The Chess Valley Archaeological and Historical Society was founded in 1964 with the aim of studying and promoting local archaeology and history. The first President was Dr Kenneth Oakley, who uncovered the Piltdown Fraud. The practical work of the Society began with the excavation of the Romano-British villa at Latimer. An account of the excavation was written up and published by the Society in 1971 and is still a standard work of reference.
CVAHS has two main active groups:
The Archaeology Field Group carries out practical archaeology in the Chess and Misbourne valleys. The Chess valley runs from Chesham to Rickmansworth, passing Latimer and Chenies on the way. The Misbourne rises in a field on the outskirts of Great Missenden and passes through Little Misenden, Old Amersham, Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter, before joining the Colne near the A40. The group's activities include surveys, digs, recording, and publishing findings. See Planned Events for more details of past and forthcoming activities.
The Records Group is concerned with historical documents of the Chess Valley area. Among other activities, the group has done much original work in transcribing and translating Manorial Court Rolls from the Chesham area, giving an insight into the lives and occupations of the past inhabitants of the town and its surrounding villages.
A monthly programme of talks is held every winter, open to members and non-members. The Society is also active in the field of publishing .
At present the Society has over 100 members. Membership is open to all and no previous experience is necessary.
You can join by going to the Membership page and completing the membership application form. For general enquiries, please send us an email via the Contact page.