Lectures

** Booking is required for all online lectures **


Our lecture series this year will take place online using the Zoom platform.
As Zoom only allows 100 people to log in for each lecture, booking is restricted to OAHS members, however, one booking covers everyone who will be listening on one device, so your household companions are welcome to join you.

We will record each of the lectures, if the speaker agrees, for anyone who was unable to join live and they will be available shortly afterwards for one month.


Bookings are closed the day before the lecture unless we are already at capacity.


If you are new to Zoom, we held a short practice Zoom session in early October so if you would like to see how Zoom works before hand, please see the recording linked below. You can also read more about how it works on the How to Zoom Help pages

OAHS members are encouraged to login before booking Log in here

If this is your first visit or you haven't logged in to your OAHS account for a while, you may need to contact the Webmanager to reset your login name and password, email

At the Centre of the World: Henley-on-Thames and the Olympic Regatta of 1908


Date: 12 January 2021
Time: 17:30:00
Lecturer: Michael Redley
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: Free
No of Places: 100
Closing Date for Bookings: 11 January 2021


This lecture is now over. Click to view the recordings page (member login required)

The rowing competition in the Olympic Games held in Britain in 1908 was staged at Henley. The small Thames-side town was called upon to represent Britain to the world. How did it set about it? What part did its institutions play? What contribution did the Olympic Regatta make to Henley's sense of itself? The episode casts interesting light on the political and social life of a small Oxfordshire town? albeit rather an unusual one? in the years leading up to the First World War.

Dr Michael Redley is a tutor in modern British history and politics at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, and he lives in Henley.


The League of Beleaguered Gentlemen: Three Medical Officers of Health in Berkshire 1873-1908


Date: 26 January 2021
Time: 17:30:00
Lecturer: Peter Steere
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: Free
No of Places: 100
Closing Date for Bookings: 25 January 2021


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The post of Medical Officer of Health was one of the first salaried local government appointments under the 1872 Public Health Act which required each urban Sanitary District to employ a medically qualified officer. The Act was a response to the high levels of disease brought about by uncontrolled urbanisation and the introduction of diseases like cholera into overcrowded towns. This talk will examine three local Medical Officers of Health from Berkshire, and their role in improving public health (or not).

Peter Steere began a serious interest in local history in 2009 and has an MSc in English Local History. He is currently approaching the end of his studies for a DPhil in English Local History, researching public health in Berkshire in the nineteenth century.
He is the Membership Secretary of OAHS and our Zoom host for this year's online lectures. He is also Chairman of the Marcham Society.


Burials at the Old Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford


Date: 09 February 2021
Time: 17:30:00
Lecturer: Louise Loe
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: Free
No of Places: 100
Closing Date for Bookings: 08 February 2021


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This lecture will consider new evidence recovered during Oxford Archaeology's 2013-14 excavations at the Old Radcliffe hospital burial ground, offering new insights into 18th and 19th century surgery, anatomisation and medical teaching in Oxford. The work focuses on 337 burials dated between 1770 and 1855 and will be discussed in the context of the voluntary hospital movement, early hospital burial grounds, medical teaching and the 1832 Anatomy Act.

Dr Louise Loe is Head of Heritage Burial Services at Oxford Archaeology.


Modern Architecture in Oxford


Date: 23 February 2021
Time: 17:30:00
Lecturer: John Stevenson
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: Free
No of Places: 100
Closing Date for Bookings: 22 February 2021


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Oxford, like its counterpart in Cambridge, is a dictionary of architecture, a city containing some of the finest examples of architecture, urban design and craftsmanship in the world, including buildings constructed in the 20th and 21st centuries. And the fact that Oxford University, in particular, continues to commission new buildings and additions from notable architects and practices, confirms that architecture plays a positive role in the evolution of the city and its identity.
But it's not all good news. The recent demolition of the 1960s Tinbergen Zoology and Psychology building undermines the sense that architecture of its time is necessarily a good thing. In fact, many buildings challenge our ability to understand the contribution they make to the urban environment. Often the success or otherwise of contemporary architecture boils down to a matter of personal taste, be it that of the architect, the client or the user. Concentrating on recent architecture which impacts on the public realm, the aim of this talk is to identify a few frames through which we can better discuss the contribution of modern architecture to the historic city.

John Stevenson graduated from the Architectural Association School in London and following qualification as an architect, he entered practice and taught design part-time. In the mid 1980s whilst continuing to practice in London, he took up a part-time design teaching post at the Oxford School of Architecture (then Oxford Polytechnic). He then moved to Oxford where he has lived and worked ever since. He retired from the Oxford School as Principal Lecturer and Head of Design in 2012. During and since that time he has served on the Oxford Preservation Trust's Environmental Awards Committee.


THE TOM HASSALL LECTURE 2021
Changes in Later Prehistory: Recent Later Bronze and Iron Age Discoveries in Oxfordshire


Date: 09 March 2021
Time: 17:30:00
Lecturer: Alex Davies and Chris Hayden
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: Free
No of Places: 100
Closing Date for Bookings: 08 March 2021


Book a place for this lecture

New evidence for the later Bronze Age and Iron Age has been revealed in the last few years at a remarkable pace. After reviewing the range of recent discoveries, this lecture will highlight some of the ways these discoveries have challenged and enriched our understanding of these periods, focusing particularly on recent excavations in the south of the county. Radiocarbon dating is beginning to make it possible to understand the period in terms of calendar dates rather than broad ceramic phases, and, as well as challenging accepted chronologies, is helping to produce a much finer grained picture of change than was previously possible. Some of the effects of this on our understanding of change in settlement and the structure of the landscape will be reviewed. In conclusion, an attempt will be made to look at the wider social and economic implications of these changes.

Dr Alex Davies and Dr Chris Hayden are respectively a Project Officer and a Senior Project Manager in the Post-Excavation team at Oxford Archaeology.