinks will be provided

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 21st September 2019 – BAS AGM & Lecture: Saxon Burials, Guildford

The Saxon Period Burials from Guildown Avenue, Guildford

by Dr Ceri Falys, Osteoarchaeologist, Thames Valley Archaeological Services

During December 2016, TVAS (Thames Valley Archaeological Services) undertook a small excavation of the land to the rear of a property in Guildown Avenue, Guildford in advance of the construction of a new dwelling. Given the close proximity to the notable “Guildown Saxon Execution Cemetery”, located in the garden immediately to the east, it was hoped the investigation would provide new information regarding the western limits of the known cemetery. Six graves were discovered, comprising two phases of burial. These included three furnished “pagan” inhumations (c. mid 6th century), and three later graves which produced radiocarbon dates spanning the 8th and 11th centuries. The later graves were atypical for the time, with regards to both form (S-N aligned, large grave cuts) and contents (all men, each of whom was buried in unusual positions; two graves had multiple skeletons interred, and the unusual re-burial of one man). 

Initial hypotheses suggested the deviant graves represented victims of judicial execution.  However, osteological analysis could not identify any evidence of the men being subjected to skeletal trauma close to, or after, the time of death. Subsequent isotopic analyses produced interesting and unexpected results, which have resulted in a mystery of who these men were and what brought them to be buried so far from home. While deviant burials in archaeology commonly signal those interred individuals were viewed as “different” or “outsiders” by their communities, it may be possible that although atypical for the Saxon period in Surrey, these men were purposefully buried in this manner, with care and respect by members of their small subsection of the Guildford community.

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


There are important changes to parking at the rear of the RISC building.

For many years RISC has been allowed by the land owners to use the car park on evenings after 6 p.m. and on weekends for free. These are the white marked spaces on the same level as but not directly behind the building. Unfortunately it has now been decided to make this a paid parking area 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a parking management company has been contracted to control it. As of now the new rules will apply; they are not entirely straightforward.

Pay-by-phone charges apply for the bays numbered 3 to 16 only, marked in WHITE. There are no cash machines. Charges apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Do not park in bays 1, 2, 17 to 22 marked in RED at any time – these spaces are rented by individua

Thursday 12th September 2019 – Marlow lecture: Anglo-Saxon Estates and Defences

Invitation from Marlow Archaeological Society

Anglo-Saxon Estates and Defences: thoughts on Wessex and the Thames Valley

by Dr Ryan Lavelle, Reader in Early Medieval History, University of Winchester

This talk will investigate royal landholding in Anglo-Saxon Wessex, and politics and warfare in 9th to 11th century England. The subject has local appeal as Cookham was a royal estate in the Anglo-Saxon period with an early minster, then a burghal hidage fort of Alfred the Great in defence against Viking raids.

Royal estates were lands used to support kings and their immediate retinue, and lands granted by kings to members of the royal family. Royal minsters had suffered badly from Viking raids and the properties of many were transferred to the Crown. But by the end of the ninth century, Alfred the Great had created a revival in learning and monasticism.  The talk’s focus concentrates on the later Anglo-Saxon period in England (the mid-9th century to the mid-11th century). These centuries were a formative period in early medieval history, in which a state can be seen to have developed from a small kingdom to take control of lowland Britain, and, indeed, exert political influence over much of the rest of Britain.

The defence of the 9th century kingdom of Wessex under King Alfred against the ‘Great Viking Army’ is one of the major military achievements of early medieval history. While the guerrilla warfare in the Somerset marshes and the battle of Edington are characteristic of Alfred’s military abilities, his definitive physical achievement was a series of some 30 well-structured fortifications (known as burhs) across the kingdom. The most local burh to us is Sceaftesege (Sashes) at Cookham, which was closely linked to its nearest neighbour, the wealthy and important burh at Wallingford, the remains of which still dominate the town.

An internationally-recognised expert in Anglo-Saxon Winchester and King Alfred, Ryan is the author of the award-winning book Alfred’s Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age.  He was historical advisor for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC series based on Bernard Cornwell’s novels, telling the story of King Alfred and the birth of England.

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

A shared talk with AiM, organised by MAS

Pay at the door: Members of MAS/AiM £3, Visitors £4.50, full-time students £1.50 Free parking is available after 7pm adjacent to the Liston Hall All queries, including membership and fieldwork, tel: 01628 523896.

Photograph courtesy of Hugh Mothersole

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