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Special Interest and Study Day report


Sir Stamford Raffles: His discovery of Borobudur and his role in the foundation of Singapore

Lecturer: Denise Heywood

Held on Tuesday November 3rd 2020 on line



We ran a study morning about Sir Stamford Raffles on Tuesday November 3d this year. This took the form of two 45-minute lectures with a 15-minute coffee break in between and a question and answer session at the end. Our speaker Denise Heywood specialises in Far Eastern studies. In the first of her two lectures she spoke of Sir Stamford Raffles’ exploration of the Buddhist temple of Borobudur, and his widely known role in the foundation of Singapore.  In 1804 he discovered Borobudur, which had lain hidden for centuries under volcanic ash.  It is an earthly manifestation of the Buddhist vision of the Universe dating from the 8th century Her second lecture was about Sir Stamford Raffles’ role as an art collector and founder of Singapore.  She discussed his art collection, as well as describing the architectural heritage of Singapore from its foundation in 1819 to its revival today with its magnificent art galleries and museums. Much of his collection is now housed in the British Museum. We ran the lectures as Webinars. We opened the event to all the Area societies, asking for a fee of £10. We had over 40 attendees. The event was very successful and earned the lecturer a rating of outstanding. She had mastered the art of on-line lecturing, giving the audience a real sense that she was in the same room. Her enthusiasm for her subject was infectious. It made for a very enjoyable morning, even though attendees had to make their own coffee!

Raffles Portrait  Borobudur