Our cover image shows the grand edifice of Syon House in west London – as well as the remains of another imposing complex that once stood on this spot. Founded by Henry V, Syon Abbey flourished to become one of the wealthiest religious houses in 16th-century England, but after the Dissolution of the Monasteries its layout was lost to memory. What can archaeological research add to this picture?
A rather different community forms the focus of our next feature: a row of roundhouses at Cladh Hallan in the Outer Hebrides, which have yielded an illuminating array of domestic debris spanning 500 years of life in the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Moving from roundhouses to oval amphitheatres, we report on a recent site visit to Richborough in Kent. Once the ‘gateway to Roman Britain’, Rutupiae was a flourishing port town that boasted a huge triumphal arch and an amphitheatre that could seat 5,000 people. What has this autumn’s excavation revealed about the construction – and decoration – of this latter amenity?
Leaping forward to more modern constructions, our next feature explores the diverse range of architecture that evolved in response to England’s co-operative movement.
Artistic endeavour also features in this month’s ‘In Focus’, which highlights recent research using cutting-edge photographic techniques to reveal previously unknown details of four decorated chalk plaques excavated in the Stonehenge landscape.