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News from 2017

E-NEWSLETTER, December 2017

Welcome to the latest e-newsletter from the Department of History’s Regional Heritage Centre. You are welcome to forward a link to this newsletter to any groups or individuals you think will be interested in our activities. If you have received this as a forwarded message please join our mailing list so that we can send you future newsletters directly.

In this edition:

·         Last call for bookings for our 20 January 2018 Study Day Water in North West England (Alan Crosby Day)
·         Bookings now open for Northern Names on 3 February 2018, the 45th Annual Archaeology Forum on 3 March 2018 and Cymry in the North 28 April 2018
·         Important navigation information for our on-campus visitors
·         A flurry of activity by former RHC Director Professor Angus Winchester (including new publications)
·         External events and announcements

Welcome to the December 2017 newsletter, with everything you need to know about the full programme of upcoming RHC Study Days and events.

Please note that the Centre will be closed for telephone and email enquiries from lunchtime on Thursday 22 December 2017 until 9.30am on Wednesday 3 January 2018 – though the Online Store will still be accepting bookings throughout this period.

Book Now for Water in North West England (Alan Crosby Day) and Northern Names

With just a few weeks before our next event, now is the time to secure your place at our annual Alan Crosby Day, ‘Water in North West England : some historical perspectives’ on Saturday 20 January 2018.
Our phones have been ringing since September – so don’t delay. Secure your place before it’s too late. Alan will be treating us to presentations on many aspects of water from pre-industrial water power to modern water pollution issues, and if past events are anything to go by, it should be a memorable day.
Full details   Click here to book on the Online Store
February’s Study Day will be ‘Northern Names – regional aspects of the names of places and people’ on Saturday 3 February. Speakers include both the current RHC Director, Fiona Edmonds, and former RHC Director Prof Angus Winchester. Add to that presentations by Peter Iles of the Lancashire Place Name Survey, the University of Nottingham’s Eleanor Rye as well as George Redmonds, author of books on Yorkshire surnames and names in history, and we think you can call it a fascinating mix.

Full Details   Click here to book on the Online Store


Lake District Field-Names: a guide for the local historianAnd speaking of fascinating, Angus is the author of a brand new publication now featured on our Online Store – Field-Names of the Lake District. This invaluable little volume is perfect for those interested in tracing the meaning and development of Field-Names – and at only £4 per copy, it makes a great holiday gift too.

Order this book through the Online Store



Registration Now Open for 45th Annual Archaeology Forum

Image result for society for the promotion of roman studiesThis year’s Archaeology Forum will be held on 3 March, 2018. This is the 45th edition of the always-popular Forum, and this year’s offering benefits from the generous financial support of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. We have a fabulous programme with the latest developments in Roman archaeology from Vindolanda and Chester, as well as presentations on the early medieval church of St Michael’s in Workington, industrial archaeology from the Greater Manchester Mills project and changes to the regional archaeological research framework. There’s even a fascinating bit of community archaeology with a talk on recent work at Warton Crag. Please do note that this time around, there is a change of venue from our usual lecture theatre – but hopefully our intrepid archaeologists are up to the challenge of discovering the new route signs.

Full Details  Click here to book on the Online Store 

More 2018 Study Days

28 April 2018 will see our Director’s Event, ‘Cymry in the North: the North Britons from the sixth century to the tenth’. This will be held in conjunction with CWAAS and the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society, and should be a 2018 highlight. Speakers include RHC Director Fiona Edmonds, Rachel Newman of Oxford Archaeology North and Dr Christopher Bowles of the Scottish Borders Council. To accommodate our partners’ members, this event will be held at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle (Fusehill campus). An optional soup and sandwich lunch can be booked for an additional fee. With three heritage organisations joining forces, we expect high demand for tickets – so book now.

Full Details  Click here to book through the Online Store

Then on 19 May 2018 we’ll be holding an Oral History conference to mark the launch of the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive online. Details are still being confirmed, but this special conference will include a screening of a new documentary film exploring how artists have been inspired by ERWCOHA, news of other oral history projects in the region and of course, Elizabeth Roberts herself will be joining us on the day. Please save the date and watch out for details in future newsletters.

Good News  - and A Slight Detour - for Supporters Attending Our On-Campus Events

In the past, we’ve had a lot of feedback from you about how difficult it is to find your way around the Lancaster University campus…steps have been taken to improve the situation. The campus has been transformed with new external signage that will help visitors and newcomers navigate more easily. A new, easy-to-use map divides the campus into five colour-coded zones and gives each building a three letter code replacing the old number system. This should make it easier to find our lecture theatres and hopefully improve the visitor experience. You can find the updated campus map online at

HOWEVER…ongoing construction means some minor inconveniences. Please be aware that the main entrance to our usual venue, Management School Lecture Theatre 3, is currently blocked. Signs directing you past the main entrance and around the corner down Grizedale Avenue are in place, so look out for the temporary side entrance to the building (near the Hub Café). Once inside, just walk up the ramp and follow the signs to LT 3. It wouldn’t hurt to allow a little extra travelling time – parking is still free on campus on Saturdays, but you may find yourself walking a little further, and Study Day presentations start promptly at 10:00 am. Please note that a different location and start time will apply to the Annual Archaeology Forum – all the details are clearly given on our website and the printer-friendly version of the downloadable details.

Change in Price Structure

Rising costs in venue rental, catering, transport etc mean regular attendees of RHC events will have noticed a slight price increase introduced from October this season – thankfully, we’ve been able to keep it to a modest £1 on the standard ticket price, or 40p extra on discounted tickets. Standard events on campus (with the exception of the annual Archaeology Forum) will now cost £26 or £23.40 – a 10% saving - for RHC Patrons and Friends. This change reflects our own increase in expenditure, and allows us to continue providing great value Study Days and special events. The RHC appreciates your continued support – and now might be the perfect time to take advantage of our Friends and Patrons discount. You can find details of enrolment below.

Annual Enrolment of Patrons and Friends of the Centre

Many of our supporters are enrolled as Patrons or Friends of the Regional Heritage Centre, and are entitled to discounts on our events and other benefits. Our subscription year runs from August to July. If you are currently a Friend or Patron and pay by Standing Order or Direct Debit your membership will automatically renew, but if you pay by cheque you need to contact us in order to renew your membership. If you have not been a Friend or Patron in the past but would now like to support us in this way please have a look at our website at  or contact us as we will be happy to send you the relevant forms. The best way to reach us is via email to or do call the Centre on 01524 593770 (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays)

New Publication from Former RHC Director Professor Angus Winchester

Angus has a rather active definition of retirement – he’s also just co-edited another book, Northern England and Southern Scotland in the Central Middle Ages, with Lancaster University’s Professor Keith Stringer. A range of prominent academics in English and Scottish universities have authored the individual chapters, including our current Director, Dr Fiona Edmonds; Fiona has collaborated with Dr Simon Taylor of the University of Glasgow, to write a chapter entitled ‘Languages and Names’. Some of our longstanding supporters may recall that Simon Taylor contributed a presentation to the event we held in memory of the late Dr Mary Higham. This book, from publisher Boydell & Brewer, is being offered to RHC supporters at a special discounted rate. Orders made before 31 January 2018 will benefit from 25% off the standard price – so there’s your Christmas shopping sorted.

To order click here  and quote the code BB125 at the checkout.

Book Review by….Angus Winchester!

As mentioned, Angus has his own take on taking things easy…but we just had to share his discovery of a book that should interest RHC supporters everywhere. Read on!

One night, at a date somewhere between 1272 and 1292, Richard the lorimer (i.e. maker of metalwork for horse bridles) of Lancaster discovered his wife and her lover ‘sitting and dallying’ in a malt-kiln near the town – a warm and secluded place for a lovers’ tryst.  A fight ensued and each man wounded the other fatally.  The case came before the justices at the Lancashire eyre in 1292.  Even though both men were dead, the Crown expected to exact a financial penalty for homicide from their assets, and Richard the lorimer had been a comparatively wealthy man, possessing chattels and a burgage property in Lancaster, from which the sheriff was answerable for sums totalling over 60 shillings.

Such detailed cameos of the lives of ordinary folk in thirteenth-century Lancashire are provided by a rich new publication, a full scholarly edition of the Crown pleas before justices at the Lancashire eyre of 1292, prepared by Margaret Lynch with members of the Ranulf Higden Society and published by the Record Society of Lancashire & Cheshire.  The eyre swept up cases of crime (killings, theft, rape), sudden death (suicide and death by misadventure), misconduct of local peace-keepers, and threats to the Crown interest which had occurred in the twenty years since the previous eyre in 1272.  The text is at one level a sombre account of death and malpractice but it is the incidental details of everyday life that make it such a vivid window into medieval times.  This is a high quality edition, with the Latin of the original on left-hand side of each page, opposite an English translation on the right.  It is fully indexed by Carrie Smith and comes with a pithy, scholarly introduction by Henry Summerson.  All are to be congratulated on making this rich source accessible to all who are interested in Lancashire’s past.

Crown Pleas of the Lancashire Eyre 1292, edited by Margaret E. Lynch with members of the Ranulf Higden Society; with an introduction by Henry Summerson and index by Carrie Smith (Record Society of Lancashire & Cheshire Volumes 148-150, 2014). Volume 1 (introduction): xvi + 107 pp. ISBN: 978 0 902593 83 1. £25.00. Volume 2 (text with translation, part i): xii + 501 pp. ISBN: 978 0 902593 84 8. £40.00.  Volume 3 (text with translation, part ii, plus indexes): xv + 426 pp. ISBN: 978 0 902593 85 5. £30.00.  Full set: £80.00.  Available from Dr Fiona Pogson, Department of Politics and History, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD; tel: 0151 291 3115 or email

External Events and Announcements

Please note that the RHC cannot provide further information on these events and announcements, nor be held responsible for any inaccuracies in what is posted below. If you have queries or wish to book for any event listed here please contact the organiser/venue/promoter directly.

The Cumbria Local History Federation has launched a new, re-designed website.  The results went live last month and can be seen at  
The well-illustrated site contains full details of the Federation and its member groups.  In addition to an archive of its thrice-yearly Bulletins, there is the latest edition of its Directory of Speakers, Walks/Tours & Research Assistance and an Events Diary.  There is also a guide to the other organisations which have a major county-wide role in local history, together with a comprehensive list of links to on-line resources and organisations supportive of local historians in Cumbria. Check it out!

The South Ribble Museum & Exhibition Centre (Leyland) opens its Winter Lecture Series 2018 on Saturday 6th January at 11am: ‘Local History from a Balloon’, an illustrated talk by David Hunt.  
See for more details and other lectures and events.
The Lancaster Archaeological and Historical Society announces its Winter Programme 2017-18:

25 January 2018 - Dr Andrew White (ex-Lancaster City Museums) ‘Lancaster’s first railway, 1840-46’

22 February 2018 – Dr Helen Evans (OA North) ‘The Neolithic of Morecambe Bay: new sites and emerging themes’

22 March 2018 – Dr Colin Penny (Lancaster Castle) ‘Convict Transportation to Australia’

26 April 2018 AGM followed by Peter Iles (Lancashire County Archaeological Advisory Service) ‘Archaeology and Bailrigg "Garden Village": some potential sites and issues'

Venue: St Paul’s Hala Centre, Hala Square, Scotforth, Lancaster
(beside Beck View - 400 yards east of the A6 from the Boot and Shoe)
Parking is available. Meet at 7.30pm for 7.45pm start. Visitors welcome at £3.00 per lecture.

The Friends of Lancashire Archives are holding an event on ecclesiastical court records.
Friday 26 January 2018  1.30-4.00pm
Drunken clergy, fornication and abuse - stories from the Archdeaconry of Richmond cause papers. This half-day workshop led by Anna Watson will teach you how to recognise the different types of documents among the cause papers and how to interpret and understand the information to be found in them. 
Lancashire Archives, Bow Lane, Preston, PR1 2RE  Fee:  £10. For further information click here

Sam and Fiona join me in wishing you the compliments of the season: we look forward to seeing you at a Centre event in 2018.

Best wishes,

Ann-Marie Michel
Regional Heritage Centre,
Department of History,
Bowland College,
Lancaster University,
Lancaster LA1 4YT

RHC telephone & voice-mail: 01524 593770 or to contact Dr Sam Riches: 01524 594841
For more details of our activities and publications visit our website at

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