Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society

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MG Apprentices

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High Street, Abingdon, ca 1910


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Ock Street Flooded, 1894


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The Causeway, 1909


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Abingdon Before Developments


Abingdon Archaeology @ 50



The Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society

 The AAAHS was founded in 1968, and since then it has been the principal meeting point for all who have an interest in the past of Abingdon and its region. The AAAHS Constitution can be viewed here.

The society organises monthly lectures by acknowledged authorities on topics related to history and archaeology and to those of Abingdon in particular. There is also, during each summer, a programme of visits to sites of particular significance. Members are encouraged to write for the Society's bi-annual newsletter, which is published on the website.

The society encourages its members to pursue their own research interests, either independently or within its special interest groups, and supports these financially so far as its means allow. Its archaeological group, the longest established, has carried out numerous excavations in and about Abingdon; many of these have been published while others are currently being prepared for publication. The local history group was established in 2000 and since then has taken a number of initiatives, notably including the Ock Street Heritage project of 2006-8 and the 'Abingdon Buildings and People' history website . The society provides guides and lecturers, and cooperates with other local organisations on projects of civic importance.

 If you want to join the AAAHS, there's a Membership Form on this website, or you can contact any of the committee members. Visitors are very welcome to attend meetings at a cost of £3.

The AAAHS has an online Bulletin Board at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/aaahs
You can also follow us on Twitter - click to go there.

 Next Talk:

Thursday 18th April 2019 at 7.45pm in the Northcourt Centre, Abingdon OX14 1NS

                                                            The Lambrick Lecture

The Lambrick Lecture is sponsored by George Lambrick in memory of his mother, Gabrielle Lambrick. George is an archaeologist and member of our society.

Mrs Gabrielle Lambrick was a highly respected medieval historian who died in 1968. She did a lot of work on Abingdon Abbey. Most notably, she and C F Slade edited Two Cartularies of Abingdon Abbey, published in two volumes by the Oxford Historical Society in 1990-2. These are collections of legal and internal documents of the abbey. She contributed to a set of papers on 'The Early History of Abingdon, Berkshire, and its Abbey' in the journal Medieval History, Vol XII, 1968. She wrote a booklet for the Friends of Abingdon in 1966 on 'Business affairs at Abingdon Abbey in medieval times' describing the obedientary system and numerous other papers in academic journals.

Dr George Speake FSA  ‘Helmets and Headaches: Reconstructing the Staffordshire Hoard Helmet'

G Speake HelmetThe Staffordshire Hoard helmet, despite its incomplete state, is the grandest of the crested-type helmets to survive from the 6th/7th centuries, and it is believed to have been made in AD 600-650. Its golden ornament can be contrasted, in particular, with the iconic and contemporary helmet of silver appearance from Sutton Hoo with tinned-bronze decorative coverings. In its gilded state the Staffordshire Hoard helmet is more like late Roman examples. The Staffordshire helmet is also unique in having had an actual crest, indicated by the channel formed by its metal crest, as on all others the ‘crest’ forms only a low metal ridge.  Again, the inspiration for a hair crest can be traced back to Roman helmets, and it can easily be seen how prominent it would have made its royal wearer on the battlefield.  Indeed, its magnificent form with the great rarity of helmets generally from this time in England points to the fact that first and foremost it was a ceremonial object of state, and we should regard it therefore as no less than a crown.



George Speake

Dr George Speake an archaeologist and art historian, who initially studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London before studying European archaeology at St John’s College Oxford.

His doctoral thesis Anglo-Saxon Animal Art and its Germanic Background was published in 1980 by the Clarendon Press, Oxford. Most of his subsequent time has been spent teaching Fine Art at the art colleges of Oxford and Banbury.

He is currently an Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford.


AAAHS Talk Days at the Abingdon County Hall Museum
Why not come and listen to local experts talk about interesting topics at the Abingdon Museum? Every third Saturday of the month, starting in February 2019, three talks will take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Each will last thirty minutes and will be about a different subject or object in the Museum collection.
  • Find out what ice age Abingdon was like.
  • Who were the first inhabitants?
  • What was the Great Abbey of Abingdon like and why was it destroyed?
  • Learn about the people that worked at the MG factory and hear about some of their stories.

The next talk will  take place on 20th April.

More details will be available on the Abingdon Museum website nearer the time.


Next Local History Group Meeting:

The next meeting will be on Thursday 23rd May 2019 starting at 7.45pm in the Pendarvis Room  at 35 Ock Street, Abingdon OX14 5AG. 

For security reasons the front door is kept locked, so ring the bell and you will be let in. Go up the stairs and the Pendarvis Room is on your left.

For more information contact John Foreman,  at local@aaahs.org.uk

AAAHS Local History Group Convenor

Please find further details in the Current Activities - Local History Group  section on this site.