The religious reforms of Henry VIII changed not only English ecclesiastical life, they also tore into the social fabric of England. The Catholic Church had been the cornerstone of society, and children in particular had benefited from its monastic institutions through alms, sanctuary, and education. But how were children affected by the Reformation’s Dissolution of the Monasteries? And to what extent did they become victims of Henry’s new social order? Benn Penny-Mason has examined over 4,500 child skeletons in a quest for answers
Moving back in time, we then explore the Iron Age hillfort of Burrough Hill in Leicestershire. Though the East Midlands has traditionally been written off as culturally peripheral to the main focus of England’s hillforts, newly completed excavations at Burrough Hill are set to transform this view, as they reveal evidence of a thriving, high status community, rich with enigmatic ritual activity.
From the Iron Age to the Steam Age, Chris Catling examines the heady evolution of the English railway station — from the quaint and reassuring early domestic architecture of the rural stations to the grand and opulent buildings that came to grace the major cities. But how did shareholders, marketing, and anxious passengers come to influence the range of designs?
Other highlights include a report on the recent excavations at England’s secret First World War trenches, plus a long look back at the history of man’s best friend.
IN THIS ISSUE:
THE ENGLISH RAILWAY STATION
Tracking the changes
The 19th century railway revolution not only transformed how we travel, but also inspired an architectural boom. We look back on the evolution of English railway stations, and the rich variety of building styles that can still be seen today.
The children of the Reformation
The Dissolution of the Monasteries heralded dramatic changes to England’s religious landscape – but also had profound social consequences, as the skeletons of children who grew up in this turbulent time reveal.
Signs of life in a Midlands hillfort
As the excavation of a fortified settlement in Leicestershire comes to a close, we examine the five-year project’s remarkable findings, and the light it sheds on Iron Age life.
THE HIDDEN HOME FRONT
Uncovering First World War trenches in Britain
Archaeological work on an island off the Cumbrian coastline has revealed traces of an unexpected relic of the First World War.
IN FOCUS: THE HISTORY OF DOGS
Barchaeology: the wolf by your side
With a relationship stretching back at least as far as the Mesolithic period, dogs have a good claim to be one of man’s oldest, as well as best, friends. But why did we form this close bond? Archaeology may hold the answer.
Britain’s first medieval chess piece workshop; Opening Winchester’s royal mortuary chests; Ipplepen: Devon’s best-preserved Roman cemetery; Petersfield barrow burial revealed?; Portable Antiquities Scheme annual report; Found: Michelangelo’s lost masterpieces; Magna Carta manuscripts reunited; New heads for English Heritage
The story of the British and their weather; Underlands; Medieval Walled Towns
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The Cloud Appreciation Society