Morris and the Prince – and much more

Morris and the PrinceHaving just written a new guide to Kelmscott Manor, your diarist has a growing admiration for William Morris, whose country home this was. Morris was a true radical, and his ideas continue to reverberate, having now caused a rift between HRH The Prince of Wales and the Society for the Protection of […]


Hadrian's Wall Pilgrimage – again

One should not start a project that one cannot complete. Having started writing a blog on the first day of my pilgrimage to Hadrian’s Wall I must confess that I failed to keep it up. It was not for lack of trying. Every night in my room I wrote up my diary, often over 2000 […]


BIN09: Digging at Binchester

‘BIN09′ is the site code for  this year’s season of  the major new field project at the Roman fort of Binchester, run jointly by Durham County Council, Durham University and Stanford University, where I  have just spent a week digging.  In addition to the on-site professional staff (Dr David Mason, David Petts, Jamie Armstrong, Janice […]


The Hadrian's Wall Pilgrimage

The Hadrian’s Wall pilgrimage is going well.   The Pilgrimage is one of the great events of British archaeology.   It began in 1849 when a group of young men decided they would ‘walk the wall’ and it has continued every 10 years since then except for the war years: this is now the 13th […]


Why does the Catholic church oppose suicide?

  In view of the current debate about the rights and wrongs of suicide, Terry Jones in his recent book on ‘Barbarians’ provides some interesting background material. The Christian doctrine about suicide, he argues,   goes back to St Augustine’s attack on the Donatists: “In the early fifth century, very large numbers of poor African […]


How to present your accounts

If your accounts for the year are not quite as good as you might wish– if, for instance, you make a loss of £2.5m on a turnover of £1.6m — how do you convey the news to your members?The past year has been one when many organisations have had accounts that are less satisfactory than […]


Jargon, beauty, the South Downs, a heritage hero, Robin Hood and dragons…

Jargon: which words would you ban?The Local Government Association has published a list of words and phrases that it thinks council staff and members should not use because they make it harder for the electorate to understand what councils do. In truth, many of them should simply be banned because they are empty of meaning. […]


Allotments, spearing bison, Brookside, Brown's museum, the Olympics, nighthawking…

Let it growOne can only applaud the National Trust’s decision to create 1,000 allotments within its disused walled gardens and on land within its estates, even if that number is tiny compared to the 100,000 people currently on allotment waiting lists. Archaeologists have always made good gardeners: one Winchester-based pottery specialist, sadly no longer with […]


From Festivals to Garden Sheds…

When, at the IFA’s Liverpool conference in April 2004, I argued for a festival of archaeology to compare with the superb festivals of literature, history, science. jazz, folk and rock music that we already have in this country, I could find not a soul in the archaeological establishment to back the idea. Then, in 2007, […]