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.
News Articles - archive
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 email@example.com to be placed on it.
All back numbers of the e-newsletter are available here.
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.
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.
During lockdown the Prehistoric Group of Surrey Archaeological Society has been issuing a twice weekly newsletter which contains a selection of reports, articles, online courses and lectures and virtual tours of sites and museums. These are not limited to Surrey or the prehistoric periods. If you are interested in joining the distribution list please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
With immediate effect (20th March 2020) our Research Centre at Abinger Hammer, incorporating our Library and registered office, will be closed until further notice, due to the Coronavirus situation.
When normal conditions resume, a further notice will be posted here.
Coronavirus problems are going to get worse before they get better and, as a Society, we must plan for the next few months. Most importantly, our policy is to follow Government guidelines so please don’t come to the Research Centre at Abinger if you or the people around you are feeling unwell or have just come back from affected areas.
Unfortunately due to the current COVID-19 situation we have decided to cancel this conference and hopefully re-book it for May 2021.
Please see the event entry in the events list for details of refunds.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation we have decided to cancel the local history conference on Poverty scheduled for 21st March.
Please see the entry for the event on the Events page for further details of refunds if you have already booked.
AOC Archaeology have now published an online report on the prehistoric pottery from Weston Wood, Albury, which was excavated by Surrey Archaeological Society in the late 1960s. Written by Michael Russell it analyses the full assemblage from the site. The report can be accessed here: http://www.aocarchaeology.com/news/article/online-publication-prehistoric-pottery-weston/
The Society's Trustees have approved an enhanced logo, seen here and in the webpage masthead, which is a more legible evolution from our long standing logo which dates back to the early days of the Society.
The official image files can be downloaded from our logo page here.
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.
Due to staff holidays our office and library at the Abinger Research Centre will be closed on Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th June.
Normal hours will resume from Monday June 24th.
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:
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
Abinger Hammer RH5 6SE
Now available: Vol 101 of the Surrey Archaeological Collections with a wide variety of papers highlighting the rich history of Surrey from Southwark to the Greensand Hills. The papers on Reigate Heath, Orchard Hill and the Surrey greensand are now online as Recent Fieldwork with information not included in the publication.
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.
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.
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.
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: www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/award/?id=3042
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.
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."
Donations in memory of David Williams for the British Red Cross may be sent to Sherlock Funeral Service, Trellis House, Dorking RH4 2ES
The funeral of our late member, colleague and Finds Liaison Officer for Surrey, David Williams, is on Thursday 18th January at 10:30 am at St Richards Chapel, Surrey and Sussex Crematorium, Balcombe Road Crawley.
We wish our members and friends a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Our office and Library will be closed from Thursday 21 December to Tuesday 2 January 2018.
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.
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.
The annual dig at Cocks Farm Abinger has started in record June temperatures. For the first time gazebos were erected to shelter volunteers during their frequent water breaks.
Surrey Archaeological Society wishes to appoint a Projects and Outreach Officer for a three year fixed term contract from September 2017. The objective is to create a stronger outreach programme and encourage new membership by means of publicity, outreach projects and displays.
Closing date for applications 30 June 2017