The Last Kingdom production designer announced as speaker at conference exploring Winchester's Royal medieval past

15 Jun 2017

The production designer for the BBC's critically acclaimed 'The Last Kingdom' has been announced as a speaker at 'Winchester, An Early Medieval City', a July conference exploring the city's place in the Saxon and early medieval world. 

Martyn John will be joining the conference as a speaker on Monday 10 July. Wintanceaster: The Last Kingdom's Royal City will see Martyn in conversation with University of Winchester historian​​ Dr Ryan Lavelle, who acted as historical advisor for the series. 

Martyn Jones.jpg

This one-off event will look at design philosophies and the challenges of representing 9th century Winchester in a long-form TV drama. Previously an architect, Martyn John (pictured right) has worked on many high-profile films and TV shows including The White Queenfor the BBC and Foyles' War for ITV.

Made by Carnival Films, The Last Kingdom is adapted from Bernard Cornwall's best-selling series of novels. The series is set in the late 9th century AD, when England was divided into seven separate kingdoms and under attack by the Danes. The kingdom of Wessex, with King Alfred as its ruler, is the last major stronghold against the Danes. 
Hosted by the University of Winchester and Hampshire Cultural Trust, Winchester, An Early Medieval Royal City will shine the spotlight on Winchester's pivotal position as a royal city in early medieval history. 
The conference forms part of Winchester, The Royal City, a project which aims to celebrate and promote Winchester as a centre of key significance in the development of England and English culture. The conference is the second event in the project, following last year's inaugural, highly-acclaimed, one-day symposium Winchester, A Nation Emerges held at the city's Guildhall.
A packed programme is in place for the three-day conference, which takes place from 9-12 July, consisting of a number of keynote lectures from high-profile academics, complemented by parallel sessions. Keynote speakers confirmed to date include Professor Eric Fernie, art historian and former Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art; Professor Sharon Rowley, from Christopher Newport University, USA; British archaeologist, Professor Martin Biddle and Professor Barbara Yorke from the University of Winchester. 
The parallel sessions will be led by academics from all over the globe, and subjects covered will span the intellectual life of Winchester, the court and politics, saints and miracle stories, the Bishopric of Winchester, and Winchester and its people.
The conference opens on Sunday 9 July with a groundbreaking public lecture by Professor Eric Fernie at Winchester Guildhall with particularly strong appeal for Winchester residents. The Norman Cathedral of Winchester and its Local, National and International Contexts puts one of England's greatest landmarks in its place among buildings across Europe, and also considers what Winchester Cathedral reveals of William the Conqueror as he moved to his place amongst the kings of England. The lecture begins at 8pm, and tickets are priced at £10 per person.
Winchester, An Early Medieval Royal City takes place at the University of Winchester's West Downs Centre in Romsey Road, Winchester from Sunday 9 to Wednesday 12 July. Tickets for both the conference and public lecture are available via the Hampshire Cultural Trust website at this link​.

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