After many years, it’s almost time to reveal a piece of work that I consider is the best thing I have ever hit upon in a medieval context. I’m going to keep up the smoke and mirrors act for a little bit longer and say little more than on Saturday 16th March at the Surrey History Centre in Woking, I will be speaking to the Surrey Archaeological Society’s Medieval Studies Forum (again!) on the subject of ‘The martyrial origin of St Martha’s on the Hill’. Which means? Well, below is what I wrote about the event on Academia.edu last night and it pretty much covers everything you need to know about the subject matter…
“Perched 175 metres above sea level atop one of the most prominent hills in Surrey (if not south-east England), St Martha’s church near Guildford is unique for more reasons than its location. The medieval dedication to St Martha has long been suspected to hide an earlier martyrial origin but the suggestions proffered over the years – unknown sub-Roman martyrs or St Thomas Becket – do not hold up under scrutiny.
This talk will (in the space of 20 minutes!) seek to revisit the question and, through the combination of architectural, historical and topographical evidence, outline a novel interpretation connected to an event of international importance in the eleventh century.”
So if that doesn’t make you abandon your plans for that saturday afternoon then I don’t know what will. I hope to see you there.