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

A Neolithic Henge Monument and recent other finds from Warwickshire

Tuesday 7th November 2017

Speaker: Nigel Page

Find out more about recent finds from archaeological sites in Warwickshire. At long last, Warwickshire can now boast a Neolithic henge ‘culture’ to complement if not rival other regions. Five have been fully excavated in the last two years. The ongoing analysis of these sites has revealed some interesting aspects of their chronology and use.

In addition Warwickshire Archaeology are delighted to be able to bring you some very exciting news about remarkable excavations on a site undoubtedly close to your hearts. PLEASE NOTE : For the first time we shall be hosting a meeting of the Society in Warwick at the recently refurbished Market Place Museum. Doors open at 6.45 and lecture commences at 7pm

Henge excavation in progress

Birmingham Artists, Antiquaries & Architects; discovering and recording the past in the late 19th century.

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Speaker: Stephen Price

AGM 6.45 – 7pm, Lecture commences 7pm

Concentrating on a handful of leading lights in the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society – A.E. Everitt, Oliver & Harold Baker and Jethro Cossins who were all active in the field and have left today’s students of Birmingham and Warwickshire history a remarkable resource in various public and private collections. Everitt’s collection of drawings and watercolours of the Midlands once belonged to the Society, but is now in the care of Birmingham Museums Trust, while the diaries and letters of the Baker family, together with the paintings and photographs they produced illuminate the process of recording historic buildings within reach of the city. Cossins was a leading member of the architectural profession in late 19th century Birmingham, designing many significant new buildings in the city, but he was also a committed saviour of many vernacular buildings and churches, working with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings to ensure their preservation. Our meeting is being held on the centenary of Cossins’ death at the BMI. The lecture will attempt to put the work of these pioneers in context and raise awareness of the value of their contributions.

Stephen has been a member of BWAS since the 1960s and has had a long career and distinguished as a museum curator. Early retirement has given him the opportunity to get back to the Midlands and write up some of his research  undertaken on Birmingham and Worcestershire history.

This lecture will take place at the BMI (more…)

The Leekfrith Torcs: A talk on the Torcs!

Tuesday 9th January 2018

Annual Lunchtime Lecture 1pm – 2pm

Speaker: Teresa Gilmore 

The talk will cover the recent spectacular find from the Staffordshire Moorlands, that of the Leekfrith Torcs, the earliest Iron Age gold found so far and the early Celtic art. We shall hear the story of their discovery and journey through the Treasure Process, an excellent example of partnership works, research and latest development.

Teresa is the Finds Liaison Officer, Portable Antiquities Scheme based at Birmingham Museums Trust.

This lecture will take place at the BMI

Medieval Town Planning: exploring the topography, origins and development of medieval towns

Tuesday 6th February 2018 7.00 pm

Speaker: Mike Shaw

This talk will be looking at how the application of 21st century technology can shed new light on the study of medieval town planning across the midlands.

Mike Shaw is currently undertaking at PhD at the University of Birmingham looking at methodologies for the study of the topography, origins and development of medieval towns, including the modern technologies, such as geographic information systems. His work has concentrated on the historic towns of Cheshire and the East Midlands town of Northampton but he will be comparing these to examples from the West Midlands and England in general to emphasise recurring patterns of development.

Mike was Black Country Archaeologist until his retirement in 2014. Previously he carried out a survey of the historic towns of Cheshire from 1997-9, and before then spent many years excavating Anglo-Saxon and Medieval sites in Northampton and Northamptonshire.

This lecture will take place at the BMI

Castle Bromwich Castle

7pm Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Speaker – Mike Hodder

Archaeological excavations at the motte and bailey which gives Castle Bromwich its name took place in 1969-70 before a collector road for the M6 Motorway was built through the bailey. The excavations revealed prehistoric and Roman objects and features under the medieval motte and bailey, an undated palisade and ditch under the 12th-century motte, a timber gateway into the bailey and medieval buildings within it.

The bailey was later extended, and a house was built at the base of the motte in the 17th century. The excavation director, Bill Ford, died a few years ago and the excavation has never been written up. Dr Mike Hodder, who worked on the site as a schoolboy, is compiling a report from records and finds in Birmingham Museum, which will be published in the Society’s Transactions.

The talk will take place at the Birmingham Midlands Institute.

Programme of Lectures 2016 – 2017

dsc_0317-wall-image-againOur lecture series takes place from October to April and showcases research and projects which investigate the archaeology of Birmingham and Warwickshire – with some notable exceptions!

Lectures normally take place on the first Tuesday of the month* at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham, with the exception of our January lecture which takes place at 1pm on the second Tuesday of the month.

some April lectures may be on the second Tuesday, depending on the date of Easter Monday

Annual Lunchtime Lectures

Tuesday 10 January 2017, 1pm-2pm   “I have come after them and made repair”: Understanding Stonehenge through petrology.

x-polars-corrected     ixer-1-100_6641

Images show samples and a thin section through X-polar light

The precise number, identity, geological provenance and prehistorical significance of the various Stonehenge bluestones have been, and will always remain, contentious, for they provide the stony springboards for speculation. Petrographical re-examination (using ‘total petrography’) of lithic assemblages collected during the last century, plus examination of those from 21st-century excavations, found within Stonehenge and its immediate environs (over 7000 samples), combined with dedicated, geological, in site collecting has allowed a greater qualification and quantification of the rock types, demonstrated their relative archaeological ‘importance’ and suggested their possible origins. However, the data have also uncovered cryptic questions including: – Why are some orthostats not represented in the abundant and spatially quite uniform Stonehenge ‘debitage’ …and vice versa?

Why are the geological origins of the non-dolerite bluestone so diverse and often from ‘insignificant’ outcrops?

Detailed rock and mineral geochemistry plus statistical analysis of the ‘debitage’ may answer these and the more straightforward questions.