Field Trips - Harlow ECL Programme
Field trips are the most important part of the ECL Programme. They have been designed to provide a chronological survey of selected aspects of English material culture, including townscapes, starting with Roman and medieval traditions and ending with the present. They will also provide opportunities to examine various ways in which heritage is defined and displayed, both inside and outside formal museum settings. Generally there will be at three full-day field trips each week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Proposed field trips for 2013 include:
- Lavenham: The best-preserved mediaeval timber-framed town in Britain. The 14th century Little Hall, late 15th century parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul and the early 16th century Gildhall are impressive reminders of the fact that wool trade made this one of the richest mediaeval towns in England.
- St. Albans: Verulamium Museum. A museum of Roman life devoted to an excavated site that includes mosaics, glass, ceramics, burials, and a visit to the nearby Roman theatre site.The town grew up around the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Albans. A largely Romanesque medieval cathedral/abbey, with later renovations, including a Victorian facade. Contains a restored medieval shrine, and important medieval wall paintings. At the top of the Saxon marketplace is St. Michael's Parish Church, with Saxon remains and a medieval doom painting.
- Ely Cathedral has a Norman nave, and Decorated choir. The visit will include a tour inside the cathedral's famous Octagon roof, one of the wonders of the medieval building world. The town which developed outside the walls of the monastic precinct contains a Norman motte and many well-preserved monastic buildings. Optional visits include the Stained Glass Museum (within Ely Cathedral); Oliver Cromwell's House, a 17th c historic house; Ely Museum, containing displays of local history.
- Finchingfield, a village "more often illustrated in journals and calendars than any other village in Essex, and rightly so. It is the picture-book village of a completeness not often found." Finchingfield Guildhall, built ca. 1470, now undergoing an extension restoration project. St. John's, Finchingfield, "the screens are the best in Essex."
- Aythorpe Roding, a tiny medieval village, with "the largest remaining post mill in Essex, dated 1779". The Essex County Miller will also take us to the nearby Aldeford Water Mill.
- Coggeshall, a flourishing town from 15th - 17th c, with 97 listed medieval buildings. The town visit will include Paycocke's, a National Trust property, "one of the most attractive half-timbered houses of England," as well as The Abbey, a private house containing the remains of the Cistercian Abbey built in the 1140s, with its nearby 13th century monastic grange barn. Black Chapel, North End, a "rare survival of an entirely timber-framed ecclesiastical building, and a rare case of a medieval chapel with attached priest's house."
- Rochester Castle is a well-preserved Normal keep on the banks of the Medway River, at Walting Street, and is the same age as the nearby Rochester Cathedral. Restoration House is reputed to be the finest pre-Civil War house in England. The core of the dwelling dates from 1454-1522 and the facade is late 17th century. The trip will also include a visit to two almshouses, the Six Poor Traveller's House, the original building of The Richard Watts Charities, founded in 15790, and possibly the Foord Almshouses, built in the 1880s by the Mayor of the town.
- Stamford. The mediaeval core, with its five parish churches, was the first Conservation Area designated in England and Wales, in 1967. Burghley House, England's greatest Elizabethan house, built between 1555 and 1587 for William Cecil, Elizabeth's Lord High Treasurer was the film setting for The Da Vinci Code, Pride and Prejudice (as Rosings, the home of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the 2005 TV version) and Elizabeth, the Golden Age.
- Bloomsbury and Regents Park: The residential squares of the Bedford Estate, developed in the 18th and 19th centuries (Bloomsbury, Bedford, Russell, Gordon and Tavistock) and Woburn Walk, a Regency shopping street. The Peabody Estate on Herbrand Street provides a sharp contrast to the opulence of the squares. St. Pancras Station and the former Midland Grand Hotel (now the Renaissance London Hotel), two of the most spectacular architectural achievements of Victorian London. The terraces of houses built by John Nash opposite Regents Park are some of the most impressive townhouses in the country.
- Layer MarneyTower: Layer Marney, "the finest Tudor gatehouse in England," built 1520-25, a nearby brick church of same period nearby, with a private tour of the house by the owners of the estate.
- Silver End, a small Essex village, was conceived iin 1926 as a model village by the industrialist Francis Henry Crittall, who established a Crittall Windows Ltd. factory there to manufacture components for metal windows. Since 1983 the core of the town was designated a Conservation Area.
- London: The Barbican Estate and vicinity. The Museum of London, displaying aspects of everyday London life from prehistoric times, through the Roman, medieval and modern periods-much based on archaeological findings from throughout Greater London. London Gildhall, begun ca. 1411 is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the Corportation of the City of London. It is the only non-ecclesiastical stone building to survive the Great Fire of 1666. The Barbican Estate, completed in 1969, is a massive concrete Brutalist complex on a site destroyed by bombing during the Blitz. The buildings surrounding the reflecting pool contain a residential estate as well as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Barbican Centre (the largest performing arts centre in Europe) and the City of London Girls' School.
- The Museum of London (Docklands) is housed in one of the brick sugar warehouses built by the West India Company in 1802 and tells the story of the Thames and the London docks. South of the museum is the Isle of Dogs which contains one of the largest redevelopment schemes of the late 20th century. It contains some of the best examples of postmodern architecture in the U.K., including the Canary Wharf development, as well as a community farm, the West India and Millwall Docks and several inter-war Council housing estates.
- Welford Park A privately-owned country house and estate in Berkshire, near the horse-racing town of Newbury. The Saxon grange on the site was used by Henry VIII as a hunting lodge after the dissolution of the monasteries. The present house was begun in 1652 and remodelled by the architect Thomas Archer in 1700.
- Spitalfields, an 18th century London neighbourhood settled largely by Huguenot silk weavers and now the heart of the Bangladeshi community in London. Many fine Georgian houses remain. The Severs House, a controversial museum where the past is silently performed. Sandys Row Synangogue, the last remaining active Synagogue in Spitalfields, originally a Huguenot Church, currently being restored by English Heritage. Our visit will include Hawkmoor's magnificant Christ Church and the restored and redeveloped 19th century Spitalfields Market.
- Hampton Court Palace. The finest of Henry VIII's palaces, with extensive interpretations of all aspects of courtly life. A look at the living history programme as performed by Past Pleasures, one of England's leading museum interpretation comnpanies, with an informal discussion with participants at the end of the day.
- "Mudlarking" along the Thames, an afternoon of gathering artifacts on the banks of the River Thames, where anything from a Roman coin, medieval ceramic shard, or 18th century wine bottle might be found--for the keeping. The Tower of London, one of the earliest Norman castles in England.
- Greensted Church, "the oldest standing wooden building in the country," dating from ca. 1053.
- Pleshey. A small village built around the impressive remains of Pleshey Casle, a Norman motte-and-bailey structure which has been owned by the Micklem family since 1749. The 15th century brick bridge is reputedly one of the oldest in Europe.
- Saffron Walden and Audley End: Saffron Walden is the home of a very early local museum and an historic market place. 1 Myddlyton Place, a complex of buildings around a courtyard with late 15th century origins, contains cottages, a merchant's house and a maltings. Audley End is one of the finest surviving Jacobean 'prodigy' houses, with a fine set of ground-floor reception rooms designed by Robert Adam. The house is set in a landscape designed by Capability Brown.
- Copped Hall, an extensive archaeological and restoration project of a 18th century mansion built over an earlier Tudor estate.
- Bath. The Aquae Sulis are the best-preserved Roman baths in Britain. In the early 18th Century classicism and Palladian architecture was introduced in Bath. Georgian Bath established unique town planning and became a pleasure and health resort and was almost entirely devoted to leisure. The sequence of Queen Square (1728-36), the Circus (1754-64) and the Royal Crescent (1767-75) is one of the most magnificant Georgian/Regency compositions in the country.