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Medieval Coventry Conference

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Helen F
Warrington
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1 of 7  Mon 15th May 2017 3:11pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:743

Tony S kindly alerted me to this event on September 29th (link in events diary too). Medieval Coventry Conference Agenda Looks like an in depth day of Coventry history. Tickets are free but limited. Anyone else going?
Medieval Coventry Conference
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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2 of 7  Mon 15th May 2017 9:13pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:998

I'll be going.... and our Steve - see you there! Thumbs up
Medieval Coventry Conference
Midland Red
Cherwell
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3 of 7  Mon 15th May 2017 9:32pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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4 of 7  Tue 16th May 2017 7:32am  
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Helen F
Warrington
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Thread starter
5 of 7  Tue 16th May 2017 10:13am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:743

It sounds like a very interesting day with a wide mix of subjects, albeit all about early Coventry.
Medieval Coventry Conference
Helen F
Warrington
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6 of 7  Sun 1st Oct 2017 6:58pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:743

It was a good day, albeit hard work. There wasn't time for many questions but we got some good networking done between us, which will hopefully bear fruit. I apologise in advance if I'm not suitable enthused about the history since my interest is in how the history shaped the buildings and the layout of the city. The order isn't accurate because there were changes at the last minute. It started at the Grammar School with an introduction to the building and the day by Mark Webb and Francis Radford. Followed by the first speaker, Prof Peter Cross from Cardiff Uni. It was a good overview of the start of the medieval era. I won't go into the notes I took because they were just little snippets about building work (eg the arches on either side of the school were from when the place was a hospital. There would have been beds lined up on either side for the needy to be cured/soothed by the sermons and chants). We then walked to St Mary's (we sat at the back of the school so we'd get a head start for the front seats). The first session was by Prof Pamela King from Glasgow Uni about Coventry Mystery plays and survivors from what must have been a large collection but is now just a small section. It seems that the plays were treasured documents but were also working copies. They were much thumbed and scribbled on. Everyone seems to have learned their part from the same document and as the play was performed every year, you can imagine it was a bit abused. The manuscript she was referring to was a copy. There are records of the copier's fees and instructions. Just two pages of the original survived and seem to have been crumpled up once each page was copied and used as blotting paper Oh my For the people back then the valuable part was the word, not the antiquity of the original. There is a connection between the modern Godiva Procession and the old plays in that they too were a part of a trek around the city. Next up was Prof Keith Lilley from Belfast Queens Uni talking about the development of Coventry over time and the topography and people that had influenced it. His talk was of particular interest to me and I'd have liked to chat with him if he hadn't had to rush off but he generously offered to share more information if some wanted to email him. I'll try not to be a nuisance Big grin. Then we had Dr Nat Alcock from Warwick Uni, many here will be familiar with his work. He gave a good rundown of the Spon Street architecture and a lot of what he said explained things I couldn't understand about the reconstructed buildings. I'm just reading his book on the Catesbys and their home in Cross Cheaping. Last session before 'lunch' was Chris Patrick, head of Coventry Archaeology. He gave a rundown of what has been dug recently, what they'd like to dig and why they can't. I wrote down Victoria County History an excellent history resource and The Archaeology Data Service the repository of much of the dig information. Dr Richard Goddard from Nottingham Uni gave a presentation about the financial situation of Coventry over time illustrated by the fates of three of its merchants. George Demidowicz gave a rundown of his work trying to determine the layout of the great drapery and the first drapers hall. It seems he had a revelation trying to plan the talk and thinks one of the Speed maps of Coventry gives a clue. Needless to say I'm now playing around with the model to try out some of his theories Big grin Prof Alan Chalmers of Warwick Uni talked about a 3D multi sensory reconstruction of Spon Street that his team is working on. I'd be worried about the competition Wink but they're doing something very different. In many ways their reconstruction will be much more accurate than mine but will be more limited in distance covered. They're also doing the medieval which is a good 200 years or more earlier. My model won't stink in the literal sense either. Personally I prefer my history without smelly vision. Next up was Deirdre O'Sullivan from Leicester Uni talking about the two priories Grey and White. Deep stuff, the sort I usually have to be exposed to about five times before it goes in. Shelton's work is like that. I read it ages ago and none of it stuck, not a single thing about it, but now I'm reading it again and it makes sense. I'll need to read it again and apply it to the map for it to stick. From Uni of West England we had Prof Peter Fleming whose work was about Coventry and the War of the Roses. This also needed more time to sink in to my woolly brain. Hopefully they're going to release a video or book so I can do it justice. Prof Andrew Kirkman and from Birmingham Uni and Prof Philip Weller from Nottingham Uni reported on their work on Coventry's medieval music (religious) and specifically the Caput Mass. Link to their site and music performed in St Mary's Hall It starts playing automatically. Music, like history is not really my thing (I own about 20CDs and have only listened to half of them) but it's pleasant music and an interesting window into the past. One of the things that they mentioned that was an eye opener was that St John's seems to have been the main home of music and housed the city's choir or chantry. The Bablake School was for the choir boys. Like Coventry's plays, very little of its music remains but a lot of copies made their way into European repertoires and may be reverse engineered or should that be de composed? Mark Webb, the guy who set the day up, talked about the distribution of wealth in different section of the city. Like Charles Booth's map of London He tries to break down household into three levels of wealth based on what tax they paid. A difficult task, not least because decent maps are hard to find and for some reason few of the people researching Coventry seem to use the 1850 maps which have to be the best link to the past. His research looks interesting and may help me gauge the quality of some of the buildings that had been demolished before anyone captured them. Last up was Prof Donald Leech from the University of Virginia Wise. Another deep history session, this time about the end of medieval Coventry. I can't do it justice, partly because I was tired and partly because I bookended Friday with sessions in the Herbert. I think it was vaguely similar to my amateur history of the gap between weaving and bikes the other day but with dates and facts and stuff but I could be wrong. Blush
Medieval Coventry Conference
Helen F
Warrington
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7 of 7  Wed 4th Oct 2017 2:01pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:743

For some reason the paste didn't go right for some of those links Victoria County History Archaeology Data Service
Medieval Coventry Conference

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