BACAS Lectures at BRLSI : 2024/25

Thursday 10th October 2024

‘The Temperance Movement in Bath and Bristol’

Alan Clarke, Historian

Taking the pledge for temperance was significant in Victorian England and although never quite achieving its aims, at the level of individual conviction or of national legislation, it spread temperance establishments across the land with vestiges still to be seen today.

Thursday 14th November 2024

‘Medieval Myth Busting’

James Wright, Author

Stories such as secret tunnels linking ancient buildings, lost staircases, blocked doors in churches to keep the Devil out are often told. Delightful as these tales are they are often myths which may be explained by delving into local history, folklore, architecture, and archaeology.

Thursday 12th December 2024

‘Benedictines in Bath’

Dr. Giles Mercer, Retired Headmaster and Historian

The Benedictine order, founded in the 6th century had a lasting impact on European history, particularly in the preservation of knowledge, education, and the development of monastic communities. It led to the establishment of Bath Abbey in the 7th century which played a crucial role in the spiritual life of the city up to and after the Dissolution.

Thursday 9th January 2025

‘National Trust Archaeology in Wessex over 38 years’

Martin Papworth, Retired Archaeologist at The National Trust

In September 2024, Martin Papworth retired after 38 years with National Trust as their archaeologist in Wessex. What started in 1986 as a four week contract to supervise volunteer archaeologists at Corfe Castle, turned into a career which included the discovery of a Roman temple and town at Kingston Lacy, the dating of the Cerne Abbas Giant, the finding of three lost mansions and a 5th-6th century mosaic at Chedworth Roman Villa.

Thursday 13th February 2025

‘Newport Medieval Ship’

Bob Evans, Chairman of the Friends of Newport Ship

In 2002 the remains of a fifteenth century merchant vessel was excavated in the heart of Newport. Built from trees in the Basque country felled in 1449 it was 30 metres long and could carrry 200 tons of cargo, most likely trading between Lisbon and Bristol. Its timbers are currently being conserved and will shortly be reassembled for permanent display.

Thursday 13th March 2025

AGM and Members’ projects


All talks start at 7:30pm.

All talks are at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN.  The start time is 7:30pm. Admission charge of £4 for members (on display of a current BACAS membership card), and £5 for the general public. Pay on the door.


Photo by Ad Meskens – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,