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Unlocking the Bankes Archive Project Conference

Posted in News

To celebrate the culmination of our Heritage Lottery funded project, Unlocking the Bankes Archive, we invite you to join us for a conference highlighting the work Dorset History Centre has been undertaking on one of Dorset’s largest and most significant archive collections – that of the Bankes family of Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle.

The conference will include specialist key-note speakers, as well as talks from some of the staff and volunteers involved with the project. There will be a buffet lunch, and hot drinks will be available throughout the day. The event is taking place on Saturday 16th June 2018, from 10.00am – 4.30pm, at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Wimborne.

The key-note speakers include:

  • Anne Sebba, author of ‘The Exiled Collector: William Bankes and the Making of an English Country House’
  • Dr. Martin Papworth, Wessex Regional Archaeologist for the National Trust
  • Dr. Patricia Usick, author of ‘Adventures in Egypt and Nubia: The Travels of William John Bankes (1786–1855)’
  • Professor Henry French, Professor of Social History at the University of Exeter

About the project…

The Bankes Archive is housed at Dorset History Centre in Dorchester. There are approximately 27,000 items and files in the collection, which are stored in over 850 boxes. These documents hold a rich history dating from the 13th century to present day, and shine a light on a significant part of Dorset’s heritage.

Some of the highlights within the Bankes Archive include:

  • Almost 3,000 drawings, sketches and notes from William John Bankes’ expeditions in Europe, Egypt and the Middle East in the 19th century
  • Intimate photographs of family life from the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Architectural drawings showing Kingston Lacy throughout its many renovations
  • Personal letters sent between family members
  • 16th century maps that capture Purbeck, Studland and Corfe Castle in the Elizabethan era


When is the event happening?

Saturday 16th June 2018, 10am – 4.30pm.

Where is this event taking place?

Queen Elizabeth’s School
Blandford Road
BH21 4DT

What is included in the cost of the ticket?

Your admission to the conference, which includes a buffet lunch. Hot drinks will be available throughout the day. Please bring your ticket as proof of purchase to enter the event.

What are the timings for the day?

The doors will open from 9.15am, with tea and coffee available. The first speaker will start at 10.00am. The day is expected to finish by 4.30pm.

Is there parking available at the venue?

There is ample car parking available at the venue, with allocated disabled parking immediately next to the entrance.

What are the transport options for getting to and from the event?

Bus services are available from Bournemouth and Poole, which arrive at Wimborne Square, approx. 1 mile from the venue – either a 25 minute uphill walk, or a short taxi ride away.

Is there a refund policy?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds for this event.

Are concession tickets available?

No, there are no concession tickets.

What do I do if I have dietary requirements?

Once you have booked your ticket, please let us know of any dietary requirements either by email –, or by phone – 01305 250550.

What is the accessibility at the venue?

The conference is held on the ground floor with level access throughout. Accessible toilets are available at the venue. An induction loop is available for those who are hard of hearing.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You can either email us via or call us on 01305 250550.

How can I find out more about the project?

Please visit lots more information about the Unlocking the Bankes Archive project, including blog posts, a family tree and an interactive map!

Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite, or from Wimborne Tourist Information Centre.