Gloucester Section Programme of lectures Winter 2023-2024


The lectures in September, November, January, February and March will be held at the Dunrossil Centre, Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, Clarence Row, Alvin Street, Gloucester, GL1 3DW, beginning at 7.30 pm. Free parking at the Heritage Hub is available.

The October lecture will be held jointly with the Friends of Gloucester Cathedral and will take place in the Parliament Room in the cathedral precincts at 2 pm on 25 October 2023.

Entry to all lectures is free both to members and non-members of the Society. There is no charge, but donations are welcome. Refreshments are provided.


Wednesday 27 September 2023

‘A Roman Settlement and Medieval Manorial Complex at Lydney B’ Alex Thomson (Cotswold Archaeology) (held over from March 2020)

Between 2016 and 2020, Cotswold Archaeology undertook excavations in advance of residential development at Lydney B North, Highfield Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire. The identified features included those dating to the Bronze Age, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, medieval and post-medieval periods, suggesting a rich landscape of agricultural settlement that had endured for thousands of years.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Richard Bryant, ‘The eleventh century eastern chapel and early Lady Chapel at the abbey of Gloucester St Peter’ (jointly with the Friends of Gloucester Cathedral; afternoon event at 2 pm in the Parliament Room)

Radiating chapels open off the eastern apse of the eleventh-century abbey church (now Gloucester cathedral). The axial chapel survives in the crypt, but has largely been replaced at ground floor and tribune level by later changes. However, there are still elements of a sequence of earlier phases embedded in the later structure. This lecture will explore the development of this often-overlooked part of the abbey church.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Jim Pimpernell, ‘The Development of the Berkeley Estate during the 18th Century’

This talk describes the changes to the estate during the 18th century instigated by the Earls of Berkeley together with the important contribution of the Countess of Berkeley. The changes led to a dramatic increase in income, a changing set of tenants, and implications for the organisation of farms.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Henry Elwes, ‘Colesbourne: A Village History Through the Ages’ (held over from January 2023)

Sir Henry Elwes is a former Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of Gloucestershire. His family has owned the Colesbourne estate since 1789 and he himself became responsible for it in 1956; the estate is particularly renowned for its snowdrops. In this talk he will outline the ‘story of Colesbourne’, the subject of his recent book.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Edward Biddulph (Oxford Archaeology), ‘Settlement on the edge of Roman Gloucester: discoveries at Twigworth and Innsworth’

Excavations by Oxford Archaeology over several years at Twigworth and Innsworth to the north-east of Gloucester have uncovered dense areas of prehistoric and Roman rural settlement. In this talk, Edward Biddulph, senior project manager at Oxford Archaeology, will highlight the discoveries – and reveal some surprises – of the ongoing fieldwork and post-excavation work.

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Jon Hart (Cotswold Archaeology) ‘Making a Living on the Severn Vale: The Invisible Potters of Domesday’

When surveyors for the 1086 Domesday book arrived at Haresfield, Gloucestershire, they did something unusual: they recorded potters within the village, a presence noted at only two other locations within William’s new realm. Potters were common, of course, just not relevant to the survey, but this whim on the part of an unnamed commissioner has prompted decades of searching for the Haresfield potteries. Work at Quedgeley East by Cotswold Archaeology has now identified one of these potteries and has also uncovered a nationally rare example of an excavated pre-Conquest farmstead that survived until its replacement in the 13th century by an elite landscape