Meeting documents

  • Meeting of Buckinghamshire Historic Environment Forum, Monday 19th September 2016 2.00 pm (Item 6.)

·         Report of the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Officers


·         Report of the Emergency Recording Fund


·         Buckinghamshire County Museum Trust Report


·         National Trust Report


·         Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer’s Report


·         District Council Conservation Officers’ Report


·         Buckinghamshire Conservation Trust Report


·         Diocesan Advisor’s Report


Members of the Forum received the following updates:


Buckinghamshire Archaeological Officer’s report

Mr P Markham referred Members of the Forum to the report included with the agenda, from which the following key points were highlighted:



·         Negotiations and advice were ongoing especially around the Service Level Agreement which was expected shortly.

·         Schedule 17 applications were expected from October.

·         There was a difference of opinion between HS2 officers and the Local Authority officers in terms of the amount of work that would be required.


·         Excavation had recorded at least five archaeological sites of Iron Age to Roman date, of which three were significant settlement sites.

Eaton Leys

·         The area for the proposed housing development in Milton Keynes had been trial trenched from which very little field information had emerged.

·         Geophysics carried out further south had shown some quite important Roman remains.

New road in Weston Turville

·         Excavations had shown the location of a possible roman tavern.

Stoke Mandeville (HS2)

·         The church graveyard had been identified as a significant archaeological site.  A heritage consultant had been contracted by HS2 to write a report about what was currently known about the site, what could be investigated and the appropriate method of investigation. 

·         Two other major graveyards had also been identified along the HS2 line.

·         A meeting had taken place with members of the relevant Church bodies about the more recent interments and burials in the graveyard as discussions would need to take place with living relatives about the possibility of moving remains.


Mr Farley, Bucks Archaeological Society advised that Leicester University had expressed an interest in carrying out an ancient DNA project at the church in Stoke Mandeville and that the idea of a legacy garden had been proposed where the remains and archaeological fragments from the church would be stored. Mr Farley also advised that a member of the Archaeological Society had partly transcribed the Parish register several years ago.


Emergency Recording Fund report

Mr S Newall, Environment Team Leader advised that there was money still available in the Emergency Recording Fund and that no requests for funding had been received since the last meeting of the Buckinghamshire Historic Environment Forum.


Buckinghamshire County Museum report

Mr B Thorn, Keeper of Archaeology Collections, gave the following update:


·         The value of the Lenborough Anglo Saxon coin Hoard had been officially confirmed at £1.35m.  £20,000 had been raised by the Museum, Friends and Patrons as well as a further £20,000 locally towards the potential purchase of the coin Hoard. Grant applications had also been submitted to the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, the Headly Foundation and the Rothschild Foundation for additional funding.

·         A free exhibition of the Hoard and lectures at the Old Gaol, Buckingham had generated a large amount of funding and pledges. A meeting at Stowe House had also generated some additional pledges.

·         The Mint of Norway, a private company, had expressed an interest in acquiring the Hoard, with the possibility of the collection touring around Scandinavia and the publication of a coffee table book.

·         The Hoard had been designated as treasure and as the property of the Crown under the terms of the Treasure Act.

·         The Act gave any registered museum the right to acquire the Hoard if the funding could be raised within a 4 month period. If funding could not be raised the Hoard would be returned to the individual to sell as they wished.  There was the opportunity of the Museum acquiring some of the Hoard if all of the funds could not be raised.

·         No extra security would be required as the museum already insured paintings of Hartwell House, which were equally valuable.

·         A bid had been submitted for the re-development of the ground floor of the Museum. In the short term the display would be in the Georgian Room with the intention of the coins being displayed as part of the main lottery exhibition.

·         In terms of the security for the storage and display of the Hoard, insurance indemnity was in place for the Museum and Hartwell House. 


National Trust report

Mr G Marshall highlighted the following key points from the report:


·         Restoration works on the 17th century south terrace at Cliveden continued.

·         The restoration was being undertaken by Oxford Archaeology and had included major drainage works on the top of the terrace, across the two lawns at the ends of the terrace and on the parterre below the terrace.

·         The original 17th century elevation had been uncovered behind the current structure as well as light wells in the chamber.  The drainage work had also uncovered 17th century foundations which were thought to be the terrace from the previous mansion.

·         Mr P Markham said that a well preserved Roman pottery kiln had been uncovered at Stowe as well as pits, ditches and a possible well, also of Roman date.  The numerous findings had highlighted the significance of the landscape. A report on the kiln would be published on the National Trust website in due course and in Records of Buckinghamshire in due course.


Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer’s report

Members of the Forum noted the report.


District Council Conservation Officer’s report

Mr K Frost, Aylesbury Vale District Council gave the following update:


·         The Heritage Team continued to be busy, with casework and requests for informal advice on historic building repairs, alterations and extensions, the team having  received to date this year some 500 proposals for  comment, which was higher than for the same  period last year.

·         The Heritage Team had recently undergone some major staff changes with Anne Davies and Julia Foster both having left earlier in the year. In the meantime Morwenna Breen-Haynes had been taken on earlier in the year as a Heritage Assistant, with Keith Frost having recently joined the team as Senior Heritage Officer. Emilia McDonald was also due to leave the Heritage Team in October, after 10 years with AVDC.  As it stood the Management Team at  AVDC were keen to ensure there continued to be sufficient staff for the work and were keen to see Emilia’s post was filled when it  became vacant.  

·         Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust had been hard at work producing some rather good research papers on various historic gardens (some designated, others not) around the County. AVDC have  been sent  pdf copies of the  relevant studies for the Council’s  files but they were  also available from the Trusts’ website  


Buckinghamshire Conservation Trust report

Mr R Pushman gave the following update:


·         There had been a small grass fire at Quarrendon Hills.

·         A water pipe across the stream had fractured and had subsequently been repaired by Thames Water. 

·         The area had now been secured by a fence.

·         The introduction of a Management Programme had not been possible as yet due to lack of resources. Dealing with breaches of the fence etc. was very time consuming and required extra resourcing.

·         Extra full-time staffing is beyond us at the moment and would be wishful thinking!!

·         Many thanks and kind regards

·         The Conservation Trust had been obliged to take action in respect of the decline of the old church building.  The church ruins had been formally placed at risk by Historic England meaning it would now be possible to access grant funding.

·         Some income had been received from the Countryside Stewardship scheme and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

·         Field work was planned during the coming winter months.  The possibility of using the new school car park at weekends had been discussed as there was currently only an agricultural entrance which made access to the site difficult.

·         The response to a flyer circulated about the membership of the Trust had not been as good as expected. 

ACTION: Mr Pushman and Mr Farley to discuss the possibility of holding an open day to publicise the ConservationTrust.




Supporting documents: