Active Archaeology Group

Why we have an Active Archaeology Group

The aim of the Society’s Active Archaeology Group is twofold: to enable interested but archaeologically unqualified members to undertake archaeological activities, and to provide information about archaeology in Buckinghamshire to anyone who wants to know.

To provide the first, the group organises archaeology projects – surveys, investigations, even excavations supervised by a qualified archaeologist – where members work together to investigate and record the archaeology of Buckinghamshire. This may be by fieldwork, the study of known monuments, or through documentary sources.

To provide the second the group organises monthly evening meetings that are open to all, on a variety of archaeological subjects, and occasional outings to archaeological sites.


The group’s first project, in 2013, was at Stoke Mandeville’s ruined old church and churchyard, now under professional excavation ahead of complete demolition by the construction the HS2 high-speed rail line. Here a dozen members of the group conducted a geophysical survey guided by National Trust archaeologist (and BAS member) Gary Marshall.

This was followed by a hillforts survey, research and surveys of the deserted village of Hogshaw and a variety of other projects. The group has been so busy that a queue of reports is waiting to be written!

The group’s recently completed 14th project has been industrial archaeology: the excavation of the former steam-generating boilerhouse at Three Locks on the Grand Union Canal.


Archaeologists who are excavating along the HS2 high-speed rail have told us of their work and discoveries at three HS2 Archaeology Conferences organised by the society so far.

In November 2020 we learned

  • what the removal of rubble from Stoke Mandeville old church ruins had revealed and of the footprints of buildings around the church site;
  • work on Doddershall’s  deserted medieval village and 19th-century lodge;
  • discoveries of the Roman Town along Akeman Street at Fleet Marston;
  • and the effect of earlier railway construction on Buckinghamshire’s landscape.

A fourth, half-day HS2 Archaeology Conference Online is planned for Saturday 15 May 2021. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE DETAILS AS THESE BECOME AVAILABLE.

Activities start here

The group’s outdoor activities are currently restricted because of the Covid-19 epidemic, but work on a ha-ha in Great Linford will restart when regulations permit and other projects elsewhere in Buckinghamshire are in the queue when we do restart.

Anyone with an interest in archaeology is welcome; prior knowledge and experience are by no means essential.

PLEASE EMAIL for more information.


Our monthly Thursday evening meetings are continuing on-line during the epidemic. Recent subjects have been Roman discoveries near Aylesbury, an Iron-Age Broch in Scotland, and Anglo-Saxons in the upper Thames valley.

CLICK HERE TO View our monthly meetings programme.


Our meetings and general activities are open to all. You can join our eMailing list by sending an eMail message to

If you want take part in the group’s field activities, such as surveys and excavations, there is one requirement: everyone taking part must join the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society – because membership brings with it insurance against accident while involved in archaeological activities.


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