This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Wednesday 5 June 2024, 7pm to 8pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Bootham School (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Mary Kitson Clark (1905-2005) was a trailblazing archaeologist who saved the Roman collection in the Yorkshire Museum from potential war damage by organising its removal to a safe place away from the centre of York in 1941. As Curator of Roman Archaeology, she was responsible for cataloguing and conserving this collection. Her Gazeteer of Roman Remains in East Yorkshire published in 1935 remains an important work. 

In 1929, after studying archaeology at Cambridge, Mary joined Dorothy Garrod excavating palaeolithic sites in Palestine as one of a pioneering group of women archaeologists. In 1935, the Leeds-born archaeologist was appointed a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, an unusual honour for a woman at that time. Suffering from hearing loss after measles age three, she was a quietly enriching presence for many throughout her long life and an inspiring woman who deserves to be better known.  

Join Sarah Sheils and Catherine Brophy of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society (YPS) as they celebrate her trailblazing work. In addition, Sarah and Catherine will discuss the community heritage project ‘Museum Gardens Through Time’. Working with community groups, YPS is exploring the rich history of the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens through a plan to produce a ‘Museum Gardens Through Time’ blog along the lines of the book A Street Through Time.  

This year’s Festival includes a number of events featuring York Trailblazers. Look out for 'Five Decades of LGBT+ Activism:  Stuart Feather in conversation'; 'Anne Lister’s Loves’ and ‘As I Walked Out One Evening’.

About the speakers

Sarah Sheils has lived in York almost uninterruptedly since 1964. She studied history and medieval studies at the University of York and taught in local schools and the Open University, researching, writing and lecturing on many aspects of York’s history, including Quakerism, the Rowntree family, the Friends of York Art Gallery and the social and economic history of the city. Her work has always included first-hand research through observation and discussion with local people, which has enriched her archival material. It has been a pleasure for Sarah to be bringing York’s history alive for new generations and sharing her enthusiasm for life in York.

Catherine Brophy is the Yorkshire Philosophical Society project organiser and was their Chair until 2023.  She studied philosophy at the University of London and is a qualified Librarian and teacher with extensive experience of working in and with secondary schools.  Born in York and  returning to the city in 2007 she worked for NYBEP as a STEM Partnership Adviser managing their contract for STEMNET including recruiting and training STEM Ambassadors for work in schools across York and North Yorkshire. On retiring she enjoyed time for research and writing as well as volunteering.  Currently she is also the Chair the York Association of the National Trust (YANT).


Yorkshire Philosophical Society York Trailblazers

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop