History Cold Case, a programme for BBC2 made by Shine TV, will feature an analysis of an unusual burial found at Baldock in 1989 during its second season. The series starts at 9 p.m. on Thursday 30 June 2011 on BBC2 and BBC HD. The first programme deals with some skeletons from a cave in Yorkshire, the second, scheduled for 7 July, deals with skeletons from York and the third, to be shown on 14 July is about a group of bodies from a medieval well in Norwich.
The Baldock episode, The woman and the three babies, is due to be broadcast on Thursday 21 July at 9 p.m. Here is what the production company Red Planet Pictures has to say about it:
In the sleepy commuter town of Baldock in Hertfordshire the discovery of a wonderfully intact skeleton of a woman dating from early Roman times – buried with the tiny skeletons of three babies – rocked the scientific world as it’s an archaeological first. Buried on the outskirts of a cemetery in what at first appears to be an unceremonious burial, she cuts a tragic picture. Did she die in childbirth? Or are these not her babies? And why was she buried with apparent disregard for the proper burial practices of the day? For the History Cold Case team it’s a unique opportunity to investigate details about pregnancy and childbirth as it was 2000 years ago in a Roman-British settlement – and what they discover is shocking.
The latest issue of British Archaeology, the magazine produced by the Council for British Archaeology, contains a review by Ian Armit of the Society’s recent publication of its excavation at Wallington Road, Baldock, directed by Gil Burleigh back in 1982. Ian Armit says that “this forms a valuable contribution to our understanding of iron age and Romano-British burial practice… [It] also contains a very useful summary of Baldock’s development from native oppidum to Roman town, synthesising much previous work.”
The September 2010 issue of Current Archaeology contains an article on pages 28 to 35 about Baldock and the end of Roman Britain. Written by Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews (Archaeology Officer for North Hertfordshire District Council) and Gil Burleigh (Field Officer for the Society), it reveals how the archaeology of Baldock and surrounding areas tell a very different story about the events of the fifth century from the usual fire-and-sword disaster. Long-standing memebers may even spot themselves in one of the photographs!
On Friday 15th June 2007, the booklet entitled ‘Ancient Baldock: the story of an Iron Age and Roman town’ was launched at the Baldock Community Centre. This booklet is authored by Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews (NHDC Archaeology Officer) and Gil Burleigh (an independent archaeologist and the Field Officer of the NHAS). It is based upon the extensive series of excavations in the town since the 1960s, including those which Gil directed from 1978-1994 and in which Keith assisted as a senior member of the team.
It tells the story of Baldock from the 1st century BC up to the 6th century AD in a popular style. It is easy to read and understand for those who want a simple introduction to this fascinating subject.
Short speeches were given by Councillor Muir, Gil Burleigh, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Ros Allwood (NHDC Cultural Services Manager)
Copies of the booklet are available also by contacting Gil Burleigh.
The booklet is published jointly by the North Hertfordshire District Council and the North Hertfordshire Archaeological Society. It costs £4.95 (£4.00 to NHAS members) and can be obtained from the museums in Baldock, Letchworth and Hitchin, the post office in Whitehorse Street, David’s Bookshop in Letchworth GC and Eric Moore’s in Hitchin. It will also be on sale at the NHAS lectures.