Summer Programmes 2008 - 2019

The following is a list of events and activities which were undertaken by Members of Helmsley Archaeological and Historical Society between 2008 and 2019:

Date Time Content Meet at:
Sat 10th May 2008 12 noon Walk with David Pybus from Port Mulgrave along the foreshore to Runswick Bay, looking at jet mining remains along the cliffs, finishing at Runswick around 4pm.
Stout walking-shoes or boots essential - this is a fairly rugged walk.
Ring Mary Brill after 29th April (01751 431507) for suggestions about parking, picnicking, etc.
National Trust footpath entrance (NZ796175)
Ordnance Survey Map
Wed 18th June 2008 6.00pm Walk around Norman York with John Oxley (Archaeologist with York City Council): "1066 and All That, or What the Normans did in York". Mansion House, York

Google Map
Sat 5th July 2008



  • Cawood House
  • Cawood Church
  • Paradise Wood

Here's a picture of Cawood Castle Gatehouse.

10.00am: meet at the Ferry Inn for coffee (park in pub car park or Old Road). Google Map here.

10.30 am: meet Mrs Margaret Brearley outside Castle Gatehouse in village, to look at the banqueting hall and garth (remains of mediaeval gardens, etc.).

12:00 noon: meet Mr Sam Taylor at Cawood Church.

After lunch (picnic or pub), drive to Paradise Wood, near Ryther, (Google directions here) for a visit led by Barbara Hickman, starting around 2.30-3.00 pm.

Wed 23rd July 2008 2.00pm Examination of ancient trees in Duncombe Park, led by Mr Tim Tollis, Forest Manager.
(Lunch beforehand obtainable at the Centre, or there are picnic tables if the weather is fine.)
Visitor Centre, Duncombe Park, Helmsley.
Google Map
Sun 5th October 2008 10:00am - 5:00pm A Celebration of the Local History and Archaeology of the Region. Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley.
For more details, see News
Sat 11th October 2008
10.00am - 12.30pm
Hildenley Quarry

Meet at Easthorpe (at the T-junction between the Coneysthorpe to Malton road and Amotherby Lane, SE741716, beside Easthorpe Cottages) at 10.00 a.m.

Walk to the Holy Well about 500 yards south of there, taking in the sandstone quarries on either side of the track. Walk through Hildenley Home Farm to the main quarry. Walk past the hidden ruins of Hildenley Hall to the quarries in the east, in Hildenley Wood, possibly taking in the "ice house" on the way.

Aim to finish at about 12.30 p.m. at Hildenley Lodge (SE753712, at "Hildenley Corner" on the Explorer 300 map).

Requirements: Fitness to meander 1½ - 2 miles on footpaths, so good walking boots.

Safety: Hildenley is a working farm, so normal care must be taken around animals and machinery. Within the quarries, sensible avoidance of the bigger rock faces. There is a deep lime kiln beside the entrance to the main quarry, the upper edge of which should be avoided - especially if you are distracted by the ornamental bridges built over the quarry entrance! The paths may be slippery, especially if we have more rain, so please help each other on the slopes. Anyone testing the softness of the bark on redwood trees should ensure that they are punching the correct tree, as otherwise pain, bruising and scraped knuckles will result.

Hildenley is the source of a very high grade white/ cream coloured limestone, which was quarried from Roman times through to the middle of the nineteenth century and used for the paving in Roman Malton and the mediaeval walls. Whilst there are post Roman and pre-conquest sites with Hildenley limestone, it is possible that these are re-used (such as Hovingham church). It was used for the interiors of mediaeval churches, exteriors, such as Kirkham Priory, and later for domestic features as a fireplace in Nunnington Hall (late 17th century) and in the newly enclosed wolds farmhouses of the 18th century. The committee selecting the stone for the new Houses of Parliament came here and the most recent major use appears to be steps for the Royal Naval College, Greenwich in 1933. The investigation into the uses of this "fine, porcelainous, almost chalk-like" limestone have only just begun and it is possible that some of the identifications of Caen stone are actually Hildenley.

The hillside has had planned gardens, with fascinating flora and exotic trees, many of which still survive on this protected, south-facing site. In mediaeval times, the manor of Hildenley belonged to the Percehay family until bought by Roger Cholmely of Roxby in the early 16th century. "Strickland the navigator" bought it from Roger's grandson in 1656 and the last Strickland here was Sir Charles, who died in 1909. In "Lost Houses of North Yorkshire", Edward Waterson and Peter Meadowes described him as "reclusive, orchid-growing". He called himself a "fox hunting squire", married twice, had two families, presented his horticultural and geological collection at conferences in London and census records show that he had lady friends to stay, even in the latter part of his life. Mr Charles Dickens passed through here on his visits to his friend and onetime colleague, Mr Smithson at Easthorpe. After Sir Charles' death, the estate was bought by the Hon F.H. Dawnay and it is by permission of his great niece, Mrs Barran that we can visit.

Our guide will be Richard Myerscough. Richard is the leading light and founder of our affiliate, the Ryedale Vernacular Building Materials Research Group. A geologist who has been educating people in all rocky things for several decades now and who always challenges people to find dinosaur footprints before he does, he is an advocate of affording the same kind of protection to important geological sites that important archaelogical and natural sites have now but also of the small scale use of existing and old quarries for repair and restoration work on historic buildings.
Google Map
Thurs 28th May 2009 10.30am

Visit to Foulbridge Manor (medieval Templar preceptory), followed by exploration of Dalby Forest, guided by Brian Walker of the Forestry Commission.



Meet Foulbridge Manor (follow minor road from Snainton) at 10.30 am for tour of the Hall, (followed by picnic or pub lunch), and then approach Dalby Forest from Thornton le Dale: Brian will meet us at the toll entrance (at approximately 1.30pm, grid reference SE848855, toll waived), and take us to the Visitor Centre, where we can have a short break and park surplus cars.

You are advised to wear stout shoes or boots, and take warm, waterproof clothing.
Weds 17th June 2009 11.00am

Tour of the Hungate excavation in York.

See here for what you may have missed!

Meet Peter Connelly, Director of the Excavations, at St Saviour's Church at 11.00 am. (The tour should take a little over an hour.)
Members might like to visit the Yorkshire Museum in the afternoon, pending its make-over next winter.
Weds 15th July 2009 6.00pm Tour of Pickering Castle Led by Peter Bleach; meet at 6 pm in the Education Room in the Car Park - "quite obvious for all to find". Then we will go into the Castle proper, and will dwell a little on the controversy of Beacon Hill being the possible or probably original site for Pickering Castle.
Weds 23rd September 2009

10.30am prompt








Visit to Beverley Minster and Meaux Abbey

Beverley Minster


Visit to Beverley Minster starts at 10.30am prompt; meet on steps of Minster. Fee £4 per person (free car park).

11.30am: look at Friary, if liked (no entry, but we can walk round garden), or walk round town.

1.30 pm in Minster car park, to be led to Meaux Abbey by Dr. Mary E. Carrick.

The Minster, its car park, the Friary and the Tea Cosy café are all very close to one another. People are free to join this trip at the various points indicated.

Saturday 22nd May 2010 2.00pm, lasting 2 hours

Guided tour of Easingwold, given by Valerie Taylor

See here for the report...

Numbers for this tour are strictly limited to those Members who signed up at the monthly meeting on Friday 19th March. Meet at The George for lunch at 12.30pm.
Tues 15th June 2010 6.00pm Walk around York with John Oxley (Archaeologist with York City Council): "Railway Heritage and Archaeology in York". Mansion House, York

Google Map
Sunday 17th October 2010   Cawthorn Camps Dr. Pete Wilson
Saturday 16th April 2011 2.00pm Guided walk covering the archaeology of the River Foss Navigation, by Christopher Dunn

Lockkeeper's Cottage at New Earswick. Driving south through New Earswick you come to a 3-way roundabout at the south of the village. Go straight over (to York); almost at once by a bend you will see a small white isolated cottage by the left hand side of the road. Just before this is a small private car-park (GR: SE60945477) from where we will depart at 2.00pm.

When we have finished walking this section of the Foss, we will move up to the middle of Strensall. You may leave your car in the carpark of the nearby Ship Inn

Saturday 14th May 2011 2.00pm, lasting 2 hours

Guided tour of Easingwold, given by Valerie Taylor


Meet at The George for lunch at 12.30pm.
Tuesday 14th June 2011 6.00pm Walk around York Mansion House, Commonhall Lane, Guildhall, Committee Room 1 and the Council Chamber with John Oxley (Archaeologist with York City Council). York Guildhall

Google Map
Wednesday 16th May, 2012 6.30pm Shandy Hall and Coxwold Church All available places have now been filled...
Thursday 31st May, 2012 10.30am - approx 4.00pm

Tour of York, based on Sir John and Lady Hewley who were prominent citizens in 17th century York.

Cost will be £5.50 per head to pay for admission to the Guildhall.

Meet at 10.15 for 10.30am beside the Mansion House for a tour of the Mansion House by Sam Taylor and one of the regular guides, followed by a visit to the inner chamber of the Guildhall. Break for lunch at 12.15, reassemble at 2pm at St Saviours church, St Savioursgate (now the DIG centre) to see the church, the Hewley Almhouses next door, and the Unitarian chapel (Lady Hewley's chapel)
Wednesday 20th June, 2012 6.00pm Tour of mediaeval waterworks at Oldstead and Byland Abbey, led by Marcus Jecock (Archaeological Investigator at English Heritage) Meet at Byland Abbey
Thursday 2nd May 2013 2.30pm Tour of Helmsley Archaeological Store - Susan Harrison Helmsley Archaeological Store - On the south-eastern outskirts of Helmsley; proceed east along the A170, then turn right into Riccal Drive. Go all the way down Riccal Drive and then right along an unmade road
Tuesday 21st May 2013 7.00pm

Pickering Station and the NYMR Archives - Mark Sissons

Pickering Station
Saturday 29th June 2013 2.30pm

Howsham Mill - Mo MacLeod
Tour of about 1 hour, followed by tea/coffee

Howsham Mill
Saturday 26th April, 2014 1.30pm

Visit to Yearsley Moor Project Site.
We will walk to see what features they have found during their excavations - the walk will be about 2 miles on forest tracks.


Windygates car park which is inside the Forestry Commission gateway, half a mile (on the right) from the Yearsley cross-road (heading towards Ampleforth on North Moor Lane).
Grid Ref: SE 583 752 - see here

Wednesday 21st May 2014 7.00pm NYMNPA Voluntary Ranger Peter Turton will lead us on a guided walk around Helmsley Town Meeting at the Feversham Monument in the Market Place
Saturday 28th June 2014 2.00pm Roy Thompson will guide us around Sheriff Hutton church, and both castles. Tea at the end! Meet at the church of St Helen & the Holy Cross, Sheriff Hutton
Wed 6th May, 2015 6.15 - 8.00pm

Jim Hall of the Appleton le Moors History group will lead a guided walk around the village

Visitors are welcome
Suggested donation £2

Appleton le Moors Village Hall

SE 735 877

Sat 16th May, 2015 1.30pm

Jan Cooper will lead a tour around Rievaulx Abbey Site

HAHS Members only
Pre-booking essential

Rievaulx Abbey car park

SE 574 849

Sat 20th June, 2015 12.30pm

Peter Turton, NYMNPA Volunteer Ranger will lead a walk of about 5miles on Levisham Moor, revealing evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Medieval occupation

You are advised to wear suitable footwear
Visitors are welcome
Suggested donation £2

NYMNPA Saltergate Car park, on A169

SE 853 937

Wed 1st July, 2015 6.45 pm

Brian Walker will lead a tour of rabbit warrenning remains at Mount Misery Farm

Visitors are welcome
Suggested donation £2

Park at Mount Misery Farm

SE 946 894

Access from Troutsdale on the minor road, via junction at
SE 943 900

Sat 17th Oct, 2015 2.45pm

Following his lecture to HAHS Friday 16th Oct, Prof. Richard Morris will lead a tour of Lastingham Church and Crypt

HAHS Members only
Pre-booking essential

Outside Lastingham Church

SE 727 904

Friday 6th May 2016 7.15pm

Pickering Parish Church; talk by Dr Kate Giles about the Medieval frescoes including some recent discoveries.

Pre-booking requested

Please donate to the "Let there be light" fund

Pickering Parish Church
Saturday 11th June 2016 12.45pm

Visit to Yearsley Mill excavation site to view recent discoveries -see the link on the HAHS website to the latest Yearsley Mill Project Newsletter.

The walk will be about 2 miles on forest tracks - likely to be boggy


Also a conducted tour of lakes, avenue or temple site may be possible

Windygates car park which is inside the Forestry Commission gateway, half a mile (on the right) from the Yearsley cross-road (heading towards Ampleforth on North Moor Lane).

Grid Ref: SE 589 752

Saturday 9th July 2016 1.30pm

Patrick and Linda Chambers (Rosedale History Society) will lead a conducted walk on Rosedale East Side (about 3.5 - 4 hours) to view remains of ironstone mines and calcining kilns.


Pre-booking requested

Updale Reading Room

Opposite row of cottages named School Row.

Grid Ref: SE 712 975

Further information will be provided to those wishing to attend

Saturday 30th July 2016 1.45pm Peter Turton will lead a conducted tour of Thornton Dale followed by a visit to Ellerburn Church

Thornton Dale village green by the old cross and stocks

Grid Ref: SE 833 830

Saturday 20th May, 2017 Meet at 9.30am for 10.00am (prompt) start

2 Hour guided tour of Byland Abbey by Jan Cooper.

Standard entry fees will apply

See here for access information

Directions and guidance on parking are given here Numbers are limited: pre-booking is essential. Email your intention to attend - or use this form
Saturday 24th June, 2017 Meet at the Cottages 12.45pm for a 1.00pm (prompt) start Guided tour of Wharram Percy by Dr Stuart Wrathmell Directions and guidance on parking are given here; note that the car park is three quarters of a mile away from the site. Meet at the Cottages for a 1.00pm (prompt) start. Sturdy and waterproof footwear required. Parts of the site slope steeply, and farm livestock is likely to be present on the site and access path. Numbers are limited: pre-booking is essential. Email your intention to attend - or use this form
Saturday 15th July, 2017

Meet at 1.45pm for a 2.00pm (prompt) start

Tours take approximately 45 minutes.

Guided tour of Roman Aldborough by The Friends of Roman Alborough

Visitors will be required to pay the normal English Heritage entry fees, unless they are members of English Heritage, or are otherwise exempt.

This will be followed by a conducted tour of St Andrew's Church

Directions are given here There is no parking on site; drivers should use the free tourist car park in Boroughbridge village (1 mile from the site) Numbers are limited: pre-booking is essential. Email your intention to attend - or use this form
Wednesday 20th June, 2018

Meet at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm (prompt) start

Tour will take approximately 90 minutes.


Guided tour of Helmsley Castle, by Dr John Kenyon (Honorary Research Fellow with the National Museum of Wales)

HAHS Members and visitors who are not members of English Heritage will be required to pay the entry fee to Helmsley Castle

Directions are given here

Numbers are strictly limited: pre-booking is essential.

Please e-mail your request to HAHS to attend - or use this form


Wednesday 5th June, 2019


Meet at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm (prompt) start.

Duration 60 - 90 minutes


Hanging Grimston deserted Medieval Settlement (site of Community Archaeology Project, Grid Ref: SE 79903 59971)

Guided tour by Marcus Jecock, (Archaeological Investigator, Historic England )

Location: Mount Pleasant Farm, Hanging Grimston, Kirby Underdale YO41 1QZ. Satnav: make sure you enter the correct address, as there are other farms of the same name in the general area...

Parking:here! If there are more cars than space, park off the track to the left.

Visitors will need to be equipped for rough terrain walking, and potentially-inclement weather! The hillside is fairly steep, and the going is therefore quite strenuous....

Numbers are limited: pre-booking is essential.

Please e-mail HAHS with your request to attend - or use this form


Saturday 6th July, 2019




Meet at 1:45 pm for a 2:00 pm (prompt) start.

Mount Grace Priory

Guided tour by Dr Mark Douglas, Properties Curator - English Heritage

Those attending will be required to pay the normal entry fee (unless they are members of EH or National Trust).

The last time the Society visited Mount Grace was in 1953, and can be seen here. Were your parents, relatives (or you!) there? DO let us know!


Directions and guidance on parking are given here

Numbers are limited: pre-booking is essential.

Please e-mail HAHS with your request to attend - or use this form


Saturday 21st Sept 2019



11am - please meet at 10.45am

Tour likely to last an hour

Ryedale Folk Museum

Guided visit, led by Susan Hall, member of HAHS and Ryedale Folk Museum Volunteer. Susan's tour will cover the early years of the museum, in particular the history of the three buildings which were transported to the museum in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

HAHS members will then be free to explore the rest of the museum on their own.

This date is Heritage Day, and entry to the Museum is free-of-charge. However, Susan would appreciate a donation to cover the museum's costs...

Directions and parking are given here (Parking in the Crown Inn car park costs £3 for all day... but free if you have lunch in the pub!)

Numbers are limited: pre-booking is essential.

Please e-mail HAHS with your request to attend - or use this form