WordPress in its infinite loveliness has just bid me a Happy Anniversary, which I think is its way of telling me that it was exactly three years ago that I finally got my digit moving and created Surrey Medieval (unless signing up for this platform involved entering into a secret marital contract, surely not?) I’m not one for speeches, even of the typed variety, and this milestone probably isn’t deserving of one, so I’ll merely note that I’m pretty chuffed with myself to have kept this thing going for so long and not let it go the way of my other forays into the blogosphere (RIP Posterous).
This time next week I will be in Leeds, preparing to give a paper to the Leeds Monasticism Conference. A two-day event now in its third year, the forthcoming LMC (NB. not IMC!) has as its overarching theme ‘Monastic Myths: Origins, Identities, Legacies’. I’ll be speaking on the origin story of the Augustinian priory of St Mary Overie (now Southwark Cathedral) as told to/by the sixteenth-century London topographer John Stow, an account I’ve been interested in for several years and for which a fair case to be made for it containing more grains of truth than has hitherto been thought. If you are in the area, or have a love of matters monastic and medieval, then I recommend you come along to what promises to be a really stimulating conference. Take a look at the conference programme here – and take note that I’ve had to switch from the Friday morning session to the afternoon session.
Moving away from Leeds and much closer to home, I spent part of yesterday ensconced in the Local Studies Library at Godalming Museum transcribing a couple of sixteenth-century deeds as a follow-up of sorts to the research I undertook for my talk on Puttenham parish place-names and field-names a few weeks back. I learnt of the existence of the two documents a long time ago during a prolonged trawl of various online archival databases for tidbits to do with Puttenham, but had never made the time to go to Godalming and consult them. I’m glad I did – you can read about the reasons why here.
Had a quick peek at the museum displays before I left and was very happy to see up close for the first time the socking great iron spear head found in the Farncombe area many years ago but which only arrived at Godalming Museum in 2007. It’s a marvellous object and worth stopping by to inspect if you ever find yourself in the town – until then, take a look at its PAS database entry for more information about its discovery, date, and state of preservation.