Past Talks

2019 | 2018 | 20172016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Diary 2019

(Revised November 2019) 




Wednesday February 6th

Peter Austin – Parks and Pollards, the management of the trees and woodlands from the time of the 1st Lord Burghley

Wednesday March 6th

Andrew Northen - Local Farming

Wednesday April 3rd

Prof. Steve King - Treatment of the Poor

Wednesday May 1st

Dr Elizabeth Hurren – Who was Jack-the-Ripper: Unmasking a Murderer in Victorian London

Wednesday June 5th

Sue Miller – Findings of a Village Archaeology Project, Orwell, Herts

Wednesday July 3rd

Carenza Black – The work of Northants Record Office

Wednesday August 7th

Prof. Keith Snell – English Landscape Painting & the Rural Poor, c.1700-1900

Wednesday September 4th

Kevin McElhone – The History of Mechanical Music

Wednesday October 2nd

Ken and Hazel Wallace - The Hallaton Hoard

Wednesday November 6th

Dr Miriam Gill – Murals and monuments in Stoke Dry and Lyddington: exploring medieval church interiors

Wednesday December 4th

Dr Rosemary Canadine – The Exeter Archive at Burghley House, Stamford


Diary 2018



Wednesday Feb 7th 

John Morison -  St Morrell of Hallaton and the discovery of a chapel of pilgrimage

Wednesday March 7th 

Maggie Ashcroft - West Deeping and the how and why of constructing the Stamford Canal

Wednesday April 4th in St Andrew’s Church, Lyddington

AGM followed by Bob Trubshaw - Project Gargoyle

Wednesday May 2nd 

Elizabeth Hurren - Land Agents

Wednesday June 6th at

Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire

Visit to Wrest Park: 11am Garden, 2pm EH Collections

English-Heritage Members free, Adults £10.40, Concessions (students with official student card and over 60s)£9.40

Wednesday July 4th 

Malcolm Deacon - The Buildings of Sir Thomas Tresham: 1545 – 1605

Wednesday Aug 1st 

Rosemary Canadine – The Reeve of Lyddington who went to war for Henry VIII

Wednesday Sept 5th 

Rex Sly – Fenland farming / the history of Car Dyke, the largest Roman artefact in England

Wednesday Oct 10th  

Alan Crosby – Civil War and the Commonwealth in Rutland

Wednesday Nov 7th 

Clair Buchanan – Men and women of Rutland who died in the First World War

Wednesday Dec 5th 

Church & Community Project – update by members

Diary 2017

Wednesday, 4 January

No Event

Wednesday, 1 February

Dr Rosemary Canadine on Church and Community.

Thursday, 2 March

Dr Alan Crosby on: The Lowthers at Barleythorpe: a Victorian aristocratic family in the hunting shires.

Wednesday, 5 April

AGM, followed by Ray Biggs, Access Manager, on Grimsthorpe Castle.

Wednesday, 2 May
at Grimsthorpe Castle


Ian Bottreill, guided visit to Grimsthorpe Castle. We are likely to start this visit in the morning to allow time to see both house and garden. Please contact the Society by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to go on this visit. Numbers in a group are limited to about 20 but, if more wish to go, it may be possible to split into two groups, each of which sees the garden and the house at different times.

Wednesday, 7 June

Dr David Crook on The Emergence of the Robin Hood Legend at Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, c1819-1849.

Saturday, 5 July

Prof. Steve King on Healing Trees and Other Folk Remedies in Rutland, 1640-1960.

Wednesday, 2 August

Dr Charlotte Newman, Collections Curator, English-Heritage on Plans for Lyddington Bede House.

Wednesday, 6 September

Dr Kate Giles on Pickering wall paintings (a fascinating story of grumpy Vicars, 19th century restoration and the subject of a current major HLF bid...)

Wednesday, 4 October

Martin Roberts, University of Nottingham, on The Court of Audience Book of Edward Watson of Lyddington.

Change of date

Friday, 10 November

Prof. Tom Williamson, University of East Anglia, on Medieval Parks. Please note the Change of date

Friday, 8 December

Prof. Beat Kümin, University of Warwick on The English Parish in Comparative Perspective.


Diary 2016

Wednesday, 6 January

No Event

Wednesday, 3 February

Roger Edwards of Lyddington on The aftermath of Waterloo. Victory ended 23 years of war and had profound effects on the history of Europe.

Saturday, 27 February


Launch of Buildings and People of a Rutland Manor, at 2.30 pm in St Andrew’s Church Lyddington. Refreshments will be available in Lyddington Village Hall, which will be open from 2 to 6 pm.

Wednesday, 2 March

Andrew Brown of Caldecott, High Sheriff of Rutland, on The History of the Office of High Sheriff.

Wednesday, 6 April
at 2.30pm in Warkton Church, Northamtonshire.

PLEASE NOTE that numbers are limited for this visit and booking is essential. To reserve a place please contact 01572 823328 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit to Warkton Church to see The Montagu Monuments, four stunning marble statues in the unlikely setting of Grade I listed St Edmund’s Church in Warkton, Northamptonshire. Considered to be of world class importance, the statues commemorate four members of the same family, the Montagus from nearby Boughton House. Two of them were created by Louis Francois Roubiliac, who is considered to have been one of the greatest sculptors working in 18th century England.

Wednesday, 4 May


AGM, followed by Elizabeth Hurren on The Warkton Monuments and Boughton House and Tamar Moore on The Medical and Charity Giving of the Duchesses of Buccleuch from Boughton House, c. 1785-1836.

Wednesday, 1 June
at 11am in the Cheke Room in the Brewhouse at Burghley

Jon Culverhouse, Curator of Burghley House, on the Artefacts in the Burghley House Collection.

Saturday 6 July

Andrew Brown of Caldecott, on Farming in the Welland Valley.

Wednesday, 3 August

Robert Clayton on Oakham Castle.

Wednesday 7 September

Adam Longcroft of the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group, on their Recent Work on Walsingham Village.

Wednesday, 5 October

Jackie Hall, Cathedral Archaeologist on, Recent Discoveries in Peterborough.

Wednesday, 2 November

Rob and Kate Cooper on Rutland Migration Trends, 1851-1911, with special reference to Lyddington.

Wednesday 7 December

Peter Liddle on Romans in Rutland.

Diary 2015

Wednesday, 7 January

No Event

Wednesday, 4 February


Roger Edwards of Lyddington on Waterloo Bicentenary 1815-2015. Roger will look at the strategy, explode some myths and focus on some exotic characters involved in the battle. Victory ended 23 years of war and had profound effects on the history of Europe.

Wednesday, 4 March

Anthony Goode of Slawston, a practicing builder, on The use of Lime in Building. Anthony is a well known enthusiast and expert in the conservation of ancient buildings.

Wednesday, 1 April


Dr Stephen Parry of the University of Leicester and the British Geological Survey on Historical usage of building stones in England

Wednesday, 6 May


AGM followed by Dr Craig Muldrew on Credit in the Rural Economy. Craig will discuss the market economy in England and how it changed between 1500-1700.

Wednesday, 3 June


Dr Richard Jones of the university of Leicester on Manure Matters. Richard will explain what medieval farmers thought they were doing when they spread manure on their fields.

Saturday 1 July

Scott Mulheron of Harringworth on The Thatcher’s Trade. Scott has recently worked on Pageant House, Lyddington, replacing worn thatch on the apex of the roof.

Wednesday, 5 August


Wednesday 2 September


Wednesday, 7 October

Robert Ovens of Lyddington on The Lost Buildings of Rutland

Wednesday, 4 November

Neil Burditt on Stone carving and conservation. You may have spotted Neil working in Lyddington recently in the garden walls of 43 Main Street.

Wednesday 2 December


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Diary 2014

Wednesday, 1 January

No Event (Bank Holiday)

Wednesday, 5 February


Rosalind Willatts on Nevill Holt700 Years of Changing Service Provision. Sometime before 1272, John de Kirkby, the King’s Clerk and later Bishop of Ely, received the land on which the hall stands as a gift from the King. The Kirkbys held onto the land until it was sold in 1631 to the Nevills, a prominent Catholic family who gave the estate the name it keeps today. Two-hundred and fifty years later, it was sold to a member of the Cunard family. Later, it became a preparatory school but, in 2000, returned to private ownership. Rosalind will trace how the buildings on the site have been adapted to these various uses over the years.

Wednesday, 5 March

John Thomas of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, on Burrough Hill. Burrough Hill is one of the more significant prehistoric monuments in the East Midlands. Situated just south of Melton Mowbray, this Iron Age hillfort is located on high ground overlooking the Leicestershire countryside and defined by very well preserved ramparts that dominate the skyline. Such monuments are few in the East Midlands. Archaeological work on this important site has been limited and our understanding of it was poor. In 2010 the University of Leicester began a research project to gather information on the dating, periods of use and lives of its inhabitants. The Burrough Hill Project has recovered nationally significant information which will help transform our understanding of the site. The talk will describe the work undertaken so far and discuss the results in terms of what they tell us about life at Burrough Hill in the Iron Age and Roman periods.

Wednesday, 2 April


John Smith, formerly curator of Stamford Museum, on William Stukeley In Stamford: His Houses, Gardens and a Project for a Palladian Triumphal Arch over Barn Hill.
The part played by William Stukeley in the evolution of English garden design has aroused much interest in recent years, though little research has been carried out into his gardening and architectural activities while resident in Stamford from 1730 to 1747. This was an important period in Stukeley’s life and the influence of his archaeological work at Stonehenge and Avebury and his ideas on religion and the early British druids are clearly reflected in his garden designs. Previous work on this period in Stukeley’s life has been hampered by imprecision over the various gardens or houses occupied in Stamford by Stukeley. The gardens and his residences are here identified and a mystery concerning his Barn Hill house that has puzzled architectural historians for five decades is solved. What was thought to be a remodelling of the house is shown to be a scheme for a triumphal arch over the road immediately outside it!

Wednesday, 7 May


AGM followed by Dr Elizabeth Hurren on Living in the Bede House. Elizabeth will draw on information from our archive to describe the local conditions in which paupers were living.

Wednesday, 4 June


Elizabeth Jordan of Gretton on Kill or Cure - A Dose of Medieval Medicine. The talk is illustrated with slides. It covers, in a slightly light-hearted manner, such topics as the Black Death, the 'Four Humours', astrology and the signs of the Zodiac, and phlebotomy. Many herbal remedies and the sampling of urine continue in medicine today, though we no longer rely on the conjunctions of the planets for a diagnosis!

Saturday 12/19/26 July

Festival of British Archaeology: Caldecott/Lyddington/Stoke Dry/Thorpe by Water walks. The decision on which walks will take place and on which dates will be announced later.

Wednesday, 6 August

Philippa Massey on Bypassing History. Transport over the ages. A look at how we have travelled and carried goods, and how the infrastructure has affected Stamford and area. Philippa will draw on information from our archive. After much local debate, the turnpike bypassing Lyddington was finally built in the mid-18th Century.

Wednesday 3 September

Dr Richard Jones on The Field Names of the Manor. Richard is also using information from our archive to learn the names of the local fields. In this talk he will explain what they mean and what they tell us about farming and agriculture in the Manor.

Wednesday, 1 October

Derek Hunt on An introduction to the conservation of stained glass. Derek has been a practicing stained glass artist for over 24 years and is a Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters; he is also an accredited stained glass conservator. He regularly works with English Heritage, the Council for the Care of Churches and the Churches Conservation Trust. He set up Limelight Studios in Medbourne in 1985 and his commissioned designs can be found in churches, theatres, schools, public libraries, shopping centres and private buildings.

Wednesday, 5 November

Mrs Mary Weston, a farmer of Tur Langton, on The Drovers, how the Welsh sheep and cattle were driven by foot from Wales through the Welland Valley to the London markets.

Wednesday 3 December

Christmas Meeting: Professor Sarah Hainsworth of the University of Leicester on The Wounds of Richard III. Professor Hainsworth has recently been involved in the work related to the skeleton of Richard III that has been found in the choir of the church at Grey Friars in Leicester. She has been collaborating with Jo Appleby and others from the University's Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. They have been looking at the tool marks using the technique of micro computed X-ray tomography and also using stereo microscopes to look in greater detail at the wounds found on the skeleton and relate these to possible weapons.

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Diary 2013

Wednesday, 2 January


A SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE YOUNG HISTORIAN – parents and children welcome - A talk by Gareth King on Medieval Knights.

Come and meet a medieval knight! Find out about how a knight trained, the armour he wore and the weapons he used. Gareth King will talk about how knights lived, their view of the world and demonstrate what they wore and the weapons they used. Gareth is an experienced school teacher and historic re enactor of many years. He has fought in battles at Hastings, Bannockburn and Tewksbury, covering a period of over 400 years, and failed to survive any of them! Despite this, he is noted for his enthusiastic, accurate and informative talks on history. Gareth is well known locally and usually pulls a big audience so get there early. Free drinks and biscuits from 7 pm.

Wednesday, 6 February


A talk by Rosemary Canadine , entitled Who lived in that house?, showing how we are now able to trace the owners and the occupants of local houses in the Lyddington Manor Project.

Tuesday, 5 March


A talk by Alan Crosby, Liverpool University lecturer and Editor of the British Association of Local History, on Title Deeds, explaining how and why they came to be the way they were. Alan is a great enthusiast and, in his hands, this topic is far from dry or dusty, and is highly entertaining.

Wednesday, 3 April


A talk by Richard Knox on The decline and fall of Richard III at Bosworth Field. Archaeologist Richard Knox will explore how Richard's waning popularity led to his death in battle at the hands of Henry Tudor's small rebel army on the 22nd August 1485. Richard will discuss the results of the 2005-10 landscape survey which relocated the battlefield and the results of the search for King Richard himself at the Greyfriars site in Leicester.

Wednesday, 1 May


A talk by Dr David Crook on Forests of the Midlands. David will tell us of his latest research on the boundary of the medieval forest which followed the Eye Brook from Stockerston to Caldecott.

Wednesday, 5 June


A talk by Rev David Bond on Vicars, Rectors and Prebends. Lyddington has a prebend, Stoke Dry a rector. What are their roles, how do they differ and how did they affect life in the manor?

Saturday 13th July

Starting from the Village Hall, Caldecott at 2.30pm: A guided walk by Ian Bottreill and Ian Munro on Caldecott Buildings.

Sunday 25th
& Monday 26 August

Starting in the Village Hall, Lyddington at 2.30pm: Guided walks by Rosemary Canadine on Lyddington Buildings.

Wednesday 4th September

Dr Peter Hill a talk entitled Secrets of the Stones. Rutland has a surprising number of interesting carvings and symbols on the stonework of its houses and churches, some of which have hidden meanings. Peter will interpret these and reveal the stories behind them.

Wednesday, 2nd October

David Hey a talk on Surnames and Family History. David is a very well known Local Historian. He is emeritus professor of local and family history at the University of Sheffield. His numerous books include The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History and, with George Redmonds and Turi King, Surnames, DNA and Family History. He has published books on the histories of Sheffield, Derbyshire and Yorkshire and is currently President of the British Association for Local History.

Wednesday, 6th November

Nat Alcock a talk on The Medieval Cruck Project: Medieval Peasant Houses in Leicestershire and the Midlands. Dr Alcock, Emeritus Reader with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, was awarded an OBE in 2011 for his "voluntary services to Vernacular Architecture". Professionally he was an academic chemist but, at the same time, he was following his historical interests and becoming equally authoritative on vernacular architecture. He has focused both on specific structures, such as crucks, and, particularly interesting for us, his work is notable for demonstrating the value of combining building recording with archival evidence.

Wednesday 4th December

Rev David Bond chose for this talk the title Walking Round the Churchyard. So many of you told me how much you enjoyed and learned from David’s last talk, I just had to ask him back.

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Diary 2012

Wednesday, 4 January Talk by Dr Elizabeth Hurren, Oxford Brookes University, on The Lost People of History
Wednesday, 1 February Talk by Dr Stephen Alford, University of Cambridge, on William, Lord Burghley, whose family have held the Manor of Lyddington since 1547
Wednesday, 7 March Talk by Dr Mark Page, a contributor to a forthcoming VCH Northants volume on Corby and Great Oakley, on A Northamptonshire Forest Village: Corby from the Middle Ages to 1870
Wednesday, 4 April Rutland Local History & Record Society Brian Matthews Lecture: Talk by Professor Steven King on What Makes a Bargain: Value for money in diaries from Rutland and its environs from 1591 to 1938
Wednesday, 9 May Talk by Dr Ken Sneath, University of Cambridge, on Hearth Taxation Records
Wednesday, 13 June in St
Andrew’s Church, Lyddington
Talk by Nick Hill and Rosemary Canadine on The Lyddington Manor Project.
Wednesday, 4 July in St
Andrew’s Church, Lyddington
Annual General Meeting, followed by a talk by Hilary Crowden on The secret lives of seventeenth century farmers
Sunday 19 August in St
Andrew’s Church, Stoke Dry
Talk by Sue Howlett on The Notorious Digbys plus Exhibition of Records on the Manor of Stoke Dry, followed by tea on the Rectory lawn, kindly provided by Ian an Fiona Munro
Saturday and Sunday, 8-9
September in St Andrew’s
Church, Lyddington
PROJECT EXHIBITION: Buildings and People of a Rutland Manor
Wednesday, 3 October A talk by David Ellis, master slater, on Collyweston slate
Wednesday, 7 November A talk by Nick Hill and Robert Ovens on How Old is That House?, describing the techniques used to piece together the history of local houses for the Lyddington Manor Project
Wednesday, 5 December An illustrated talk by Michael Boyce, a guide at the Castle, on Rockingham Castle and the Watsons

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Diary 2011

Wednesday, 2 February Talk by Tim Clough, editor of the Rutland Record and former Curator of the Rutland County Museum on Who owned Rutland, and Lyddington in particular, in 1873?
Wednesday, 2 March A talk by Dr Christopher Thornton on his researches into The history of Lyddington Bede House for English Heritage
Wednesday, 6 April Talk by Andrew Davidson and Ian Bottreill of Caldecott on The History of Caldecott village and school
Wednesday, 4 May Talk by Professor Christopher Dyer on Living under the rule of a bishop, at Lyddington and other places
Saturday, 14 May Exhibition and slide show at Lyddington Village Fete
Wednesday, 1 June Talk by Peter Liddle, Community Archaeologist, Leicestershire County Council, on Fieldwalking
Saturday, 2 July Exhibition and slide show at Caldecott Village Fete
Saturday, 23 July at 2.30 pm from Caldecott Village hall Council for British Archaeology: Festival of Archaeology: Caldecott History Walk
Saturday, 30 July at 2.30 pm Council for British Archaeology: Festival of Archaeology: Lyddington History Walk
Friday, 2 September at 6.30 pm in St Andrew’s Church, Lyddington Official Launch of our project, Historic Buildings and People of a Rutland Manor
Wednesday, 7 September Talk by Adam Longcroft, Chairman of the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group, on Projects of the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group
Wednesday, 5 October Talk by Chris Stoate on The Eye Brook Community Project, carried out over four years and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It combines historical and ecological approaches in a study of the land from Tilton in Leicestershire to Caldecott
Wednesday, 2nd November Talk by Professor Steve King, Professor of Economic & Social History, University of Leicester, on Letters to Lyddington: beggars, paupers and others writing ‘home’, 1670s to 1900s
Friday, 9 December Talk by Hilary Crowden on the LNWR railway. This is the railway which ran along the Welland Valley. Stations existed nearby, at Seaton and Caldecott.

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Diary 2010

Friday, 15 January Inaugural Meeting to set up the society and discuss more detailed ideas for a project to explore the history of the manor
Thursday 25 February at 7.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Lyddington Talk by Nick Hill of English Heritage on Surveying Old Houses
Friday 19 March Talk by Professor Michael Jones of Norwell, near Newark, Emeritus Professor of Medieval French History at the University of Nottingham, on Norwell Heritage Trail and Booklet Project
Wednesday 21 April First Annual general Meeting followed by talk by Rosemary Canadine on Documentary sources on the manor of Lyddington at Burghley House and elsewhere
Friday, 21 May Talk by Dr Vanessa Doe on Probate Inventories
Wednesday, 23 June Talk by David Hall, editor of Past and Present, the magazine of the Northants Record Society, on Open Field Farming
Friday, 23 July Talk by Margaret Bonney, of the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, on How the Record Office works and how you can gain access to various archives
Wednesday, 6 October Extraordinary General Meeting followed by Talk by Dr Anne Tarver on The Construction and Interpretation of Maps
Wednesday, 3 November Pilot Project: Exhibition and Presentation of Results by Robert Howard, Nick Hill and Rosemary Canadine
Wednesday, 1 December Illustrated talk by Robert Ovens on The Manor, Then and Now,  using old photographs from a collection at Rutland Museum to show how the manor has changed over the last century

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Diary 2009

Wednesday, 25th November Open meeting to discuss a proposed Lyddington History Society and a project to explore the history of buildings in Lyddington and district.


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