All the talks take place on a Wednesday in the Mead Hall in East Lane, Wheathampstead

       (behind The Bull, next to the free car park, starting at 7.30 pm).

         Admission is free for members and £3.00 for non-members and guests.



We will alert all members to forthcoming talks by email and by putting up posters in the village.






17 January


A Roman palace at

Verulamium: and other


         Kris Lockyear           


 Kris Lockyear and his team of volunteers have completed another season of their geophysical survey of that part of the Roman city of Verulamium that lay within what is now the Gorhambury estate, on the western side of Bluehouse Hill in St Albans. The survey continues to produce some remarkable results. Kris will bring us up to date. 

21 February



The Great Women of

St Albans

Tony Berk



 The great women of any historic town or city are often neglected. This talk redresses the balance by describing 2,000 years of local history through the lives and fascinating stories of the important women who have had an effect on the history of St Albans. It shows how crucial these women were to St Albans and district and talks of their context in both local and national history.

20 March


What's in a name?

What do the street names

of Wheathampstead tell

us about our village?

Dianne Payne       


 Origins of street names are not always easy to determine. Some names are recent, while others have a long history. This illustrated talk will explore how the historic, cultural and symbolic priorities of Wheathampstead are reflected in its street names. Which key figures in the village were thought worthy of remembrance and how many street names have changed over time?  Whether you are a newcomer or a long-term resident, come and discover more about the name of the street where you live and share your thoughts about our village.

17 April


The mysterious 

watercourses of

Wheathampstead Mill

Mike Smith



  It may not be obvious today but the valley close to Wheathampstead Mill had a series of puzzling watercourses many of which have been filled in, some of them recently. What were these mysterious watercourses and what insights do they give us about the history of medieval Wheathampstead? This talk by Mike Smith will be of particular interest to members who live in King Edward Place. 

15 May



The long story of the

short St Albans canal

Jon Mein and

Frank Iddiols 


  In 1795, an Act approving the construction of a canal linking St Albans and places like Wheathampstead and Harpenden to the new Grand Junction Canal and the wider world was given Royal Assent. Jon Mein and Frank Iddiols consider why the canal was never built, who was for and who was against the expensive proposals, and the planned route for a replacement railway service.

19 June


The archaeology of


David Thorold



 From mesolithic graves in the churchyard through Belgic pottery under the bypass, Devil's Dyke, Roman remains at Wick Avenue and Turners Hall Farm, a seventh century ewer near Wheathampstead House, a post-medieval coin hoard on Nomansland and much more, Wheathamp-stead's long history is brought to life by the work of archaeologists. David Thorold, curator at St Albans Museum, will talk about some of these and other finds. 


17 July

George Bernard Shaw | Getty Images Gallery

The Shaws in

Hertfordshire - the lives

and friends of GBS and

Charlotte in the county.

Philippa Parker

  George Bernard Shaw, playwright and, with his wife Charlotte, left-wing political activist, wrote nearly 60 plays and more than 250,000 letters, articles and pamphlets. From 1906 until his death in 1950 at the age of 94, he and Charlotte lived at Shaw's Corner in Ayot St Lawrence from where they enjoyed an active social life, including with the Cherry-Garrards at Lamer. 




 There will not be a meeting in August


18 September


Old Wheathampstead

on film

Chris Blackler


  Chris, a member of the History Society and a long-term resident  of Wheathampstead, will show us some old films of the village and share some of his memories. Members may wish to add their own reminiscences.

16 October



The restoration of

St Mary's Church,


from wills

Heather Falvey  


  Old wills are an important source of historical information. In this talk, Heather will show that studying these documents can show how St Mary's Church in Rickmanswórth, whose origins are in the 13th century, has been restored over the years.  

20 November




Highwaymen and women

of Hertfordshire

Elizabeth Eastwood




  Katherine Ferrers, the Wicked Lady, is a well-known example of the mounted highway robbers of Hertfordshire, but there were many others in the 17th and 18th centuries. Elizabeth will introduce us to some of them.   

18 December


The rise and fall

of the manor

of Wheathampstead

Mike Smith 



  Starting in the Anglo-Saxon period, Mike will talk us through the emergence and growth of the manor of Wheathampstead in the medieval period, its gradual decline thereafter, and the separation of Harpenden from Wheathampstead in the 19th century. 

  Mulled wine and mince pies will be served! 


The following local and national societies offer a wide variety of talks, both face-to-face and online. 


Welwyn Archaeological Society (WAS). Click here.


Combined Hertfordshire Archaeological Societies (CHAS). Click here.


The St Albans History Society (SAHAAS), better known as the 'Arc & Arc'. Click here  


The Hertfordshire Association for Local History (HALH). Click here


The Institute for Historical Research (IHR). Click here.


The National Archives. Click here


Gresham Lectures. Click here.