Our Village newsletter is called…
Each month the Mosaic is published to keep everyone in the village up to date with events, particularly at times of major social activities. Detailed information and news is very welcome as well as any articles on subjects relating to the village.
Pauline Sherwood and John Harding have been editors for quite some time but this August edition will be their last. The whole village thanks them for all their hard work in keeping everyone informed and entertained and under their direction its scope has advanced considerably.The new editors are Jo and Nigel Martin and Janet Bolton and grateful thanks are due to them for taking on this important responsibility. From now on any contribution, article or notice should be emailed to either of them by 20th of the month.
Jo & Nigel Martin
Rose’s Yard, 1 White Horse Lane
Tel No 01258 268551 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel No 01258 472300 email email@example.com
The Mosaic is funded by the generosity of sponsors, all of whom feature on the back page. We also receive generous donations from the Estate, the Parish Council and the Church. We deliver around 110 copies each month thanks to local volunteers as well as it being available to view or download via the below links…….
2020 Mosaic Publications
The Future of the Hinton St. Mary Mosaic
The Mosaic magazine is named after the world famous Roman Mosaic found in Hinton in 1963 and until recently exhibited in the British Museum. Due to shortage of space a new location is being sought. A public meeting was held in Hinton Village Hall in June – see article in June Mosaic. The meeting arranged through the initiative of Rev. David Dunning, was attended by 27 villagers, the Mayor of Sturminster Newton and the Chairman of the Trustees of the Exchange.
David Dunning advised the meeting that there were no plans for any part of the Mosaic to be displayed at the British Museum in the foreseeable future and it would remain in their stores until further notice. Dorset County Museum was offered the Mosaic in an attempt to return it to the county but the offer was rejected due to lack of space.
David felt that, as villagers had not been consulted about the decision, they should at least be made aware of it and, if possible, to have some input in where the Mosaic should be displayed in the future. A lively discussion ensued between the attendees about the possibilities for its return and barriers that were likely to be put up by the BM.
It was agreed that it was impracticable to return the Mosaic to HSM, due to the lack of infrastructure and the impact of large numbers of tourists on the village. There was, however, support for it to be housed somewhere in Sturminster Newton, which would certainly help to regenerate economic prosperity to the town. It was accepted that opening up discussions with the BM and other interested parties was the first step in the process.
Chris Hardiman agreed to act as the village representative on the Sturminster Newton Working Party set up to explore the town’s regeneration. There was general agreement amongst the attendees of the great possibilities for the return of the Mosaic to be the catalyst for the regeneration of the whole area of North Dorset, which would include a focus on the literary and historical aspects and its beautiful countryside.
In August 2019 Dr Jill Cook from the British Museum.gave a presentation to a meeting in the Tithe Barn. She explained that Dorset County Museum had changed its policy and was now willing to display the mosaic in premises adjoining the museum in Dorchester. She considered that the necessary building with manning and stringent security and environmental conditions could not be created in Sturminster Newton. Some present felt that this was a missed opportunity for our area. It is hoped that it will be on display by 2023, the anniversary of its discovery.
Hinton Dig Postponement
In early 2020 plans were made to carry out further investigatory work in the area near to where the Mosaic was discovered. Unfortunately the Covid-19 situation has prevented this and David Dunning has forwarded this statement from the British Museum explaining that the dig has had to be postponed for the time being. Unfortunately, this arrived too late to prevent Alice’s article in the August edition of The Mosaic – although this still illustrates what is proposed. David expects it will be next August at the earliest before the project can take place as it involves archaeology students from Oxford and Reading Archaeology Departments doing all the work, so it has to be out of term and in reasonable weather.
From: Richard Hobbs BSc PhD FSA
Weston Curator of Roman Britain/Secretary of the Roman Research Trust
`Britain, Europe & Prehistory`, The British Museum, London WC1B 3DG
Dear Residents of Hinton St Mary,
This is to let you know that regrettably Peter Guest (my co-director) and I have had to cancel our plans for a fieldwork season at Hinton this year. Ultimately the decision whether or not to proceed had to lie with British Museum management, and the planning group were told in July that they are not prepared to let the project go ahead because of the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, ensuring the safety and avoiding risk to both participants and residents of the locality. However, this does not mean that the project is cancelled, but it has been put on hold for the time being. We hope that we will be able to proceed with the evaluation season at a future date when there are fewer uncertainties.
We would like to thank all those involved in dealing with the logistics of the excavation, especially all the local residents who have been hugely helpful over the course of the last few months. We were pretty much ‘good to go’ and although we are naturally very disappointed that the project won’t start up this summer as planned, none of the groundwork that’s been laid should be seen as wasted time. Excavations like this rely heavily on the goodwill and support of local residents, and it’s been hugely encouraging that there’s been so much enthusiasm locally for this project since it was mooted last year.
I will keep the village posted with further developments as and when necessary, and hope for your continued support when a renewed attempt to gain a more nuanced understanding of the archaeological remains at Hinton is possible.