January 27th 2022 – ‘Battle Scarred:’ The Human Costs of the British Civil Wars

Merton College Oxford has just announced an immersive week-long residential summer school on the British Civil Wars. In recent years there has been a shift of interest from the causes to the consequences and legacies of this devastating series of conflicts.

Friendly, expert tutors will guide you in exploring the human costs of these wars, which continued to affect communities long after the fighting was over. Combining lectures, lively Q&A sessions, practical workshops, a battlefield tour, and a guided visit to the National Civil War Centre, the programme will introduce you to the research work of members of the Civil War Petitions Project. The course is aimed at a generalist audience and no prior knowledge is assumed. Read More

January 26th 2022 – Dr. Rosamund Faith and the Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize.

We understand that an eminent former member of the Department of English Local History and Friend, Dr. Rosamond Faith, won the 2020 ‘Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize’ of the British Agricultural History Society for her book The Moral Economy of the Countryside: Anglo-Saxon to Anglo-Norman England (CUP, 2020). The prize is awarded annually for the best book in British or Irish rural or agrarian history.

The President of the British Agricultural History Society, Paul Brassley, writes: ‘As in previous years, it is gratifying to see that 2019 produced an excellent crop of entries for the Thirsk Prize. They were all potential winners, and covered periods ranging from the eighth century to the twenty-first, but the judges were unanimous in awarding the prize to Rosamond Faith for her book, The Moral Economy of the Countryside: Anglo-Saxon to Anglo-Norman England. The book explores the structure of values and obligations in Anglo-Saxon landed society which determined whether behaviour was judged to be right or wrong, and explains how these ideas affected landholding. Concepts of rank, reciprocity, and worth were changed by the Norman Conquest, so by the twelfth century a formerly free peasantry owed regular labour and rent in cash or kind to a new class of landlords. The culmination of a lifetime’s work, this book makes comprehensible a huge amount of knowledge, secondary literature and primary sources. Beautifully written, and sensibly priced, it’s exactly the kind of book that Joan Thirsk would have enthused about.’ 

Dr. Faith studied with Herbert Finberg at Leicester and was awarded her Ph.D. in 1962.

January 25th 2022 – Call for volunteers

The relocation of the Centre’s libraries, maps, slides and photograph collections to the main campus is due to take place at the end of February. In preparation for the forthcoming move, members of the Friends are working with the Centre staff to review and select material to be made available in the new resource rooms. We are seeking volunteers from the Friends to assist. Read more

January 21st 2022 – Anne Coyne – New Graduates

Two doctoral students and two MA students in English Local and Family History graduated yesterday after a long wait.

Well done to all.

January 15th 2022 – Robert Mee – Bennerley Viaduct

This week has seen the reopening of the Bennerley Viaduct, a stunning piece of Victorian railway architecture which straddles the Derbyshire – Nottinghamshire border. 54 years after its closure to rail traffic, it is now available for cyclists and pedestrians. Read more

January 11th 2022 – British Newspaper Archive announces three new titles this week

The first new title is the Bexhill-on-Sea Chronicle, established in 1887, the second is the Louth Standard first published in 1922, and finally the Gateshead Observer established in support of the Whig party in 1837. Read more

January 6th 2022 – 1921 Census for England and Wales published.

National Archives has published the 1921 Census for England and Wales online with their partners Findmypast. Taken on 19 June 1921, the census is a survey of 38 million people living in England and Wales during a period of economic turmoil between two world wars and recovering from a global pandemic. You can find out more about what to expect from the 1921 Census of England and Wales by visiting

January 4th 2022 – A Presentation by the new Head of the School of History, Politics and International Relations

On Thursday, 27 January 2022, at 7:00 pm, by ZOOM. the new Head of School, Professor Krista Cowman, has agreed to give a talk to the Friends. This is a unique opportunity to hear and discuss the views of the person at the heart of developing history teaching in the university and we look forward to seeing as many people as possible at this event. Read more

November 25th 2021 Extraordinary Roman mosaic and villa discovered beneath farmer’s field in Rutland.

Archaeologists have unearthed the first Roman mosaic of its kind in the UK. A rare Roman mosaic and surrounding villa complex have been protected as a Scheduled Monument on the advice of Historic England. The decision follows archaeological work undertaken by a team from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), working in partnership with Historic England and in liaison with Rutland County Council.  Read more