The Society began creating webinars when Covid made our live events impossible. It turned out to be a real success, and since then we’ve hosted a variety of brilliant talks from speakers far and wide. Click below to view them for free.
Some webinars are available just for members, including Sara Frost’s discussion of St Kilda, and SANHS’ Dunster series.
If you’re a member, view them here – and if not, join us!
A Trip to Steep Holm by Stephen Parker
This fully illustrated talk will take us on a trip to the island of Steep Holm in the Severn Estuary. Just off Weston-super-Mare, the island is home to a range of uncommon wildflowers, slow worms, Muntjac deer and hundreds of breeding gulls. Managed by a small local trust this talk will give you an insight to this remote and strangely beautiful island.
8 March 2023
The Wildlife of Shetland by Matt Eade
Shetland, an archipelago steeped in history, culture, and home to a staggering number of breeding seabirds and is also now one of the favoured regions in UK waters to observe a variety of whales and dolphins. These ancient lands support a wealth of rare flora such as Lesser Twayblade and Edmonsons Chickweeds, and an abundance of Otters. Matt Eade will take us from the southernmost, to the northernmost point of these spectacular islands and will wow us with his gallery of images
8 February 2023
The Twin Manors of Preston Bowyer by David Victor
Preston Bowyer is an ancient settlement forming part of the parish of Milverton. Primarily a farming community, for several hundred years it consisted of two church manors known as Preston Bowyer and Preston Torrells. For centuries they shared many attributes, however, the events of the early 16th century led to increasing differences. Preston Torrells has been forgotten. This talk will try to remedy that, as well as comparing the two manors.
26 January 2023
Somerset - A Landscape with Chapels by David Dawson
It is easy to underestimate the significance of the legacy of nonconformity in Somerset. In 1991, the Royal Commission listed 198 nonconformist chapels in Somerset, 13 of them ‘principal monuments’. David will talk about what they tell us about the social history of the county.
12 January 2023
China comes to Wells by Dr. Oliver Kent
The discovery of a very large quantity of pottery dumped in the early 19th century into a backfilled cellar behind the Wells Museum was unexpected. Many of the 750+ vessels were complete when disposed of and cover a period from the mid-17th century to the end of the 18th centuries. Mostly day to day, they provide an insight into changing middling class taste in Wells in the 18th century and the city’s relationship with the wider world. Discover more about theses exciting finds in Oliver’s lecture.
24 November 2022
Saving your Heritage: a closer look at local listing - by Mary Andrews
What buildings are important to our life and culture? And how do we preserve them for the future? The Local Heritage List (LHL) is different to the national list and focuses on the exceptional places which enrich Somerset and Exmoor National Park. Mary will talk about how you can contribute to this exciting project.
27 October 2022
SANHS 2022 Presidential Address - by David Dawson
An online lecture and discussion by David Dawson. A recording of a Webinar originally held on 16.06.2022. SANHS 2022 Presidential Address - ‘One of the objects of the Society was to establish a library and museum’ (1849): the Society, its museum collection and service to the public
16 June 2022
The Chapels and Meeting-houses of Somerset: a proud architectural legacy - by Julian Orbach
The talk is about the architecture of nonconformist denominations in Somerset, looking at the chapels and meeting-houses of the Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Quakers and Unitarians, showing what varied and fine buildings there are from the time of Queen Anne through the Georgian period to the Victorian heyday, and into the twentieth century.
24 April 2022
The Wyndham Hall - Local Heritage List candidate
Chris Chanter and Lizzie Induni are in the Wyndham Hall to discuss the building's history, its community value across a hundred years, and the exciting future SANHS is creating here.
The Hall has now been nominated for the Local List, giving it legal recognition and protection. Nominate your local heritage at https://swheritage.org.uk/local-heritage-list
27 January 2022
Tony Harding - A View from the Roof
Tony, who has been working with the Early Dunster Project, takes a look at some of the carpentry techniques found in the historic buildings of Dunster, with the subtle variations and personal touches that carpenters seem to have applied to their work through the centuries.
27 January 2022
Bruce Induni - A Life in Ruins
Bruce Induni is a lecturer in the conservation of historic buildings but in the past has worked on the conservation of historic monuments. In this talk he will discuss the very specific challenges of repairing and conserving ruined buildings.
13 January 2022
David Victor - Lord Ashburton and his Somerset Estates
David Victor talks about Lord Ashburton and his very extensive estate interests in Wiveliscombe and Milverton and local villages.
13 November 2021
John Page - Locating the Burh in Axbridge
John Page reveals both the location of the burh and of its market-place, based primarily on documentary and topographic evidence.
16 October 2021
Martyn Barber - Somerset’s Bronze Age Metalwork
Martyn Barber (Historic England) gives his talk "Rash Speculators and Competent Authorities – Encounters past and present with Somerset’s Bronze Age metalwork". Part of SANHS' Bronze Age Day.
2 October 2021
Nigel Phillips - The Nature of Somerset's Coast
'Somerset's coast is a place of great diversity, in its landscapes, and in its wildlife. From lower shore rock pools, the birds on the beaches, to plant and insect life on cliff tops and dunes, it really is a place of wonder, and it’s on our doorstep!'
10 July 2021
Joe Thompson - Historic Carpentry: Timbers, Tools and Joints
Joe Thompson's very popular webinar on woodworking and timber-framed buildings.
8 May 2021
Steve Parker - Fascinating Fungi
Steve's webinar discussing the curious and diverse ways of Somerset's fungi.
13 December 2020
David Dawson - A Day Out in Dunster
David Dawson presents a webinar on the pottery kiln in Dunster's Old Park.
1 August 2020
Webinars are free, but SANHS really appreciates donations to help make more and pay for costs. Head to sanhs.org/donate to contribute. Many thanks!