Boston Spa Archaeology & Heritage Group formed in 1999 and are active mainly in the area between Wetherby and Tadcaster and sometimes further afield. We have a varied programme of monthly talks, walks, visits and social events.
Our fieldwork includes excavation, surveys, buildings archaeology, archaeobotany, and field walking, looking for evidence of earlier settlement. We have found evidence from Mesolithic (9000-4000 BC) through to modern times. We excavated a prehistoric flint industry site here with ceremonial pit-alignments containing Neolithic carved rocks (4000-2000 BC) and cremated animal bones from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, described in The Leys Lane Report 2007.
In 2009 we completed a survey for Boston Spa Parish Council on the heritage of the riverside area between Deep Dale and Holgate (its archaeology, ecology, history and some geology, with a special focus on the riverside woodland). This is described in Deep Dale to Holgate, A Heritage Survey, 2009. These two reports can be ordered from the Group, or read in the local library.
Investigations continue of Dam House by the weir, for which we still need more old photographs. In its earliest form it may prove to be a rare example of rural industry in Boston Spa with connections to the Clifford’s 19th flax industry. In 2012 we began investigations with Clifford History Group of the Clifford Mill Pond system where it begins at Willowgarth.
At the request of West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service, we are drawing up a list of local heritage assets which people value in the LS23 area, including archaeology, ecology, history and geology. Its long term aim is to raise awareness of the rich and interesting heritage we have all around us. It is also intended that Parish Councils will be able to refer to the lists as they develop their neighbourhood plans.
We keep a folder in Boston Spa and Wetherby Libraries where interested people can keep in touch with programmes, meetings and reports of work carried out. Membership is open to adults. We draw members from further afield as well as locally. Our website service was interrupted last year, but is now being re-published. The Articles page has been re-published first, as this represents an archive of the many reports and articles written about our work.