Welcome to the Website of
Helmsley Archaeological and Historical Society!
The Society began
life as the Helmsley and Area Group of the Yorkshire Archaeological
Society, and the inaugural meeting took place at the Scout Hall, Helmsley
on 5th December 1950. Reminiscences of the early days of the Society
are given here.
Its purpose was
'to gather together periodically for lectures and discussions on archaeological
subjects, with special emphasis on local history' and to collect and
record data. The Group flourished and a committed and enthusiastic membership,
pre-eminent among them being Raymond Hayes, soon began the task of compiling
'The History of Helmsley, Rievaulx and District' which was published
by Stonegate Press, York in 1963, edited by John McDonnell. Although
long out of print, this volume remains an invaluable source of information
about the town and its surroundings, and can often be found
The first issue
of the Society's biennial publication, 'The
Ryedale Historian', followed in 1965 providing a vehicle for members
to publish the results of their archaeological and historical research.
This and subsequent issues provide evidence of the wide range of interests
of the Society's Members, and activities in which they have been involved.
brand new issue of The Ryedale Historian
(Number 29) is now available
- see here
The Society is Registered
Charity (No. 1089682; its Constitution can be seen
here); it currently has a membership of about one hundred.
From September to
April there is a programme of illustrated lectures,
one a month, held at the North York Moors National Park Authority Committee
Room, Helmsley. These are on a wide range of topics, mostly concerning
the archaeology and history of the local area. During the summer months,
a series of visits is arranged, often to
sites which have featured in the previous winter's programme.
Those wishing to
apply for Individual or Family Membership of the Society should print
and complete this form.