Events and Excursions

New Excursion Secretary Required!

John Hine is standing down as Excursions Secretary this year, after 6 years, so the Society is now seeking a new Secretary.
The post involves arranging a coach trip to a venue (maybe two on the day) in May, July and September, and a walking tour of a local town or village in June and August. The venues are generally houses of historical and/or architectural interest within one and a half hour's journey from Oxford, but otherwise anything that would be of interest members. The walking tours are usually conducted by a local Committee Member or the relevant Local Historical Society.
John would initially assist with arranging coach bookings, writing excursion descriptions for the Newsletter and Website, dealing with members' bookings by cheque, BACS or by PayPal via the website, and give guidance on how best to arrange visits and tours with the relevant venue owners. The Society's Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Website Manager and Secretary will be there to contribute with the processes as well.
If you feel this Committee position would be of interest, to you or another member, please contact John by email on: to discuss matters in further detail.


Our lectures for 2019-2020 have been confirmed and are listed below.
All lectures are free and open to the public as well as members, so please invite guests.
The Reception after the Tom Hassall Lecture on 10th March 2020 is also free for members but booking is required.
Log in and click the Book Now button.


Christmas Party
The final lecture of the year will be followed by the OAHS Christmas Party, to be held at Rewley House from 6.30-7.30pm. The cost is £6 and places must be booked in advance.
Log in and click the Book Now button.

Harlington Manor

Our excursion programme for 2019 concludes on 12th September. If you have any queries please contact the Excursion Secretary: Postal enquiries and cheque payments should be sent to:
John Hine
Excursions Secretary
Canal Lodge
Shipton on Cherwell
Kidlington OX5 1JL

The Archaeology of HS2 in Buckinghamshire

Date: 29th October 2019
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Lucy Lawrence
Location: Rewley House

HS2 runs for approximately 40 miles across Buckinghamshire, and will undoubtedly have an impact on the landscape and people living there. Whilst the politics are debated, this scheme has provided an opportunity for research and understanding of the archaeology of the county. This talk will outline how the archaeology of HS2 is helping to answer some longstanding questions about the development and use of this historic landscape.

Lucy Lawrence is an Archaeology Officer for Buckinghamshire County Council.

Oxfordshire's Tolpuddle? The Ascott Martyrs Revisited

Date: 12th November 2019
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Mark Curthoys
Location: Rewley House

The imprisonment of sixteen women from Ascott-under-Wychwood for intimidating two non-strikers during a strike of agricultural labourers in Oxfordshire in May 1873 caused a national outcry. This talk will re-examine the events surrounding their conviction, and will explore the wider context and legacy, drawing comparisons with the trial, transportation, and commemoration of the celebrated Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Dr Mark Curthoys is a Research Editor for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, specialising in people active in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Castles to Cowsheds: Buildings in the Victoria County History

Date: 26th November 2019
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Simon Townley
Location: Rewley House

The VCH has a distinctive approach to buildings, studying them as part of the wider history of places, communities, and landscape. In recent years it has also benefited from a close relationship with the Oxfordshire Buildings Record, both for work on individual buildings and for larger-scale projects looking at particular towns or localities. This lecture will explore the VCH's evolving approach to the study of the built environment in town and countryside, bringing in grand country houses, humble farmsteads, and some long-lost buildings which can only be reconstructed from fragmentary evidence.

Dr Simon Townley is the Editor of the Oxfordshire Victoria County History.

The Macfarlanes and Dorchester in the 19th century

Date: 10th December 2019
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Malcolm Airs
Location: Rewley House

During his incumbency from 1856 until his death in 1885, the Revd. William MacFarlane and his sister Jessie totally transformed Dorchester from a religiously-divided and economically backward village to become a centre for the High Church movement and a regenerated community. Using their wealth inherited from trade in the East India Company, amongst many other initiatives they completed the restoration of the Abbey which had been begun by the Oxford Architectural Society, built a new Vicarage and school, founded a missionary college and provided the isolated hamlet of Burcot with a new church and school combined. Dorchester today remains their legacy.

Professor Malcolm Airs is Emeritus Professor of Conservation and the Historic Environment at Oxford, and a past President of OAHS. He was awarded an OBE in 2019 for services to the historic environment, conservation and education.

Christmas Party

Date: 10th December 2019
Time: 18.30-19.30
Location: Rewley House

The final lecture of the year will be followed by the OAHS Christmas Party, to be held at Rewley House. The cost is £6. Members should log in to book.

Life and Death in the Vale of White Horse

Date: 14th January 2020
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Paolo Guarino
Location: Rewley House

An archaeological excavation carried out along the scheme for a new Thames Water project between Childrey and Wantage has produced exciting results which are refining our understanding of how local communities occupied the Vale across several millennia. The excavation unearthed remains that range from the early Neolithic period to the 3rd/4th century AD. Iron Age remains included a pit alignment, a settlement with roundhouses and storage pits which also revealed deviant burial practices. A multi-phase Roman settlement with associated burial grounds was also excavated.

Paolo Guarino is a Project Officer for Cotswold Archaeology.

Kingerlee: The Family and the Building Firm since 1868

Date: 28th January 2020
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Liz Woolley
Location: Rewley House

Thomas Henry Kingerlee took over his father's building firm in 1868 and moved from Banbury to Oxford in 1883, a time when the city was expanding rapidly and undergoing enormous social, political and economic upheaval. Kingerlee was soon to become one of the key figures in those changes, rapidly becoming Oxford’s largest builder and landlord, and one of its biggest employers with several hundred workers. Thomas Henry was a leading Nonconformist, a Liberal Councillor, and twice Mayor of Oxford. This talk will examine how the family and the firm influenced Oxford’s development in the Victorian and Edwardian periods and highlight some of the hundreds of private and public buildings which Kingerlee have built, renovated and repaired in the city and elsewhere. The company is still going strong and is now run by two of Thomas Henry's great-great-grandsons, David Kingerlee and Richard Wilsdon.

Liz Woolley is a local historian specialising in aspects of the history of Oxfordshire and Oxford. She is particularly interested in the city's 'town' (as opposed to 'gown') history, and in the everyday lives of rural people across the county, chiefly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Manorial Records as a Source for English (and Oxfordshire) History

Date: 11th February 2020
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Professor Mark Bailey
Location: Rewley House

This lecture will provide a brief introduction to manorial records, including how to find them through a national online catalogue (the Manorial Documents Register) which is currently being updated for Oxfordshire. Hundreds of thousands of these documents survive from the thirteenth to the twentieth century, representing a superb source for local and national history unparalleled in the world. Examples will be drawn from medieval manorial records in general, and Oxfordshire in particular.

Mark Bailey is Professor of Late Medieval History at the University of East Anglia, author of The English Manor (2002), and a member of the Manorial Documents Register Advisory Board. He drew extensively upon manorial records when delivering the James Ford Lectures in British History at the University of Oxford in 2019.

Paid Mr Brown £200: Capability Brown at Radley

Date: 25th February 2020
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Clare Sargent
Location: Rewley House

The surviving account book of Capability Brown records receipt of £672 from Sir William Stonhouse at Radley Hall between 1770 and 1772. What did Brown do at Radley? What survives? And what can the contract tell us about Brown's client network?

Clare Sargent is Head of Archives at Radley College.


The Prehistory of the Upper Thames Valley: New Light on Ancient Landscapes

Date: 10th March 2020
Time: 17.30-18.30
Lecturer: Gill Hey
Location: Rewley House

In 1995 Richard Bradley delivered the Tom Hassall Lecture on the 'Earlier Prehistory of the Oxford Region', but by the time Volume 1 of 'Thames Through Time' was completed fifteen years later, new discoveries had shifted and enhanced our understanding of the period. In the same way, ten years further on again, new discoveries and the analyses of earlier excavations have made important contributions to our knowledge of life in the valley between 4,000 and 2,000 BC. This lecture will explore this new evidence and the extent to which it has changed our interpretation of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age of the Upper Thames.

Gill Hey has worked at Oxford Archaeology since 1986, and has wide-ranging research interests in Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement and landscape. She is now OA's Chief Executive Officer.

Tom Hassall Lecture Reception

Date: 10th March 2020
Time: 18.45-20.00
Location: Rewley House

A reception will be held for OAHS members immediately following the Tom Hassall Lecture on Tuesday 10 March at Rewley House. No charge but donations will be welcome. Numbers limited, booking essential.