Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Shaftesbury Historical Society Lecture 061211 North Dorset Mills

Lecture on North Dorset Mills by Peter Stanier

Tuesday 6th December 2011Gold Hill Museum

Lecture organised by the Shaftesbury & District Historical Society
Venue: Anna McDowell Garden Room, Gold Hill Museum, Shaftesbury
Time: 2.30pm
Tickets: £2.50. Shaftesbury & District Historical Society members free.
Further Information: Tel: 01747 852157 or email

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The historic garden at Stourhead is famous for its autumn colour but there is plenty going on at Christmas too - so why not check it out

Stourhead is a magical at Stourhead, an eminent example of a landscape created by amateurs, its success due in part to the masterly siting of buildings round the lake, visible singularly or in combination from different points along the circuit walks. The grounds of Stourhead are second only to Stowe in completeness and extent of picturesque layout and furnishings. The garden was created from 1741 onwards, principally by Henry Hoare II and his grandson Sir Richard Colt Hoare

Christmas events include Beauty and the Beast presented by Joe Gladwin's Paperplays Puppet Theatre  with settings inspired by Stourhead Gardens this promises to be a magical experience ... in miniature! 4th December 2011. More Information: Stourhead Estate Office, 01747 841152, stourhead@nationaltrust.org.uk

Find out more about the latest news from the gardens by visiting the Stourhead Blog or the National Trust webpage

Find out more about historic parks and gardens in the AONB by visiting the Historic Landscape Blog

Monday, 21 November 2011

Art Exhibition at Devizes Museum - The Past is Another Country

Winter Exhibition at the Devizes Museum

WINTER EXHIBITION:  The Past is Another Country: an Exhibition by the Elementals Art Group

The Past is Another Country: an Exhibition by the Elementals Art Group
Artwork inspired by the pre-history of Wiltshire.
The Elementals art group brings together the ideas and inspirations of six different artists under a central theme - Jenny Ford, Jan Knight, Julia Leyden, Christine Shorney, Josephine Sumner, plus guest artist Charlotte Sainsbury. Julia Leyden particularly has been inspired by the collections at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum. The project has been as much about the process of an idea, as the finished works of art.

The group studied archival maps and diagrams, artefacts in museums and photographic aerial views of the landscape - and walked and looked, and looked and walked! Rather than recreating the past they have distilled their own personal and emotional responses to the creations of the Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples of Wessex. Inevitably this involved straying outside Wiltshire to look at and compare sites and artefacts from other places.

Each artist has an individual ‘take’ on the project and this is reflected in the finished works themselves; which includes paintings, printmaking and mixed media, plus a twelve verse illustrated poem in book form and as a wall hanging.
Exhibition will be on show in the Museum's Art Gallery from 5 November 2011 to 2 January 2012 at 41 Long Street, Devizes, Wiltshire. SN10 1NS

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre Event Discover Wiltshires 20th Century Writers 01.12.11

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre

Thursday 1st December 2011 - 20th Century Wiltshire Writers

Take a look at the county through the eyes of well known writers of poetry and prose and discover their associations with Wiltshire. Part 2 of Wiltshire Writers and Literary Figures. Limited to 30 people.

All talks begin at 2.15 pm. Admission £3.50 (concessions £2.50).  Spaces are limited so please buy your ticket in advance. Telephone 01249 705500 or visit our Help Desk at the History Centre.

Friday, 18 November 2011

BBC Countryfile features the Cranborne Chase and West WIltshie Downs this Sunday 20th at 6.25

Countryfile image



BBC Countryfile has undertaken some filming in the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB for their next programme this Sunday, 20th November, at 6.25pm.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Lecture in Blandford on the 7th Dec on the Durotriges

Dr Martin Papworth the archaeologist with the National Trust will be speaking on the Durotriges and their place in Dorset at 7.00pm at the United Reformed Church Hall, Blandford

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tisbury Hoard goes on display at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum

Adrian Green, Curator of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum describes the exciting new hoard on the museum website:

"An exciting new Bronze Age hoard discovered in west Wiltshire has just gone on display at Salisbury Museum. It was found a month ago in a field near Tisbury by a metal detectorist. He reported the first object, a spearhead, to the Wiltshire Finds Liaison Officer. A team of archaeologists then excavated the remaining objects and recorded how they lay in the ground.

The hoard of over 100 copper alloy objects is over 2,700 years old and dates to the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. It consists of tools - axe heads, chisels, sickles, gouges, and weapons - spearheads, daggers, knives, swords and scabbard fittings. It is the most important hoard to have been found in Wiltshire since the discovery of the Salisbury Hoard in the 1980s.

It is very unusual for a hoard of this significance to be on display in a regional museum before it has been assessed by the experts at the British Museum. The hoard will only be on display until Saturday 26 November – it will then go to the British Museum for assessment and the local coroner will need to hold an inquest to determine whether it is Treasure Trove.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Following on from the blue plaque - explore Lancelot Capability Brown and the Cranborne Chase AONB

Lancelot Capability Brown has been honored with a Blue Plaque - find out about his contribution to the landscape of the AONB

Lancelot Capability Brown is to be commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque at Wilderness House, Hampton Court Palace, his home from 1764 – when he was appointed Chief Gardener at the palace – until his death in 1783. The plaque will be unveiled on Wednesday 9 November at 11am.Capability Brown was the leading landscape gardener of his age and his legacy can be seen today in many parks and gardens across the country.

He is credited with designing over 120 landscapes and demonstrated a flair for creating idyllic, pastoral scenes that complemented some of England’s grandest country houses.

In the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB he was the original designer of the mid 18th century extensive parkland surrounding Longleat and advised on plans to alter the park at Wardour in 1754.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Explore Vernditch Chase for autumn colour and spectacular archaeology

I had a wonderful walk yesterday across the open access land on Vernditch Chase

Ackling Dyke Roman Road, Vernditch Chase

It is a great place to see archaeology including two Long Barrows, Grim's Ditch, panoramic views of the Bokerly Dyke and the earthwork aga of the Ackling Dyke Roman Road.

You can explore all of these sites easily from the main Martin Down Nature Reserve car park or alternatively park by the Ox Drove to the north for a longer 4 mile circuit.

Ackling Dyke Roman Road, Vernditch Chase (Jim Champion) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Sunday, 13 November 2011

English Heritage guides offer info on heritage assets that are important to AONB landscape

English Heritage has produced a suite of 40 Introductions to Heritage Assets which offer more detailed overviews of different categories of archaeological asset. This includes Assets particularly relevant to the AONB such as Banjo Enclosures.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Delve into the history of Clarendon Park with lecture at Salisbury & South Wiltshire museum

If you go down to the woods today......Clarendon Park and Forest 1200-1650

Venue: Lecture Hall / Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum
Category: Lectures
Date: 16 Nov 2011
Time: 18:30
Description: Wednesday 16 November 2011. A  talk by Dr Amanda Richardson.

The talk is the second in our series on this very important Royal Palace and Hunting Ground which is right on our doorstep. Dr Richardson is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at Southampton University and this promises to be a fascinating insight into part of our local countryside.

Drinks at 6.30 pm,  lecture at 7.00 pm.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Find out about the art of traditonal Swill Basket Making in this new short clip

The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB is undertaking oral histories of coppice wood workers.

As an accompaniment to this project we asked Barbara Gibson of Spoken Histories to interview traditionally wood workers at the Cranborne Chase Woodfair 2011.

In this first video learn about the historic craft of Swill Basket Making from Owen Jones.

Visit www.historiclandscape.co.uk for more information

Shaftesbury Abbey Annual Lecture 16112011 Stonehenge by Julian Richards

Shaftesbury Abbey Annual LectureStonehenge: Investigation and Inspiration by Julian Richards

Wednesday 16th November 20115000 years ago, which, despite centuries of excavation and speculation, has kept some of its secrets. But recent excavations have provided the clues that may enable us, for the first time, to answer questions like when was it built, how and perhaps the greatest puzzle - why? 
But Stonehenge is also an internationally recognised icon, its enduring stones providing inspiration to artists like Turner and Constable, to potters, musicians and writers. So this lecture will also celebrate the role that Stonehenge has played in the arts over the centuries, examining the sometimes weird and wonderful ways in which its image has been celebrated.’ Julian Richards

This year’s speaker will be the nationally renowned archaeologist Julian Richards.  He will give an illustrated talk on ‘Stonehenge: Investigation & Inspiration’, with some fascinating new information about the mysterious site and also insight into the art and literature that Stonehenge has inspired over the centuries.

'Stonehenge is our greatest prehistoric temple, a stupendous structure, built between 4000 and

Venue: Shaftesbury Arts Centre, Bell Street, Shaftesbury
Time: 7.30pm. Pre-lecture drinks in the Phoenix Room from 6.30pm
Tickets: SAC Box Office 01747 854321 £8.00 (£7.00 for FoSA and S&DHS)
Further Information: Shaftesbury Abbey 01747 852910 or email
Shaftesbury Abbey

Find out if an asset in the AONB is worthy of protection

Is there a builiding or feature in the AONB which you feel is worthy of protection?

English Heritage has produced a series of selection guides which help you determine if a building is of national importance

The wide range of buildings and structures is divided into 20 categories ranging from Agricultural Buildings to Utilities and Communications.  In each guide, an historical introduction is followed by a consideration of designation issues, together with sources of further information

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Explore heritage that is off the beaten path using the new SW adventure cycle map

The 1 South West project is about ensuring you have great off-road cycling adventures in some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside .

We want you to feel good and share great times across the south west.  Whether you explore alone or with family and friends, an off-road cycling adventure is yours to create.  1 South West provides the information to help you plan and enjoy great adventures time and again.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum Course: Humans and Environmental Change


Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum Course: Humans and Environmental Change

12 Apr 2012 - 28 Jun 2012 10:30 - 12:30
Lecture Hall - Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

Every Thursday 12 April  –  28 June 2012, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm (including two field trips).  A course by  Hadrian Cook and Adrian Green.  This course will address changes in human technology and investigate their impact on the environment. Local and global examples will be used by way of illustration.

New video extract of oral history of a underwood coppice wood worker

The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB is undertaking oral histories of coppice wood workers. Watch this video to find out about Ernie Steel and his life as an Underwood Coppice Worker.

Visit www.historiclandscape.co.uk for more information

Sneak view of Out of the Earth exhibition at Salisbury Museum

Out of the Earth

Sneak view of the exhibition of art and archaeology exploring the secrets hidden beneath the prehistoric landscape of Cranborne Chase. Renowed Potter Chris Carter and archaeologist Martin Green share their fascination with the prehistoric past of the Cranborne Chase. The AONB team were fortunate to be offered a tour by Martin, and i can throughly recommened this thought provoking and beautiful exhibition.

Salisbury Museum - 19th October 2011 until 14th January 2011

Next Dorset History Forum lecture Saturday 19th November 2011

Dorset History Forum & Dorset Records Society People, property & places: Sources for local historians
  1703by Dr Judith Ford and the Dorset History Forum AGM.
Saturday 19th November 2011 - at Woodmead Halls, Lyme Regis

This will be a day school held in partnership with the Dorset Records Society on taxation records for local and family historians. The day will include the launch of the latest Record Society volume: Birth, Marriage, Death and Taxes: Lyme Regis Censuses 1695

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Wiltshire's Place in England's Agrarian History Lecture 12th November 2011

Wiltshire's Place in England's Agrarian History, Illustrated Lecture by Professor John Chartres, Lecture Hall, Devizes Museum, 2.30pm Saturday 12 November 2011.  Cost £5.00, WANHS Members £3.00.

Agriculture in Wiltshire was vastly more important in the past, socially and economically, than it now is, but we still have a lot of countryside in the county. Professor Kerridge and Dr Thirsk have identified different distinctive ‘farming countries’ in England, based on geology and climatology and distance from the London market, besides other considerations. We all know about ‘chalk and cheese’.  Professor Chartres, recently retired as Professor of Economic History at the University of Leeds, will set the agricultural history of Wiltshire in a national context over time.

Advanced booking is essential for this lecture.  Either book online at Wiltshire’s Agrarian History or contact the Bookings Secretary on 01380 727 369 or email her at d.barnett@wiltshireheritage.org.uk.

Lecture on the Damerham Archaeology Project tonight

Don't forget to attend the lecture by Helen Wickstead and Martyn Barber on the Damerham Archaeology Project in the Lecture Hall at Salisbury Museum on Tuesday, 8th November, at 7.30pm.  They will be able to report on this year`s work, so you can find out all about the new discoveries on this amazing site.  The charge to non-members is £3.50. 

View images from the Cranborne Chase Woodfair inc. Regia Angolorum in action

The AONB team thought you might be interested in viewing our encapsulated image library of photos taken at the Woodfair this October. This includes shots of the amazing reenactment group Regia Anglorum. I've uploaded them to our Flickr account which you can view by clicking on the image below: See if there's anyone you recognise, you could be in for a surprise.

Still chance to see the Fovant Badges on BBC Countryfile

Hope you caught the special remembrance edition of countryfile featuring the Fovant Camps and Badges.

The badges were carved into the hillside by solidiers stationed at Fovant during the first world war.

These are official war memorials made out of packed chalk dug from the hillside. It took about 50 tonnes of chalk per badge.

They are a visible reminder of the sacrifices of the first world war.

Liz Harden from the Fovant Historical
Interest Group was able to provide poignant information on the lives of the soldiers who lived at the camp.

To find out more visit the Fovant Badge Association Website, the Fovant Historical Interest Group and view the programme through the BBC iplayer

click to enlarge