TillVAS Till Valley Archaeological Society
TillVAS             Till Valley Archaeological Society


As the Society grows, it is intended that a series of books and pamphlets will be published in-house.


This page will also feature, from time to time, other publications that may be of particular interest. 

Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed, Antony Chessell, softback, 276 pages, TillVAS, 2014, £10.00

Foreword by Rt. Hon. Lord Joicey, Ford & Etal Estates

The author is donating the proceeds from the sale of this book to TillVAS

The book looks at the various sections of the two river valleys between the source of the River Breamish in the Cheviot Hills and the junction between the River Till and the River Tweed at Tillmouth (The River Breamish becomes the River Till at Bewick Mill). The author has been on a subjective journey looking at archaeology, flora and fauna, history, geology, and things that just appealed to him on an 'as and when' basis as he came across them.

The aim of the book is to give some background information on the area of study identified at the beginning of the Constitution of the Till Valley Archaeological Society, but information that will be of interest to the general reader who likes the countryside of north Northumberland.

This is the first in-house publication by TillVAS and copies of the book will be available at TillVAS meetings and exhibitions and at local retail outlets in north Northumberland including Cornhill Village Shop, Lavender Tearooms, Etal and Ford Village Shop.

The book may also be purchased online. Just click on:-  www.lulu.com/spotlight/antonychessell 

TillVAS members may remember that the story of Andrew Todd, born in 1844 in Crookham, was featured in one of the Society's exhibitions held at Heatherslaw Mill. Research by Val Glass on local schools led to the story being featured in the exhibition. Andrew had graduated from Glasgow University but all trace of him had disappeared after 1871. A chance meeting between Heather Pentland and descendants (one of them from America) of Andrew Todd provided a crucial contact that enabled them to see the information in the exhibition. As a result, it was discovered that Andrew had emigrated to New Zealand in 1874, married Blanche Jones from England and become a government surveyor. In 1883, the family (eventually there were 8 children) moved to America where Andrew became a farmer in Oregon. He died tragically in 1908 from a farming accident.

Now, one of the descendants, Vivien Wilcock from Yorkshire, has published a book on Andrew Todd's life-story, featuring his diary during the voyage to New Zealand.  Copies of the book are available for sale through TillVAS.

The photograph shows Heather Pentland and Val Glass (top row) and Vivien Wilcock (below right) with Vivien's husband, Dennis, who was involved in the design and production side of the book.

Print Print | Sitemap
© TillVAS


Tickets for James IV mmorial lecture now on sale.

7th October Coldstream Community Centre 2.30

Dr Alex Hildred




Tickets £6 - available from Maureen



Dates for the dig at Mardon


The dig to revisit our iron age site on Mardon farm will run from 25th August to 5th September.

For details please visit the archaeology page.

Crookham Church

On Sunday 19th August there will be an "85th Birthday Garden Party" at Crookham URC, beginning with a 1930's style tea at 3pm, organised by the Rev. Mary Taylor.  This will be followed at 4pm by a talk by Mike Keating on "The First Church at Crookham" and at 4.40pm, a talk by Antony Chessell on "The Modern Church at Crookham".   Both talks are based on information collected by TillVAS for the "Branxton and Crookham Village Atlas Project."   There is also the "Flodden Peace Garden" to wander around.
All are welcome.   There is no charge for this event, but donations towards to the upkeep of the Church will be most welcome.

Kirknewton Sheepdog Trials and Heritage Open Day

Sunday 19th August

Local History Displays and films:

Special showing of ‘Night of Years’ 

(The story of Josephine Butler)

Find out about Bob Fraser, farm improvements, the Bondager farming system and visit St Gregory’s Church.

(  service at 11 a.m. )

 Free entry.

Light Refreshments          Northumbrian Pipers

Visit the Trials to see the dogs in action.

Dog trials from 9a.m.    Heritage Day 10 -4



Richard Carlton will be giving a talk on the 2018 Holystone Roman Road Dig on Wednesday 22 August at 7:30pm in Holystone Church.  All welcome.

Bowsden History Group - A Tale of Two Mills. (Spindleston and Waren) 3rd Sept 2018 7.30 Bowsden Village Hall.

The next TillVAS talk is on Weds. 5th September at 7.30pm in Crookham Village Hall when Dr Brian Moffat  from Edinburgh will tell us about ‘Medieval Medicine and its use in the present day’.

The report for Mardon has now been completed. See the Archaeology section for more details. HLF has awarded a grant to TillVAS for further work in autumn  2018.


Many thanks to all who attended our AGM and talk where Dr Richard Carlton gave a very good account of the Mardon Dig. For more details see 'reports on events'

Data Protection - please see the new TillVAS policy statement on the membership page


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.


Please see a new section on the website—click on the appropriate tab above.  Please let us have your thoughts, in prose or in verse.


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 and the Lavender Tea Rooms and Village Shop in Etal.


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