Previous Mackrell Lectures

Mackrell and Millennium Lectures


As part of our celebrations for the Millennium, and to renew the teaching function of our ancient church, we decided to promote a course of Lectures, to be held in The Old School. There has been so much change during this century that we thought it would be opportune to review our own history as a church, and as a place often at the cross-roads of the history of our land. New interest and enthusiasm for life-long learning has encouraged us to proceed, the Mackrell charity now leases The Old School (founded by Mr Mackrell in 1799) from the church , and we hope to secure its future by continuing The Mackrell Lectures..


10 November 1999.  “Monasticism and the Millennium” Brother Samuel of Hilfield.

15 January  2000.  ”White Mill,  Sturminster Marshall.”  Mr Colin Cope.

6 February, 1999.  "New Life in Old Stones (and bricks)."   Two talks on the private lives, the conservation and restoration of old buildings, of particular interest to those who find themselves responsible for such a heritage.

Speaker:  Bruce Induni.(Bournemouth University).

17 April,  1999.   "The Romans Were Here".  Two talks on the presence, strategic, military, domestic, architectural of Romans in Dorset. Members of the Augusta 8th legion will be present.

Speakers:  Bill Putnam, Martin Papworth. (Bournemouth University and the National Trust).

9 October,  1999.  "Alfred, King of most of England".  His struggles, laws, writings, Jewel, but not the Cakes.

Speaker:  Dr David Hipshon and Dr David Turner.(Southampton University)

19 February,  2000. "Minster Churches In the Anglo Saxon Landscape".  The development of the church, the land, and the community.

Speaker : Dr John Blair. The Queen’s College.Oxford.

29  April,  2000.  "The World of William the Marshal".  Second signatory to the Magna Carta, from whom the village derives its name.

Speaker : Dr Michael Costen.(Bristol University).

21 October  2000.  "Sir James Thornhill,  Stalbridge, Blandford, and Charborough."  Recent discoveries about the artist responsible for painting the dome of St Paul's, and Greenwich Naval Hospital.

Speaker:  Dr Jeremy Barker.

3 November 2001.  “Newman’s Conversion and the development of Christian Doctrine”.

Speaker:  Prof Allen Brent.  Cambridge University.

27 April 2002. “ King Henry VI - Founder of Eton College and Kings College, Cambridge and our Patron.”

Speakers : Mrs Penny Hatton Archivist at Eton, and Dr John Watts of Corpus Christi College Oxford.

3 December 2002. “A Romp through Decorative Plasterwork of The British Isles”.  Development of decorative ceilings, and recent work by the firm of St Blaise who have helped to restore Windsor Castle.

Speaker: Ian Constantinides, proprietor of St Blaise.

10 May  2003. “The Great Fire of Blandford and the Bastard Brothers”.  Two talks on the terrible fire and the amazing re-building of Blandford Forum largely by the Bastard family.

Speakers:  Mrs Polly Legg of Dorchester,  and Dr Michael Turner of English Heritage. 

17 January 2004. “Historic Churches of Dorset”.

Speaker : P F Moule, Esq. Historic Churches’ Trust.

13 March  2004 .”Dorset Maps”. 

Speaker:  David Beaton.     Author.

12 September 2004. “The Lord’s Prayer and the Aims of Jesus”.

Speaker:  Prof David Catchpole.(Exeter University and Sarum College).

16 October 2004.  “ English Law, Parliament and the Constitution, with Europe in Mind”

Speaker: Nicholas Bamforth. Reader at Law, The Queen’s College. Oxford


29 January 2005.    “How did they build Medieval Cathedrals?”

Speaker :  Bob Machin  MA (Bristol University).

12 March 2005.   “Cathedrals, design, contracts and contractors”.

Speaker : Bob Machin  MA (Bristol University).

30 April  2005 at  7.45 pm   “What price Democracy and Peace in the Middle East ?”

Speaker : Julie Chappell OBE, of Shapwick and the Foreign Office.

9 October 2005.  “How did they create Medieval Wall Paintings ?”

Speaker : Dr Miriam Gill. (Leicester University, Dept of Art)

21 February  2006. “How did they create Medieval Panel Paintings?”

Speaker : Ruth E Bubb. Conservator to the Courtauld Institute.

18 March  2006.  “The Monumental Brasses of Dorset .”

Speaker  :  Martin Stutchfield. (The Monumental Brass Society)

21 October 2006.    “Dorset Historic Gardens and Other Surprises”

Speaker : Dr Tim Mowle.  ( Bristol University, Dept of Architecture)

27 January 2007   “ The Role of the Virtuous Gardener, (and the unvirtuous).”

Speaker : Bob Machin. (Bristol University continuing education).

17 March 2007.   “Stones and Bones in our Parish”.

Speaker : Claire Pinder. (Senior Archaeologist. Dorset County Council).

20 October 2007   “Sir Walter Raleigh at Sherborne Castle”

Speaker : Mrs Ann Smith (Curator and Archivist at Sherborne Castle)

26 January 2008   “The Earls of Shaftesbury at Wimborne St Giles”

Speaker : Dr Jeremy Barker  (Histotian)

9 February 2008   “The Development of Radar”

Speaker :  Dr Bill Penley (Chief Scientist to the Army)

17 March 2008   “General Pitt Rivers and Cranborne Chase”

Speaker :  Mark Bowden (Senior Archaeologist, English Heritage)

28 March 2009  “”The Farmer’s Year: Jean Duc de Berri”

Speaker:  Alex Wilson  (Lecturer at Blandford Camp)

24 October 2009  “The Rev Rackett of Spetisbury, William Mackrell and friends”

Speaker : Mrs Gwen Yarker, recent Curator, Russell Cotes Museum. The scientific, historic,cultural

and philanthropic interests of local friends which formed the Enlightenment and led to the founding of the school.

30 January 2010  “Understanding Aesthetics in the Eighteenth Century”

Speaker : Dr Alex Neill (Southampton University)

20 March 2010     “The Making of Landscape in the Rackett Years”

Speaker : Min Wood . Placemaker.

16 October 2010     “Dorset’s Historic Boundaries and Landscapes”

Speaker : Katharine Barker (Historian at Bournemouth University)

29 January 2011    “Dorset’s Historic Coast and Harbours” including jurassic jaw-bone

Speaker :   Gordon le Pard (Historian at Dorset County Council)

19 March  2011  “Archaeology on a Dorset Farm”

Speaker :  Martin Green  (Dorset Farmer and Archaeologist)

8th October 2011 “Light on the Dark Ages in Dorset”

Speaker: Robert Westwood (Dorset Historian)

28th January 2012 “Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts”

Speaker: Susan Smith (Art Historian)

 4th February 2012 “King Alfred and Anglo Saxon Dorset”

Speaker: Professor Barbara Yorke ( Professor of Medieval History Winchester)

17th March 2012  “Learning in Anglo Saxon Dorset - Aethelgifu/Shaftesbury and Cuthburga/Wimborne

Speaker; Professor Sarah Foot (Professor of Ecclesiastical History Oxford, Christ Church)

13th October 2012  “Bishop Poore of Salisbury and Tarrant Crawford”

Speaker; Professor Nicholas Vincent ( Professor of Medieval History University of East Anglia)

26th January 2013  “Lady Margaret Beaufort, Founder of Wimborne Grammar School.”

Speaker; Professor Michael Hicks (Professor of Medieval History University of Winchester)

16th March 2013  “Lady Bankes of Corfe Castle”

Speaker; Pam White (Historian at the National Trust)

19th October 2013 “The Importance of Bryan's Tun”

Speaker; Dr Le Bas ( Blandford Museum)

7th  December 2013 “Stone Masonry”

Speaker;Mr Daniels (Stone Mason)

8th February 2014 “Blandford through the Ages”

Speaker;Dr Le Bas ( Blandford Museum)

8th March 2014  “Undiscovered Kingston Lacy”

Speaker;Mr Smith (Historian) Cancelled due to sickness

4th October 2014 “Wimborne's Saxon Past”

Speaker;Dr David Reeve (Historian)

1st November 2014 “A History of Dean's Court and the Hanham Family”

Speaker;Sir William Hanham (Historian)

29th November 2014 “Fen, Farm and Family at Kingston Lacy”

Speaker;Professor French ( Exeter University)

31st January 2015 “Wimborne Minster and the Chained Library”

Speaker;Team of Three (Wimborne Minster)

21st March 2015 “Canford and People of Note”

Speaker;Mark Rathbone ( Canford School)

17th October 2015 “The man who saved Magna Carta”

Speaker; Professor Nigel Saul (Royal Holloway, University of London)

21st November 2015 “Christianity, Ancient and Modern”

Speaker; Canon Stanley Royle

30th January 2016 “Islam, Past and Present”

Speaker; Professor Iftikar Malik (Bath Spa University)

30th March 2016 “Judaism, Yesterday and Today”

Speaker; Professor Sarah Pearce (Southampton University)

Copyright 2019 William Mackrell (The Elder and Younger) Regn. no. 306275- Known as The Mackrell Charity