September 2016 Newsletter


» Last Meeting:  A special private meeting in the Castle, starting in the Gatehouse,  to  commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Great Siege of Kenilworth.  This  was a  talk and tour by Chairman Jan on 25th July.  It was well-attended and much  enjoyed  by the capacity turn-out.

Castle Tour
The special private talk and tour in the Castle by Chairman Jan on 25th July.

 » Tonight: Dr Nick Humphris speaks about the archæology of Chedworth Roman  Villa, where a lot of work has been done recently to discover more.

» Next month: Alan Godfrey speaks about Kinwarton, which he describes as a  ‘pint pot parish’.  This is on 10th October at the usual time of 7.30 for 7.45pm

» Kenilworth Family History Society  Meetings 7.30 at  Senior Citizens’ Club.  14 September Carol Ewing, staff  member  at Herbert Gallery: The Herbert Archive of Family and Local History

» Kineton Local History Group: Friday 16 September – A Cruise down the Coventry and Oxford Canals 50 Years Ago Roger Butler  7.30 in the Village Hall

» Warwickshire Local History Society   Saturday 17 September 2016 –  A ‘mystery’ history tour of Harbury village, followed by the usual tea

» CADAS 13th September: The Margaret Rylatt Memorial Lecture: Revealing Grey  Friars: The archaeology of Leicester’s lost Franciscan Friary Lecturer:  Mathew Morris 7.30pm at Friends’ Meeting House, Hill Street,  Coventry

» Kenilworth Civic Society 18th Oct:  Sheila Wolfe – ‘Travels with the Leighs’. At  the Senior Citizens’ Club at 7.30

» A series of free talks on “Historic Kenilworth” at the Library: Tuesday 20th  September 7pm – Susan Tall speaking on “Kenilworth a hundred years ago”

»  A new Archivist has materialised in the shape of Derek Boyce, former Archivist  of  Jaguar Cars and long-standing member of this Society.

» Your Editor has given notice that Kenilworth History 2017 will be his last.  The  Society  therefore needs a new Editor.  The production of this Newsletter falls  to him/her  as well.

» Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group – Wednesday 21st September at St  Francis Church Hall, Warwick Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1HL (the usual venue), meeting  at 7pm for coffee and a 7.30pm start.  We will have two speakers giving shorter talks covering topics relating to the village of Martley, Worcestershire.  John Nicklin is a founding member of the Teme Valley Geological Society (TVGS).  He is not a professional geologist, but a great ambassador for the subject.  He will speak about how and why TVGS was formed and their inspirational achievements.  Bill Barclay, a professional geologist, worked for the British Geological Survey prior to retirement (and he is still very busy with fieldwork here and abroad). He has worked with TVGS for several years on researching a small but important site in the village, located on the East Malvern Fault.  Bill will tell us about this work and the findings so far.

» Warwick Words (bookshop in Warwick) will be presenting a History Festival in Warwick from 3-9th October.  They will be celebrating historical writing – fact and fiction, including meeting and discussion with authors, talks, workshops, etc.

On the 8th there will be a History Fair in Warwick Friends’ Meeting House from 10am to 2pm where local history societies have the opportunity to promote their work.  This is a free event open to the general public and will be held at the Friends Meeting House in Warwick. Chairman Jan and Committee Member Sue Tyler intend to represent KHAS but would be grateful if anyone else would be willing to come along and help part of the time.  Please see Jan this evening if you would like to be involved.

» Other events are added verbatim to this Newsletter.  It would be useful if members would indicate to the Editor if this sort of information is useful, or whether a link to the organisations on the website would suffice.

» The Editor of the Leamington Courier Group has given the Society all the bound volumes of the Kenilworth Weekly News from inception to date for its archives.  The Society has expressed its appreciation for this kind gesture.  Now they will stay in Kenilworth and be accessible.  Please ask the Archivist for access.

» The new edition of Pevsner’s was published on the 28th of June.  Your Editor was kindly invited to the launch at the Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses in Bedworth (worth a visit if you can get there).  Kenilworth enjoys no less than twenty pages, compared with the first edition which had eight!  It is now, in comparison, sumptuous, as it maintains as a description of S. Nicholas’ West Door!  Copies available from Kenilworth Bookshop. £35

» The Committee is looking at the possibility (only, at this stage) of producing a 3-D model of at least the Abbey as it was at the Dissolution.  If anyone has connections with someone who knows about the practicalities and costs of casting in bronze, please contact the Chairman. The value of this is that visually impaired people will be able to understand more clearly the layout and extent of the buildings.

Kenilworth History 2017 Articles, please, to the Editor, as soon as possible.

Contacts:  Chairman – 01676 532654;  Secretary – 01926 858670;  Treasurer – 01926 852655; Vice Chairman & Editor – 01926 858090 



It is with great regret that we have to report the untimely death of Veronica during our Summer recess.  Always an active member and with a ready smile on her lips, she will be much missed.  We extend our sympathy to her grieving family



Portcullis History Courses

Saturday October 22nd
10.00 – 4.00
Tythe Barn, Polesworth Lords, lands and people: medieval Polesworth Polesworth provides a fascinating opportunity to examine a complex medieval community, and the interaction of lords, land and people, a prominent feature of which was the modest Benedictine abbey that was claimed as the ‘resting place’ of an Anglo-Saxon royal saint. What was the character of medieval Polesworth and its communities? What can be reconstructed of the patterns of lordship; of the nature of the landscape and its exploitation; of how its inhabitants made their livings and lived alongside each other; and what role did the abbey play?
These questions will form the basis of a day aimed at creating impressions of medieval Polesworth – its buildings, landscape, settlement and people.
Tuesday October 25th on
October 25th; November 1st, 8th,
15th, 22nd, and 29th.
2.00 – 4.00
Ansley Church Hall People and Places:
reconstructing medieval
The focus of this course will be to introduce some of the ways in which we might reconstruct medieval communities, particularly in the period between the late twelfth and early fifteenth centuries. We will discuss approaches to the reconstruction of these communities within local society, identifying the key themes that might provide a framework for such reconstructions, together with the principal sources that may be used, considering their character, potential and limitations. The course will draw upon a series of case studies and examples, mostly from across Warwickshire, to illustrate these approaches ‘in action’ and demonstrate what impressions can be developed of life in medieval communities.
Saturday November 5th
10.00 – 2.30
Berkswell, Jordan Room Patrons, Fiefs and Fonts: the Twelfth Century Herefordshire
School of Sculpture
The Herefordshire School of Sculpture, whose works may be found across the west midland region, was one of the most exuberant of the regional styles to emerge in English Romanesque art. It coincided with one of the most turbulent periods in English history of the century, the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda, and the subsequent accession to the throne of Henry II. This study day will introduce the range and nature of the sculpture within the School and its setting, and will in particular explore the iconography of the surviving schemes, their probable patronage, and the context of this sculpture within local society.

Contact Portcullis History C/O 11 Hardy Close, Galley Common, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 9SG for more information. Regrettably, the brochures we have show neither a telephone number or a website


Affiliated to The British Association for Local History

Registered Charity No. 511528

  • President Elizabeth, Lady Hamilton
  • Chairmen Dr. John Bland, The Spinney, Spencers Lane, Berkswell, CV7 7BB         Tel 01676 533295
  • Secretary  Dr Ruth Barbour, Beaconsfield, Wolverton Fields, Norton Lindsey, Warwick CV35 8JN   Tel. 01926 842178
  • Treasurer & Programme Secretary  Mr Neville Usher, 6 The Fold, Payton Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6NJ Tel. 01789 205043


LOCAL and ONLINE – the internet and local history groups

April 2016 Dear Local History Colleague

As the ‘Umbrella’ local history society for Warwickshire we have held two conferences for all the local history societies in the county.   At the first conference we asked the societies what they wanted from us, and at the second we addressed such issues as copyright, the preparation of a rolling events diary, lists of speakers, topics, outings and publications, as well as links to those societies who have their own website.

On 12 November 2016 we propose to hold our third conference on the theme of LOCAL and ONLINE – the Internet and local history groups. The main aim for the day is to enable members of local history societies to learn about how the Internet and how online sources can be used for both publicity and research.   It is not to learn basic computer skills:  general familiarity will be assumed.   We will be welcoming speakers who have experience in setting up and using websites, and inviting local societies to show us what they have achieved so far, and to discuss some of the pitfalls.

We have been fortunate to secure the Pyne Room at Warwick School, Myton Road, Warwick, CV34 6PP. This has the state-of-the-art internet facilities with ample free parking within easy access.   The day will begin at 10.00am and end at 4 pm.   The booking fee of £20 includes parking, coffee on arrival and a buffet lunch with tea or coffee.   This is an inclusive package to conform to the requirements of the venue;  opt-outs are not available.   Room will be available for local societies to bring a small selection of their publications for sale. A more detailed programme and booking form will be sent out in the summer.   Numbers will be limited, so to ensure that places are reserved for you and your members, you are urged to book up as soon as possible, either by E mail or by completing the attached form.   Please save the day in your diaries now, and discuss it with your membership.

Best wishes,

John Bland

John Bland, Chairman, WLHS


PLEASE NOTE THAT NO TICKETS WILL BE ISSUED Should you want an acknowledgement, please send a SAE.   Cheques should be made payable to Warwickshire Local History Society and sent to Neville Usher, 6, The Fold, Payton Street, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6NJ, Tel.01789 205 043.  Email

Saturday 12th November 2016, WLHS 3rd ‘UMBRELLA’ CONFERENCE     Reply by 31 October 2016

I/we wish to reserve …. Places for delegates @ £20 each from ……………….…….Local History Society

Names of all delegates ………………………………………………………………………………………..

Tel ………………………………………………

Address ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. E mail address …………………………………………………

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