North East Hampshire Historical
& Archaeological Society


Events in 2015

January 2015

Our 2015 programme got off to a flying start when John Wall gave his armchair tour guide: TURKEY, CROSSROADS OF THE CONTINENT. As on previous presentations he used Google Earth to reveal each site before showing slides on particular places of interest. Remains at Troy, Pergamon and Ephesus were each fully explained.

In showing the cruise route near Gallipoli, John spoke of this year’s commemoration of the battle there in August 1915, and that the only surviving ship from the campaign is in dry dock at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Following visits to Cappadocia, John went on to describe the Shipwreck Museum at Bodrum and the Attaturk Museum in Ankara, before closing with slides of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. An excellent appetiser for anyone planning to visit Turkey.


February 2015

On February 27th a packed room was treated to a talk on the Romano-British Site at Flexford. This excellent review of recent events on the site was given by David Calow from the Surrey Archaeological Society. The excavations have been running since 2008, however the focus of the presentation was on the 2014 season.

Some features are similar to those of other sites in Surrey, such as at Godstone, and potentially suggestive of a market or small settlement with possible ritual connotations. Many questions were raised: a possible link with the nearby Wanborough Temple, the low-value coin finds and the reason for the iron working. Will some of these issues be resolved in the 2015 season?

March 2015

This year's Annual General Meeting was held on the evening of Friday March 13th. The chairman reported progress in several areas including the completed transfer of our library from Bagshot to Farnborough. The treasurer was able to show a further reduction in deficit over previous years. Documentary research is again being carried out with more subjects suggested for the future.

The NEHHAS website and posters continue to attract interest and our Facebook page has been re-launched. Other places where we could usefully advertise are being sought. The report on our summer 2014 joint survey with BARG at Greywell is expected very soon. A member expressed interest in the librarian post which is currently vacant.

Discussion on possible summer visits and/or guided walks followed, remembering the impressive response to the tour of Farnham Castle in 2012! (see photo) The meeting finished with AOB under which mention was made of the masterplan for the Farnborough Civic Quarter, which involves the Community Centre as well as library, leisure centre and redundant police station. Also the possible preservation of the Job's Farm building by moving it to a heritage site.

2012 visit to Farnham Castle

April 2015

On April 24th our talk was on Joseph Bazalgette, the Victorian civil engineer. His family came to England from France in the 18th century and did very well, his grandfather being wealthy enough to make loans to the Prince Regent, later George IV. Joseph was already a successful engineer when he joined the Metropolitan Sewer Commission as an adviser. Progress with improvements in drinking water quality was slow until the Great Stink of 1858 when Parliament was directly affected by the stench from the River Thames. Bazalgette was put in charge of the massive building works needed to provide cleaner water for London and the new Thames embankments that we see today!

print of building works (Wikipedia)

May 2015

On May 8th we enjoyed a talk given by Hugh Williams on the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II. Justinian was the last emperor of the Heraclian dynasty to rule over the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) empire. He held that position for two periods, the first being 685-695AD and the second from 705 to 711AD. He was not well liked and after his first term he was disfigured by having his nose cut down the middle! For his second term he had a false nose made to cover his disfigurement. Photo shows coin with Christ on one side and Justinian II on the reverse (Wikipedia).

Byzantine (Eastern Roman) coin (Wikipedia)

June 2015

During June there were no talks but much useful work was done at Members Evenings reviewing and re-classifying finds from earlier excavations.

July - August 2015

No meetings were held in Farnborough over the Summer break but a display of Borderware from the NEHHAS reference collection was held in the Heritage Zone, Fleet Library.

Display in Fleet Library

September 2015

Our first meeting of the Autumn season included 3 talks given by members. Firstly, however, Tony outlined where we are on Greywell, the report for our 2014 survey having been released by BARG.

The first talk, given by Ian, concerned Stone Age tools and implements. He showed us his fine collection of flint blades, found over the years, plus his own reconstructions of tools, axes, pottery and other implements, including a bow and arrows!

Secondly came Catrina's photos of a two-centre holiday week she spent in Sicily in late May/early June. The scenery was, of course, spectacular and the mosaics at the Roman villa near Piazza Amerinera are exceptional.

Finally, after tea, Richard gave a short talk on his visit to the 17th Century (reconstruction) village near Gosport. The village is the result of years of work by the Gosport Living History Society who also dress in appropriate costumes and act out the life of the "villagers". As well as photos taken by Richard and his wife Jan, there were two short videos showing the "bodger" at his pole lathe and the potter at his wheel.

17th Century folk

October 2015

On Friday 9th, Pam Taylor gave an excellent illustrated talk on her two-week tour of Albania. Starting in the capital, Tirana, they travelled around this small, beautifully scenic but poor country by coach, staying in various hotels. Tourism is in its infancy so much of the country is unspoilt by overdevelopment. Among the many places visited was Lake Ohrid, the other shore of which Pam had visited on a previous holiday to Macedonia, and Apollonia.

Byzantine church

November 2015

Our speaker on Fri 13th was Dr. Steve Ford of Thames Valley Archaeological Services who told us of their excavation at Storeys Meadow, West Meon. TVAS are mainly involved in commercial studies via the planning system which, in this case, was for affordable housing on a site not far from the centre of the village. Geophysical survey had revealed a ring ditch, i.e. a levelled round barrow of 24m diameter, surrounded by individual graves. Excavation showed the burials to be Saxon, confirmed by grave goods and carbon dating of 500-600AD, while the original round barrow was Bronze Age, i.e. approximately 1500BC. Bronze Age barrow sites were often re-used by the Saxons who recognised the ancient mound as a sacred place of burial. There was also evidence of Roman farming activity, there being a villa site not far away, so continuity of occupation of the Meon Valley over millennia is apparent. A very interesting talk, extremely well received by the large audience.

December 2015

The final meeting of the year on the 11th was a lively illustrated talk by Tony and Ginny Wright on the county of Durham. Tony took us through various sites from pre-Roman Iron Age through the Roman period and onto Anglo-Saxon and the Venerable Bede. Following on from this many fine castles and grand buildings were featured leading up to the Industrial Revolution and ending with the Beamish Open-Air Museum. Ginny talked about the background to some of the fine collections of paintings hanging in the great houses and museums. The evening ended with much discussion over tea/coffee and Christmas food.

Durham Cathedral from the river

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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 December 2015