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Gillian Hovell

is a


Accredited Lecturer


Member of

The Society of Authors


Copyright © Gillian Hovell



‘The Muddy Archaeologist’

is an identifying title

for Gillian Hovell,

independent freelance

Writer & Speaker,

historian and archaeologist


‘Visiting the Past Tours’

is the trading name of

Visiting the Past Ltd

 Registered Address:

212 Woodfield Rd


North Yorkshire

HG1 4JF  

Company No: 08315220

In association with


With thanks to

Bringing Colour, Depth and Meaning to Life today

by Digging Deep into History


“The Muddy Archaeologist is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [The Muddy Archaeologist (].”


The MuddyArchaeologist’s Blog



My thanks to all my recent hosts




Bookings are already being taken into 2017

so book early for your society or event.


Click here to see a full choice of talks


Some of the most popular talks are:

Pompeii - A Product of Its Time - A Fresh Look at Frescoes

A Mediterranean Tour - Not Just  a Load of Old Stones

A Muddy History of Britain - A Local View

Latin Yesterday, Today & Forever

Roman Britain: What did the Romans Ever do for Us?


The Muddy Archaeologist is a NADFAS Accredited Lecturer

Do call me to arrange a talk for your local DFAS.  I travel anywhere to talk.

Email me  or tel. 01423 203516   Mob 07860 637301

In these budget-challenged times, why not co-ordinate with your neighbouring DFAS who meet the day before/after you do, and share the expenses?  I’m happy to do a local ‘tour’!







Contact me here or phone me on

01423 203516 or 07860 637301

to book me for a lively, richly-illustrated talk

that will entertain, inform, and bring history to life

A few comments from recent reviews and appraisal forms ...

  ‘Excellent speaker. Very informative - learnt loads’                              ‘Absolutely excellent’

        ‘Very entertaining’          ‘Beautifully presented - history with humour - a delight’            ‘Thoroughly enjoyable’

               ‘Phenomenal’                  ‘Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!’                             ‘First class as usual from Gillian’

      ‘Enjoyable and interesting’                    ‘Gillian brings learning to life in a way that inspires future interest’  

Just some of my hosts in recent months  ...



A Selection of Recent Talks:

Talks - Walks (also displays, workshops, classes, charity work, Lent courses ...)

Latin - Rome - Roman Britain - Classical Gods - Archaeology - Petra - Trekking


Roman Britain: What the Romans did for Us  The ebb and flow of the history of the Roman Occupation: the events, the sites, thepersonalities, and what the Romans thought of the Britons and how they changed our landscape and lives for ever.   

(Previous hosts: Kirklees Culture Club, feva, Harrogate Library, Leathley Tea’n’Talk, Bilton Historical Society, Leathley 50 Club ...)


Romans in Yorkshire     A new talk on the impact of the Romans in Yorkshire and/or  in the North.  Were we really a crucial part of the Roman Empire, and did we become truly integrated and Roman?                             (Art Fund ...)


Pompeii - A Product of its Time   A Fresh Look at Frescoes   Get to know Pompeii and the lives of those who lived there before you visit the British Museum exhibition or join us on a Visiting the Past Tour there ...          

(Bloomsbury Hotel London, National Media Dinner, Mercer Art Gallery, Wakeman Lectures, Bedale Library reopening event, North Stainley Village Hall, Staveley Historical Society, )



Iron Age (Nidderdale) Project   The hugely successful community archaeology project in Nidderdale

(CBA Symposium, Ingleton, Yorkshire Archaeological Trust, Mens Forums, ...)


Dales Prehistory  A mini course on prehistory in the Dales - what happened when, and what we can still find out there today ...


Latin Yesterday, Today and Forever   A trip through the centuries finding out how Latin crept into our modern lives and how it surrounds us every day and can enrich our lives.

(Previous hosts: Classical Association, Wakeman Lectures, Washburn Heritage Centre, Riccall History Society, Knaresborough Men’s Forum ...)


Latin All Around Us - Why the Romans Still Matter Today  .Discover how to spot the Romans all around us - always tailored to be of interest and relevance to the specific audience.   

(Previous hosts: Naturalist Societies, Libraries, Schools)


The Virtue of Words - How the Victorians shaped the Words we use The Victorians reshaped our world, but they raided the Classical world to colour their world.   

(Previous hosts: Ripon Cathedral ...)


What’s in a Name?   Getting to grips with those Latin names and finding out there’s a whole world of colour, richness and fun out there!   

(Previous hosts: Wharfedale Naturalist Society ..)


The Words of God   Fresh meaning and power to the words we use on a daily and weekly basis in our churches, services, scriptures ...

For lay groups and clearly alike.

(Previous hosts: Ripon & Leeds Diocese CLAY series, Birstwith & Benefice  ...)


A Classical Gallery of Rogues - the Eternal Pantheon  Getting to know the Classical gods and their place in our lives today.  Gods posing divinely and gods behaving badly continue their immortal existence in modern art and media today.

(Previous hosts:  feva (Knaresborough Festival), U3A Thirsk; Leathley Tea’n’Talk ...)


A Muddy History of Britain - A Local View   We take a virtual tour through history from early prehistory to modern times, discovering that we’re surrounded by history every day. Learn to spot archaeology all around us: you’ll never look at an empty field the same way again ...

Previous hosts:

  After-dinner speeches  (Soroptomists, National Trust, 52 Clubs  ...)

 Archaeology societies (YAT, CBA, Harrogate, Ingleborough, Nidderdale Society, Middleham ...)

 Churches (Addington, Ripon, Birstwith ...)

 Entertainment Venues (Galtres ...)

 History Festivals (Ripon, Washburn, Stanwick, North Yorkshire County Council ...)

 Libraries  (Skelmanthorpe, Ripon, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Starbeck, Kirklees, Boroughbridge ...)

 Lifelong Learning (U3A, CLAY, Wakeman Lectures, Classical Associations, Schools ...)

 Literary Festivals (Ilkley, Calderadle Readers’ and Writes’ Festival, feva ...)

 Literary Teas  (St.Aidan’s School, Leathley ...)

 Local History Groups  (Boroughbridge, Friends of Harrogate District Museum, East Keswick History Society)

 Local Societies  (Nidderdale Society, Men’s Forums, Ladies’ Association, Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association)

 School Events   (St.Aidan’s School, Harrogate, Taunton, Rossett ...)

           To name just a few ...

Iron-Age (Nidderdale) Project  The amazing story unearthed by the Community Archaeology Project.  Walks given for the AONB, Ripon International Festival, Upper Wharfedale Field Society, Pateley Bridge Walking Festival ...


Prehistoric Nidderdale   A trip through the Prehistory in the region - a stunning story and surprising finds, all on our doorstep!  Walks recently given for the AONB, Pateley Bridge Walking Festival, talks to Middleham ...


Why Classics /Latin is the Ultimate  Degree   You’ll be multi-talented, well-read, lateral thinker and open minded ... there’s not an area of life that you won’t learn about!   Inspiring Exeter University students.


A Down-to-Earth History of Anglesey    This island is a treasure trove for archaeology!



and many more ...

Talks  - Courses -  Tours  -  Guided Walks  - Displays

Festivals - Societies - After-dinner speaking - Author Visits

Schools - Universities - Careers Days - Study Days - Conferences

Archaeological Days - Classical Events - Guided Walks - Tours & Cruises - Day Trips

Latin - Archaeology - Ancient History - Writing

Phone me on 01423 203516 or 07860 637301 or

to book a lively, engaging professional talk tailored to your audience


Contact Me

I shall ALWAYS reply


Cruises & Tours -  Courses & Classes  -  Talks / NADFAS

Study Days & Trips  -   Books -  Articles

TV & Radio  -  Interviews  


Email me      Tel. 01423 203516  Mob. 07860 637301


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