A fragment of stone sculpture depicting the head of a man with a long moustache being trampled by a horses hoof.
The first discovery of Roman sculpture from Stanwick: a horse’s hoof and the head of a barbarian; the fragment is 17x 32 centimetres in size. © Historic England
The first discovery of Roman sculpture from Stanwick: a horse’s hoof and the head of a barbarian; the fragment is 17x 32 centimetres in size. © Historic England

Introduction to Issue 17

John Cattell, National Head of Research at Historic England introduces the Autumn round-up of research highlights.

In this shorter issue we include two articles revealing recent research into monuments and artefacts dating back to the Romano-British period, an update on an international collaboration and a piece addressing the hugely important and pressing theme of climate change adaptation.

Martin Henig and Vicky Crosby report on recent analysis of an important assemblage of fragments of monumental sculpture discovered at Stanwick in the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire as part of a large excavation of an Iron Age and Romano-British landscape carried out over 30 years ago. The authors offer a sneak preview of the results of this analysis in advance of their publication in the journal Britannia this year.

The wonderfully named Apple Dumpling Castle in Gosport is a small earthwork castle dating from the late 11th or 12th century is the focus of a contribution by the landscape archaeologist Mark Bowden. These numerous small motte-and-bailey castles remain poorly understood The investigation of Apple Dumpling is part of our research contribution to the Gosport Heritage Action Zone.

Ongoing conservation of a fascinating range of items recovered from the Dutch East India Company ship Rooswijk wrecked off the coast of Kent in 1740 is the focus of an article by MSDS Marine consultants Alex Bliss and Heather Stewart. The work is part of an exciting international project led and funded by the Cultural Agency of the Netherlands in partnership with Historic England and MSDS Marine.

Lastly, but by no means least, Jessica Hope discusses another big issue of current concern, climate change adaptation. Her article highlights the inherent durability and energy efficiency of many traditional buildings and the guidance that Historic England and others have issued to help those engaged in retrofitting such structures. As in other areas so much important research remains to be undertaken.

John Cattell

National Head of Research at Historic England

John has worked for Historic England and its predecessors since 1989 in a variety of roles including Chief Buildings Historian and Research Director. He is now responsible ​for developing and leading the organisation's national research work. John is also responsible for Historic England's relationships with the Research Councils and leading on Independent Research Organisation engagement.

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