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Vanessa Williamson

B.A University of  Sydney, Hons Pre History Archaeology

Major Medieval History 

              Bonjour, I am Vanessa born in Sydney Australia, your host and co-owner of L'Hotel de Hercé with my husband Matthew.   I am an archaeologist by profession and now retired to a new life in France.   I studied at the University of Sydney, including Greek, Roman, Middle Eastern and Australian Pre-History archaeology.  With a co-major in Medieval Studies,  and some History, Classics, and Heritage Conservation. All of which now form the foundation of my skills in our Business. My Archaeology Thesis included training at the Australian Museum for my research on prehistoric Coastal Occupation in Australia and Shell Middens analysis. The work contributed to an Arnhem Land Project from Australia's Northern Territory.  I presented at the AAA Australian Archaeology Association Annual Conference in 2010 and the annual Australian Museum Scientific Research Seminar.     

         After University I continued contributing to research at the Australian Museum, working on Balmoral Beach Rock Shelter project. As a Consultant Archaeologist worked on excavations and post-excavation research projects across Sydney. As a member of the National Trust in Sydney, I sat on the  Industrial Heritage Committee and contributed to ongoing projects with the committee.

     After backpacking around France in 1984, I never gave up on my dream to live here one day. I  now live immersed in European history and now live in such an extraordinary house and town, my very own archaeology and history research project. As lifetime sewer, with interest in the history of Clothing & Historical Textiles.  A recent discovery in our attic, of antique textiles, was a special find.  Vanessa 

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Matthew Williamson

Ex Aust Army Royal Engineers       

      B.A History Aust Nat University

      Diploma in Surveying 

            Hi, I hail from the country town Glenn Innes NSW Australia, where I grew up on a dairy and cattle farm. I began my career in the Australian Army Royal Australian Engineers, training as a feild engineer and surveyor. I was posted to Asia and seconded to the Australian War Graves Commission in Malaysia and Thailand, working on the Thai-Burma Railway memorial at Hell Fire Pass . After an parachute accident,  I left the army and worked in the road, rail and telecommunication construction, doing a part-time Degree in History at Australian National University, Canberra at this time I also worked as a Guide at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and later in Sydney at the Military Installation Battery Point in the Rocks.

          Military History and Wargaming are my lifelong interest, French Medieval, Renaissance, Napoleonic, and WW2 history favourites.  I have run large events for Medieval and Napoleonic re-enactor groups, and wargaming conventions and events, and over the years held roles as President of local wargaming clubs. For decades I have run a  side business painting on commission wargaming figures and armies for private clients. I really enjoy writing and in-depth historical research contributing Military History articles to magazines; publish consistently to my blog "Storm and Conquest Blog Spot". I contribute support to worldwide Wargaming community working as a group Administrator and coordinator on many on-line military history Forums and on Facebook.

            Most evenings you will find me at my painting table creating new, armies, representing real French Battles. Many of the figures actual men with authentic heraldry; all painstakingly researched. My ongoing research ensures we have the best Western France Military History Guided Tours on offer for French enthusiasts and Wargamers. Matt

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