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Battlefields Trust Conference and AGM 2018


Battlefields Trust Annual Conference and AGM

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th July 2018

At Grey College, Durham University


The historic City of Durham provides a dramatic backdrop to this year’s Annual Conference and AGM  which will be hosted in the North East and Borders Region.  This year also marks 25 years since the Trust’s inception and the conference will celebrate this milestone as well as hearing and seeing more about the battlefield heritage of the North East.


As a border and frontier, the region has witnessed many conflicts and invasions in every period of recorded history from the Roman occupation through the mediaeval period and into modern history.  Durham itself, founded as the burial place of St. Cuthbert, is a natural fortress which over millennia has faced attack by many invaders including Vikings, Normans and Scots.  Its Norman cathedral and castle are world heritage sites.   


There will be a spotlight on the latest battlefield heritage projects and the programme includes a guided visit to Otterburn (1388) – a well-documented battle that saw a clash between James, Earl Douglas and Harry “Hotspur” Percy -  and where a major battlefield archaeology and interpretation project is currently underway.  There will also be a visit to a new exhibition, based on archaeological investigations, about the fate of scottish prisoners captured at Dunbar (1650) and force marched to imprisonment in Durham.  Talks will cover a variety of subjects including an overview of  military and battlefield history in the North East,  the Black Prince,  the Evolution of Arms and Armour and a talk on Boates Plancks and Deales which  will examine the challenges presented by military bridging operations.


Outside of the main programme , there will be an optional group tour of the roman fort of Vindolanda near Hadrian’s Wall on the Friday afternoon.  For those wishing to take in more of the region’s battlefield heritage on the Sunday afternoon, information will be available on self-guided tours.       


Conference talks and the AGM will be held within Grey College, situated about one mile south of the heart of Durham.   Single room bed and breakfast accommodation is available within the college and more details of the conference programme, prices, how to book and contact details can be found on the booking form above.  


Please note if you will be travelling by road that the centre of Durham will be inaccessible to traffic on Saturday 14th July.  More information about parking is provided below. 


Conference Programme  


Please note: - it is possible that some  times or elements of the programme may change

Breaks :  There will be mid-morning refreshment breaks on Saturday and Sunday.

B & B Accommodation -  Grey College:   See booking form for further details and check-in/check out times.


Friday 13th July



Optional group visit to Vindolanda  - Meet at the entrance to Vindolanda for an organised tour led by David Austin.   (Please see booking form for more details)


18.00- 19.30


Evening meal Grey College dining hall (servery counter).  

Note: the meal is included in the Full Conference rate only.  A meal can be provided at a supplementary charge for anyone not on the Full Conference rate - please see booking form.


19.30 – 20.30

Battles and Military Heritage of the North East and Border Region   - Phil Philo


Saturday 14th July


09.45 – 10.00

Piercebridge 1642 –  A Model Battle  Mark Hornsby will talk about his battlefield model which will be on display throughout the conference.


10.00 – 10.50

Annual General Meeting   

(There is no charge to Trust members attending the AGM only).


10.50 – 11.10

Refreshment break

11.10 – 11.50

Boates, Plancks and Deales: Military Bridging Operations and Battle during the Civil War   - Simon Marsh  


11.50 – 12.30

Cutting Edge:  The  Evolution of Arms and Armour and  of  the new Exhibition at the National Civil War Centre -  Kevin Winter  


12.30 – 13.20

Lunch in the Dining Hall (servery counter)


13.30  - 17.30     

Visit to Otterburn   Depart 13.30 by coach.  Geoffrey Carter will lead the tour (return to Grey College by 17.30)



Bar open for pre-dinner drinks



Annual Dinner – Grey College Dining Hall 

(Venue for the Annual Dinner has changed from Van Mildert College as previously advertised because of urgent repair works).


On conclusion of dinner


Celebrating 25 years of the Battlefields Trust    Michael Rayner will review the Trust’s first 25 years. Howard Simmons (Chair) and Simon Marsh (Director of Operations) will join in discussion with members about  the Trust’s next quarter century.


Sunday 15th July


09.30 - 11.30

Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret.

Visit to the exhibition at Palace Green Library about Scottish prisoners captured at Dunbar (1650). (It is hoped that one of the project archaeologists will be able to give an introductory talk).  Please note that there is an entry charge to the exhibition.



Refreshment break

12.00 - 13.00

The Black Prince   -  Michael Jones  


13.00 – 14.00

Lunch in the Dining Hall (servery counter) -  end of conference.


Sunday afternoon.

Optional Battlefield Visits    Details of self-guided tours will be available for those wishing to explore more of the region’s battlefield heritage in the afternoon.  



Transport and Parking 


Please note that the centre of Durham will be closed to traffic from 7am on Saturday 14th July because of the Durham Miners’ Gala and you may need to adjust your route accordingly.


Parking  There is limited parking available at Grey College and the adjacent Collingwood College on a first come first served basis.  There is no charge but it is important that you report your vehicle registration number to the appropriate reception (either Grey or Collingwood College) on arrival.  Durham has several  car parks but please bear in mind that those in the centre of the city will be affected by the road closures on 14th July.  There is a park and ride car park (Howlands) about 1/3 mile from the college that is open from 7am to 7pm on Saturdays.  More details about  car parks in Durham can be found via the following link:


Blue Badge Holders   Parking permits for the college can be arranged for blue badge holders.


Dress Codes


Casual except for the Annual Dinner where a minimum of smart casual (jacket and tie for gentlemen) is preferred.  For the visit to Otterburn suitable footwear and outdoor clothing is recommended as the tour includes open farmland and rough paths.  It is also planned to walk to the exhibition on Sunday so comfortable footwear is recommended.



Grey College Accommodation  

Check in – 2 pm. onwards

Check out – by 10am luggage can be left at reception for collection later.

Breakfast – Served 8 am. to 9am in Dining Hall (servery counter)


Address:   South Road, Durham DH1 3LG.

Contact:   Tel: 0191 334 2887 or  0800 289970                    




To book, please use the booking form and return with your payment (or confirmation of payment) to Annmarie Hayek at the address on the booking form

Annmarie can be contacted about booking information at

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