North East Hampshire Historical
& Archaeological Society


Events during 2013.

January 2013

John Wall returned to NEHHAS on January 25th to give his talk on The Archaeological Sites of Mexico. This well-attended review covered a number of the sites and was illustrated with many fine photos.

Mexican pyramid

February 2013

Our talk on February 22nd was on Roman Counterfeiting and was given by Hugh Williams, Roman coin specialist. Following closely on the introduction and use of coinage came the forgers producing copies of the official currency! At certain times it seemed that counterfeiting was accepted by the authorities as the supply of legitimate coins failed to satisfy demand. The talk was extremely well illustrated by excellent photos of example coins.

March 2013

The Annual General Meeting was held on March 22nd at the Farnborough Community Centre and was well attended. After the reports from the Chairman, Treasurer and Director (Local Studies), the election of committee members commenced. One member of the committee asked to step down while the remaining five were prepared to stand for a further year. Two ordinary members were also invited to join the committee, bringing the total up to seven.
Following the 'business' of the AGM, some discussion followed on the planned activities for the remainder of the year, including the CBA Festival fortnight.

April 2013

On Friday April 26th we enjoyed Pam Taylor's superbly illustrated talk on her recent visits to Greece. Her travels started in the Cyclades with the un-inhabited historic island of Delos which can only be reached by ferry from Mykonos. Next we were off to Athens followed by a tour of the Peloponnese peninsular including Argos, Sparta and then on to the most southerly point in Europe. Finally her tour came back across the spectacular new bridge linking the western end of the Peloponnese to the mainland.

Greek ruins

May 2013

Friday 24th May was a very enjoyable evening spent looking at Odiham Castle through pictures, drawings, photographs and documentary evidence. Apart from the general interest in the site, this exercise formed the preparation for one of our CBA Festival events in July when we will walk along part of the Basingstoke canal near to the castle ruins.

Odiham Castle ruins

June 2013

Our speaker on Friday 14th was David Hopkins the County Archaeologist for Hampshire. His very interesting and informative talk suggested how landscape types and previous usage have shaped the purpose to which subsequent peoples have put the land. David started with the geological survey map of Hampshire and overlayed this with plots of finds and other features from various periods, starting with the mesolithic. One conclusion he arrived at was that control of the land changed from ancestral to political with coming of the Iron Age. Another result of the study was to highlight areas of the county where archaeological surveys are needed before any development can take place. Much discussion followed what proved to be a very popular and well received talk.

July 2013

We held two events during the CBA Festival of Archaeology fortnight:

Visit to Greywell Hill House, Wednesday 17th July 2013.

Members and friends enjoyed a fascinating afternoon visiting Greywell Hill House on a perfect summer's day. James, 7th Earl of Malmesbury, was our host and he had prepared a hand out on the family tree prior to an introductory presentation on the house.

James progressively took us through the house describing in each room the many family portraits with humorous anecdotes along the way. The tour ended in the nursery wallpapered over the years in pictures selected to be of interest to children from books and magazines from Victorian times. We concluded with well appreciated refreshments on the terrace overlooking the beautiful countryside with very many of questions for our hosts.

A Walk from Greywell along the Basingstoke Canal.

The second of our CBA Festival events took place on Saturday 27th July. Starting at the Fox and Goose pub in Greywell, we walked over the mouth of the Greywell Tunnel and onto the Basingstoke Canal tow-path. Some way along the path we left the tow-path to visit the remains of Odiham Castle. The photo shows some of our party learning a bit of the castle's history from Tony. Crossing a small field led us to the ford then back along a short stretch of road to the swing bridge where the road crosses the Basingstoke Canal. Crossing over the bridge we passed through a number of fields before finally walking down The Street in Greywell with its wonderful collection of half-timbered houses. A very enjoyable afternoon.

Odiham Castle ruinsspacecanal swing bridge

There were no events during August 2013

September 2013

On Friday 27th September we were treated to three short presentations given by NEHHAS members. The first talk was of Pam's summer visit to the Peak District at the time of "Well Dressing". Examples of this type of rural decoration were shown from various towns including Bakewell, Matlock and Buxton (see photo). Also on the itinery were Chatsworth House, Woollaton Hall, Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield and Cresswell Crags.

Richard's talk followed on "Lesser-Known Aldershot" which briefly covered two areas of interest in Aldershot. The first was Redan Hill park which features a replica Crimean War cannon at its summit. This type of defensive earthwork was constructed by the Royal Engineers in the mid 19th century for training purposes.
The second item concerned Yew Tree Cottages in Newport Road which are thought to be amongst the oldest buildings in Aldershot. An old map of the area showed the cottages to be associated with hop growing during the 19th century and this explained why another building in the same road has a curious curved end. This was originally a hop kiln and would have featured a conical roof.

The final presentation of the evening was on Mike's visit to a Second World War wreck site in the Red Sea. The unfortunate cargo vessel, SS Thistlegorm, was nearing the end of a long sea voyage carrying military equipment for the North African campaign when it was sunk by bombs from German aircraft. Mike's underwater photos showed parts of the ship and its cargo still easily recognisable after 70 years in the sea. The clarity of the water and the fish life in and around the wreck made the talk a real visual feast (see photo)!

Well Dressing at Buxton, Derbyshirespacecannon in Redan Hill park, Aldershotspacewinch drive on wreck

October 2013

Is it a Hill Fort or a Hill Top Enclosure? This was the question addressed by Ginny Pringle on Friday 25th October in a presentation on her survey of the Holybourne Down feature near Alton. Although commanding a strategic position, Holybourne appears not to have been a defensive site. The consensus is that the feature was an early Iron Age (800-600BC) Hill Top enclosure and probably part of an integrated agricultural landscape. More will be revealed if Ginny gets a chance to excavate in 2014!

November 2013

Our two meetings during November involved sorting some of the contents of our library prior to its move early next year from the Archaeology Centre in Bagshot to the Farnborough Community Centre. This move will allow easy access to the library during our regular Friday evening meetings.

December 2013

Our talk on Friday 13th December was given by Steve Ford of Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVAS) about an excavation at the Elizabeth House site in Oxford. Initial findings were of medieval buildings but deeper down in one part of the site a Saxon mass grave was revealed. This was itself above part of a Neolithic Henge having antler pick offerings at its deepest level! The Saxon mass grave had around 35 corpses with wounds suggesting they were un-armed at the time of their deaths. Isotope and Carbon Dating technologies indicate a possible connection with historically recorded massacres of Danes around 1000ad. Subsequent Medieval buildings avoided the mass grave site suggesting some memory of the event persisted for centuries!
The talk was followed by "seasonal refreshments" which were very well received.

Note: More detailed accounts of our recent Friday evening talks and other events, can be found in our latest NEWSLetter. Click here for details of how to get your copy.


For a review of last year's activities click here.


This page last updated in October 2015.