Farnham & District Museum Society

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Talks Programme 2024-2025




All talks start at 2:30 pm.


Entry to the talks is free for members (a donation towards the costs would be appreciated).


Non members are most welcome to attend any talk, there is a charge of £3 for each visitor.






Date:            September 27th 2024
Subject:       The Geological Evolution and Landscape of the Farnham area

Presenter:    Professor Dan Bosence

Location:     The Garden Gallery



 This talk, given by  Professor Dan Bosence, Emeritus Professor Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, will explore the origin of the sand, clay and chalk that form the landscape around Farnham. The sands forming the heathlands, the clays the pastures and oak woodlands to the west and the chalk the Hog’s Back and Farnham Park ridges. 


Professor Bosence will detail when these deposits were laid down, later deformed to create the Hog’s Back and subsequently eroded into hills and valleys to form our present day landscape.  









Date:            October 18th 2024

Subject:       Three Around Farnham after fifty years

Presenter:    Raymond Williams

Location:     The Garden Gallery



Raymond Williams’s “Three Around Farnham” after fifty years: Looking again at a Writers’ Landscape’ 

In his classic 1973 study The Country and the City, Raymond Williams included a memorable chapter with the title ‘Three Around Farnham’. It was a snapshot of a landscape (“round a thirty-mile triangle of roads… on the borders of Hampshire and Surrey”) at a time of revolution – the early decades of the nineteenth century.

The three writers in the frame were the journalist and campaigner William Cobbett, the novelist Jane Austen, and the naturalist Gilbert White. Williams wanted to show how at a moment of historical transformation the same landscape could be looked at in three absolutely different ways: as a backdrop for social change, as a location of profound settlement, and as a purely natural environment, abstractable from human activity.

In this talk Dr Paddy Bullard, Associate Professor of English and Book History, University of Reading, will reconsider the value of Williams’s analysis after fifty years. Is it possible now to think about the area around Farnham with a spirit of landscape synthesis, rather than division?














Date:            November 15th 2024
Subject:        Sun Lane Bronze Age and Saxon Cemetery, Alresford

Presenter:    Robert McCulloch

Location:      The Garden Gallery



Sun Lane Bronze Age and Saxon Cemetery, Alresford Digging for Britain, the BBC’s archaeology show recently featured an excavation at Alresford that has uncovered Bronze Age and Saxon treasure  

The excavation, on Tichborne Down, has revealed the remains of a Bronze Age (2300 BC – 800 BC) barrow cemetery and one of the largest Anglo-Saxon cemeteries found in Hampshire, with more than 120 graves identified dating back to the 7th century AD. Among the discoveries is a poorly preserved skeleton of a young woman buried with a rare gold disc pendant, adorned with intricate gold filigree forming a cross shape. Many of the other graves included small iron knives, while one was buried with a sword.

Archaeologist Robert McCulloch of Pre-Construct Archaeology will talk about these important discoveries.   











Date:             December 13th 2024 
Subject:        The Tidal Thames – its Folklore and Traditions

Presenter:     Mark Lewis

Location:      The Garden Gallery


Mark Lewis is a freelance artist, designer-silversmith and retired university lecturer. He also has a passion for lighthouses and is a keen folklorist with an interest in unusual local customs and rituals. In 2013 he published a book on the folklore and popular customs of the church.  

His talk will explore the rich tradition of lore and legend in the tidal reaches of London’s River, including pagan gods, riverside taverns, ghosts, ceremonials, frost fairs, tales of smuggling and pirates.    
















Date:             January 2025



Location:      The Garden Gallery






Date:             February 2025



Location:      The Garden Gallery







Date:             March 2025



Location:      The Garden Gallery






Date:             April 2025



Location:      The Garden Gallery



 The talk will be followed by the AGM.




































Gilbert White



Jane Austen



William Cobbett