2024 Spring Lecture Programme

Please note that our lectures are now being held at the Elim Church, Waterside Park, Ashbourne DE6 1DG. Meeting room opens at 2.00 pm and the speker commences at 2:30 pm. We hope to provide the talks both in person at the venue and via Zoom – please see individual entries below to see if they are available via Zoom. Where applicable, please use the Eventbrite link associated with the talk to receive the Zoom joining details: the cost to non-members will be £5.00. 

To register for lectures and receive the Zoom links, if not posted below, and for any further information, please email ashheritagesoc@gmail.com


Friday 26 January.

Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust

Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust (DHBT) was established in 1974 and has been responsible for the rescue of many heritage buildings across the county since then, including the recently completed Wingfield Station. https://www.derbyshirehistoricbuildingstrust.org.uk. Join us and learn more about this local organisation.

Allan Morrison,

Allan is one of nine Trustees of the DHBT. He has been in that position since retiring from Derbyshire County Council in 2012, where he held the post of historic buildings architect in the Conservation and Design section of the Planning Department.  For the past 4 years, since the Trust was handed the keys of Wingfield Station, he has been one of the 3 trustees overseeing its restoration.

Friday 23 February.

St Modwen: Modwenna of Burton, her life and miracles

The cult of St Modwen gathered pace from the11th century with Burton Abbey’s adoption of her as a patron saint, but the assumed date of Modwenna’s life places her squarely in the period in which the last pagan English kingdom, Mercia, was converting to Christianity – the late 7th century.  The talk will discuss how she might have become regarded as a person of religious significance during her lifetime and how and why she was canonised.  It will also consider where she originated and discuss some of her miracles to try to understand these in the context of an early medieval mindset.

Note, The Cokayne family had their own altar to St Modwen in their chapel in St Oswald’s church Ashbourne.

Dr Mark Knight TTTV Cultural Heritage Officer


Friday 22 March.

Bonnie Prince Charlie & the ’45.

Most people have heard of Bonnie Prince Charlie or seen his statue in Derby. Some have claimed ‘The Young Pretender’ was a rather deluded, arrogant and cowardly individual whose venture to seize the throne in 1745 was doomed from the start. Others that he was a courageous and charismatic commander who came very close to succeeding. But what was he really like, how was he received locally and could his uprising – the ’45 – have succeeded?

Bonnie Prince Charlie

Dr Mark Barnard

Following a first degree at Derby in History, Dr Mark Barnard acquired an MSc in Politics at Southampton and then a PhD at Salford.  Since 2015, he has delivered history courses & talks, primarily for the Adult Education organisation– the WEA. Subject matter has ranged from Early Wales, Medieval English Monarchs, the origins of World War One to the events surrounding Dunkirk 1940.

His courses planned for 2024 include The Plantagenets and The Medieval Princes of Wales.

Friday 26 April.

Archaeological research into Anglo-Saxon churches.

Can the work at Edwinstowe and Barrow on Trent churches by Mercian Archaeology help with the early history of St Oswald’s, Ashbourne.

Andy Gaunt of Mercian Archaeology

Friday 24 May.

Pugin the Man

A young man of twenty, the son of a French immigrant, was summoned to meet the Premier Earl of England at Alton Towers. His charismatic charm so impressed the earl that the two men formed a lifelong bond that created buildings like St Giles, Cheadle, an important milestone in the development of Gothic Revival architecture.

David Slade

Friday 28 June.                    

Annual General Meeting and visit to Sudbury Gas works

The AGM will be held at Sudbury Gas Works at 14:00. This will be followed at 14.30 by a tour of the Gas Works and refreshments.

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