TillVAS Till Valley Archaeological Society
TillVAS             Till Valley Archaeological Society


Welcome to the website of the Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS).


Hon. President: Dr. Chris Burgess

TillVAS is a not-for-profit organisation recognised as charitable by HMRC.


The Society's core aim is "To encourage and promote the study of the archaeology, heritage and history of the catchment area of the River Till and the eastern Border lands of England and Scotland".


We would like to share with you our interest in and enthusiasm for, everything to do with the history of the Till Valley and its river catchment, in north Northumberland, together with the eastern Border lands, once known as the English and Scottish Marches.


< Please click on the tabs on the top left-hand side of this page to learn about the Society and its activities.





Photo-River Till, looking south from Twizel Bridge


The website has a dual purpose:-

Firstly, we wish to reach as wide an audience as possible so that, hopefully, those interested will want to attend meetings, excursions, archaeological 'digs', field walking and social occasions and become members of the Society.

Secondly, the intention is to keep members up-to-date with all the latest news and to inform them on what has happened, what is happening and what is planned for the future.


The Till Valley and the eastern Borders are rich in history and archaeological sites, set in attractive and varied landscapes. The River Till rises high up in the Cheviot Hills and is named the River Breamish in its upper reaches, becoming the River Till at Bewick Mill. It is a major tributary of the River Tweed and, unlike other tributaries, its course lies entirely in England. It is a long river, perhaps 40 miles, although it is difficult to be precise because of its many twists and turns before it finally flows into the River Tweed at Tillmouth.                      


All photos on this and other pages © TillVAS or members who have given permission.

Photo-A concentrated effort in a trench below Branxton Hill in the area where the Scots army found themselves in difficult ground on 9th September 1513 at the Battle of Flodden.

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The final event of the Flodden 500 project took place on 3rd December in Etal Village Hall from 10.30am until 3.00pm. This was an excellent seminar with first class presentations by Linda Bankier, John Nolan, Jenny Vaughan, David Caldwell and Richard Carlton. The event was organised and managed by Alistair Bowden and Jane Miller of Flodden 1513 and the day was introduced by Lord Joicey, Chairman of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum. In the afternoon, the large company of professionals and volunteers from all over Northumberland, including TillVAS members, divided into groups for discussion on, (amongst other things), what had been learnt from the Flodden 500 Project and what should happen from now now on. Alistair and Jane distributed copies of FLODDEN Legends & Legacy, a beautifully produced book on the findings of the Flodden 500 Project.

THE NEXT LECTURE will be on Wednesday, 7th December at 7.30pm in Crookham Village Hall when Fiona Glover will speak on "Eyemouth Medieval Fort".


The Society has an extensive collection of documents and photographs held in its secure archives. These are invaluable for members wishing to study the local history of the area or wishing to gather information for e.g. the  Village Atlas Project. Please click on the tag above to see the catalogues. Anyone wishing to access the archives should contact the Society's Archivist, Maureen Charlton or the Assistant Archivist, Julia Day.

Many thanks to:-

1. Peter Ryder, historic buildings consultant to the Branxton & Crookham Village Project for leading us on walks around Branxton and Crookham on 2nd October and 5th November respectively. Fortunately, the weather held up on both days although there was a biting wind to add to the chill at Crookham. But the soup n' roll lunch quickly restored us.Thank you to the ladies at the Village Hall for this. Thank you also to Mike Keating, the Project Manager and Maureen Charlton, the TillVAS representative on the Village Atlas Steering Committee, for organising the event.

2. Colin Wakeling, Valerie Glass and Maureen Charlton for organising the very interesting day out at the Belford Hidden History Museum and the Armstrong's Household and Farming Museum at North Charlton on 22nd October, not forgetting the welcome lunch at the Sunnyhills Cafe. 

3. Dr Glenn Foard for delivering such an excellent and interesting lecture on "Bosworth 1485-A Battlefield Discovered" at the James IV Memorial Lecture in Coldstream on 9th October.

4. Dr David Caldwell and Richard Carlton for leading the party following in the footsteps of the Scottish army on 17th September from Wark to Ellemford to Abbey St. Bathans, Ladykirk and Norham. Also, thanks to Alistair Bowden of Flodden 1513 for organising the day.


Please see a new section on the website—click on the appropriate tab above. Contributions are coming in. Please keep sending them!


Please click on the Archaeology News tab above for details of the conservation programme and opportunities for volunteering.


There are some important meetings of the Activity Groups scheduled over the next few months. Please click on the appropriate tag above, which will take you to the Village Atlas page and give you all the dates, times and places of the meetings.


Please click on the Latest Newsletter page to see information for the current month.


Click on Reports on Events, above, for detailed accounts and press reports.


The Society operates a bookstall at all its meetings.

Items for sale include:-

1. The Society's first publication Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed at £10 per copy and

2. Vivian Wilcock's Andrew Todd 1844-1908 ( with research input by TillVAS members) at £5 per copy.

See the Publications page for more about these books. Copies of Breamish and Till are also available in Cornhill Village Shop, Etal Village Shop and Ford Village Shop.


There are also archaeological books and journals for sale. Net proceeds of sale go to TillVAS funds.