For details of events by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the Scottish Place name Society and the Dumfries and Galloway Society, see the links below the list of our own lectures.

Highlight Talks at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum are also listed below.

AANHS Winter Lectures – Session 2021-22

These will all be on Zoom and held on Thursdays at 7.30pm.


Thursday 14th October 2021

‘Qwhen we goe in the shape of ane haire’, Therianthrophy (Human-Animal Transformation) Belief In Early Modern Scotland

Nicola Cumming, University of Strathclyde

Thursday 28th October 2021

Rethinking Ayrshire’s Lost Neolithic

Dr Kenneth Brophy, University of Glasgow

Thursday 11th November 2021

Garnock Connections: Mitigating Climate Change and Building Biodiversity.

Neal Lochrie, Natural Heritage Project Officer – Garnock Connections

Thursday 25th November 2021

Monuments on the Merging of Empire – Decorating the Antonine Wall Distance Sculptures

Dr Louisa Campbell, University of Glasgow

Cutting-edge research carried out on Roman carved reliefs found at the Antonine Wall has revealed they were once painted in vibrant colours, and were designed to send out a message to the ancient tribes who called the region home. Dr Louisa Campbell of Glasgow University’s archaeology department, spent eight months painstakingly analysing trace elements in the sandstone slabs using X-Rays and lasers to reveal how they would have looked to Roman eyes.

Thursday 13th January 2022

The Scottish Parliament, Maritime Security and the Problem of Piracy in the War of the Three Kingdoms, c. 1639-1651

Dr John Young, Strathclyde University

Thursday 27th January 2022

The Burrell Collection Refurbishment.

John Rattenbury, Guide Organiser at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow

The Burrell Collection in Pollock Country Park was closed in October 2016 for a major refurbishment of the building and a complete redisplay of the collection. Significant changes have been made to the internal layout of the building, and the display of the world class collection of objects has been completely redesigned. Prior to the reopening of the collection in March 2022, we will be looking at the work that has been done, and what we can look forward to seeing when the building reopens.

Thursday 10th February 2022

The Lost Royal Tomb of Robert the Bruce

Dr Ian Fraser, HES

Thursday 24th February 2022

Plagues and Providence in 17th Century Ayr

Dr Michelle Brock, Associate Professor of History, Washington & Lee University, Virginia

Thursday 10th March 2022

The AGM will follow on after this talk.

“You too could be digging up castles in North Ayrshire”

Dr Simon McGrory, Project Officer (Heritage)  – Garnock Connections

How to join one of our Zoom presentations

You need to contact Ian Holland at with your email address. He will email you a link which if you double-click will bring up the meeting. Join it with audio and check that your video link is on (camera). The host will let you in. It is important when you load-up Zoom that you insert your name instead of the tablet, etc names. Your name will then come up with your video which will make it easier when we come to question time. On laptops there will be an icon at the top right of the box which you click to gallery view. On tablets you swipe either left to right or right to left to get gallery view. Smart phones may work differently.

Because of the numbers there will be a strict regime. The site will open from 7.00pm to allow time to let people enter. No one will be allowed in after 7.30. After that point everybody except the president will be muted. He will welcome everyone and introduce the speaker who will then take over, he will share his screen in order to bring up pictures, etc.

At the end of the talk, the president will open it up for discussion. Now this is where we need to stick to the rules. If you wish to speak then either raise your hand or show a hand by tapping/clicking on “Reactions”. The host will speak your name and you then un-mute yourself and ask your question. When you have finished please mute yourself again. It will then be the next person’s turn. If you wish a second question, then repeat the process. If you speak too long or forget to re-mute yourself then the host will mute you.

Other Societies’ Events

Rhind Lectures, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Highlight Talks at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

All talks are on Wednesdays at 2.30pm in the Robertson Room except for Alan Beck’s on the 24th November at 3pm.

27th of October: Hugh Farrell Welcome Back To Robert Burns – Forget the Biographies, Hear what Robert Burns had to say of himself and of his times.

24th November: Alan Beck, RBWF Senior Vice President, gives a talk entitled A Sincere Disciple: Colin Rae Brown in which he explores the life and times of this important Burnsian and Scottish Patriot with reference to his achievements in the field of Burns memorialisation. 

8th December: the Immediate Past President of RBWF, Marc Sherland’s talk is  Folklore at Christmas.

Other talks arranged to date in the current series are –

19th January: John Hutcheson Gie Me A Spark Of Nature’s Fire: Songs and Poems of Robert Burns to Celebrate The Bard’s Birthday. 

10th February: John Rattenbury on The Burrell Renaissance Project. 

18th March: Myra McLanaghan When An Honest Man Became A Doonhamer. 

27th April: Mark McLean Scotch on the Rocks: Scotticisms in the Enlightenment.

Scottish Place name Society Autumn Conference 2021

Dumfries and Galloway Society Syllabus 2021 – 2022

8 October 2021 AGMAlexander GibbonsClay dabbins
22 October 2021Dr Alan GibbsHow to travel in space and time: the geology of Dumfries and Galloway
5 November 2021Angus E. Rex, President The Galloway Association of GlasgowThe Galloway Association of Glasgow – 1791 to 2021
19 November 2021Claire Williamson, Rathmell ArchaeologyThe revelations of teacups and taxes at a ruined farmstead on the Raiders Road
3 December 2021Martin Goldberg, National Museums ScotlandThe Galloway Hoard
14 January 2022Professor Alistair AlcockJohn Campbell, the Kirkbean boy who changed the world of navigation
28 January 2022Jim Tildesley, former director of Scottish Maritime MuseumThe saving of The City of Adelaide
11 February 2022Borders Forest TrustCarrifran Wildwood and beyond!
25 February 2022 Members LectureJohn PickinThe mining archaeology of Dumfries and Galloway
11 March 2022Adrian Maldonado National Museums ScotlandThe Whithorn Cold Case project
25 March 2022Sam Gallagher Operations Manager Ben Lomond, Dumfries and Galloway and Glasgow, National Trust for Scotland.Threave Landscape Restoration project

Last year’s programme 2020 – 2021, which was fully on Zoom:



Prof Gerard Carruthers, University of Glasgow.




Saving Red Squirrels.

Giuliana Sinclair. Saving Red Squirrels.


Farms & Wildlife.

Ian Cornforth, Scottish Natural Heritage.


The Caithness Broch Project.

Kenneth McElroy, Caithness Broch Project.


Social Evening by Zoom.

Entertainment by Ayrplay (our own group!)


‘Bloody Knives and Body Snatchers:
Tales from the Collection of Surgeons’ Hall’.

Cat Irving, Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh


Dendrochronology in Scotland’s archaeology, buildings and landscapes

Dr Coralie Mills of Dendrochronicle


Archaeological Methods

Dr. Tessa Poller, University of Glasgow


Viking and Norse Shetland

Dr Andrew Jennings, Shetland Campus, University of Highlands and Islands


‘Materialising Mary at the National Museum of Scotland’

Dr Anna Groundwater, NMS, Principal Curator for Renaissance and Early Modern History, National Museum of Scotland

A short AGM will follow this presentation.

Earlier programmes:

10th October 2019
Iraia Arabaolaza, GUARD
A Roman Marching Camp in Ayr


24th October 2019
Hayley Douglas, Clyde Muirshel Park,
Tag’n’Track Lesser Black Back Gulls

14th November 2019
Anne Crone BA PhD MCIFA FSA Scot
The Black Loch of Myrton

Excavations at Black Loch of Myrton in Dumfries and Galloway in 2015, 2016 and 2017 have yielded stunning new information about life in the Iron Age.


28th November 2019
Dr. Stephen Harrison, University of Glasgow
Viking Burial Practices in Britain and Ireland

9th January 2020
Dr. Douglas G. Lockhart, Scottish Local History Forum
Bazaars, Buildings and Benevolence: 1830s to 1930s.

The word ‘bazaar’ was first used to describe a sale of work in 1813 in London and spread throughout the developed world in the 19th century. By the 1870s they were huge extravaganzas lasting several days, with entertainments, such as puppet shows, theatrical performances and displays of novelties such as electric light, early moving pictures, and motor cars.  At their peak between 1880 and 1910 there were probably over 300 bazaars a year in Scotland. Extravagant bazaars fell out of fashion with the start of World War I.

Local businesses sponsored advertisements in bazaar books, and some supplied materials, such as flour for baking competitions. At one bazaar Sunlight Soap provided soap for washing competitions where men had to wash clothes. Meanwhile women had to whistle or hammer in nails.

Bazaars raised funds for good causes, such as children’s charities, or for the sick. Many public buildings were funded by subscription, but if there was a shortfall, bazaars were held to pay off the debt. About two thirds were for church buildings and halls of various kinds (town, village, drill, masonic, church). There were also bazaars for bridges, harbours, libraries, music and students’ associations. Others were held to raise funds for the work of organisations, such as the Highland Associations, or political parties, and of course many were for sports club funds, including golf, tennis, bowling, curling, rugby, cricket, cycling.


23rd January 2020
(Change of programme due to illness)

Denis Rattenbury, Secretary, AANHS
Enlightenment Edinburgh,
seen from the bottom of a beer glass


13th February 2020
Kirsty Archer-Thompson, Abbotsford Trust

Managing the maintenance, conservation, interpretation and visitor experience at one of the most important writer’s homes in the world, and curating an internationally renowned object collection, archive and library. Passionate about championing literary and creative places as a distinct form of cultural heritage and exploring authorial and artistic legacies and what they mean today.
Studied at Queen’s University, Belfast and University of York.
Previous to working at Abbotsford, Kirsty worked for the York Archaeological Trust as well as working at ‘York Chocolate Story’

“A Delilah of his Imagination”: Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford


27th February 2020
Dr. Alison Cathcart, University of Glasgow
‘The reparatioun of the said harborie is most necessaire and expedient for the honnour creditte and benefeit of the whole cuntrey’: Ayr and plantation in Ireland, c.1550-1625


26th March 2020 … cancelled
Dr Stephanie Johnstone
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, Ecology and Conservation of Red Squirrels

This presentation will be followed by the 2020 AGM.

Thursday 9th April 2020 … cancelled
The AANHS Social Evening

This was our programme for 2018-2019:

11   October
The Neolithic of Ayrshire in its Wider Context
Dr Ann McSween, Historic Environment Scotland

 25 October
Duping the Luftwaffe – Bomber Decoys of WWII

Niall Logan

15 November
Films of Ayrshire from the Past
Scottish Film Archives

 29 November
Scotland’s Rock Art Project
Dr Tertia Barnett, University of Edinburgh

 10 January
In Search of Robert the Bruce
Dr Martin McGregor, University of Glasgow

 24 January
Culzean Caves: Recent Excavations
Ian Joyce, National Trust for Scotland

14 February
Recent Excavations around the Mediaeval Burgh of Ayr
Tom Rees, Rathmell Archaeology

 28 February
Listen to the Stones: Unleashing the storytelling potential of Scotland’s Carved Stones
Dr Sally Foster, University of Stirling

 14 March
Shining a Light on Scotland’s Textile Past
Anita Quye, University of Glasgow

For your information, this was our programme for 2017/2018:

Thurs 12th October
The Botany of Ailsa Craig
Bernard Zonfrillo, Honorary Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Thurs 26th October
St. Ninian and the Sea: New Work on Early Christian Whithorn
Dr. Adrian Maldonado, University of Glasgow

Thurs 9th November
The Lowland Clearances
Peter Aitchison & Andrew Cassell, University of Glasgow

Thurs 23rd November
People and Water at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney
(Buchan Lecture sponsored by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland)
Caroline Wickham-Jones, University of Aberdeen

Thurs 11th January
Neolithic to Art Nouveau: Conservation Projects at AOL Archaeology
Natalie Mitchell, AOC Archaeology

Thurs 25th January
Nature Reserves in Ayrshire
Gill Smart, Scottish Wildlife Trust

Thurs 8th February
Ardrossan Castle
Tom Rees, Rathmell Archaeology

Thurs 22nd February
Discovering the Prehistoric Settlements of Ayr
Kevin Paton, AOC Archaeology

Thurs 8th March
The King under the Care Home: James I and the Perth Charterhouse Project
Professor Richard Oram, University of Stirling
Followed by short AGM

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