Seminars with Centre for West Midlands History January – April 2020

A variety of upcoming events organised by the Centre for West Midlands History within the University of Birmingham are advertised below, with a range of free lectures/seminars and other events with a small fee.

The free events for the next academic term include:

16 January: Researching Wroxeter: a Roman city and its hinterland through time, Roger White, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, The Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham

Lecture Room 1, First Floor, Arts Building, University of Birmingham 6.30-8.00pm

The University of Birmingham has had a research association with the abandoned Roman city of Wroxeter for nearly sixty years. In that time understanding of the city has been revolutionised by excavations in the city centre, and an award-winning survey around the town. In this talk, Roger White summarises the current state of knowledge, and looks forward to future developments.

13 February: Rethinking Berkswell: the twelfth century church of St John the Baptist, Berkswell, John Hunt, Honorary Research Fellow, History Department, University of Birmingham

Lecture Room 1, First Floor, Arts Building, University of Birmingham 6.30-8.00pm

A distinguished example of Anglo-Norman building in Warwickshire, Berkswell church is noted for its double crypt, encouraging suggestions that it originated as an Anglo-Saxon minster and focus for a pre-Conquest saint’s cult. However, as John Hunt discusses, this parish church’s development sits more persuasively in the mid and later-twelfth century.

 12 March: Plants, print and patronage: gardening women in the floriferous eighteenth-century, Elaine Mitchell, PhD Candidate, University of Birmingham

Lecture Room 1, First Floor, Arts Building, University of Birmingham 6.30-8.00pm

The eighteenth century saw a gardening revolution. New plants, new gardening publications, new patronage and new money transformed not only the British landscape but also the iconography of material objects. This talk will look at the part played by women in Birmingham and beyond as producers, consumers, entrepreneurs and patrons. Their role was central to this floriferous revolution.

2 April: Women, Wives and Daughters in a Middle-Class Victorian Suburb: Moseley, Birmingham, 1850-1900, Janet Berry, PhD Candidate, University of Birmingham

Lecture Room 3, First Floor, Arts Building, University of Birmingham 6.30-8.00pm

A detailed look at the roles, responsibilities and experiences of middle-class Victorian suburban women in Moseley, Birmingham. Janet Berry looks at homes, households and family life from the perspective of women residents and their experiences outside the home, in the local economy and as participants in religion, philanthropy and social, cultural and sporting clubs and societies.

The following events also organised by the Centre for West Midlands History have a small associated fee, detailed below:

Friday 14 February: Portcullis History Day School – Cathedrals and Society in the Medieval Western Midlands

Hatton Village Hall, Warwick Road, Warwick 10.00am – 2.30pm

Fee: £30.00 (Payable in advance)

This day school will focus on the cathedrals that served the western midlands: Hereford, Worcester and Lichfield/Coventry. The day will introduce the medieval cathedral and its community, looking particularly at the position and role of bishops in local society. Please see the attached booking form for further details or visit the website at

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Exhibition: Dressed to the Nines
Running until 4 September 2020

Monday – Thursday 10am – 5pm
Friday 10.30am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm

From formal balls to a night out on the town, clothing plays an important part in special occasions. This exhibition is about dressing up and going out from around 1850 to the present day. Various talks and events will accompany this exhibition, including:

15 February: History of Fashion in Birmingham – a talk with Jenny Gilbert.

Jenny has been researching the twentieth century Birmingham wholesale fashion trade and its influence on people’s wardrobes in the city and beyond.  In her talk, she will look at Birmingham as a mass fashion city – from the 19th century jewellery trade to the opening of the world’s largest Primark in 2019. The talk will argue that the Birmingham fashion wholesalers were instrumental in introducing fashion to the masses and dressing the people of Birmingham to the nines.

2.00pm – 3.30pm £5.00 (per person)

Pre-booking essential. Further details of the exhibition, talks and events can be found at: