Previous events Over the years, the CBA South Midlands group has enjoyed a wide range of archaeological trips, visits, conferences and activities. Some recent events include:   Are you looking for the main CBA national site? Click here for archaeologyuk.org Walking tour of the Dunstable Downs and Whipsnade Tree Cathedral, Bedfordshire (September 2012) Lying only just beyond the urban sprawl of Dunstable and Luton, the breathtaking scenery of the Dunstable Downs is cared for by the National Trust. While many people use the Downs for walking, flying kites and many other activities, few visitors realise the depth of the landscape’s archaeological heritage. The people who came along on this walking tour, led by Jeremy Oetgen and Wes Keir of Albion Archaeology, found out about some of the landscape’s 4,000 years or more of history. The tour focussed on work carried out by Albion in 2007—8 ahead of the Trust’s installation of a new path along the Downs. While many people are familiar with the Five Knolls barrow cemetery, few see the many hollow- ways that lead up the hill from Dunstable, which may have formed part of the prehistoric Icknield Way. We were also shown two pillow mounds, created by medieval rabbit-farmers, as well as more recent remains taking us up to World War II. The day was rounded off with a walk along the course of the Icknied Way to the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral, an early 20th-century arboreal creation inspired by Liverpool Cathedral. South Midlands Council for British Archaeology South Midlands Group: Archaeology for all     Charity No. 1055411 Made with Xara Web Designer Council for British Archaeology Visit to Nassington Prebendal Manor and Tithe Barn Museum, Northamptonshire (June 2012) In a joint event with CBA East Midlands, we visited the medieval Prebendal Manor with its stunning recreated gardens at Nassington, Northamptonshire. The manor’s owner, Jane Baile, started the day by taking us on a tour of the village, before providing us with lunch back at the museum. We split into two groups in the afternoon for a tour of the house and the garden. Jane led us round the house, which is Grade I listed and is the oldest surviving dwelling in the county — it was great to hear about the house’s history from someone who knows it so intimately, having restored much of it. The fascinating tour of the gardens was led by Mike Brown, their designer, who also showed us round the 16th-century dovecot. To round off the day, we crossed over the road to look round the Anglo- Saxon church that lies opposite, which boasts a collection of medieval wall paintings among its many attractions. Exploring the Church of St Mary and All Saints with its medieval wall paintings Mike Brown explains the layout of the recreated medieval gardens Bedfordshire Archaeological Review, Toddington, Bedfordshire (April 2013) Our first conference at Toddington for nearly a decade was one of our best attended, with 80 people turning up to hear the latest news about archaeology in Bedfordshire. Carenza Lewis started proceedings with a talk about her work with community archaeology groups across East Anglia, after which nine other speakers talked about a mixture of commercial excavations and volunteer-led research projects. The subjects we heard about included a Beaker burial near Bedford, test-pitting along Watling Street, and the imminent publication of the 1970s excavation at Grove Priory, Leighton Buzzard.           As well as the talks, there were also display boards and book stalls           to browse during breaks. The Angel pub in Toddington provided a           sumptuous buffet lunch — and sunshine was laid on all day for free!           Watch out for details of the next Bedfordshire Archaeological Review,           scheduled for May 2014. Tour of Piddington Roman villa and museum, Northamptonshire (September 2013) 34 years of excavation have revealed a complex multi-period site at Piddington, from Mesolithic hunters to the Roman army. The site is best known for its Roman villa, excavated by the Upper Nene Archaeological Society, while current excavations are focusing on a large earlier building. In 2014, the society aims to explore a building that might be the bath house of a Roman fort.    The site’s director Roy Friendship-Taylor led a tour of the site,    in which he showed us the results of the 2013 excavation    season and explained how they related to what had been    found previously. After that, we were guided round the site’s    award-winning museum, housed in a former chapel that UNAS    bought in 1992. We saw artefacts from all across the Roman    empire, and heard from Roy about some of the more exciting    objects that have been found at Piddington. Excavation carries on at Piddington every year, with a 4 week dig each August, while the museum is open on Sunday afternoons and by appointment. See www.unas.org.uk for further information.