Water God

My very first archaeological dig was on a massive Roman farm estate, located right in the centre of the wheat production area of Roman Britain. It was a huge excavation and I spent a wonderful summer living in a tent. The Roman owner of this estate would have been a business “magnate”, as opposed to […]

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Another dirty book

The Metorpolitan Commission of Sewers, surveryors report, Soho, 1855. Having had a look at dirty on books and manuscripts in my previous article, I once worked on a book that was covered in grime. This time in a very different context. Could this be some archaeology I have discovered in the archives? One area of […]

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Dusty and Dirty Books

As soon as you walk into an archive store, you can smell the dust. 100,000s of books and documents dating back hundreds of years, all carry dust and dirt they picked up along the way. They are encrusted with it. As you open a book or the lid of an archive box, it hits you […]

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The Gard’ner’s Almanac

The Kaledarium Hortense is a classic gardening book by John Evelyn. It takes the gentleman gardener through the year, detailing what he is meant to do in the garden with fruit vegetables and flowers. Much of his advice is straight forward gardening knowledge and logic, and something you may well hear on TV, radio or […]

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SHOCKING ACCIDENT

“On Saturday morning, an accident which has unfortunately terminated fatally, occurred to a man named Dobson,” starts a news article from the 1850s. “The deceased sat upon the stone while it was being raised, to prevent it shaking the scaffolding”. I read this out loud to an audience as part of a talk on the […]

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The Abbey

The meaning of historic places has very much changed in recent years. People have been using them in very different and personal ways, above and beyond the usual interest in architecture and historical events. I’ve seen this developing at an historic site I’ve been visiting for the past 15 years or so. It was an […]

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Visscher’s People

Claes Visscher’s panorama of London is one of the most famous images of the City for many reasons. We see the various landmarks across London, such as the churches, Leadenhall and the Exchange, all of them labelled. Architecturally the panorama is superb, with the buildings drawn in great quality, detail and precision. It shows us […]

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