Barrows and Burnt Mounds: Investigations at Meriden Quarry, 2013-2015

7pm Tuesday 2nd October 2018

Speaker: Richard Bradley

Excavation and watching-brief work  by Worcestershire Archaeology over a number of years of quarry extraction has identified multiple phases of activity, mainly of prehistoric date. This has included well-preserved palaeoenvironmental deposits, Mesolithic flint working debris, late Neolithic and Bronze Age burnt mounds associated with a sequence of peat formation, Bronze Age and Iron Age timber lined features, and a monumental complex incorporating a post-built palisade with at least three round barrows. Work at the quarry is ongoing but this talk focuses on discoveries during 2013-2015.

Richard Bradley is a project officer working for Worcestershire Archaeology.

This talk will take place at the BMI

Mesolithic flake found at the site.
Bronze Age barrows revealed after stripping of the site.

WOW! What a site!  An update on the excavation of Roman and Anglo-Saxon cemeteries at Baginton

7pm Tuesday 6th November  2018

Speaker: Nigel Page

An archaeological excavation was carried out on land at Whitley South, Baginton, Warwickshire in 2017, on high ground overlooking the River Sowe and Coventry to the North. The excavation revealed a series of possible Neolithic pits with flint artefacts, a Bronze Age round barrow, a Roman cremation cemetery and houses and a small cemetery of Anglo-Saxon date.

The Roman cremation cemetery contained over 60 burials, some with offering pots, personal items and cremation urns, which was likely to have been associated with the Lunt Roman Fort, c.350m to the west.

Remains of five Anglo-Saxon houses and twelve burials were also recorded. Some of the graves contained grave goods, which included complete pots and a hanging bowl.

Conservation work on the numerous metal objects recovered has revealed not only how they would have looked when made and used, but it has also thrown up some surprises.

This talk will take place at the Market Hall Museum in Warwick

Excavation at Baginton

The Ice Age and Palaeolithic West Midlands a.k.a The Original West Midlands Safari Park

AGM Night

Tuesday 4th December  2018  6.45pm

Speaker: Nick Daffern

The West Midlands is often overlooked in favour of the east and south-east of England but this talk aims to show that the West Midlands has an incredibly important part to play in the story of Britain during the Pleistocene!

The talk will look at the fascinating Ice Age history of the West Midlands covering its climate and landscape over the last one million years and the animals and humans (both archaic and modern!) who lived and hunted here. An overview will be given of the results of a 2013 English Heritage-funded reassessment of the Palaeolithic in Worcestershire ‘which (excuse the pun!) has snowballed into research that has implications for the wider West Midlands and the potential for future work that everyone can get involved in to enhance our understanding of these lost landscapes.

This lecture will take place at the BMI

Note – this lecture will be preceded by the BWAS Annual General Meeting and should commence shortly after 7pm.

Nick Daffern is an archaeologist, palynologist (pollen specialist!) and environmental archaeologist with a particular focus and passion for the Pleistocene of the West Midlands. He is Associate Director for Archaeology and Heritage at Wardell Armstrong

Digging HS2


Tuesday 8th January 2019 at 1pm

Speaker Robert Early

The north section of HS2 spans 87 km, and forks into Birmingham.  The whole project is the largest historic environment project undertaken in the UK and as such represents a huge challenge to the professional archaeological community. This talk will highlight how the teams of archaeologists are undertaking the works, focussing on new discoveries and the excavation of known sites such as Park Street Burial ground where 19,000 post-medieval burials are currently being excavated; the largest archaeological project to date in Birmingham. Rob will provide a resume of research undertaken and the results to date  highlighting some of the challenges ahead.

Rob Early is currently the lead for the Historic Environment section North. He has over 30 years of experience in archaeology and heritage and has a number of publications of his work that range through the prehistoric periods through to Second World War.  He currently leads the heritage team at the design engineering company WSP but formally worked for Oxford Archaeology.

This lecture will take place at the BMI.

“The Lunar Society’s Welcome to a Scottish Inventor”

Tuesday 5th February 2019 at  7pm

Speaker: Dr. Jim Andrew

In 2019 we shall be commemorating the life of James Watt who died in Birmingham 200 years ago on 25th August 1819.

Watt was born in 1736 and grew up in Greenock, west of Glasgow where he trained as an instrument maker.  In about 1763 he was asked to repair a small Newcomen steam engine.  He did and eventually went on to become the greatest steam engineer of his time.  In 1774 Watt arrived in Birmingham where in partnership with Matthew Boulton, he dominated the designing of powerful steam engines for some twenty years.  But why was Watt attracted to Birmingham, the town and its folks? We shall find out about the advantages offered to Watt by Birmingham Society and the many innovations that brought him lasting fame.

Jim Andrew is a mechanical engineer who worked in industry and as a pollution inspector with Birmingham Council before moving to senior staff at the City’s Museum of Science & Industry in 1974.  His PhD was awarded in 1991 for research on Boulton and Watt and the 1779 engine in the Museum which James Watt designed.  His research interests have ranged across many aspects of technology and the technical collections held in the Birmingham Museums.


This lecture will take place at the BMI.

When is a Hillfort not a Hillfort? Marsh-forts in North Shropshire

Tuesday 5th March 2019  7pm

Speaker: Shelagh Norton

When is a hillfort not a hillfort?  These iconic Iron Age monuments are characterised by their monumentality and prominent visibility. However, a small number of contemporary fortifications share elements of size and monumentality but are found in low-lying, wetland settings. They are increasingly referred to as ‘marsh-forts’ – so far, Sutton Common near Doncaster is the most researched site of this type. Questions abound – do they share characteristics of chronology and function? how do they reference the wider environment? does the term ‘marsh-fort’ add value?

A group of potential ‘marsh-forts’ exist around the wetlands of North Shropshire’s meres and mosses. Lying on the fringe of the hillfort zone of the Welsh Marches, this landscape has a rich archaeological heritage, evinced through early lithic assemblages, funerary monuments, metalwork deposition, bog bodies and enclosure. Initial palaeoenvironmental and landscape research has already identified peculiarities associated with the very large, low-lying wetland fortification of Wall Camp on the Weald Moors near Telford, which has similarities with Sutton Common. Further research is ongoing to investigate, again through landscape (including GIS and LiDAR) and palaeoenvironmental study (plant macrofossils and fossilised insect remains), other similar monuments in the wider area, notably the fortifications at the Berth near Baschurch.

Shelagh Norton in undertaking PhD Research at the Dept. of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Birmingham. This research is the first study of a group of potential marsh-forts, and will deliver a greater understanding of the focus area, indicating how representative these sites are and how they can inform more broadly about Iron Age society.

This lecture will take place at the BMI.

2018-19 Lecture Series


Lecture Programme for 2018/19


October 2nd 2018 at 7pm Speaker: Richard Bradley

Barrows and Burnt Mounds:

Investigations at Meriden Quarry, 2013-2015


November 6th 2018 at 7pm Speaker: Nigel Page

WOW! what a site! An update on the excavation of Roman and Anglo-Saxon cemeteries at Baginton (Warwick meeting)


December 4th 2018 at 6.45pm – AGM  Speaker: Nick Daffern

The Ice Age and Palaeolithic West Midlands a.k.a The Original West Midlands Safari Park


January 8th 2019 at 1pm Speaker: Robert Early

The Archaeology of HS2


February 5th 2019 at 7pm Speaker: Dr Jim Andrew

The Lunar Society’s Welcome to a Scottish Inventor


March 5th  2019 at 7pm Speaker: Shelagh Norton

When is a hillfort not a hillfort?  Marsh-forts in North Shropshire


April 2nd 2019 at 7pm Speaker: Roger White

Excavations of an Anglo Saxon Hall site at Atcham, Shropshire


ALL lectures are held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute except that on November 6th which will be held at the Warwick Market Hall Museum. Full details are published in our Newsletters and on the BWAS web site at

Registered Charity No: 503327

A Broad View: investigations on the Broadway flood alleviation scheme


6th March 2018

Speaker: Richard Bradley
Lecture commences 7pm

Excavation and watching-brief work by Worcestershire Archaeology uncovered a large multi-period site with at least 8000 years of activity. This included scatters of Mesolithic to early Neolithic flint debris, a complete Beaker and associated grave goods, a Bronze Age to Iron Age farmstead represented by a series of roundhouses and large enclosure ditches, Roman droveways and enclosures, multiple burials and post-built buildings, Saxon finds and the remains of medieval agriculture.  The project commenced at the end of September 2016 and should be complete in early 2018, and was undertaken on behalf of the Environment Agency.

Richard is a project officer working for Worcestershire Archaeology.

This lecture will take place at the BMI



A History of Birmingham Museums

10th April 2018

Speaker: Dr Ellen McAdam

Lecture starts at 7pm

WWII Bomb Damage of Birmingham Museum and Art gallery

Birmingham cautiously considered the need for a civic museum for several decades. The first objects in the collection pre-date even Aston Hall, acquired by the city in 1864. However, urged on by Dawson and supported by Chamberlain and Kendrick, the city took the plunge, and the first phase of the Museum and Art Gallery, cunningly funded by the profits from municipal gas, opened in 1885. From that point onwards the museum service developed one of the three great civic collections of the UK, on a par with those of Glasgow and Liverpool and universally acknowledged as internationally important. I will tell the 150-year story of Birmingham Museums – its brilliant ups and disastrous downs – through its collection, its buildings and its people.

This lecture will take place at the BMI


Lecture dates – 2017-18

Dates for your diaries.

Evening lectures series – 7pm to 8pm – in the Birmingham Midland Institute, Margaret Street unless otherwise stated.

Lunchtime lecture