All lectures will be held at the Guildhall, Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, starting 7.30 p.m.
7 October 2019 Dr Richard Hoggett, a freelance heritage consultant, writer and lecturer specialising in the historic landscape of East Anglia will lecture on: “M.R. James’ East Anglia”.
M. R. James is best known as the writer of some of the finest ghost stories ever published and was also the foremost medieval scholar of his day with a strong academic and personal interest in East Anglia’s landscape and history. The lecture will examine James’ East Anglian connections from his childhood in Suffolk to his involvement with the excavations at Bury St Edmunds Abbey and looks at the influence which the region had on the development of his ghost stories.
4 November 2019 Dr Barbara Gale, MBE, the chief executive officer of St Nicholas Hospice, will lecture on “St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds”.
Her talk will cover the history of the Hospice Movement and St Nicholas Hospice Care; also the challenges we face as a society as we live with grief and death, and the future of St Nicholas Hospice Care.
2 December 2019 Dr Martin Bridge and his colleague Dan Miles of the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory, have carried out dendro-analysis throughout England. Martin will lecture on: “Dendrochronology, including work at the Guildhall”.
Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) has become a well established means of dating, used extensively in exploring building history. It does however have several limitations which will be discussed, along with some general findings from research. The Guildhall roof and entrance doors have been dated (funded by Historic England) and the results will be discussed.
6 January 2020 Dr Pat Murrell will lecture on “The late 18th-century Natural History Journals of the Revd Sir John Cullum of Hawstead and Hardwick”.
The Revd Sir John Cullum kept his own natural history journal of observations made primarily at the family seat of Hardwick House and some of the many superb specimen trees to be found at Hardwick are a legacy of his era and his nephew’s, when serious plant-hunting in England and abroad began.
3 February 2020 Dr Abby Antrobus will lecture on the medieval town of Bury St Edmunds. ‘There is no better-provisioned place on earth than Bury St Edmunds’, wrote Jordan Fantosme (1173-4). Using archaeological and historical evidence this talk will explore Bury’s origins, development and medieval geography. Who did what, where, when? And what was it like to go shopping.
2 March 2020 Joanna Caruth will lecture on ‘Tiles, Towers and Trenches: Excavations at Court Knoll, Nayland’.
Community excavations in 2016 at Court Knoll, Nayland, have revealed new information about this Scheduled Ancient Monument and have identified late Saxon finds of a type usually associated with high-status monastic sites such as Bury St Edmunds Abbey and York.