Winter Programme 2021-2022

Friday 24 September at 7.30pm – Online via Zoom

Imagery of Sport and Entertainment on Romano-British Mosaics

Speaker: Stephen Cosh

An examination of what Romano-British mosaics tell us about the circus (chariot racing), wild animal hunts in the wild and the arena, and (briefly) gladiatorial contests. Also how this love of sports and entertainment among the elite is reflected in their choice of illustrations of mythical stories from classical literature for mosaics. Stephen R. Cosh, D.Litt., F.S.A is an archaeological writer and illustrator specialising in the Roman period.  He is the co-author of the four volume corpus ‘Roman Mosaics of Britain’ and has written numerous articles and specialist reports.

Click here to watch the recording of this talk.

Friday 8 October at 7.30pm – AS – Online via Zoom
The Work of the Landmark Trust
Speaker: Caroline Stanford
A talk about the work of the national building preservation charity rescuing historic buildings at risk and converting them for holiday use for all to ensure their future. The talk will look especially at the fascinating and largely forgotten stories of some of Landmark’s iconic buildings in and near Derbyshire: North Street Cromford, Tixall Gatehouse, Swarkestone Pavilion, Alton Station and Knowle Hill. Caroline Stanford FSA, BA, MA, MSc (Hist Con) is Landmark’s in-house research historian. She heads up the research on all their 200+ buildings and works as a member of the project team of all their projects to help inform their restoration.

Click here to watch the recording of this talk.

Friday 22 October at 7.30pm – LHS – St Mary’s Church Hall
Books do furnish a room?
Speaker: Stuart Ian Mitchell
Sir William Boothby, who lived at Ashbourne Hall in Derbyshire in the 1670s and 1680s, was passionate about books.  ‘My books’ he wrote, ‘are the great joy of my life’.  He was not alone in this. But how many books were actually read? And how many were for show? This talk explores some of the ways in which books were perceived as objects of material culture as well as literary texts in the long eighteenth century.  A book owned was not necessarily a book read.  It looks at the way in which access to books might be a marker of respectability and politeness, both through ownership and through book clubs; at book collecting as a type of conspicuous consumption; and at the eccentric, almost obsessive, fringe of book buying – that ‘passion for collecting books; not so much to be instructed by them, as to gratify the eye by looking at them’.  Books were one of the objects that revealed, or perhaps created, important aspects of the taste and socio-cultural status of their owner.

Friday 5 November at 7.30pm – AS – St Mary’s Church Hall
Saving the Crescent and the Fifth Duke’s vision

Speaker: Richard Tuffrey

The future of Buxton’s Grade I listed Crescent started to attract concern with the closure of the St Ann’s Hotel in 1989.  The project to save the Crescent has been a long and difficult one but has finally been completed enabling the hotel and spa to fully trade from May this year.  The presentation will set out the history of the building and how it lay at the centre of the 5th Duke of Devonshire’s vision to create a new Georgian spa town in the north.  It will explain why the project took so long to complete and how, today, the Crescent lies at the heart of Buxton’s aspiration to become an internationally recognised spa town once again. Richard is a town planner and urban designer with a long experience of working on heritage issues in local government.  He formerly worked for High Peak Borough Council and, before that, in Nottinghamshire and the North East.  He was also a Director of the Historic Towns and Villages Forum for whom he authored publications on heritage led regeneration and conservation area management. Since retiring from local government in 2018, he has been acting as the Special Advisor to the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust.  He was awarded an MBE for services to heritage in 2020.

Friday 12 November at 7.30pm – IAS – Online via Zoom

Chief Engineers of the Butterley Company in the 19th Century
Speaker: Tim Castledine
Benjamin Outram and Francis Beresford founded Outram & Co in 1790, being officially joined by William Jessop and John Wright in 1792. Outram and Jessop were primarily involved in surveying and other civil engineering activities whilst Beresford and Wright were involved with legal and financial matters respectively. George Goodwin joined the Company in 1797 and remained there until 1848. In his early years he acted as a de facto chief engineer running the company alongside Outram’s brother Joseph during Outram’s extensive periods of absence following his other activities. Following Beresford’s death in 1803 and Outram’s in 1805, the Wright and Jessop realised that it would be necessary to employ a professional engineer. William Brunton joined the newly named Butterley Company in 1807, becoming the first of several eminent engineers to hold the post of Chief Engineer throughout the Company’s golden period up to the late 1800’s. These engineers working alongside Francis Wright and William Jessop Junior for much of the period produced many internationally acclaimed structures in addition to developing amongst many other engineering marvels, steam power for a vast range of applications. The talk briefly covers the main engineers from William Brunton (1807 – 1815), Joseph Miller (1815 – 1825), Joseph Glynn (1825 -1850), Edward Reynolds (1852 – 1860) and Sir John Alleyne (1852 – 1880).


Friday 26 November at 7.30pom – AS –Online via Zoom

Medieval Military Effigies of Derbyshire
Speaker: Mark Downing
This talk will explore knightly effigies that remain in Derbyshire carved between 1250-1500. It will look at what remains together with an historical background and some case studies. Mark Downing is the President of the Church Monuments Society and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries London. He has seen and published all military church monuments between 1200-1500 in England and Wales and is a leading authority on this subject; an interest he has had for over 30 years.

Saturday 27 November 12.30pm-4.00pm
Strutts Centre, Belper
DAS open afternoon at Strutts

Following our regular Saturday morning library opening, we will be holding an open afternoon for members and non-members. This will include:

  • Information and displays in the society’s library
  • a series of short talks by members
  • books for sale
  • opportunity to socialise

Please do come along and bring any friends who might be interested in learning about the society. Drop in at any time between 12.30pm and 4.00pm, the talks will start from 1.30pm.


If Covid-19 restrictions allow, we will be resuming our traditional in-person meetings on Friday evenings in Derby. The venue is St Mary’s Church Hall on Darley Lane, just north of the inner ring road. The post code is DE1 3AX, and there is a car park provided.

We will be following guidelines to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission at community events, but please be aware that we may have to cancel at short notice if the situation deteriorates or a speaker is unavailable.


NON MEMBERS – a limited number of places are available to book via our Eventbrite page. Once you have booked a place you will receive a link to the Zoom registration page as described below.

MEMBERS – members who have provided an email address will receive an email from DAS with a link to register for each talk. This is usually sent out a week before the event.

  1.  Click on the link and it will take you to a Zoom registration page. You need to fill in your name and email address and then click ‘register’.
  2. You will then receive an automated email which will contain the link you need to use to join the meeting from a computer, smartphone or tablet. It will also contain a telephone number to join the meeting using an ordinary telephone, but bear in mind if you use this you will not see the speaker’s slides and standard telephone call charges will apply.
  3. A few minutes before the meeting is due to start, click on the link and it will take you to a Zoom web page. If you have previously installed Zoom there will be a pop-up window “Open Zoom Meetings” which you should click on. If this is your first time using Zoom, allow some more time as you will need to click on “Download and run Zoom” on the main page and follow the instructions to install it on your device.
  4. You should then see a message “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon”. You will also be offered an option to test your microphone and speakers and it is a good idea to do this while waiting to make sure you will be able to hear what is said. When the meeting is ready to start, you will be connected and should see and hear the speaker and chairman for the meeting or a welcome slide.
  5. At the top right of your screen, you should have the option of ‘speaker view’ or ‘gallery view’. We recommend you select ‘speaker view’ so that you only see the speaker and the chairman. When the talk begins, the speaker will share their screen and you should see the presentation slides in the main part of your screen with the video of the speaker in a small box to one side.
  6. By ‘hovering’ your mouse at the bottom of your screen, you will see various controls, e.g. for your own microphone and camera. These will be switched off by default, and we ask you leave them switched off unless you are invited to speak in the discussion session at the end of the meeting. However, please use the ‘Chat’ facility to type your questions and these will be relayed to the speaker by the chairman.
  7. In most cases our talks are recorded on Zoom and members will be sent a link to view the recording. Please note this includes the discussion and if you have your microphone and camera on you may appear in the recording.