HS2 ploughs on
9 June 2014
The plan to construct the HS2 high-speed rail line across Buckinghamshire raises serious issues for the archaeology and history of the county and the society's website has been upgraded to reflect this.
The line will cut through the Iron-Age Brim's Ditch and three ancient woodlands in the Chilterns, the Roman town at Fleet Marston and Doddershall deserted medieval village in the Vale of Aylesbury.
At Stoke Mandeville the ruined church of St Mary the Virgin will be destroyed by two high-speed rail lines, two mile-long maintenance sidings, and parallel access roads. Its chancel dated from before the Norman Conquest of 1066 and in its churchyard an estimated 2,600 local people are buried. For HS2 they will have to be moved.
More damage is expected from construction camps, heavy-vehicle storage depots, extensive spoil heaps, electrical sub-stations and access roads.
The society is not opposed to HS2 in principle, but society members have been working to identify the likely damage to Buckinghamshire's archaeological and historic assets and to seek ways of minimising this.
The website pages on HS2 have been restructured and expanded to show this:
A new HS2 news page will be kept regularly up-to-date. It currently focuses on the threat to the Doddershall deserted village site from planned construction depots and drainage ponds.
Historic sites affected by HS2 are highlighted on an interactive map, when each name is a link to a page which sets out the likely damage.
A new page on Grim's Ditch shows the problem posed by spoil heaps.
Chiltern woodlands are of unique historic (as well as environmental) value. HS2 will remove 8.8 hectares of them.
New pages on Stoke Mandeville show the work being done by society members through a geophysical survey of the site and research into the Wills left by local people.
You can also read the society's detailed Response to the HS2 Environmental Statement and our work with other organisations on these issues.
Watch out for Records of Bucks 2014
24 March 2014
The 54th volume of Records of Buckinghamshire will be published early in May. The first copies will be available at the Society's Annual General Meeting at the County Museum in Aylesbury on Saturday 10 May at 2pm.
The leading articles in this 2014 volume include:
For Roman historians, 'The late Iron Age to early Roman transition in the Chilterns: What ditches can tell us'.
For those who prefer their archaeology a little younger, there's 'Anglo-Saxon Granborough' by Keith Bailey.
For local historians, theres 'Chesham after the Black Death', by Garry Marshall.
Buckinghamshire people are to the fore in 'Simon Mayne: Regicide', by David Pickup, and 'Sir William Smyth North Bucks landowner, soldier, lawyer, property dealer and entrepreneur', by Jeremy Howarth.
And we come right into the 20th century with 'Basque and Jewish refugees at Tythrop House, Kingsey, 1937-1940' by Diana Gulland.
In short, theres something for everyone.
Members receive their copy of Records free each year.
For non-members copies are £18.50 including postage. To get your copy, send your cheque made out to 'Bucks Archaeological Society' to: Records 54, BAS Library, County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury Bucks HP20 2QP.
For a full contents list, see the Records 54 page.
Records volume 12 is going on-line
24 March 2014
A fourth out-of-print volume of Records of Buckinghamshire is being made available on-line. The first part of volume 12 was published in 1927 and has been out of print for many years.
Now Part 1 is available on-line as part of this website. Articles can be read on-screen or downloaded locally to read or print. Only Part 1, is digitised so far, but the rest of the volume will follow.
Newly available are articles on the great fire of 1740 which destroyed much of Marsh Gibbon in 1740, an account of Fenny Stratford in the 17th century, a domestic wall painting in Chalfont St Peter, and an account of the building of the County Hall in Aylesbury, begun in 1720.
Click here to access the index page showing all articles now on-line, including those newly added for volume 12.