Local History Group News

As usual there is no meeting in August, but we shall be particularly busy in September.

Date to be arranged: We are currently waiting for permission from Castle Howard to undertake a geophysical survey of the sports field by members of the University of York Geophysics team, led by Dr Helen Goodchild. We hope this will be a ‘hands-on’ session and that we will find traces of the old drainage systems. Further survey work on the castle is also planned and we hope to have final results to present at our regular December meeting at The Grapes. The date of this will be confirmed. – please watch the website for more information!

Tuesday 18th September  – A talk on the History and symbolism of graveyard headstones by Professor Harold Mytum (University of Liverpool). Harold has written and lectured extensively on this subject. His lectures are both entertaining and very interesting and shed light on long forgotten facts about what was put on gravestones and the hidden social history that can be gleaned from them. 7.30 p.m. in Slingsby village Hall.  Entrance £3.

This ties in with a recording session programmed to take place on Saturday 22nd September, when a team led by Dr Nicole Smith from the Centre for Digital Heritage (University of York) will carry out a survey of the gravestones in the churchyard and let them on a plan for identification. This is part of a current project promoted by Historic England to develop reliable methods of recording churchyards.  

The team will be using the Reflectance Transformation Imaging method of photography which enables small and hidden detail to be identified on surfaces, using any type of camera. Slingsby churchyard will be the first to be studied, and the work will be very useful to our developing project on the churchyard. Members of the team visited several years ago and demonstrated the technique. This is an opportunity to for an update for those who came to the workshop or for those who would like to understand the technique to look in and see how it is done. From 10 a.m. refreshments will be available.

Tuesday 16th October. Influential Slingsby Vicars. An update from Chris Churches and David Thornley on research they have done respectively on the Ward Family and Arthur Sinclair Brooke. The Ward family were about in the 18th century and owned Slingsby Hall. Chris has fascinating stories to tell about them, which also dispel some myths. Brooke was a very popular rector, who also wrote Slingsby and Slingsby Castle, accurately researched in the late Victorian period, but still very informative and relevant today. 7.30 p.m. Village Hall Committee Room.

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