St. Mary’s Church Hall

Location:Darley Lane, Derby, DE1 3AX

Upcoming events

  • 05/01/2024 19:30 - 05/01/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Gary Lock – SPEAKER ON ZOOM

    Within a few miles of the iconic Uffington White Horse chalk figure are three hillforts dating to the Iron Age and Roman periods. This talk will explore the similarities and differences between these sites based on a programme of excavations revealing something about the lives of the people who constructed and used the enigmatic White Horse.

    Gary Lock is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford. He has taught and researched the Iron Age for many years specialising in hillforts of which he has excavated five and was Co-Director of the important Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland Project.

    Society Lecture

  • 26/01/2024 19:30 - 26/01/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Derek Latham

    Derek is an architect, town planner, landscape architect, conservationist and urbanist, who ran his own practice, Lathams, in Derby for 35 years. His clients ranged from community groups to royalty, charities to corporate companies, individuals to local authorities, and a range of heritage bodies. He now chairs the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust and the Derwent Valley Trust. As a founder member he is still active with both the Institute of Historic Buildings and the Academy of Urbanism, and is Visiting Professor at the University of Derby. He is also a Director of Great Northern Classics, the proposed centre of excellence for training heritage vehicle repair skills. Fifteen years ago, he set about pushing the boundaries when building his own home, an Ecohouse designed to fit its context utilising materials from site and other techniques to reduce carbon footprint both embodied and in use.

    Architecture Section

  • 02/02/2024 19:30 - 02/02/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Emma Brownlee

    One of the most unusual forms of burial found in early medieval England is the use of a bed on which the deceased is laid to rest. Several of these burials have made the news recently: the Harpole treasure excavated near Northampton in 2022, and the Trumpington bed burial, whose facial reconstruction made international headlines in June 2023. The burials found in England all belong to women, and all date to the period of Christianisation in the seventh century. Yet bed burials are not confined to England. They appear across Europe, but take quite a different form on the continent. This talk will combine information from the burials themselves with new scientific evidence, to consider what they can tell us about connections across early medieval Europe in a time of social and religious change.

    Dr Brownlee is a research fellow at Girton College, University of Cambridge, where she focuses on how grave good use and burial rites vary across Europe in 5th to 8th centuries AD.

    Society Lecture

  • 09/02/2024 19:30 - 09/02/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Julian Henderson

    Organised by the Archaeological Research Group

  • 16/02/2024 19:30 - 16/02/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Trevor James

    Historic inn names, dating from before the eighteenth century, can provide potential clues, helpful to an understanding of the local history of any neighbourhood.  They are almost a form of oral history and certainly can help us understand the priorities of the people of past times.

  • 23/02/2024 19:30 - 23/02/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Brice Bozier

    The Victorian gasworks building for the Sudbury estate has recently been rescued and restored with the aid of a significant grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, but all the original equipment was lost. Learn how Sudbury Gasworks researched their missing gas producing retort benches and how in 2018 they started with a team of apprentices at JCB on the journey to recreate them, using old and cutting edge techniques and taking trips to the North, South and West!  The speaker Brice Bozier is a Trustee of Sudbury Gasworks who works at JCB Rocester as a controls engineer. Apprentice trained himself, Brice has a background in electrical, mechanical, electronic and software engineering, and he will be supported for the presentation by one or more of the apprentices who were involved.

  • 01/03/2024 19:30 - 01/03/2024 21:00

    Speaker: James Wright – SPEAKER ON ZOOM

    Every single hamlet, village, town and city in the British Isles has a story of secret passages running beneath the landscape. The tales speak of hidden tunnels connecting the castle and the monastery, or the hermitage and the pub, or the church and the manor house. Often these are supposed to be escape tunnels, sometimes they are connected with smuggling or treasure, on other occasions the given reasons for their existence are somewhat salacious and scandalous. The folklore of Britain’s subterranean landscape is ubiquitous, but is there ever any archaeological evidence for these yarns? What are the underlying truths? Can the stories ever tell us something about how people think about their communities and heritage?

    Archaeological Research Group

  • 08/03/2024 19:30 - 08/03/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Sarah Howard

  • 15/03/2024 19:30 - 15/03/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Tony Wilmot

    This talk will summarise the phenomenon of the Roman amphitheatre as experienced in Britain and will concentrate on contrasting the evidence from the amphitheatres of Chester and Richborough, both of which have been excavated within the last 20 years. It will cover variations in amphitheatre construction between the legions and the civilian centres and evidence for the nature of arena events and the behaviour of spectators. Tony Wilmott is a senior archaeologist at Historic England and has worked as a professional field archaeologist for 46 years. During this time he has excavated on many sites, mainly, but not exclusively, of Roman date. He is particularly known for his work on Hadrian’s Wall and at Richborough, and for excavations on the two amphitheatres of Chester and Richborough. He is the author of The Roman Amphitheatre in Britain and is currently working on a fully revised edition.

  • 05/04/2024 19:30 - 05/04/2024 21:00

    Speaker: Cliff Lea

    It was in the 1840s that the Oakes family struck oil whilst sinking one of their coal pits at Riddings near Alfreton. Hear how the technical characteristics of this fluid –  a fluid that was regarded as simply a nuisance at the time -  were researched on site by a truly pioneering Scottish chemist, James Young. How Young found out what could be produced from the oil, how he developed a method of refining and fractionation for production of what were to become extremely useful end products. This was to lead to the invention of paraffin wax candles, and the isolation and use of what we now call “paraffin oil”, allowing the very start of use of paraffin lamps; both inventions were so useful for revolutionising domestic lighting from the 1850s on. Before this the very poor sputtering light of tallow wicks was the usual form of lighting in most households. Following his early work in Derbyshire it was James Young who was globally the very first to take out a patent to define the oil refining process.  When mineral oil was shortly afterwards to be discovered in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the early oil pioneers in USA were to pay vast royalties to Young in those very early manic days of the rise of the world’s most lucrative industry.

    Cliff Lea is a chemist who had spent his career in the oil industry. He discovered only when moving to Derbyshire in 1980, that this county is perhaps the most important of all in Britain’s mineral oil industry history. He has given talks on the subject at both international and national conferences on history of the oil industry. Cliff is a founder member and currently chair of the North East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology Society.

    Organised by the Industrial Archaeology Section