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Wells Natural History & Archaeological Society (WNHAS) was founded in 1888 to encourage the practical study of natural history, archaeology and related subjects in Wells and the surrounding countryside. The society is still active, with a busy programme of lectures and summer excursions.


Wells Natural History & Archaeological Society


The history of Wells & Mendip Museum is intertwined with that of the Wells Natural History & Archaeological Society. The society was formed in 1888, and Herbert Balch, the founder of the museum, was one of its original members. 


The society has a programme of winter lectures and a series of summer walks and excursions to places of interest in the region. The current programme is posted below. 


As well as free access to the society's talks, members may use the museum and its facilities without charge. To join WNHAS, please download and complete the application form, and return it to the secretary at a meeting, drop it off at the front desk, or post as indicated on the form.

President: Allen Cotton, O.B.E.

Chair: Mark Hutchinson
Hon. Treasurer: Ms Jane Burman



Indoor meetings are held in The Lecture Hall at Wells & Mendip Museum


Non-members of the Society are very welcome (£2.00)

'Don’t forget the Animals'
Steve Tofts

5 Apr 2024


6:30 pm

After 40 years practicing as a Veterinary Surgeon Steve graduated in archaeology and brought the two disciplines together in Zooarchaeology – the study of animals in an archaeological context. His talk aims to introduce the subject, and what it tells us of the human community. So often animal remains are dismissed as not interesting; he hopes to prove otherwise! If anyone likes to bring a bone for him to look at, he could maybe fit that in at the end of his talk.
'Leigh Down Stone Circles'
A visit led by the owner, Nic Colton

2 May 2024


10:30 am

Booking forms and details for this visit will be available nearer the date. The tour takes about 3 hours and participants will be asked to bring a picnic.
'The Stones of Wells'
A walking tour of the city led by Doug Robinson

6 Jun 2024


9:30 am

A look at the diversity and origins of some ancient building materials in the city. Booking forms and details will be available nearer the date.
'Excavate at Villa Rustica'
A visit led by Andrew Buchanan

16 Jul 2024


9:30 am

A chance not only to visit but also to assist in excavating the Roman villa at Westbury sub Mendip. Details and booking forms will be available nearer the date.
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