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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.

Click on Archive for back copies of ALHA publications “Quest” and “Avon Past”.

Wilkins of Westbury & Redland

The latest ALHA publication was launched on Saturday 22 April at our Local History Day at UWE. Written by Professor Richard Coates, it is a study of Rev. Henry John Wilkins who was a progressive force in local politics before entering the great tradition of English parsons who have been active local historians.

Full details of all ALHA books and an order form are on our Publications page.

You can also now buy ALHA publications online, and pay by card, through GENfair.

Latest Newsletter

The End of June Newsletter is now available and can be downloaded here.

Summer Walks

The final walk in our series of four will be at Clevedon on Sunday 13 August, when local resident and historian Jane Lilly will be our guide.

For full details, click for a copy of the programme.

ALHA Subscriptions now due

Subscriptions for 2017/8 are due on 1 April each year. Rates remain unchanged, and to renew your membership please download the separate forms for either group or individual membership. For further details, or if you are not already a member, please go to About Us.

ALHA AGM and Joseph Bettey Lecture

This will take place on Wednesday 18 October at 7 p.m., when the speaker will be Professor Helen Mellor. Her talk will be "How to live in the modern city: women's contribution in Bristol 1860s-1930s". The venue will be the Friends’ Meeting House on Frenchay Common, Beckspool Road, Bristol, BS16 1NT. The event will be hosted by the Frenchay Tuckett Society.


ALHA offers grants to assist local history research, publications, events, conservation and other projects which accord with its charitable objectives. The Committee has wide discretion over the kind of work to be assisted and the terms of the assistance. Recent grants include one to support the publication of volumes of the Victoria County History to cover parts of Gloucestershire.

Details of the conditions and how to apply can be had from the Treasurer.

Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology - 29 July 2017

Join museum archaeologists and a whole host of local societies, re-enactors, field archaeologists and heritage organisations for a fun-packed day full of tours, demonstrations, displays and archaeological activities. Click for details.

Clevedon & District Archaeological Society Tour of Yorkshire

This tour is for four nights from 14 to 18 August. Cost in the region of £500. Further details are available here.

Coach trip to The National Archives at Kew, Thursday 12 October

Organised by Bristol & Avon Family History Society, the trip is open to all. Pick ups are in Chipping Sodbury and at BAWA, Southmead Road, Bristol. Cost is £25. Full details are available here.

Exploring Banwell’s Past - a weekend of village local history

A three  day event organised by Banwell Society of Archaeology and Local History will be held from 11 to 13 August. On Friday 11 August, Vince Russet will talk on public involvement in the heritage of our countryside. On Saturday 12 August, there will be finds identification, village walks, old photos, displays and other activities. On Sunday 13 August, there will be visits to the Banwell Bone Caves (pre-booking essential). Full details can be found here.

Know Your Place - West of England - Now Complete

The final phase of the expansion of Know Your Place has now been completed and coverage has been extended to the whole of the historic County of Somerset. Historic maps of Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bath & North-east Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Council areas are all now available online, together with illustrations and much other local history information.  The website is at www.kypwest.org.uk.

Bristol Archives

This is the new name for Bristol Record Office, and it now has a new logo. Click the logo for the Bristol Archives website.

Winterbourne Medieval Barn

Full details of the varied programme of events at Winterbourne Medieval Barn during 2017 can be found at www.winterbournebarn.org.uk. Events include apple-grafting, jazz, basket-weaving, opera, and plays, and singing and are suitable for both adults and children.

Bristol & Avon Family History Society - Family History Fair

The 2017 Family History Fair will be held at BAWA, 589 Southmead Road, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7RG on Saturday 9 September from 10 to 4. Further details are available here.

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.

Crossing the river at Pensford. The ALHA Summer Walk, July 4 2016

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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.

The photo of Pensford is by the webmaster.

Avon Local History and Archaeology is a Registered Charity. No. 270930

This website was last updated on Monday, July 17, 2017. If you spot any errors or omissions, please advise the webmaster.

News and Forthcoming Events

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