Scarborough Archaeological & Historical Society

The Society, originally called The Scarborough and District Archaeological Society, was founded in 1947 by a group of enthusiasts keen to preserve and research the rich archaeological inheritance of the area. Originally an excavating’ society, over the years our activities have expanded.

Excavations and fieldwork

Since 1947 much practical archaeological research has been carried out, including such important sites as Ayton Castle, Crossgates Romano-British settlement and Hatterboard Deserted Medieval Village. Our campaign of urban excavations in Scarborough gained national recognition in 1990 when we won the prestigious Pitt Rivers Award, given for the best project carried out in the UK by a voluntary body. We were runners-up for the award again in 2000. In 1995 we won a further national award from the Association for Industrial Archaeology for our project at Saltwick Alum Works.
See the Excavations section for a database of excavations carried out over the past 15 years and informaton about current work.

Lectures and meetings

Each autumn and winter we have a series of lectures on archaeological, historical or architectural subjects, including the spring Invitation Lecture given by a prestigious speaker to which other local history societies are invited. In summer we arrange more informal events, in conjunction with other organisations such as the Civic Society, the Library and Heritage Open Days. See the What’s On section for our current programme of events.


Our formal aims are enshrined in our constitution and are to advance the education for the public benefit in the archaeological and local history of Scarborough and the surrounding area by the following:

  1. To increase and disseminate knowledge of and interest in the same.
  2. To undertake and support research into sites and archives of archaeological, architectural and historical interest, and the publication of the results of such researches.
  3. To encourage the identification, protection and preservation of such sites and archives.


The Society’s journal, Transactions, publishes articles on historical and archaeological research carried out in the local North Yorkshire area as well as excavation reports. Full members of the Society receive it as part of their membership fees; see the website for information on purchase by non-members and subscription by institutions.

A list of the contents of all issues of Transactions may be accessed on the Society’s website.

Books published by the Society include the best-selling Guide to Historic Scarborough and the recently published research report, Trods of the North York Moors.

See the Publications section of the website for information on the books and how to purchase copies.

Contact details