Access to the MERL and Special Collections Library: May 2017

Due to essential maintenance work, we regret to inform you that access to the MERL and Special Collections open access library corridor will be restricted or unavailable on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 16 May – Thursday 18 May
  • Tuesday 23 May – Friday 26 May

This will affect access to Special Collections and MERL open access library material, including books, periodicals and pamphlets.

Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience.

If you are planning to visit the Reading Room on these days, please inform of us of any requests you have for library material in advance by contacting merl@reading.ac.uk

Please contact us for further assistance at merl@reading.ac.uk

Discovering the Landscape: Post-War Landscape Architecture project awarded Academic Engagement Bursary

We are delighted to announce that Amber Roberts has been awarded our Landscape Academic Engagement Bursary.

Great West House, Michael Brown Collection (AR BRO)

Great West House, Michael Brown Collection (AR BRO)

Amber will be using our Michael Brown Collection to analyse key design theories and projects in the development of the profession of landscape architecture, 1945-1975.  The project will focus on post-war modernist Britain and the international outreach of British landscape architecture.  The post-war era saw significant changes to the practice of landscape architecture, such as the focus on new towns, motorways and industrial sites.

Redditch New Town, Michael Brown (AR BRO)

Redditch New Town, Michael Brown (AR BRO)

Amber’s project will highlight the potential of our Michael Brown Collection whilst shedding light on developments in the field of landscape architecture in the post war period.

Michael Brown Collection (AR BRO)

Michael Brown Collection (AR BRO)

Michael Brown (1923-1996) was a landscape architect and urban designer known for his limited use of materials which produced distinctive landscapes.  The collection contains drawings, slides and photographs.

Thank you to everyone who applied for the bursary.  We received some great applications and it was a tough decision.  We wish Amber all the best with her research and we are looking forward to keeping you up to date with her progress.

 

 

 

Students: your landscape archive needs you

If you are an undergraduate student, don’t forget you have until the end of February 2017 to apply for a bursary to support your use of our landscape collections.  Click here for more information.

Show Garden, Michael Brown Collection (AR BRO)

Show Garden, Michael Brown Collection (AR BRO)

Please feel free to get in touch with our Reading Room if you have any questions. We look forward to welcoming you and telling you more about our landscape collections.  

Written by Project Librarian: Claire Wooldridge

Discovering the Landscape: how to use our collections in your research

Are you an undergraduate, postgraduate, independent researcher or at school?

Are you studying history, geography, architecture, environmental science, ecology or design?

Then come and use our landscape collections in your research (if you’re an undergraduate apply for one of our landscape student bursaries).  We’ve even got topic and resource ideas listed here.

So why use our landscape collections?  And how?

3 reasons to use our landscape collections:

1. National significance

MERL now holds the best collection of 20th century landscape archives and library material in the UK.  Our Landscape Institute collections hold everything from plans, drawings, slides, books, journals and pamphlets to the LI’s institutional archive containing all of their corporate records, such as minutes and membership files.

So if you are interested in a particular project (from anywhere across the UK), a specific landscape architect (maybe Jellicoe, Crowe, Colvin?), the Landscape Institute itself or the emergence of landscape architecture as a profession then we have what you need.

Lots of our other collections support landscape studies too, such as The Land Settlement Association and the Open Spaces Society.

AR JEL DO1 S2/20

Geoffrey Jellicoe collection, Shute House, AR JEL DO1 S2/20

2.  Explore your archive

Every day we inhabit built and natural environments.  The landscape is all around us, all the time, shaping and informing our lives.

You can reveal all that our landscape collections have to offer by using them in your research.  You can draw out previously unknown themes, connections and discoveries.

We house the collections, keeping them safe and making them available to you.

But only you can bring them alive by using them in your research.

For the MERL and Special Collections teams to thrive, we need tea.  (Never near the collections, of course).  For our landscape collections to shine, they need to be accessed and used.

So be inspired by the National Archives Explore Your Archive week: come and find our more about our landscape collections.

Colvin inscription to the Jellicoe's, in the front cover of a 2nd edition of her Land and Landscape.

Colvin inscription to the Jellicoe’s, in the front cover of a 2nd edition of her Land and Landscape.

 

3. Visual delights!

Our Reading Room visitors are greeted by our beautiful peacock stained glass window

Our Reading Room visitors are greeted by our beautiful peacock stained glass window

We host a lot of reader’s in our wonderful Reading Room.  So we know that you could spend many studious hours looking at reports, minutes or papers.

All very good research that is too.

But you could be looking at this stuff:

(just saying)

Highlights from our Landscape Institute Collections

Highlights from our Landscape Institute Collections

 

How to search and access our landscape collections

We hope you have been inspired to use our landscape collections.  Here’s how you can find out more:

Students: your landscape archive needs you

If you are an undergraduate student, don’t forget you have until the end of February 2017 to apply for a bursary to support your use of our landscape collections.  Click here for more information.

Please feel free to get in touch with our Reading Room if you have any questions. We look forward to welcoming you and telling you more about our landscape collections.  

Written by Project Librarian: Claire Wooldridge

Discovering the Landscape: Dublin of the Future (1922)

Plan of Dublin from Abercrombie's 1922 'Dublin of the future'

Plan of Dublin from Abercrombie’s 1922 ‘Dublin of the future’

This post highlights Dublin of the future: new town plan by Patrick Abercrombie, Sydney Kelly and Arthur Kelly (University of Liverpool Press, 1922) – a title from our MERL Library Landscape Institute collections with intriguing context and provenance.

Patrick Abercrombie (1879-1957) was a town planner active in the interwar period.  He played a leading role in planning for the redevelopment of a number of urban areas, such as London and Plymouth.  Abercrombie retained a love of traditional landscapes and historic towns.  His 1926 article ‘The preservation of rural England‘ published in the Town Planning Review led to the foundation of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE – of which we hold an archival collection.

Plan of Dublin from Abercrombie's 1922 'Dublin of the future'

Plan of Dublin from Abercrombie’s 1922 ‘Dublin of the future’

Plan of Dublin from Abercrombie's 1922 'Dublin of the future'

Plan of Dublin from Abercrombie’s 1922 ‘Dublin of the future’

The foreword of Dublin of the future gives us an impression of the impact contemporary events were having on the day to day life of the time.  The Civics Institute of Ireland launched a competition in 1914 to encourage plans for a ‘greater Dublin’, to stimulate innovative ideas for how the city might be developed and address its housing shortage.  The competition was won by Abercrombie, Sydney and Kelly.  The outbreak of World War I in 1914 marked the beginning of several turbulent years for the city.  In 1922, Abercrombie returned to his plans for Dublin:

The members of the Institute feel that with the recent change in National circumstances a new epoch has begun, and that the present is a most opportune time to arouse the interest of the Citizens, hence it is that the design and report prepared… in the year 1916, now appears.

T. W. Sharp signature on our copy of 'Dublin of the future'

T. W. Sharp signature on our copy of ‘Dublin of the future’

Interestingly, the copy of Dublin for the future we received from the Landscape Institute has been inscribed with the signature ‘T. W. Sharp’ on the front endpaper (left).

It seems a fair assumption that this signature belongs to Thomas (Wilfred) Sharp (1901-1978).

Thomas Sharp was a town planner and writer, who we can imagine was was inspired by Abercrombie’s work.  Sharp shared Abercrombie’s enthusiasm for the landscape and its protection (he was President of the Landscape Institute, 1949-1951).  Coming into his own as a town planner following World War II (working on towns such as Oxford, Exeter and Salisbury) that this is likely to be Sharp’s copy of Dublin is a very rewarding aspect of the provenance of the book.

Upon first opening the book – the reader is presented with a striking and unusual frontispiece (below).

'The last hour of the night' frontispiece illustrated by Harry Clarke

‘The last hour of the night’ frontispiece illustrated by Harry Clarke

On first inspection – you could almost wonder why this illustration is used as a frontispiece in a publication largely about the technicalities of town planning. Harry Clarke (1889-1931) was born in Dublin and worked as a book illustrator and stained-glass artist.  Clarke was also a prominent figure in the Arts and Crafts movement in Ireland.

Clarke’s The last hour of the night makes plain to the reader the damage incurred by the city during the preceding years of war and battles for independence.  It is a haunting image that alludes to the challenge faced by Abercrombie and his team to rebuild, redevelop and reinvigorate the city.

Few towns have suffered a change, physical and psychological,  during these intervening years of war, trade boom and subsequent depression: but Dublin has added the double tragedy of war and civil war within her gates.

(Dublin of the future, p. ix). 

You can see Dublin of the future in full here.

Find our more about our Landscape Institute collections here.

Questions?  Then please get in touch with us at merl@reading.ac.uk

Claire Wooldridge: Project Librarian (Landscape Institute) 

Focus on collections: Bikes & Cycling

Our Social Media and Collections intern, Lisa, has been researching bike-related materials in our collection to coincide with Bike Week…

This week it’s Bike Week which aims to promote cycling, encouraging people to make it part of their everyday lives. Not only it is it great fun and a healthier way to travel to work, it’s also an excellent way to explore the countryside. A large number of events are happening across the country this week to promote cycling, in particular cycling to work as let’s face it, cycling in the sunny rays alongside a colleague to work seems far more appealing than being in a stuffy car stuck in traffic.

As a result, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore the collections here at MERL to see what interesting objects relating to bikes the museum has to offer. Scrolling through the online catalogue, it was clear that MERL holds a huge collection relating to bikes, from bicycle lamps to cycling maps, as well as a boneshaker bicycle; I was certainly not disappointed!

2010.159-2

MERL 2010/159

 

One interesting item that caught my eye was the Bacon’s Country Map of Kent which was number two in the series and sold for seven pence. Having been produced between 1906 and 1910 by G. W. Bacon & Co, this map highlights that people were beginning to view the countryside in a different light at this time. There was an increasing interest to explore the countryside and see what it had to offer, from its rolling hills to flowering meadows. The idea of escaping the busy city and enjoying the fresh country air with its beautiful views was popular, therefore maps such as this one would have come in handy to find picturesque cycle roots through the countryside.

75.30

MERL 75/30

With MERL being home to one of the biggest basket collections in the country, from delivery baskets to fruit baskets, I was on the lookout to find a bicycle basket. Like so many people today, I can’t cycle anywhere without my trusty bicycle basket. This basket that I came across was actually made in Reading by George Frost of Spencers Wood in 1975. Made from willow that came from Taunton in Somerset, along with its leather straps and buckles that allows it to attach to the bicycle, it looks like the perfect accessory to any bicycle and a great way of carrying a picnic.

Finally, my favourite object that I came across was the corn dolly penny farthing bicycle leaning beside a lamp post. Originally made by Alec Coker for a competition at the Lambeth Corn Dolly Gathering in Cambridgeshire, it is clear that a lot of work went into making it. Corn dollies were once used for ritual purposes, but from the 1950’s great efforts were made to preserve the craft after the ritual associations with corn dolly’s faded away.

 

86_145[1]

MERL 86/145/1-2

From looking into the collections here at MERL, the museum has some very interesting ojects relating to the topic of bikes which Bike Week has highlighted. Cycling is a great way to explore the countryside and keep fit, therefore I will certainly be taking full adavantage of my bike this summer!

 

Focus on Collections: Dragons

To celebrate St George’s Day we decided to delve into the object collection for dragons.

IMG_8820Dragons are normally something you would keep well away from Museum stores. Messy eaters, far too large and prone to setting things on fire, they are possibly the least ideal animal to have in a storehouse full of dry baskets, wooden tools and straw samples.

IMG_8822

And yet, some curator long ago saw fit to let at least a few dragons in. Our first three are fairly manageable, being altogether about ten centimetres long, made of corn and being – on closer inspection – actually quite cute. Modelled on the fierce beasts of mythology, these corn dolly dragons made by Doris Johnson appear to be aquatic rather than airborne, with only two legs, a spiral tail and no real wings to speak of.

IMG_8834

Our next dragons are similarly flammable but, since they were made in 1787, have managed to survive. They are known as Housen, and are pieces of decoration meant to be attached to a horse’s collar. They both depict a pair of dragons in the centre, mouths set against a globe. The style of both pieces is very reminiscent of Nordic designs, and yet these two pieces were collected from Twyford. Their origin is obscure, but they may have developed from the guard attached to the front of the saddle to protect the groins of a knight in armour, which at least gives them a flavour of St George.

The lack of wings, however, make us wonder if these even do depict dragons. Are they in fact heavily stylised lions?

IMG_8841

Discovering the Landscape #13: From garden space to masterplan

Seminar series round up: Written by Claire Wooldridge, Project Senior Library Assistant: Landscape Institute

Our captivating landscape inspired seminar series has drawn to an end.  We’re delighted the series has been so well attended; a testament to the speakers and to the fascinating subject matter.

If you attended any of the talks (or were unable to) and want to find out more, you can get in touch with us by emailing merl@reading.ac.uk.

Highlighted below are a few of the items from our collections which were mentioned in the talks:

Archives:

Audience for LI seminar

Audience for LI seminar

As part of ‘From garden space to masterplan: the Landscape Institute collections at MERL’ our deputy archivist Caroline Gould

and landscape architect Annabel Downs gave an insightful overview of the history of the Landscape Institute and to the collections here at MERL.

Our Landscape Institute webpages are a really useful starting point for research into our collections and as a source of background information and handlists for specific collections, such as the Brenda Colvin collection, Geoffrey Jellicoe collection and Preben Jakobsen collection (which Karen Fitzsimon used in her talk entitled ‘Rediscovering Preben Jakobsen’.

Our existing MERL archival holdings also hold many treasures to the student of landscape.  Johnathan Brown, in his talk entitled ‘Changing landscapes of farming and estates after the First World War’, used several images from the extensive MERL photographic collection to great effect.  A full listing of our existing MERL archives can be viewed using the MERL archives A-Z.

 

1000 books cataloguedLibrary:

The library of the Landscape Institute is being integrated into our existing MERL library, further adding to areas of strength within the collection, on subjects such as domestic gardening, land use and the environment and conservation issues.  Reference books within the MERL library are a great place to start research into all things landscape.

We were able to show case our Gertrude Jekyll books in a pop up exhibition following Richard Bisgrove’s talk such as Gardens for Small Country Houses, Colour in the Flower Garden and Home and Garden.

The talk from Giles Pritchard and Barnaby Wheeler entitled ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ was another perfect opportunity for us to delve into our Special Collections and display some of our rare books relating to Reading Abbey.  We were also to display images from slides from the Moore Piet + Brookes collection relating to their work on the Reading Town Centre Masterplan and pedestrianisation.

The pictures below from Professor Timothy Mowl’s intriguing talk on ‘Pleasure and the Regency Garden’ enabled us to showcase some wonderful books featuring beautiful plates of the gardens at our very own Whiteknights (such as Hofland’s A descriptive account of the mansion and gardens of White-knights).

Pop up exhibition in our Staircase Hall following an LI seminar

Pop up exhibition in our Staircase Hall following an LI seminar

Plate of Whiteknights from Hofland

Plate of Whiteknights from Hofland

As above for more information please contact us on merl@reading.ac.uk, visit our LI webpages or search our online catalogue.

To continue discovering the landscape, FOLAR (Friends of the Landscape Library and Archive at Reading) are holding a study day on Brenda Colvin (with a talk from Hal Moggridge, our archivists and a pop up exhibition) at MERL on Saturday 21 March.  See here for more information or contact folar1234@gmail.com to book.

Discovering the Landscape #10: Fascinating rare books in the LI collection

Written by Claire Wooldridge, Project Senior Library Assistant: Landscape Institute

Title pages (from left to right, Instruction pour les jardins 1697, The complete gard'ner 1704, Il giardiniero francese, 1723)

Title pages (from left to right, Instruction pour les jardins 1697, The complete gard’ner 1704, Il giardiniero francese, 1723)

This months ‘Discovering the Landscape’ looks at some interesting new additions to our MERL Library Reserve collection, drawing upon links between the Landscape Institute collections and our existing MERL and Special Collections.

We received several fascinating rare books from the library of the Landscape Institute.  Here we look at two of these (La Quintinie, Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, Paris : 1697 and  (Dahuron, Il giardiniero Francese : ovvero, trattato del tagliare gl’alberi da frutto con la maniera di ben allevarli, Venice: 1723) alongside our existing Reserve copy of La Quintinie, The complete gard’ner : or, Directions for cultivating and right ordering of fruit-gardens, and kitchen gardens, London : 1704.

Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, 1697, fold out plate

Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, 1697, fold out plate

The complete gard'ner, 1704, inserted plate

The complete gard’ner, 1704, inserted plate

Il giardiniero Francese, 1723, tree plates

Il giardiniero Francese, 1723, tree plates

The three titles above are all translations of the same work, originally in the French (1697) by Jean de La Quintinie, 1626-1688.  It is fascinating to hold the three copies of this text, to see how it was translated into Italian and French over the next two to three decades.  This indicates the text must have been considered to be very important and useful, as the dissemination of the text in different European vernaculars in the early decades after its first publication reveals.

La Quintinie was the principal gardener of Louis XIV (1638-1715) of France and was responsible for the design of the Potager du Roi (the Kitchen Garden of the King) at the Palace of Versailles.

 

The work was first translated into English at the end of the seventeenth century, our copy was published in 1704.  John Evelyn (1620-1706) the well-known English writer, diarist and gardener (e.g. Sylva, or a discourse on forest trees, 1664) produced the first English translation of Quintinie’s work.  Evelyn was a prominent scholar of botany, gardening and natural history, meaning that his choice to translate Quintinie again highlights the significance of the work.  He was assisted by George London and Henry Wise, who then went onto produce the condensed version published in 1704 we hold in our Reserve Collection.

René Dahuron (c. 1660-1730) translated La Quintinie’s work into Italian in 1723. Dahuron had worked under Quintinie’s instruction at Versailles.

Il giardiniero Francese, 1723, tool illustration detail

Il giardiniero Francese, 1723, tool illustration detail

All three editions of the work we hold contain intricate and delicate plates.  Many of these are large fold out plates, several being of trees.  Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers (1697) also includes a delicate fold out plate of a garden design (the top image, above).  In addition there are lovely illustrations used for chapter headings, such as the two below, showing how the title is dedicated to the King.

Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, 1697, chapter heading illustration

Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, 1697, chapter heading illustration

Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, 1697, illustration detail 2

Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, 1697, illustration detail

For further information please contact us on merl@reading.ac.uk

 

References:

La Quintinie, Instruction pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, Paris : 1697

(MERL LIBRARY RESERVE–4790-LAQ)

 

Dahuron, Il giardiniero Francese : ovvero, trattato del tagliare gl’alberi da frutto con la maniera di ben allevarli, Venice: 1723

(MERL LIBRARY RESERVE FOLIO–4790-DAH)

 

La Quintinie, The complete gard’ner : or, Directions for cultivating and right ordering of fruit-gardens, and kitchen gardens, London : 1704.

(RESERVE –635-LAQ)

Discovering the Landscape #6: Susan and Geoffrey Jellicoe catalogues now available online!

Written by Claire Wooldridge, Landscape Institute Library Officer

AR JEL DO1 S2/20

Drawing showing design for 1993 at Shute House, Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire

Drawings donated to the Landscape Institute by Geoffrey Jellicoe and the photographic collection of Susan Jellicoe are now catalogued and are available to search via our online catalogue and by collection in PDF format (Geoffrey Jellicoe, Susan Jellicoe).

These fantastic collections cover landscape architecture and landscape history across Europe and beyond.  Both Susan and Geoffrey Jellicoe were highly influential in the field of landscape architecture and played significant roles in the Institute of Landscape Architects (now the Landscape Institute) and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (Geoffrey acting as president of both institutions at different times from the later 1930s).

The drawing above is from the Geoffrey Jellicoe collection, a drawing showing his 1993 design for Shute House, Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire (AR JEL DO1 S2/20).

Below are a few examples from Susan Jellicoe’s photographic collection, include images of Venice (P JEL PH2/A/6/12), Cliveden (P JEL PH2/L/8/18 relating to our Nancy and Waldorf Astor material) and Geoffrey’s memorial to John F. Kennedy at Runnymede (P JEL PH2/L/8/64).

Susan Jellicoe, Venice, P JEL PH2 A_6_12

Susan Jellicoe, Venice, P JEL PH2 A_6_12

 

Susan Jellicoe, Cliveden, P JEL PH2 L_8_18

Susan Jellicoe, Cliveden, P JEL PH2 L_8_18

P JEL PH2 L_8_64

Susan Jellicoe, Runnymede, P JEL PH2 L_8_64

 

We are delighted these fantastic collections are now searchable!  Please direct any enquiries to merl@reading.ac.uk.

 

 

Focus on Collections #5: Brewing Beer

Written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer.

England is ale, and ale is England.

It is an old adage, and people grasping at a description of ‘English culture’ very often reach for the low-hanging fruit of ale, pubs and Morris dancing (when they’re not already listing smocks, village greens and other aspects of the rural idyll).

‘Mmm . . . English culture. Well . . .’ he paused, rocking on his heels, a great dolmen of a man. ‘In about 1981 I had to give a lecture at the embassy in Tokyo on the subject of English culture.’

‘Oh really.’ I was underwhelmed. ‘And what did you have to say about it?’

‘Funny thing is I can’t remember . . . Shall we go and get a pint?’

Conversation between Will Self and Peter Self.

Drinking, however, is something that crosses boundaries of geography, class and background. Ale has dominated our drinking culture for centuries, and has its roots in our agricultural past and climate. We could never properly cultivate vineyards for wine, but our capacity for growing cereal crops meant we had a ready supply of grain for our earliest beers. It’s no surprise that when a culture learns how to cultivate crops, it very soon discovers how to make beer, and with grain, hops, yeast and water on our doorstep rural communities took full advantage. This, however, is not to say that it was a purely rural pastime, as brewing also benefited from the urban market and the mass-production of beer its denser populations made possible.

Photograph of a man cutting down hop vines with a scythe on Bradstock's Farm, Hertfordshire. (P SHA A PH2/2/45)

Photograph of a man cutting down hop vines with a scythe on Bradstock’s Farm, Hertfordshire. (P SHA A PH2/2/45)

The Museum holds many objects which we can use to explore brewing, such as a whole range of hop farming equipment – my favourite is the hop stilts, which were used to maintain and string hops on their high poles (although tractors and cranes are more popular now, as in the image above). We also have parts of an early twentieth century home-brewing kit from Suffolk. Home-brewing was very popular among rural communities even up until the First World War. The beginning of the end of this period of traditional home-brewing was an 1887 amendment to Gladstone’s 1880 Act which ended the inclusion of free beer as part of a farm worker’s salary, which discouraged farmhouse brewing. Yet the practice has seen a modern resurgence, and rather than being a rural phenomenon you are now more likely to find home-brewers in city-centre flats. The fact that my friend can brew beer in his own basement is testament to how simple brewing can be with new technology (for an idea of the process, check out these blogs). Real ale’s wider popularity, though, is down to the new and exciting beers North American micro-breweries have been experimenting with, CAMRA‘s relentless campaign, but also real ale’s new-found popularity with young drinkers (which may have something to do with its price relative to lager).

SimondsBreweryReading also has a proud brewing history. The most famous Reading brewery was H & G Simonds, founded in 1785 on Broad Street, and which was taken over by Courage in 1960. Large-scale brewing in Reading ended when this Brewery was closed in 2010, but that does not mean that Reading isn’t also benefiting from the real ale resurgence. Loddon’s Brewery sits just outside Caversham, Binghams Brewery is nearby in Ruscombe, West Berkshire Brewery is only in Yattendon and Two Cocks Brewery (of Grand Designs fame) are just down the road on the outskirts of Newbury. There are also numerous microbreweries in and around town, such as Sherfield Brewery, who recently worked with the University of Reading Real Ale Society to brew their own beer Extra Curricular (which I tried a pint of in the Greyfriar – it was delicious). All of these breweries are fairly small, but if anything they reflect the type of brewing equipment in our collection: small-scale, but used with skill and passion in a brewing tradition which stretches back centuries.

Of course, talking about brewing and brewery objects is all very well, but if you would like to taste the end-product of all this brewing then head down to the 20th Reading Beer & Cider festival. It’s taking place in Kings Meadow on the Bank Holiday weekend (1st-4th May), and is one of the largest of its kind in England.

We will also be selling a selection of local beers, including from the West Berkshire Brewery and Binghams Brewery, (and cider from Tutts Clump), in the beer tent at our own Village Fete on May 31st. If  we’re lucky, there’ll also be a special batch of the aforementioned ‘Extra Curricular’. You will also be able to find out more about brewing on the Brewery History Society’s stand. However, if you cannot wait until then and would like to see any of our objects relating to brewing, then please get in touch!

The Museum of English Rural Life recommends responsible drinking.

A hop knife, used for sampling hops (MERL/83/14)

A hop knife, used for sampling hops (MERL/83/14)

A mash stirrer for home-brewing (MERL/51/752)

A mash stirrer for home-brewing (MERL/51/752)