News Articles - archive

Vacancy for part-time Librarian for the Society

Library jornal collection

Surrey Archaeological Society is looking for an enthusiastic part-time librarian at its Abinger Research Centre, due to the retirement of the current librarian.  The successful candidate will be the face of the Society, meeting members and visitors in person and via email, and also carrying out some administrative duties for the Society.  A knowledge of archaeology is not essential, but an interest in heritage is required, as is the ability to commute to Abinger two days/week.


This is a permanent position.  The job description is available below.  If you fit the bill, send your current CV and a short (500 word) explanation of why you think you would be the best candidate, to .  Email this address if you have any other questions about the position.


Applications will close on 31 July 2023.

Abinger Closure

The office and library at Abinger Hammer will be closed next week from June 12 until June 18 due to Hannah being on leave.  The next day in the office/library will be Tuesday June 20th.

The Development of Timber Framing in Surrey's Old Buildings

This publication by Surrey Archaeological Society having worked with the Domestic Buildings Research Group (Surrey) maps the development of timber-framed buildings, century by century, area by area, across the county using tree-ring dating across the county. It is now available to view in the library or to purchase. Contact the Society at for details.


Surrey Historic Environment Research Framework

The annual Surrey Historic Environment Research Framework conference with the theme of Defensive Structures: Symbols of Power? will be held online on 26th November 2022.

Speakers include Stuart Brookes (UCL), William Wyeth (English Heritage) and Dr Barney Harris (UCL) and for full programme details and to book you can use the link below.



The Society has recently digitised two important volumes of research into Surrey archaeology and history which are now out of print.

Aspects of Archaeology and History in Surrey

This publication continues to be relevant to students of Surrey's rich archaeology and history.

Early Medieval Surrey: Landholding, Church and Settlement before 1300

This is a study of institutions and the economy in Surrey during the early and central Middle Ages.


Heritage Open Day

On Thursday 15th September we shall be opening the Research Centre from 10-3 as part of the Heritage Open Day programme. There will be members at work at finds processing and the library will be open to browse. It is free to members and non-members alike who are welcome to come to see some aspects of what the Society can offer.

Back in the Bag: Essays exploring artefacts in honour of David Wynn Williams

This volume brings together papers in memory of David Wynn Williams. David was an active member of Surrey Archaeological Society from a young age and made a substantial contribution to the archaeology of Surrey over many years. With a background in graphic design he was a talented artist and an accomplished draughtsman. In 2003 David became the Portable Antiquities Scheme's Finds Liaison Officer for Surrey. David died very unexpectedly in December 2017. In February 2019 a conference was held at the Surrey History Centre in Woking, where colleagues and friends presented a series of papers relating to their experiences of working with and alongside David. It was felt that a fitting tribute to David would be to publish these papers in a volume which also includes an introduction to his substantial art portfolion as well as some personal tributes.


This volume is available from

Spoilheap Publication: Reigate

Archaeological work between 1988 and 1990 examined a range of frontage and backlands locations to the south of High St and west of Bell St, the two streets that formed the core of historic Reigate, and provides an unusually comprehensive picture of the development of a small town. The town emerged on a virgin site, and the similarity of the earliest pottery deposited in all locations argues rapid development. This included kilns and other industrial features and a range of buildings with stone foundations, and clear evidence of planning from the definition of burgage plots by ditches. The foundation of the town by Earl Hamelin de Warenne, below the Norman castle, can be shown by place-name and documentary evidence to belong to the period 1164-c1170. This firm dating makes the substantial pottery assemblages of regional importance.

New E-newsletter - number 6 now available

Have you signed up to our new monthly e-newsletter? You do not have to be a member to sign up to the mailing list.
In addition to the Bulletin, we are now communicating with our members and partners via a monthly e-newsletter, which is emailed out to all on the mailing list. This is a useful way to engage in more regular communication, highlighting some of the events such as conferences and lectures, training sessions, fieldwork opportunities and occasional news items which may be of interest.
Please email to be placed on it.

All back numbers of the e-newsletter are available here.

New Year Message from our President

Dear Member

The Covid-19 pandemic is back with a vengeance and, as a Society, we have had to stop our face to face activities once more. We will continue our policy of following Government Covid-19 guidelines and regulations which, at this stage, means that none of the Society's activities should involve leaving home. The Abinger Research Centre and library are closed and Hannah, Anne and Rose are working from home.

The Society continues by video, email, phone and post. The January Council meeting will be held by Zoom video, Bulletins are being put together and distributed as normal, the Collections are being prepared, our finances are satisfactory and, despite everything, new desk-based projects are on the way.

Two video conferences are coming up. The annual Symposium will be held by Zoom spread over two Saturday mornings on 27 February and 13 March and the Roman Studies Conference on the transition between the Late Iron Age and Early Roman period will be held by video conference on Saturday May 8 - events to look forward to with bookings via the Society's website.

New Roman Pottery Guide for Surrey

Roman pottery guide

The new Guide to Roman Pottery from selected sites in Surrey is now out and available!

Using the Museum of London Fabric Codes, it includes fabric descriptions, dating details, typical forms and over 70 colour images at high magnification.

Size A5 with a laminated cover, 52 pages with 73 photographs and 5 tables and illustrations.

Price: £5.00 (add £2.00 p+p). Available from the Abinger Research Centre or send a cheque to 'Roman Studies Group', 14 Beech Lane, Guildford, GU2 4ES

See our Publications page for more info.

Coronavirus update - June 2020

Now that lockdown is being eased, it is time to update you on how the Surrey Archaeological Society is dealing with this unpredecented situation.


Since lockdown started in March, as already advised, we have postponed all scheduled face to face meetings and field activities, and closed our Research Centre (incorporating our library) at Abinger.  But behind the scenes the Society has continued to work well with trustees and officers operating from their own homes.  All our systems operate remotely and post and emails can be monitored and answered promptly.  Most operational meetings, including trustees, Council and sub-committees, have moved to Zoom which has worked well for us. Some projects, where paper or on-line based, such as palaeography, have also continued using Zoom.  


Our Library open hours have now been extended

Following the move of our office to the same premises at Abinger Hammer, the open hours of the Library have now been extended as follows:

Monday : 10:00am-4:00pm

Tuesday : 10:00am-2:00pm

Wednesday : 10:00am - 4:00pm

Thursday     : Not open

Friday :   Not open

First Saturday in month : 10:00am-1:00pm

The Society's library which is not only a good collection of books on archaeology and local history but is also the only specialist lending library on these subjects in the county. Books, pamphlets and periodicals that can normally only be consulted in reference libraries can be borrowed by members.

Members and non-members should check with the Assistant Librarian before visiting Abinger to ensure that the Library will be open as intended on a particular day and that the items they require are available.First Saturday in month : 10:00am-1:00pm

For details of how to get to Abinger please see the Library visiting page.

Temporary move of office to Abinger during Guildford Museum repairs

Guildford Museum will be closed for repairs for about four months from June 2019. All staff will move out, many exhibits will go into specialist storage and there will be no access to items currently on show or in store at Castle Arch until the museum re-opens. This is urgent maintenance and is not linked to possible redevelopment.

The Society was asked to vacate its office at Castle Arch for the duration of the work and has moved to the Research Centre at Abinger Hammer. Our normal open hours for the office ( and Library) will  be:

Monday 10.00-4.00

Tuesday 10.30-2.00

Wednesday 10.00-4.00

First Saturday of each month 10.00-1.30

Our email address does not change but our telephone will be 01306 731275. Calls to the Castle Arch number will be diverted to Abinger but only answered during the hours above..

Post addressed to Castle Arch will be redirected. The postal address at Abinger is:

Surrey Archaeological Society

Hackhurst Lane

Abinger Hammer RH5 6SE


You can now join the Society or renew your membership online for 2019

Online joining and renewal for 2019 are now available on this website, with payment by credit or debit card through Paypal. You can now complete all the forms and make payment online with just a few clicks of your mouse. Joiners now get up to 15 months of membership for the price of 12, up to 31 March 2020.  You can also join or renew membership of the Roman Studies Group online here.

IMPORTANT : do not renew online if you pay via standing order or have already renewed with a paper form.

Please click here to join online

Please click here to renew online

Consultation on proposed cut-back at Surrey History Centre

Surrey County Council have just launched a public consultation about the shape of its services in the future to help it set a sustainable budget. The consultation is now live and the Council wishes to hear the views of as many people as possible by Friday 4 January 2019.

The link below will take you to the online consultation form for the Libraries and Cultural Services department, which includes the work done by Surrey Heritage (archives, archaeology and conservation). Your views, and those of the members of Surrey Archaeological Society, are vitally important in determining the future direction of the Heritage service and they would greatly appreciate it if you would complete the short survey:

At present the proposal is to reduce the Cultural Services budget for 2019/20 (covering Libraries, Heritage, Surrey Arts, Adult Learning and Registration) by more than half - from £8.7 million to £4 million.

SyAS receives an HLF grant to expand its training and outreach opportunities!


This September, Surrey Archaeological Society has received a National Lottery grant totalling £90,000 for an exciting two-year heritage project, Sustainable Impact, which is spread across various locations throughout Surrey. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on training its members to carry out fieldwork and strengthen the group’s outreach activities in the community.

PhD studentship funding: The Medieval Iron Industry in the Weald

The University of Exeter, Wealden Iron Research Group and the Early Metals Research Trust are jointly funding a second three year PhD studentship, following the current successful collaboration, focussing on the Romans, which began in 2015. There is the potential to combine documentary, field and laboratory studies. Details are available from Exeter University:

Simon Esmonde Cleary to chair 'Shining a light on the 5th century AD' conference

We are pleased to announce that Professor Simon Esmonde Cleary has kindly agreed to chair the forthcoming major conference on the Roman-Saxon transition 'Shining a light on the 5th century AD in Surrey and the South-East: how did Roman Britain become Saxon England'.

Simon Esmonde Cleary is Emeritus Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Birmingham and his current research is focused on the Roman to post-Roman transition over much of the western part of the empire . He has  written extensively on this subject including on the countryside of Roman Britain in the fourth and fifth centuries, and the Roman to Medieval transition, and is therefore ideally placed to lead discussions on what will be the latest archaeological evidence for the 5th century.

Click here to book online

Book ONLINE for the major Roman/Saxon Conference in Ashtead in May 2018

We are holding a major conference at the Peace Memorial Hall in Ashtead about Roman and Saxon 5th Century Surrey on 5th May 2018. 

CLICK HERE and then click on the Book tab to book online.

The image (right) is of a large bead found in an Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Guildown, Guildford in the 1920s, described by Lowther in S.A.C Vol. 39 page 11 : 

"Plate VIII, No. 3 (Grave No. 123). This, on the other hand, is probably purely an ornament and an extra large type of bead, the hole being rather too small for the insertion of a spindle. It is of the " lobed " type which appears to be derived from the Roman " melon " bead, for which reason this form is usually given an early date. Six of the beads from this site are of the lobed type. This bead is of pale green glass, with an inlaid red spot on each of the six lobes. Found placed centrally on the chest of the skeleton."

Collections Volume 100 is now published

Collections Volume 100

The landmark 100th volume of the Society's Collections is now published and should be with members.

Please note that the link to the supplementary material in the volume has, unfortunately, not yet been transferred to the ‘new’ ADS pages that contain the information for vol 100, but if you click here you will be taken to the relevant page on the new site - click on browse and then move down the list to volume 100.

Another successful summer dig ends at Abinger

The month of excavation at Abinger has now come to an end. Our 75 volunteers coped admirably with unseasonally hot weather, up to 35C the first few days. Whilst this meant that we lost very little digging time to wet weather it also meant that the ground was baked hard and the colours more muted than we might have hoped for. Despite this we made good progress, with volunteers trowelling and retrowelling areas over and over  to gradually uncovering the archaeology beneath. Whist digging has finished there is still plenty of planning and section drawing to complete and this will be done over the next week or so.

Finds team