Our regular programme of talks is held at 7.30 on the last Wednesday of each month, from September to April, at West Harptree Village Hall, BS40 6EB. They feature speakers on a wide range of historical subjects and are an opportunity to meet other members and join in discussions. During the summer months of May to July we have half day or evening visits to places of interest (entry tickets may vary in price).

Programme of Events 2021-2022

All meetings are at West Harptree Village Hall at 7.30pm unless mentioned.


  • Wed. 30 November 2022; Dr Amy Frost, ‘The Bombing of Bath’ (this year is the 80th anniversary)
  • Wed. 14 December 2022; Martin Horler, ‘Somerset Stories’ followed by supper
  • Wed 25 January 2023; James Bond, ‘Knights Templer’
  • Wed. 22 February 2023; Heather Toomer, ‘The Honiton Lace Industry and its products’
  • Wed. 29 March 2023; Steve Clews, ‘The Romans in North Somerset’
  • Wed. 26 April 2023; Gina Merrett Smith, ‘The Intrepid Marianne North – Remarkable Victorian Botanical Artist and her Connections with Kew Gardens’

Hall location

Past events

  • Wed. 26 October 2022; Professor Ronald Hutton, ‘Elizabeth 1’
  • Wed. 28 September 2022; AGM at 6.30, followed at 7.30 by Prof. Richard Coates, ‘Local Place Names based on the Tithe Schedule’
  • Wed. 27 July; Guided visit to Wells Cathedral Chained Library, TBA
  • Wed. 29 June; Guided walk of Pulteney Estates, Bath, TBAWed. 30 March; Gill Hogarth, From Lords and Ladies to Serfs and Servants: ‘How far can we know the real life of people in each successive age of the past’
  • Wed. 25 May; guided visit to Royal Mint, Llantrisant, TBA
  • Wed. 27 April; Colin Budge, ‘Boundaries and Walls – a Journey Through History’
  • Wed. 23 February; Stuart Burroughs, ‘Out of the Earth, Bath’s Mineral Wealth; Coal, Stone and Clay’.
  • Wed. 26 January; Members evening with talks by three members of the Research Group.
  • December 2021: Martin Horler, ‘Not All Beer and Skittles’. Followed by refreshments.
  • November 2021; Tony Coverdale, ‘The Late Avon Valley Copper and Brass Industry’.
  • November 2021: St Laurence’s Church, East Harptree, successful second round Lottery Grant for Project Newton.
  • October 2021: Prof. Ronald Hutton, ‘The Mid Tudor Crisis’.
  • October 2021: Soft launch of Society website;
  • September 2021: Prof. Richard Coates, ‘The Somerset Dialect’.
  • No meetings from March 2020 – September 2021
  • February 2020: Jo and Kevin Brown, ‘Perfect and Fresh, Memorialising the Dead in Paint and Glass’.
  • January 2020: Chris Eldridge, ‘The Normans in Somerset’.
  • December 2019: Geof King and Jane Bennet, ‘Georgian Clothing’. Followed by supper.
  • November 2019: Nick Roberts, ‘Mudlarking on the Thames’.
  • October 2019: Prof. Ronald Hutton, ‘Henry VIII’.
  • September 2019: Gill Hogarth, ‘Those Magnificent Mendip Men and their Motoring Machines’.
  • July 2019: Guided walk by Bob Jones of Bristol Old City.
  • June 2019: Guided tour of Shepton Mallet Prison.
  • May 2019: Guided visit to Saltford Brass Mills.
  • April 2019: Mike Hooper, ‘ Victorian Bristol.
  • March 2019: St Laurence’s Church, East Harptree, successful first round Lottery Grant for Project Newton.
  • February 2019: James Bond, ‘Deserted Medieval Villages in Somerset’.
  • January 2019: Chris Eldridge, ‘Alfred the Great and the Somerset Connection’.
  • December 2018: Somerset Russets in Concert, Followed by supper.
  • November 2018: Jim Ross, ‘France 1918, the British Victory’.
  • October 2018: 3 different talks by members of the Society.
  • 2018: Third reprint of, ‘Before the Lake’.
  • September 2018: Jenni and Terry Stevens, ‘Tyntesfield; Progress and Discovery’.
  • September 2018: Booklets researched and written by Gill Hogarth on the Great War Fallen of Hinton Blewett and East and West Harptree deposited in each Parish church.
  • July 2018: Mike Chapman, Bath riverside walk from Pulteney Bridge to Widcombe.
  • June2018: Gary Nott, guided tour of Wills Memorial Building, Bristol.
  • May 2018: Felicity Metcalf, Newton Park, history and guided walk.
  • April 2018: Prof. Alan Jocelyn, ‘Bristol Riots, 1831’.
  • March 2018: John Page, ‘The Royal Palaces of Cheddar’.
  • February 2018: Jerry Sampson, ‘The Churches of East and West Harptree’.
  • January 2018: Richard Ross, ‘Avon Valley Copper and Brass Industry, 1700-1750’.

Our events continue back to 1997 – the following are highlights:

  • December 2017: Guided walk with Primary School children around Victorian Harptree.
  • November 2017: 20th Anniversary Exhibition in East Harptree and workshops with Primary School.
  • Sept-Nov 2016: Society exhibit 13 panels and 2 display cases at Radstock Museum.
  • January 2015: David Hart, ‘The Tudor Map Project’.
  • September 2013: Prof. Mick Aston, ‘The Winscombe Project’.
  • April 2013: Research group landscape walk with James Bond.
  • Summer 2012: Geophysical surveys, East and West Harptree
  • June 2009: English Heritage and Society members architectural survey of East Harptree Buildings
  • April- May 2009: English Heritage 6 week, archaeological training dig in Haydons Field, East Harptree
  • 2009: Second reprint of, ‘Before the Lake’.
  • September 2009: English Heritage, update on ‘The Mendip Landscape Survey project’.
  • September 2008: English Heritage, ‘The Mendip Landscape Survey Project’.
  • July 2008: English Heritage training geophysical survey of Haydons Field, East Harptree.
  • September 2006: Prof. Mick Aston, ‘The Shapwick Project’.
  • April 2005: Exhibition of ‘Before the Lake; Memories of the Chew Valley’.
  • 2005: First reprint of, ‘Before the Lake’.
  • March 2005: Earthwork surveys in East Harptree.
  • February 2005: James Bond delivered a series of 5 lectures and fieldwork on ‘Understanding the Landscape’.
  • 2004: Exhibition of ‘Before the Lake; Memories of the Chew Valley’ at Bishop Sutton.
  • 2004: Exhibition and Launch of ‘Before the Lake; Memories of the Chew Valley’, at Woodford Lodge.
  • 2004: Publication of, ‘Before the Lake; Memories of the Chew Valley’.
  • 2003-2004: Chew Valley Lake Project
  • March 2003: Exhibition of Maps and Photographs, West Harptree.
  • February 2000: Pat Hase delivered a series of 6 workshops ‘Sources for Family and Local History’.
  • February 1999: Exhibition and launch of ‘Millennium Memories of Bishop Sutton’.