ALHA Avon Local History & Archaeology map18.jpg

ALHA is the umbrella group for local history and archaeology societies in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

We help member societies by compiling an annual list of recommended speakers, and by publicising societies’ activities through our newsletter and website. We organise a local history study day each year, and our AGM is accompanied by a lecture with a distinguished speaker.

Each year we publish 3-4 compact but authoritative books on aspects of Avon local history, and each summer we organise a series of walks.

We have strong links with the Regional History Centre at the University of the West of England, and with the libraries, archives, museums and other organisations in our area.

We offer both Society and individual membership, and further details can be found here..

Click on About Us for how to contact ALHA

Click on Publications for information about our publishing programme, and how you can contribute to the written history of our area.

Click on Events for details of the meetings, walks and other activities organised by our member societies.

Click on Groups for links to our member societies, and details of what they do and how you can contact them.

Welcome to the new ALHA website

We hope the redesign will make the site easier to use and navigate, and will make it easier for us to show more news and add pages as needed. There is a new section for ALHA publications, and better links to our members’ own websites. If you spot any errors of omissions, please advise the webmaster.

ALHA Publications

At our AGM at Marshfield on Tuesday 18 October, we shall be launching two new booklets. The publication price of each is £3.50, but you can order in advance at the special price of £2.95 each or £5.75 for the two. Prices include postage, and an order form will be available shortly.

Winterbourne Medieval Barn

Full details of the varied programme of events at Winterbourne Medieval Barn during 2016 can be found at www.winterbournebarn.org.uk. Events include basket-weaving, opera, plays, bell-ringing and singing and are suitable for both adults and children.

Frenchay Village Museum Annual Vintage Vehicle Day

Held on Saturday 16 July from 2 to 5, this event runs alongside the village Flower Show, with a vintage bus running between the two sites. Admission free. Further information available soon.

Treasures - Adventures in Archaeology at The National Museum of Wales

Banwell Society of Archaeology are organising a coach trip to this exhibition on Thursday 18 August. The coach will pick up in Banwell, Locking and Weston super Mare. Details can be found at www.banwellarchaeology.co.uk, or e-mail Margaret McCarthy

Bristol on the Western Front - 7 to 10 October 2016

A 3-day coach tour to France and Belgium with guides Jeremy Banning and Clive Burlton. Further details on the flyer.

What’s On at Bristol Museums & Archives

Click for details of the exhibitions, tours, walks and other activities taking place in Bristol in future weeks and months.

Heritage events in Bath

Click for details of the exhibitions, tours, and talks taking place in Bath.

ALHA Annual General Meeting and Joseph Bettey Lecture

Each year, our AGM is accompanied by the Joseph Bettey Lecture. The 2015 AGM and Joseph Bettey Lecture was hosted by Abbots Leigh Civic Society and the lecture was given by Professor Murray Stewart. The 2016 AGM and lecture will be hosted by Marshfield and District Local History Society and will take place on Tuesday 18 October. The guest speaker will be Alex Craven.

This website was last updated on Friday, June 17, 2016.

Follow ALHA on Facebook


The photo of Chipping Sodbury market was found on the Facebook page entitled Chipping Sodbury Photographs. The photo of Stanton Drew Stone Circle is by Michael Day and is taken from flickr. The photo of the Netham Lock in Bristol was taken by the webmaster. Click on each photo to see a full-screen image.

News and Forthcoming Events

Chipping Sodbury Market Day 2.jpgStanton Drew.jpgNetham Lock.jpg

Change and continuity east of Tudor Bristol

Barton Hill, Bromley Heath, Downend, Eastville, Easton, Fishponds, Greenbank, Hillfields, Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Redfield, St George, Speedwell, Soundwell, Stapleton and Whitehall: all today thriving districts of Bristol. But all that area east of old Bristol Castle was countryside in the sixteenth century.

Here Kathleen Hapgood (author of ALHA No.7 The Friends to Literature: the Bristol Library Society 1772-1894) surveys the terrain, its occupants and their occupations, and the consequences of the Reformation in Tudor times.

The Kalendars: Bristol’s oldest Guild and earliest public library

The Guild of Kalendars was Bristol’s most ancient religious guild, existing for at least four hundred years from the twelfth century until the Reformation. It gathered together the clergy and leading citizens for monthly celebrations of the dead in the church of All Saints. From 1464 it operated Bristol’s first public library. This study examines its history and functions, and legends.

Nicholas Orme is emeritus professor of history, Exeter University, and (among many other works) co-author of Westbury-on-Trym: Monastery, Minster and College (Bristol Record Society, 2010).

The Herapaths of Bristol

Our latest title is The Herapaths of Bristol: a medical and scientific dynasty by Professor Brian Vincent.

Click for full details of this and other ALHA titles.

Summer Walks Programme 2016

Mike Hooper has again organised a programme of walks

between May and August.

Monday 4 July - Pensford and Publow with Robert Bailey

& members of Pensford LHS

Saturday morning 6 August - Purton, near Sharpness,

with Paul Barnett.

Full details are in the Summer Walks Programme.

Know Your Place - West of England

The first phase of the expansion of Know Your Place - Bristol has now

happened and maps of the South Gloucestershire Council area are

available online. There is a new website at www.kypwest.org.uk, and

it is planned to expand this fantastic resource further to include the

whole of Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, over the coming