Posts Tagged ‘news’

Project work in London

24 January 2013

15th century St Christopher ring

Last week, the ‘Discover Medieval Chester’ project team got together at King’s College, London, to produce the audio recordings for the interactive tour content on our website. It’s great to see our work coming together, and we’re looking forward to launching the complete ‘Discover Medieval Chester’ web resource at the beginning of May 2013. We also all managed to get home – to Belfast, Cheshire and the south coast – before the snow set in!

While we were in London, Sue Hughes, from the Grosvenor Museum, picked up a 15th-century ring from the British Museum, which will be displayed in our ‘Discover a Medieval City’ exhibition. Found in Huntington, Cheshire in 2010 (and probably another part of the deposit discovered in the 1986 Huntington Treasure Trove), this silver-gilt ring is engraved with an image of St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers. As well as the engraving, traces of white enamel are still visible on the side.

Sue and I enjoyed the privilege of holding this ring – now safely in the care of the Grosvenor Museum. The ‘Discover a Medieval City’ exhibition opens on 4 May, 2013. You can view the accompanying leaflet, with details of events and activities here.

Arts Council England grant success

13 October 2012

The Grosvenor Museum, Chester has recently learned that it has been awarded £181,900 by the Art Council England in its latest round of grants. The Museum’s application was linked to its work with us on the ‘Discover Medieval Chester’ project, and the new funding will enhance and extend our exhibition, as well as developing the Museum’s medieval collections for future audiences. The Arts Council grant will pay for special 3D films of various medieval artefacts in the Museum’s collection, which will form part of the ‘Discover a Medieval City’ exhibition in summer 2013. It will also fund restoration of a guild banner, which again will be included in the exhibition. The Arts Council award builds upon the work on medieval Chester which has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the ‘Mapping Medieval Chester’ and ‘Discover Medieval Chester’ projects. We’re learning so much more about the medieval city, and using these new technologies to share sources, artefacts and interpretations with wider audiences. Congratulations to Sue Hughes and the Grosvenor Museum on winning the Arts Council Grant at a particularly competitive time.

‘Hryre’ St John’s artwork launch

26 March 2012

On Thursday 22nd March the permanent version of ‘Hryre’, the new artwork created by artist Nayan Kulkarni, launched at St John’s Church, Chester. The launch event, held at St John’s Church, began with a presentation by Catherine Clarke on ‘Ruins and fragments: illuminating St John’s, Chester’. After refreshments and medieval music, the event continued with short speeches from those who had been involved in the project, including Rev David Chesters, the rector of St John’s, Katherine West of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Magnus Theobald of ‘Chester Renaissance’, Catherine Clarke and, of course, the artist himself Nayan Kulkarni who introduced us to some of the technical complexities of the lighting commission, as well as the creative side. The photography competition prize was also awarded to Nick Price, who was there to receive his cheque (and to take plenty more photos of the new installation!). His wonderful picture is shown below.

The permanent new version of the artwork is stunning, incorporating more manuscript images and focusing on ideas of ruin, loss, memory and endurance. You can download the PDF interpretation guide here.

It was so exciting to see the final artwork emerge out of the darkness. It has been a privilege, and tremendously exciting, to be involved in this project and share our research on medieval Chester in such an innovative way. It was also great to see at the launch event so many of the people who have been involved with the art project over the past year, via workshops and consultation – your input definitely helped to shape the artwork into its final form.

Catherine and Nayan at the launch (photo David Heke)

Catherine and Nayan at the launch (photo David Heke)

Nick Price's winning photo

New project: Discover Medieval Chester

10 August 2011

We’ve recently received the excellent news that the Arts and Humanities Research Council will be funding our new Knowledge Transfer project, ‘Discover Medieval Chester: place, heritage and identity’. This will build on the ‘Mapping Medieval Chester’ research and develop innovative and creative ways of sharing our work with new audiences. Our planned outputs will include a new set of digital resources, including an interactive map with multi-media materials and resources for visitors to the city, a major exhibition in Chester (which will tour to Wrexham) and a permanent public art installation in Chester city centre.


Publication announcement: Mapping the Medieval City

25 March 2011

Our ‘Mapping Medieval Chester’ project has expanded to include a volume of essays relating to the city. You can see details of the book here, or search on any major online bookstore. It’s due to be published on May 31, 2011. Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

This ground-breaking volume brings together contributions from scholars across a range of disciplines (including literary studies, history, geography and archaeology) to investigate questions of space, place and identity in the medieval city. Using Chester as a case study – with attention to its location on the border between England and Wales, its rich multi-lingual culture and surviving material fabric – the essays seek to recover the experience and understanding of the urban space by individuals and groups within the medieval city, and to offer new readings from the vantage-point of twenty-first century disciplinary and theoretical perspectives.

The individual essays included within the volume are:


Chester 2010: Peril and Danger to Her Majesty

15 June 2010

At the end of May, three members of the Mapping Medieval Chester project team attended a conference at the University of Toronto, Canada. This wonderful event combined an academic symposium with a performance experiment – this aimed to reconstruct the Chester Whitsun Plays as seen in 1572 by the Protestant preacher Christopher Goodman, who warned that their Catholic content presented ‘peril and danger to her majesty’ Queen Elizabeth I. In a special ‘Mapping Medieval Chester’ session, Catherine, Paul and Mark shared some of our project research on place and identity in late-medieval and early modern Chester. We also came away brimming with new ideas and questions. It was also very exciting to see how many people were already using the ‘Mapping Medieval Chester’ online resources and discussing our work.

Chester 2010: The Creation and Fall of Man


News and plans in progress

10 February 2010

We’ve received some enquiries via our Mailing List about the future of this project and ways in which people can get involved. We’re really grateful for your continued interest and hope to keep in touch via the Blog about news, developments and future activities.

We’re currently working with the Grosvenor Museum Chester, and other partners in Chester itself, to look at ways in which we could share our project research with the local community and visitors to the city. We’re hoping to apply for funding to make this possible and have several meetings coming up to discuss ideas. Watch this space for news as our plans take shape!

On a separate note, we’ve just found out that the ‘Mapping Medieval Chester’ project will be featuring in an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) report for government and other stakeholders entitled ‘Changing the World: the impact of the arts and humanities’. We’re really pleased to be included in a report which shows the value that this kind of research can have both within and beyond academia. Who knows – perhaps Peter Mandelson will soon be reading about Lucian and Henry Bradshaw over his morning cup of coffee…