TillVAS Till Valley Archaeological Society
TillVAS             Till Valley Archaeological Society

The Society

The Society was formed in February 2011 in response to local interest in the archaeology, history and heritage of the Till Valley. Its formation was greatly stimulated by the participation of local volunteers in the archaeological excavations taking place on and around the site of the Battle of Flodden.


The enthusiasm and hard work of the volunteers was recognised by the professional archaeologists leading the excavations. Dr. Chris Burgess, Northumberland County Archaeologist, encouraged and persuaded a 'core' of volunteers that there was a need for a local Society to be involved in local archaeology and history which would complement the activities of other volunteer groups already in place further south in Northumberland.


The idea took hold quickly and indoor meetings and outdoor events were arranged, the first of these being centred on Crookham Village Hall. Crookham is still the 'home' venue although other locations are used from time to time such as Etal Village Hall, Branxton Village Hall and Coldstream Community Centre. Many more local people were encouraged to join the Society and to take part in excavations and field walking.


The establishment of the Society also enabled insurance cover to be put in place so that members might be protected against any risk incurred on its activities including archaeological excavations. The Society itself is covered against public liability. All non-members taking part in an excavation are required to be insured through the Society and twelve months cover is provided by collection of a small charge when they are on site.


There has been a strong growth in membership since 2011 reaching 123 members by March 2017 (including our first overseas member), reflecting the extent of local (and even wider) interest.

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TillVAS is looking for volunteers to help with research. Please see archaeology page for details.

The next TillVAS talk will be on Wed 6th Feb 2019 at 7.30 in Crookham Village Hall. The title is Operation Nightingale which tells the story of the initiative to help rehabilitate injured soldiers through archaeology.

Lowick Heritage Group
On Monday 14th January (7.30pm) we have our first talk of 2019 when Peter Calder will tell us about some of his memories of his time as a farm manager.

Bowsden History Group


The first meeting of 2019 programme is on Monday 4th February, 7.30pm at Bowsden Village Hall


Dr Mike Oliver on 
From Pirates to Poets
Dr Oliver, a historian and an authority on naval history, has written three nautical novels set in the period of the Napoleonic Wars. His talk will concentrate on some of the great sailors who have connections with Northumberland.


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.

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.