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Spring and summer 2022

May 24, 2022

The Society’s lecture season has come to a close, as has the exhibition on the history of the Society. We are working on converting the content of the exhibition to a virtual one for this website. Members of the Society will be active especially in undertaking geophysical surveys over the summer. We plan to be continuing the survey at Verulamium again this year in August.

The lecture season will resume in October when we will also be hosting the fourth Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research conference with the St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society on the 22nd October.

Please get in touch if you would like to be involved in any of the Society’s activities.

AGM and lecture

April 19, 2022

Friday 22nd April, 7.45pm, sees our AGM for 2021-2022. This will be as short as we can make it! The business meeting will be followed by a lecture by James Fairbairn entitled “Verulamium: the basilica and portico wall excavations.” All welcome.

Placenames, language change and the history of the Hitchin region

March 15, 2022

This Friday sees Keith Fitzpatrick Matthews presented a talk on the place names of the Hitchin region. Please note that this talk will be at our usual venue (United Reformed Church, Church Road, Welwyn Garden City) at our usual time (7.45pm) and not as previously advertised.

Making stained glass in the Medieval period

February 27, 2022

Our next WAS lecture on the 4th March 2022 will be Professor Ian Freestone (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) telling us about his research on medieval stained glass. Ian is a world-leading expert on glass of all periods and especially the scientific analysis of glass compositions and what that can tell us about how glass was made, traded and used. It should be a super talk. Tea and coffee will be available as usual.

Exhibition Opens

February 23, 2022

An exhibition on the history of the Welwyn Archaeological Society has opened at Mill Green Museum, Hatfield ( The exhibition, put together by Kris Lockyear and Emma Harper, traces the story of the Society from its foundation in 1960 to the present day. Many of the finds are on display for the first time including some of the architectural fragments from Chapel Wood along with fragments of stained glass, Roman artefacts from Great Humphreys, Hooks Cross and Six Acres and a vessel with a name scratched on the base, also from Hooks Cross. The exhibition runs until mid-May.

Rendlesham in Context: topography and territory in early medieval East Anglia

March 15, 2021

The next CHAS online lecture is on Monday 22nd March at 7.45pm.  Professor Tom Williamson is well-known for his work on the history and archaeology of Hertfordshire and Norfolk, and especially his work on the development of landscapes.  On this occasion he will be talking about the exciting work happening at the important early site at Rendlesham.  Please book your tickets via Eventbrite.


The Havering Hoard

February 22, 2021

On Monday 22nd February 2021 at 7.45pm CHAS will be hosting a zoom talk by Sophie Adams entitled The Havering Hoard: baffling experts or bolstering opinions?  This talk is sponsored by the Prehistoric Society.  Free tickets are available from Eventbrite.

You will be sent a link by Eventbrite.  The link is an orange button marked “View the Event”.  The page you are sent to when you click on this has another button, usually towards the bottom of the page, which will go “live” five minutes before the meeting starts.


Hopewell Earthworks in Ohio, USA: Rediscovering Ancient (200 BC-AD 400) Monuments

December 14, 2020

The first CHAS lecture of 2021 will be held on the 11th January 2021 at 7.45pm, online via zoom. Dr Jarrod Burks of Ohio Valley Archaeology Inc., will be talking about his work researching the Hopewell earthworks of Ohio.  Jarrod will be known to some of us as he came to St Albans in 2013 to help teach the geophysics course at the start of the Sensing the Iron Age and Roman Past project which led to the creation of the Community Archaeology Geophysics Group (CAGG). As well as his commercial survey work, Jarrod has been surveying in this spare time the amazing earthwork sites of the Hopewell, which date between 200 BC and AD 400.  Some of these sites are truly enormous — he has just finished surveying one great circle which is 1000 feet in diameter, and some are amazingly complex.  He has also been involved in projects to save and protect some of these sites when they come under threat of development.  This talk will be a fascinating insight into this prehistoric culture, little known to many on this side of the Atlantic. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

Jarrod teaching at the 2013 course at Verulamium Park.


Jarrod surveying at the Snake Den site in 2019.

The magnetometry survey of the Junction Group earthworks, Ohio.

The preserved site at the Junction Group, Ohio, with the earthworks indicated by mowing.

CHAS (but not Dave)

November 25, 2020

The Combined Hertfordshire Archaeological Societies (CHAS) was formed in October to provide a platform for some of the archaeological groups in the county to be able to run some form of event during the covid-19 pandemic. The five societies involved are:

  • The Welwyn Archaeological Society
  • The East Herts Archaeological Society
  • The North Herts Archaeological Society
  • The Norton Community Archaeology Group
  • The South-West Herts Archaeological and Historical Society

In addition, the Hertfordshire Association for Local History had to run their annual symposium online and both contributed towards the initial licence, as well as paying for a month’s extension to allow for 500 attendees. Attendance at these meetings is free, but if you are not a member of one of the contributing groups, please consider joining.  Our usual worries about membership are magnified by the pandemic.

Tickets for the CHAS lectures can be obtained via Eventbrite.  Links for the meetings are available on the CHAS page of this website.

The weirdness of Late Iron Age burial

March 13, 2020

This Friday, 6th March 2020, Isobel Thompson will be speaking on “The weirdness of Late Iron Age burial”. Isobel is well-known for her research into the late Iron Age and is an expert in grog-tempered pottery. She co-authored “Alban’s Buried Towns” with Ros Niblett. She formerly worked for the Hertfordshire HER, and is now an honorary member of staff at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. WAS has a long involvement in examining late Iron Age burials having originally helped rescue the Welwyn Garden City chieftain burial, found and excavated the Aston Princess, and most recently excavated a series of odd burials in the “great white hole” in Welwyn. Come and put our finds in context in the last regular meeting of the season.

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