Four workshops on Medieval Street Life announced

The Historic Towns Trust has teamed up with Dr James Davis of Queen's University Belfast to offer workshops on medieval street life in four of Britain's historic towns across the winter and early spring.  The events are funded by the British Academy and organised through the Medieval Street Life project which is directed by Dr Davis at Queen's.

Everyone with an interest in discovering how people lived, worked and worshipped  in medieval times is welcome to come along to these events.  There are different subjects for lectures in each city, and the core of them is about medieval street life in general and how the British Historic Towns Atlas can help to explain the townscapes of each city. The workshops in Bristol, Norwich and York include an optional walking tour to get a feel for the medieval city, as well as short lectures.

The workshops in Norwich and York are free to attend.  The Bristol workshop costs £3.00 and the London workshop £5.00. For each workshop, please register in advance, and if you would like to come on the walking tours please register separately for them.

The events in Bristol, London, Norwich, and York will take place as follows:

  • Norwich - Sunday 21st January 2018 - at Norwich Cathedral
  • Bristol - Sunday 18th February 2018 - at The Watershed
  • York - Friday 23rd February 2018 - at the King's Manor (the University of York's Centre for Medieval Studies)
  • London - Friday 16th March 2018 - Barnard's Inn, Holborn (Gresham College).

At the foot of this page are PDF flyers for each event.  They include a clickable link to the registration page for each event, and the e-mail address of Dr Davis for further information.

Do come along!  You will be most welcome.


Winchester Atlas published on November 15th!

Historic Towns Atlas volume VI - Winchester - was published on November 15th.  After many years work and huge effort by a team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Biddle of Oxford University and the Winchester Excavations Committee, the atlas was published on the 15th of November 2017. It was officially launched that day in Winchester's Guildhall where a large group of guests was able to inspect the atlas. Sales were brisk!

Our thanks to the Mayor of Winchester and Winchester City Council for generously hosting the occasion and making it such a success.

The atlas (also published as volume 11 of the ongoing Winchester Studies series) is the most comprehensive that the Trust has yet published.  It has an extensive introductory text explaining Winchester's development as England's second-most important pre-Conquest city, and its subsequent development as a royal, then legal and commercial stronghold, its gentle decline in importance and its resurgence as a prosperous county town and tourist destination. There are about 80+ illustrations covering all aspects of its urban landscape, and about 18 colour maps, as well as many additional maps illustrating specific themes in Winchester's history.

The atlas will be a major contribution to urban history.

The atlas retails for £70.00.  The book is available from your usual bookseller, or can be ordered directly from Oxbow Books . Further details about the atlas can be found can be found on the atlas's webpage.

Hull map wins a prize

The recently published Historical Map of Kingston upon Hull has been awarded a prize by the British Cartographic Society at its annual symposium held jointly with the Society of Cartographers between the 5th and the 7th September 2017 at Redworth Hall, Darlington, County Durham.

The map, published to coincide with Hull's status as UK City of Culture 2017, was awarded a 'Commended' in the Stanfords Award for Printed Mapping, an open competition which attracted about 30 entries this year.  In a year when the BCS withheld several of its awards because the judges did not consider that entrants were of high enough standard, the Stanfords Award proved to be the opposite and a Highly Commended prize was awarded, as well as the Stanfords Prize itself.

It is very gratifying that the effort which went into researching and designing the map has been recognised by the UK's largest gathering of cartographers.

The Historical Map of Hull is different in format from the maps of Winchester and Oxford which we have published to date.  For a start, the map is based on the city as it appeared in the 1920s, rather than in the mid nineteenth century. Hull developed as a major industrial centre as well as a port, and the date of the map reflects the many factory, foundry and shipbuilding premises which peppered the city by that time.  Secondly, the map is based on a series of Ordnance Survey map sheets (the 1928 edition of the 1:2500 County Series) which appears in the background. As with our other maps, the major medieval and post-medieval buildings have been picked out.

The map sheet is also bigger (1000 x 890 mm), allowing more of the city to be seen at the scale of 1:2500.

A city whose history is too often overlooked

Hull has a good claim to be one of Yorkshire's most historic cities - many people are not aware of just how much history can be found there. This new map summarises for the first time many aspects of Hull's past. 

The map was published on May 5th and launched at the end of May in an event held at the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation - in Old Town, Hull. Its appearance coincides with the publication of a major new history of the city, written by eminent Hull-based authors and published by Liverpool University Press.

Publication of the map has been made possible by a generous grant from the Marc Fitch Fund, and we are very pleased to acknowledge the trustees' generosity in supporting this project and to thank them.

The map is available to buy through local booksellers in Hull, the Hull History Centre, Hull's museum shops, or by ordering through any bookshop or on-line book retailer.  The Historic Towns Trust does not sell its publications directly, but they are easy to obtain by order - please buy it locally in Hull or order it through your usual book retailer, quoting the ISBN: 978-0-9934698-2-4.  Retail price: £8.99.

Using atlas material

The Historic Towns Trust is always pleased when researchers use maps from the Historic Towns Atlas volumes for research and illustrative purposes.  Recently, we've given permission to use two maps of Cambridge from volume II to be adapted as illustrations for a collection of essays on Commemoration in Medieval Cambridge. We've also been asked if the map of London in 1520 can be used and enhanced with additional information on legal inns in the Holborn area.

Further details on how to ask permission for use of maps can be found here.  If it's for a legitimate purpose that complements the HTT's charitable aims, we usually say 'yes'!