Monthly Archives: May 2014

Subterranea Britannica

“Subterranea Britannica is a UK-based society for all those interested in man-made and man-used underground structures and space. Founded in 1974, the society (often known simply as Sub Brit) has grown to over a thousand members. Our interests cover all manner of underground sites, from Neolithic flint mines to nuclear bunkers. Many of these sites are documented on this website. Some can be easily visited, others require more specialist training or equipment; some, sadly, no longer exist.

Sub Brit’s activities include twice-yearly meetings with presentations from speakers and updates from members. Regular visits are held to underground sites both in the UK
and overseas and a number of weekend trips are made which give the opportunity to study an area in more depth (pun intended!). A magazine named Subterranea is published three times a year with details of recent research and visits. Sub Brit’s website, publications and many
of our activities are accessible to the public in line with our objectives to benefit the public at large. Membership is available to anyone who wishes to support the aims of the society and get more involved. Current members include many who are world experts in their chosen field.”

“Autumn Meeting & Visits – 11-12 October 2014

Booking is now open for our Autumn Meeting and Visits weekend in Newcastle.

If you have never been to a Sub Brit meeting before, they are a tremendous opportunity to meet and network with fellow enthusiasts and learn about new sites in a relaxed setting.

All you need is an interest in underground places – membership is not required!”

Tree survey at the Pinetum, Streatlam Castle – 30th May

 Please contact Martin Roberts: if you are able to take part.

I’m trying to assemble a team of 12 – 16 to undertake a tree survey at the 1864 pinetum at Streatlam Castle, near Barnard Castle, this Friday 30 May. 

 This involves the Northumbria Gardens Trust (NGT) in part, but also the researches of Caroline and Jonathan Peacock (NGT members) who are not only examining the estate documents, but also consulting with conifer experts and discovering the original C19 cast iron labels for the trees by metal detecting.  Streatlam is a private estate not normally accessible.  The owner Capt Pease is fully supportive of the work, and welcoming to all visitors and local societies who wish to enjoy the estate landscape. Through the great generosity of Northern Archaeological Associates, the survey grid was laid out and staked about two weeks ago pro bono, so it is all ready for us to survey by tape and offset.

 If you can get to Streatlam for Friday at 10am start  let me know, I’ll forward full details on how to get there.  If Saturday suits you better let me know that too in case we opt for that instead.  If the response is poor, I will rearrange at a later date – but I’m keen to get this done asap while the stakes are firmly in the ground and not disturbed by wind, weather and beasts.  No prior experience necessary.  Friday and Saturday are due to be fine days!

 There will hopefully be time to have a guided tour of the site of the castle, its walled garden, ruined orangery and interesting C18 landscape.   NEVAG and NGT will be jointly visiting the site again in July.

 Let me know if you can make it.  Images of pinetum attached – it’s a very atmospheric place beyond it’s botanical and historical importance. In the unlikely event that there is a rush, first come first served. 

 Results of survey will be archived with Durham HER and subsequently published in a form yet to be agreed.  (Basic survey certainly in NGT Journal, but Caroline and Jonathan’s researches have yet to reach their conclusion.) 

Martin Roberts   



Diving into Durham study day – June 14

Diving into Durham study day

 Find out more about the amazing discoveries made by underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead in the River Wear at Durham. 14 June 2014.

Diving into Durham is a new exhibition highlighting the recent underwater archaeology from the River Wear at Durham. This study day will reveal more about the research and conservation now being undertaken at Durham University on these finds.

The exhibition will open at Palace Green Library on 5th June, highlighting the amazing recent discoveries made by underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead in the River Wear at Durham and now being researched by Gary and others in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. It has been created by students studying for the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies at Durham University as part of their coursework.

The study day is designed for interested members of the public to enable them to learn more about Gary’s discoveries, the research now being undertaken, and the process of creating an exhibition based on this research.  The day aims to share the exciting findings that are emerging from this local excavation with the local community and to offer an opportunity to meet university researchers face to face and ask them about their research.

Cost: Free (Please note lunch is not provided, refreshments will be made available
throughout the day)

To book your place or to view further information
see here <>

Enquiries: Gemma Lewis, or 0191 33 41214

Heart of Teesdale landscape partnership – Guided Walk

Heart of Teesdale landscape partnership

Guided Walk Half Year Forum

Saturday 7th June 9.30 – 2.30pm

The day will consist of a guided walk from Barnard Castle to Whorlton along the River Tees. Along the way we will be pointing out projects we have completed or are currently ongoing.

The walk will end at The Bridge Inn, Whorlton where a buffet lunch will be provided and there will be presentations about the work of the Heart of Teesdale.

The event is FREE but we do need to know numbers attending, so if you would like to attend all or part of the day please contact Susie Lane, Community Officer on 03000 264903 or

Durham County Local History Society – 12 June 2014

Durham County Local History Society – 12 June 2014

  A lecture by Professor Keith Wrightson

Dating events in the early modern North Country: dating statements and the rise of almanac time

Thursday 12 June at Alington House, North Bailey, Durham, 5.15 pm.

  ‘We are privileged to host a newly prepared talk by Keith Wrightson of Yale University. Born in Croxdale, he is the pre-eminent historian of early modern English social and cultural history, has a particular interest in North East history and has maintained strong links with Durham University.

As traditional with DCLHS talks we will be serving tea/coffee and biscuits after the talk. As always admission is free.’

Durham World Heritage Site Architecture and Conservation Series


 A lecture by Dennis JonesDip. Arch., RIBA on Wednesday 21st May, 5.30 p.m.
Decline, Rise and Rescue – Brancepeth Castle

  VENUE: St Chad’s College Chapel, 18 North Bailey, Durham.

  This talk will illustrate the stages of redevelopment of Brancepeth Castle, from the conversion of the medieval fortress to a grand country house by John Paterson, to its decline after the First World War and occupation by the War Office during the 1940s. It will then focus on the rescue and repair of the building’s fabric by the Dobson family in the last thirty years.

  Dennis Jones attended the School of Architecture at Kings College in the 1950s, working in private practice in Newcastle after graduating. After spending some time in Vancouver he returned to live in Durham in 1974, becoming a partner in a practice with offices in Sunderland and Teesside. His work has largely focused on the conservation of historic buildings, which resulted in him holding a position as a Commissioned Architect within English Heritage whereby he monitored grant aided projects. In recent years he has worked as a consultant on projects in Durham and North Yorkshire, including conservation work on local churches and on Durham and Brancepeth Castles.

  The talk will be followed by a drinks reception in the World Heritage Site Centre.

Please book your place by writing to Raffaella Aliprandi’. 

Future lectures in the series:

Wednesday 25th June, 5.30 p.m.

Paul Bidwell
“The Roman Forts at Arbeia and Segedunum: Two Case Studies in Conserving and Interpreting Buildings from the Ancient Past

Tuesday 29th July, 5.30 p.m.

Michael Daly

“Great Architecture without Architects: combining Old and New”

Details of the talks and venues will be announced nearer the date.

Please note that the lectures are free but spaces are limited.

For any information about the series and to book your place, please contact Raffaella Aliprandi at

Bede’s Great Bible – Bede’s World

The world’s only full-sized replica of the Codex Amiatinus goes on show at Bede’s World from this Sunday 18th May. Come along and marvel at this copy of one of the most impressive manuscripts of medieval times. 

The Codex Amiatinus is the lost masterpiece of Bede’s Wearmouth–Jarrow monastery scriptorium. Benedict Biscop, founder of the monastery, travelled to Rome six times during his life, bringing back relics, treasures and books to build his monastery into the powerhouse of learning it became. The Codex was inspired by one of these books, the community …..  creating one of the most impressive of all medieval manuscripts. It was intended to be a present for the Pope. This huge bible is now the oldest complete Latin bible in the world. The original is in the Laurentian Library in Florence, but is too fragile to travel, and we are lucky to be lent the only full-size replica.

The replica has been lent by the abbey of San Salvatore on Monte Amiata, Tuscany, which was home to the Codex Amiatinus for a thousand years. (It is displayed with an explanatory panel designed by our Publicity Officer Christina Unwin and our Hon. Vice President Professor Dame Rosemary Cramp.)

THE 57th JARROW LECTURE at St Paul’s Church, Church Bank, Jarrow. NE32 EDZ

The sign of Jonah: theology and scripture in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History

A lecture by Dr Jennifer O’Reilly (University College, Cork) on Friday 23 May at 7.30pm

All welcome!

Thorpe Thewles History Group

Thorpe Thewles History Group upcoming events:

16th May – Middleton St George

6th June 2014 – Medieval Cross Slabs

Thorpe Thewles History Group

Visit our web site at and if you’re happy to be associated with us why not click on the “LIKE IT” icon on our Facebook page at .

TAS Bulletin E-Publication

Message from TAS

I am delighted to announce that our annual journal TAS BULLETIN is being
made available as a downloadable e-publication. Under Jenny Parker’s
skillful and dedicated editorship since 1996 (issue 1), printed copies
are now in short supply for many issues, or are out of print. We are
packaging the remaining copies into run-sets for sale later this year.

In the meantime, we are able to make PDF e-copies available from our
website* to current subscribing members (passwords required). This is a
gradual process, so please keep checking the website: see below.

* We are looking for a new Editor to help continue Jenny’s
legacy so that we can provide an annual journal, in addition to our
TEESSCAPES eMagazine and social media presence. The BULLETIN journal is
available exclusively to TAS Members.
* If you can help scan in older
copies of BULLETIN or would like to write for any of our publications,
please get in touch: email (mailto: or
have a chat at one of our lecture events. Thank you.

* Read the announcement (
* Visit the publications webpage (

*Our ultimate intention is to make BULLETIN available via the
Archaeology Data Service (ADS) in PDF-A ISO-Archive format. However,
help is needed to scan-in older copies so that our record endures

Why not forward to a friend and help spread the word about TAS!

Kind Regards,

Spencer Carter | TAS Chair & eCommunications

Saturday 19 July- NEAES and AASDN

Saturday 19 July

NEAES- North East Ancient Egypt Society

NEAES fourth meeting of the year will be in Durham at Elvet Hill House, Oriental Museum on Saturday 19 July.

 1.00 – Tea, coffee and biscuits.

1.20 – Talk starts

2.30 – Study hieroglyphic texts in the Oriental Museum

4.00 – Finish

 Our very own Olive Hogg (NEAES treasurer) will be talking about ‘The Hekanahkte Letters’.

 Irascible, stingy and downright rude! Meet Hekankahte whose letters to his family were the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s, ‘Death Comes as the End’. Olive will be introducing you to the life and times of this charismatic individual from the Middle Kingdom.

 From 2.30- 4.00 Novices and hieroglyph students can study texts in the Oriental Museum with Olive and Penny Wilson.

  NB this meeting was originally planned for a 2pm start. However, so as not to clash with the 3.30pm lecture of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland (AASDN) it has been moved forward.


 For the AASDN programme and membership details etc go to

 Their lecture on Saturday 19th July will be given by Dr Emma Cunliffe (Global Heritage Network), who will be talking about ‘Syria: Cultural Heritage in Conflict’. This lecture will take place at 3:30 p.m. in room PG20, Pemberton Building, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3EP, and will be followed by a reception at St Mary-le-Bow (pre booking for the reception is required)