Wednesday 3rd May. Mark Fletcher from Matrix Archaeology will be giving our Society a talk about Manchester’s ‘Mythical’ Castle. It was first mentioned in the late 12th and early 13th centuries but nobody knows exactly where it was or whether it really existed – could it have been just a ring-work around a Saxon burgh. Mark has been carrying out extensive excavations around the Cathedral area where it is was supposed to have been, so hopefully he will be able to cast more light on the mystery.
Wednesday 5th April. This month we have invited Steve Baldwin to speak about his Kingmaker 1485 Project project. Steve has recently got permission to carry out extensive excavations on the site of the famous Medieval Lathom Hall. To fund the work, he is setting up a series of field-schools and inviting interested parties to come and help him dig there. The first of these schools is to be held over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, i.e. Saturday 15th April to Sunday 17th April. Visit the website – http://www.kingmaker1485.org.uk/ to book a place. At our meeting Steve will be explaining the project in more detail and also answer any questions you have regarding the dig.
Wednesday 5th October. The Medieval Graffiti Survey project was first established in Norfolk in 2010 and was the large-scale survey of early graffiti inscriptions in the UK. Entirely volunteer led, the project changed the way we look at our medieval church heritage. Here in the northwest, the number of medieval churches is limited. Therefore the project has evolved and been developed into the NW Historic Graffiti Project. This will look at any building of interest up to and including the 17th century. The project is being run by Carolanne King from the CBA NW and at our next meeting, she has agreed to come along and explaining how local groups can get involved. Project will include workshops and training session and already a number of groups in the northwest have had sessions and have carried out surveys. These include Middleton Arch Soc and the South Manchester Arch Research Team. It will be interesting to hear whether there could be an opportunity for our Society to get involved in this very interesting project.
Wednesday 7th September. The speaker this month is Steve King whose talk is entitled ‘Historic Sites of Western Turkey’. Steve is a member of the Lytham U3A and once worked as an EFL teacher in Ankara and elsewhere. This enabled him to travel extensively, gaining many interesting experiences. Turkey certainly left its mark and Steve is keen to share his experiences and knowledge of this fascinating country.
Wednesday 6th July. This month’s speaker is David Trippier, a professional archaeologist from Bolton. He will be giving us a talk on the research he carried out on Smithill’s Coaching House on Crompton Way Bolton. For many years this Grade II listed building operated as a restaurant but closed down a few years ago with fears that it would be pulled down when it became derelict. The Council however gave permission the site to be converted into apartments which is when David was commissioned to provide a full survey and report on its history.
Wednesday 2nd March. This month we have Stan Aspinall who will be telling us about some Standish family connections. His is talk is entitled ‘Skeletons in the cupboard at Sizergh Castle: the story of Cecilia Strickland 1760-1820.
Thursday 7th October. Our speaker this month is Norman Redhead whose talk is entitled Archaeological Investigations in Salford’s Historic Core. As you probably know Norman runs the Archaeological Advisory Service for Greater Manchester and over the years the Service has overseen for a number of archaeological investigations in heart of Salford’s town centre. These investigations have been able to uncover Salford’s rich history dating back to the Medieval and Post-medieval periods. Please note the change of day. – this is due to unforeseen circumstances so apologies to those who can’t make it on that day.
Wednesday 2nd September. At our meeting this month Steve Halliwell will be telling us the remarkable story of St Kilda. This remote island off the west coast of the Outer Hebrides has a long history of occupation but it all ended in 1930 when the last families were evacuated to the mainland. Now excavations on the island are being to reveal more about how this isolate community survived for so long.
Wednesday 1st July At short notice, our long term friend from Oxford Archaeology North, Ian Miller has agreed to give us a talk on the Cutacre site near Little Hulton. Excavations there in advance of major development and land reclamation have revealed both Prehistoric and Medieval activity (including Iron Age round houses).
Wednesday 3rd June. We are back to our usual day and this month we have Paul Knight who is a captain in the British Army. Paul served two tours in Iraq and whilst there studied its history and visited many of the famous historical site. Subsequently he has written a book on the Army in Iraq during the First World War. He is a local lad and is currently involved with coordinating WWI centenary events in the North West. However he has taken time out to give us a talk on the British Army’s role in Mesopotamia during the First World War.