Exploring Lavenham

So, I’ve reached the end of my second term as a Masters student – and as always, I can’t believe how fast time is going.

The last few months have been very busy and exciting. As well as my course modules, I’ve completed placements at the York Army Museum and the Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre (both of which I would highly recommend visiting) and I’ve also co-authored an article on virtual museums, which can be found here. Now there’s only one term and 20,000 words of dissertation left to go before I (hopefully) graduate!

I’ve spent the Easter holidays in Suffolk and it’s been great to see some countryside again and re-explore some of my favourite places. Last week, I visited Lavenham, one of England’s best preserved medieval wool towns. Lavenham flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries, becoming so prosperous that at one point the town paid more in taxation than cities like York. Of course, Lavenham’s other claim to fame is that scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were filmed here back in 2010.

Lavenham is filled with beautiful, crooked medieval buildings and it’s a great place to wander, take photographs and draw. I took the opportunity to practise my watercolours, as you can see below!

Lavenham Door 3

The Guildhall of Corpus Christi

Lavenham Door 2

The Little Hall

Swan Inn

The Swan Inn


All Woods Must Fail


Is it really 2017 already? I’m not sure I believe it.

This year, one of my resolutions is to start blogging again. Between finishing off my degree and starting my masters, things have been pretty busy and my blog has been a bit neglected!

My first post of the year: here is a zine I created a few years ago as part of my Art Foundation – it illustrates a really lovely poem by JRR Tolkien, whose work I love.

Reconstructions and People


Zdenek Burian, ‘Encampment of late Palaeolithic hunters’

According to the Oxford Dictionary, archaeology is ‘the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains’. Archaeology is about people – but when it comes to reconstructions, including people in our depictions of the past creates a whole list of problems. Continue reading

Problems of Reconstruction

Reconstructions are very common in archaeology. Many people will be familiar with them – think about the history books you read in school, for example. They would probably have included reconstruction drawings, artists’ attempts to depict what the past looked like.

Still, reconstructions can be at times a bit controversial and if not used properly, they can be very problematic. Even the word ‘reconstruction’ is misleading. After all, we can’t ‘reconstruct’ the past exactly as it was… these images are just ideas or theories about what the past was like. It’s a topic that’s particularly interesting to me, and one that I want to focus my next few posts on. Continue reading

Drawing = Seeing?


King’s Manor, York


It’s been a while, guys… turns out third year is pretty busy, who knew?

But my Visual Media essay is now out of the way, so I get to make a happy return to blogging. Since writing about the Bar Convent, I’ve been looking a bit more closely at my surroundings as I walk through York. One building in particular that I spend a lot of time in is King’s Manor. This building houses the University of York’s archaeology department, and is situated on Exhibition Square, between the Museum Gardens and the Art Gallery. It was one of the reasons I originally chose to come to York – what archaeology student doesn’t want to study in a Grade I listed medieval building?

The drawing above shows the main entrance into King’s Manor. It’s a bit of a work in progress, but will demonstrate a few of the points I’ve been thinking about recently. Continue reading

Hopperstad Stave Church

Hopperstad Stave Church, Norway

After looking back at my last posts, I’ve decided that my blog needs a few more pictures – especially given that one of my original blog aims was to improve my illustration! So here’s a start…

This drawing shows Hopperstad Stave Church, Vik, Norway. This is believed to be one of the oldest stave churches, probably built around 1130/1140. Unfortunately, a lot of these buildings have now been lost, and Hopperstad itself came pretty close to being destroyed after suffering several of periods of neglect. The Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments purchased and restored the building in 1880.