KENILWORTH HISTORY & ARCHÆOLOGY SOCIETY – February 2017 Newsletter
Richard Morris was an inveterate collector of guide books, particularly of places of architectural note. Jenny has so many of them that she is offering them to Members of the Society for free. Tonight you will find the first batch. We suggest that you take what you want (no fighting!) and make a donation. Monies will be shared between the Harry Sunley Memorial Project and Myton Hospice. Please – they must go!
» Last Meeting: Gillian White gave us a most thorough biography of Bess of Hardwick. Some of us had no idea how involved her subject was in affairs of state, and how much of a switchback her life had been. A most remarkable lady!
» Tonight: is the AGM. All officers and committee members are to be (re)elected, one new committee member being needed since Sue Tyler has proffered her resignation. Nominations are closed. After the formal meeting, our Webmaster, Chris Blunt, will be speaking about “KHAS on the Web”. He may surprise us all!
» Next month: Dr Bob Pryce will speak on “Some aspects of Stereo Photography in Warwickshire”. At the usual time of 7.30 for 7.45 at the Senior Citizens’ Club.
Subscriptions are now due. Please see the Treasurer tonight. There is no increase on last year: £10 single; £15 double.
Kenilworth History 2017 is now available
» Kenilworth Family History Society Wednesday, 8th March. Local historian Jan Cooper (of whom you may have heard) will give a talk called ‘War and Worship’ which explores the close relationship between Kenilworth Castle and the Abbey/Priory. Senior Citizens’ Club, Abbey End, Kenilworth, CV8 1QJ, from 7.30. Non-members welcome
» Kineton Local History Group: Friday 11 March – AGM and Supper (At 7.00pm) in the Village Hall » Warwickshire Local History Society: Tuesday 21 February 2017 The history of the NHS in Warwickshire and the West Midlands Start at 8.00pm, preceded by coffee at 7.30pm, in The Friends’ Meeting House, 39 High Street, Warwick, CV34 4AX
» CADAS: 14th February Buildings, Burials and Bones Lecturer: Vicky Score 7.30pm at Friends’ Meeting House, Hill Street, Coventry
» Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group: Dr Gawen Jenkins from the University of Leicester: Can we get metals out of the ground in a “green” sustainable way? Wednesday 15th Feb. At S Francis’ Hall, 7pm for 7.30pm The Society still needs a new Editor, and a compiler of the Newsletter. Please speak to the Chairman if you think you can help.
The Society still needs a new Editor, and a compiler of the Newsletter.
Please speak to the Chairman if you think you can help.
Developments in the Town
As you have realised, or you probably wouldn’t be here tonight, history oozes out of Kenilworth’s pores. Whenever the spade goes in the ground, there is the likelihood that something historic will come up with it. It has been the Society’s policy to keep an eye on any sort of development – Members go to trenches to peer in and look for traces of archæology. Sometimes it is very well worth it. A lesson learned long ago was not to leave it to the local professionals, because even after they have given an allclear, something crops up. This happened when the Bronze Age funerary urn was unearthed at 25 Clinton Lane. Fortunately, the archæologists had stayed on-site, and no further damage was done beyond slicing the thing in half.
At the moment, a major rebuild is happening 100 yards away from that site, on the edge of Purlieu Lane. Exploratory trenches were dug but nothing was found, we understand. Consequently the professionals, sadly under extreme pressure these days after severe financial cut-backs, were unable to keep a watching brief. A member of the public, now a member of this Society, had been keeping an eye on things, and took a few photographs of the material being excavated wholesale. One photograph showed what could be a small Stone Age hand axe. Being a conscientious sort, he forbore to ‘rescue’ it. More’s the pity because, on return, it had gone. Someone else recognised it for what it may have been, and now we have lost the opportunity to determine whether occupation of this bit of Kenilworth extends even further back in time than the Bronze Age.
One would like to think that the person who ‘liberated’ the artefact would present it to Warwick Museum for dating and explain it provenance. Fear of being accused of theft may inhibit such an action, but let’s hope a real concern for historical knowledge will overcome that fear. The Society would certainly back anyone who took such an action. We can’t expect contractors’ men to look out for these things. The fact that we have a photograph is at least some sort of consolation. Oh to be able to date it! Think of what the Society contributed in the early 70s to the discovery of an important Mesolithic site at Blacklow Hill. Is the axehead Palæo- , Meso- or Neolithic? Or simply old technology still being used in the first metal age, the Bronze Age?
So, follow in the footsteps of the founders of this (rapidly becoming) august Society, keep your eyes open and be prepared to open your mouths!
Contacts: Chairman – 01676 532654; Secretary – 01926 858670; Treasurer – 01926 852655; Vice Chairman & Editor – 01926 858090