Welcome to the Website of
Helmsley Archaeological and Historical Society!
The Society began
life as the Helmsley and Area Group of the Yorkshire Archaeological
Society, and the inaugural meeting took place at the Scout Hall, Helmsley
on 5th December 1950. Reminiscences of the early days of the Society
are given here.
Its purpose was
'to gather together periodically for lectures and discussions on archaeological
subjects, with special emphasis on local history' and to collect and
record data. The Group flourished and a committed and enthusiastic membership,
pre-eminent among them being Raymond Hayes, soon began the task of compiling
'The History of Helmsley, Rievaulx and District' which was published
by Stonegate Press, York in 1963, edited by John McDonnell. Although
long out of print, this volume remains an invaluable source of information
about the town and its surroundings.
The first issue
of the Society's biennial publication, 'The
Ryedale Historian', followed in 1965 providing a vehicle for members
to publish the results of their archaeological and historical research.
This and subsequent issues provide evidence of the wide range of interests
of the Society's Members, and activities in which they have been involved.
A new issue of The Ryedale Historian
(Number 28) is now available!
Its contents can be seen here
Some past editions of The Ryedale Historian are still available
The Society is Registered
Charity (No. 1089682; its Constitution can be seen
here); it currently has a membership of about one hundred. From
September to April there is a programme of
illustrated lectures, one a month, held at the North York Moors
National Park Authority Committee Room, Helmsley. These are on a wide
range of topics, mostly concerning the archaeology and history of the
local area. During the summer months, a series
of visits is arranged, often to sites which have featured in the
previous winter's programme.
Those wishing to
apply for Individual or Family Membership of the Society should print
and complete this form.