Lectures & Speakers 2023 – 2024

Our lecture season runs from October to April, with lectures being held in the Anna McDowell Garden Room at Gold Hill Museum on the first Tuesday afternoon of each month. The exception is the Teulon Porter Memorial Lecture, which starts the season and is held in the evening at Shaftesbury Town Hall. Noel Teulon Porter was a notable Cambridge archaeologist and instrumental in founding The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society in 1946.

The 2023 Teulon Porter Lecturer was Professor James G. Clark of Exeter University, who spoke about “The Dissolution of the Monasteries: Shaftesbury and the South-West” at 7.30pm on Tuesday 03 October. (Further details at the foot of this page.)

Lectures are free to members, while visitors may pay £3 at the door (£5 for the Teulon Porter). Seats for non-members at afternoon lectures are normally available from 2.20p.m.

Proposals for lectures to the Society on suitable historical subjects are welcome, and may be made via enquiries@goldhillmuseum.org.uk

Date / TimeTopicSpeakerMore
Tuesday, 07 November 2023 – 2.30pm – The Garden Room, Gold Hill Museum

Children at War 1914-18 – “What was done to us was wrong”Dr. Vivien NewmanVivien is a widely published and consulted author on the role of women in the Great War. She has written seven books and made numerous radio and television appearances. In this illustrated talk she focuses on the impact of the war on children across the combatant nations, a field largely ignored by most historians
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 – 2.30pm – The Garden Room, Gold Hill Museum

The Puffing Billy of the Hedgerows – the politics of the Somerset & Dorset Railway closure, c.1951-67
Professor Colin DivallColin is Professor emeritus of Railway Studies at the University of York. He was formerly Head of the Institute of Railway Studies and Transport History, a joint venture with the National Railway Museum. He now lives in GWR territory in Bridport
Tuesday, 09 January 2024 – 2.30p.m. – The Garden Room, Gold Hill Museum
William Beckford after Fonthill – the latestDr Amy FrostAmy returns after a spellbinding 2022 Teulon Porter Lecture to update us on how her research into Beckford’s letters has impacted upon the ongoing redevelopment of Beckford’s Tower and Museum, where she is the Curator
Tuesday, 06 February 2024 – 2.30p.m. – The Garden Room, Gold Hill Museum

By popular request – the return of Tea and TalksVarious members Short presentations on historical matters by members of The S&DHS, in an informal atmosphere. There will be Tea and Cake
Tuesday, 05 March 2024 – 2.30p.m. – The Garden Room, Gold Hill Museum
The Life of Catherine of Braganza, Queen Consort to King Charles IIProfessor Maria HaywardMaria is Head of the History Department at the University of Southampton. She has published widely on the culture and dress of the Tudor and Stuart Courts. At present she is writing a biography of Catherine of Braganza
Tuesday, 09 April 2024 – 2.30p.m. – The Garden Room, Gold Hill MuseumThe Life and Work of Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1753-1838) Antiquarian, Artist and TravellerHannah SevernHannah is the National Trust’s Collections and House Officer at Stourhead. Her illustrated talk reviews Colt Hoare’s pioneering contributions to the study of Wiltshire’s archaeology and history, and his major additions to the house