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Saturday 21st March – March to Reading Goal

March to Reading Gaol on Saturday the 21st of March 12-2pm

Members of BAS Council will be leading a contingent to support this event. Please join us. There will be time to get back to RISC for the BAS lecture!

Meet outside the Hexagon at 12pm for a march through the town to Reading Gaol. To give the organisers an idea of numbers please RSVP here:…

We want to show the Ministry of Justice that Reading Gaol should stay open to the public as an arts and heritage site. It is too important to be redeveloped as luxury flats.

To show your support for the campaign to turn Reading by Gaol into an arts and heritage site please sign MP Matt Rodda’s petition here:

Thank-you to the Save Reading Gaol team for organising the event.

Thursday 26th March 2019 – Marlow Lecture: The Old Stones

Invitation from Archaeology in Marlow (a joint talk with Marlow Archaeology)

The Old Stones – the Megalithic Sites of Britain and Ireland

by Andy Burnham

Andy will present a ‘whistle stop’ tour with amazing photos of prehistoric sites from all over the UK. The talk is based around many of the fascinating themes, new discoveries and mysteries highlighted in the book ‘The Old Stones’, along with a look at lesser known but interesting sites in the local area.
‘The Old Stones’ is the mostcomprehensive and thought-provoking field guide ever published to the iconic standing stones and prehistoric places of Britain and Ireland, and was awarded Current Archaeology Book of the Year 2019.
Andy is the lead author, and also founder of the Megalithic Portal web resource.

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 4th March 2020 – BAS Study Group: Various Topics

Developments on the Roman Berkshire project

Bring your own lunch; tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.  There will be a charge of £3 per person to cover the room costs. All welcome. Contact Andrew Hutt

1.00 pm for 1.30 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.

Saturday 21st March 2020 – BAS Lecture: British Mesolithic woodworking

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? Identifying tool use in British Mesolithic woodworking

by Adam Turner, PhD student at Reading University

(this is a change to the previously advertised lecture)

Image: Captivating worked wood from 12m under the Solent at Bouldnor Cliff Bouldnor-Butser Mesolithic Woodworking Project

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.

Saturday 28th March 2020 – BAS Day School

Archaeology in Berkshire 2020

This day school brings together professional archaeologists, archaeological societies and those interested in archaeology in Berkshire and surrounding counties to hear reports about the latest projects.

10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m St Nicolas Church Hall, Newbury RG14 5HG

All welcome. Cost £10 payable on the door

Alison McQuitty, Chair, Berkshire Archaeological Society 
10.05Recent work in West Berkshire
Sarah Orr, West Berkshire Council Senior Archaeologist 
10.25Recent discoveries in East Berkshire
Fiona McDonald, East Berkshire Archaeological Officer  
10.45Berkshire Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) Highlights
Beth Asbury, Assistant Archaeologist (HER and Outreach), West Berkshire 
11.10COFFEE – 25 mins
11.35The story of the 1950s excavations of Berkshire’s most important Saxon and early Norman settlement at Old Windsor. The excavator, the archive and the future!
Roland Smith, Berkshire Archaeology
12.00Silchester: The Roman Baths project
Professor M. Fulford, University of Reading 
12.25LUNCH – 1 hour 15 minutes 
13.40Dendrochronological analysis, NewburyAndy Moir, Tree Ring 
14.05Boxford, Mud Hole
Duncan Coe or Matt Nichol, Cotswold Archaeology 
14.30TEA – 25 mins
14.55Medieval Tile Kilns, Silver Street, Reading
TBA, Thames Valley Archaeological Services 
15.20Cold War Archaeology at AWE
Piran Borlase-Hendry, AWE 
15.45Discoveries at Ankerwycke Priory
Andrew Hutt, Berkshire Archaeological Society 
16.10-16.20Questions and Conclusions
Alison McQuitty, Chair, Berkshire Archaeological Society 

Parking for the disabled is adjacent to the hall and there are several public car parks. Newbury railway station is a 10 minute walk.

Bring a packed lunch or eat out in local restaurants and pubs.

Image: Aerial view of the excavations at Silchester baths site, July 2019 (University of Reading)

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 July 26th 2020 – 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