Tuesday May 7th 7.30pm

at Pirton Sports and Social Club,

Pirton Recreation Ground, off Walnut Tree Road

(follow signpost), Pirton, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3PX.

There is no charge and it is open to all.

There will be a briefing on the Planning Inspector’s interim decision to make the Pirton parish length of the Icknield Way a Byway Open to All Traffic (a BOAT), i.e. open to all motor vehicles. The meeting will cover what is being done to oppose this. All who are concerned about road safety and protecting this part of the oldest bridleway in North Hertfordshire for walkers and horses are invited.

The Planning Inspectorate received 91 written objections to the Interim Order and are to call a second Public Inquiry to hear all objections. Thanks to all of you who wrote to the Inspectorate with your concerns. There will now be time to voice or write our objections again or for the first time.

Wednesday 22nd May: Annual General Meeting, Letchworth Free Church Hall, 8pm. Cheese & wine & nibbles available at £3 a head.

Our guest speaker will be Jo Ward, NHDC Audience Development Consultant, who will outline plans for the new North Herts Museum in Hitchin Town Hall. Jo’s main purpose is to gather feedback from those who will be using the new museum, like NHAS members. She wants to hear your views, comments, concerns, questions, etc. These will be used by museum staff and their NHDC colleagues to inform the final museum design and content. This is your chance to influence the content and appearance of the new museum. Do attend and participate; it’s rare for the public to have such an opportunity!

Friday 24th – Monday 27th May inclusive: Test Pit Digging in Pirton. Contact gilburleigh if you’d like to volunteer to help on one or more days. At present I have enough volunteers to dig only one or two pits, so I’m seeking more people, please.

Sunday 21st July: NHAS Field Excursion 2013 to Fishbourne Roman Palace and The Trundle Iron Age Hillfort, West Sussex, near Chichester. 8am start from Letchworth Museum & Library (8.20am pick up at St Mary’s Square, Hitchin). Return approx. 5.30 – 6pm. £25.00 per person covers coach fare and admissions. Cash/cheque payable to North Hertfordshire Archaeological Society, to Liz Hunter, Rose Cottage, Chequers Lane, Preston, Hitchin SG4 7TX. 01462 433859. Hurry! Places are going fast!

Herts Geophysics Project – Exciting News

Kris Lockyer of the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London, has successfully bid for a grant for a project to carry out geophysical (magnetometry) surveys on a number of Late Iron Age and Roman sites in Hertfordshire during 2013/14, using local volunteers.

The sites involved have yet to be finally decided, but the idea is to cover the whole county. For North Herts, I have suggested Ashwell End settlement, Barkway possible temple site, Little Wymondley Ninesprings villa and Radwell villa as possibilities. A Research Assistant (Ellen Shlasko) has been appointed and the magnetometer has been ordered.

This is a fantastic opportunity for NHAS members and others to gain training, experience and access to magnetometry equipment, as well as an excellent opportunity to survey a number of late Iron Age and Roman sites over a year. The magnetometer will be available in future years to borrow to carry out surveys on other Hertfordshire sites.

If you are interested in learning how to use the magnetometer and volunteering to help the surveys in North Herts, or elsewhere, let me know. More than a dozen members have volunteered aleady, why not join them?

NEXT SEASON: Looking forward to our lecture season starting in the Autumn: in October, either Professor Mike Fulford or his deputy, Dr. Amanda Clarke, both of the University of Reading, will follow up the Society’s visit to the Silchester excavations last year, with a lecture on the Iron Age and Roman town of Silchester and the origins of town life in Britain. This will be a public lecture for which entry will be charged, with a reduced rate for NHAS members. Date and venue to be circulated later.


The British Museum –

Ice Age art:
arrival of
the modern

7 February – 26 May 2013
Tickets on sale

Life and death:
Pompeii and Herculaneum

28 March – 29 September 2013
Tickets on sale

At the Quadriga Gallery, Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Apsley Way, London W1J 7JZ Telephone 0207 930 2726

A Monumental Act: How Britain Saved its Heritage. The 1913 Ancient Monuments Act introduced the first effective system for protecting heritage in Britain. 1 May – 7 July 2013.

The Quadriga is named for the four horse bronze on the top of the arch. Open Wed – Sun 10.00 to 17.00; Adults £4, Concessions £3.60, Child £2.40, or free to English Heritage members. See www.english-heritage.co.uk/quadriga Apsley House is nearby and a joint ticket may be purchased for both venues at a reduced rate.

Thanks to our Member, Arthur Thorning, who kindly sent me this information about exhibitions at The Quadriga Gallery in London for your attention.

If you’re interested in news of the latest discoveries from around the world, visit this website:


Heritage Daily – Latest Archaeology News and Archaeological Press Releases


Egyptology, Aztecs, Ancient History, Anthropology, Incas, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, etc.

Possible Future Project for NHAS involvement:

Our Member, Jon Grant, sent the following message which will interest many members:

Hi Gil,

thank you for the regular list of items coming up in the NHAS events email – I thought I might put an idea your way that you might want to have a think about. Myself and a colleague from the Imperial War Museum have set up an organisation to commemorate the role that Letchworth played in the Great War to mark the centenary starting in August 2014. The basic plan is that we have funding already secured for the creation of a bespoke and professional website, we also have the backing of the Letchworth Heritage Foundation for a shop to accommodate a museum / workshop / base for lectures, talks etc – principally this will be for Great War events. This shop is going to be given to us to use free of charge for a year from August 2014 – August 2015. We are in the process of applying for funding from the National Lottery at the moment in order to get the project off the ground so that the shop becomes a reality. After August 2015 we will be shutting down the shop and component parts of the display will be relocated across North Herts so that local communities can do their own research, for example the main bulk of the display and materials will be housed in the new Hitchin museum. By the time 2018 approaches we will be looking to bring the “snowballed” project back to Letchworth to commemorate the whole of North Herts and we’re hoping that this will be an active process in which members of the local communities play their part to create and produce new historical interpretations to commemorate this huge event. There are other angles that people will be approaching from the soldiers who fought, the civilians at home, the suffragettes to the conscientious objectors. So it is more of a social study of our society from a century ago with the war being the glue which will hopefully bring our communities of the present closer together as it would have done in wartime.

Now the part that I would like to think of as a pipedream that yourself and the NHAS might be interested in is this, we will be focusing some of our commemoration on a town in Belgium called St Julien, where the Herts Regiment suffered their heaviest losses of the war, including some seven Letchworth men on one day in July 1917. We will be placing a memorial in St Julien in 2017 but… what we would love to consider, if at all feasible with the landowners permission, money and volunteers, is perhaps at some point in the next 5 years, to have a short term excavation of the field in St Julien to try to locate the German positions which the Herts tried to take in July 1917. This would be a very different type of archaeology to the one that the NHAS are used to, but if this was something that you would like to be a part of – if it actually is possible – I would love for you and NHAS members to become a part of. Whilst it isn’t our local archaeology, it is archaeology about our local people.

There’s no rush on this as an idea, we are a very genuinely committed group to work with this project and would value your expertise.

All the best,


Jon Grant

Subject Leader for History

The Highfield School


Letchworth Garden City


01462 620500


2013/14 Subscriptions will become due on 1st June 2012. Please renew now. The Society cannot continue to function without all members’ subscriptions. In particular, lecturers fees and expenses and hall hire have to come from subscriptions. Lack of sufficient income from subscriptions may result in fewer lectures. It’s up to us members.

Outstanding subscriptions may be paid in person at any meeting when membership cards can usually be issued also. Otherwise subscription cheques may be posted to Diane Burleigh, NHAS, 10 Cromwell Way, Pirton, Hitchin, Herts SG5 3RD.

Adult £15, Family £20, Concessions (over 65, under 16), £8.

Non-members are welcome at any of our meetings. There will be a charge of £3 for entry.

Please renew your subscription otherwise you may be removed from our membership and circulation lists.

Thank you.


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