Blewbury has a wealth of archaeology spreading over the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and later periods. The "Blewbury Big Dig" project, directed by Dr Dave Carless and Lindsey Bedford, is a joint initiative between SOAG (South Oxfordshire Archaeology Group) and the Blewbury Local History Group. It has built on work by other archaeologists and historians to build a clearer picture of this rich past focusing primarily on the village itself. This work, including the discovery and excavation of a sunken featured building, has demonstrated the early Saxon origins of the village. Dr Carless will describe the community archaeology project, and the work undertaken including a test pit programme, geophysical surveys and full excavations. He will focus primarily on the Saxon history and archaeology but with reference to earlier and later periods to provide context.
Medieval wall paintings in English churches can be patchy, obscure and therefore uninteresting. However, St Mary’s Church, Chalgrove is lucky to have in its chancel a scheme of 44 paintings dating from c1320, which have recently been cleaned and conserved during a £1.2 million refurbishment. Bob’s talk will reveal the stories that these paintings tell and their important place in the history of European medieval church art.