The official West Midlands region contains the large conurbation that includes Birmingham and Wolverhampton, but also covers the predominantly rural shire counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

There is some confusion in the use of the term “West Midlands”, as the name is also used for the much smaller West Midlands county.

West Midlands region. Creative Commons

The region contains five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), including all of the Shropshire Hills, Malvern Hills and Cannock Chase, and parts of the Wye Valley and Cotswolds. The Peak District national park also stretches into the northern corner of Staffordshire.

Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society

Founded in 1870, the Society, promotes the study of archaeology and history in Birmingham, Warwickshire and West Midlands County by the investigation, preservation and restoration of local antiquities and historic buildings and by the publication of these activities in its Transactions.

Ordinary Membership is £15, and receive the Transactions, the newsletters of the Society and get discounted rates for attendance at Society events and excursions. A full range of lectures is held on a regular basis.

Coventry and District Archaeological Society

CADAS has a full programme of informative lectures, and a regular Bulletin, as well as an active Fieldwalking Group.

The society is involved in:

  • Local historic projects, working alongside partner organisations.
  • Excursions to sites of interest.
  • Society led projects, involving field-walking, excavations and research.
  • Assisting professional archaeological units on local digs.

Membership is £12 and provides free access to lectures, the Society Bulletin (10 per year) and involvement in projects. A lst of recent Bulletin articles is available on the web site.

Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society

Shropshire, on the border between upland Wales and lowland England, has had a complex and turbulent history. This fascinating past is reflected in a wealth of archaeological sites of all types and periods and in a rich collection of archives. The society campaigns for the recording and protection of Shropshire’s rich and varied archaeological heritage. They also promote and publish original research into the county’s history and prehistory. There is a full program of walks and talk and an annual lecture.

Members (£14) receive a 6-monthly newsletter and a copy of the Transactions, and have access to the society library.

Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society

Membership is £18.50 and provides access to newsletters and an annual Transactions volume. There are the normal Lectures and Excursions also available, as well as the opportunity to partake in both desk-based research and on-site surveys. Past Transactions are available to download online for members only (a fee is payable per volume).

Worcestershire Archaeological Society

The stated aims of the society are to:

  • Promote research in archaeology and history of the area
  • Work for the understanding and care of all kinds of antiquities
  • Take part in archaeological research
  • Publish its work and exchange information with similar bodies
  • Collect and make available relevant publications
  • Arrange appropriate excursions
  • Exchange in holding exhibitions, seminars, lectures and classes
  • Commission and publish works that will advance its cause
  • Affiliate with similar bodies sharing similar aims

The society undertakes a range of activities in pursuit of its general aims. Membership is £20 and provides Lectures excursions and a bi-Annual Transactions as well as a 6-monthly Newsletter.

North Worcestershire Archaeology Group

A relatively young group, formed in 2009, their aims are not only to investigate, analyse and record the history and archaeology of the region, but also to encourage interest and participation from the wider community. Single membership is £10 and members get the opportunity to be proper archaeologists, working alongside an experienced team of amateurs and professionals.

Their website (link below) contains details of a variety of projects that the group is undertaking – the emphasis seems to be very much about getting involved!

South Worcestershire Archaeological Group

The group aims to encourage local people to learn about archaeology and history. They offer walks and visits during the summer and lectures and workshops during the winter. They also undertake fieldwork when possible, including geophysical prospecting. The group has links with the Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeological Service (WHEAS), which enables members to be involved with community excavation projects. They have also worked in association with the National Trust at Croome Park over several years and with archaeology students at the University of Worcester.

Membership is £12 for individuals.

Useful Links

Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society
Coventry and District Archaeological Society
Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society
Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society
Worcestershire Archaeological Society
North Worcestershire Archaeology Group
South Worcestershire Archaeological Group

Oswestry & Border History & Archaeology
Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society
Kidderminster and District Archaeological and Historical Society