Get Adobe Reader

The BAHS is the national society for the study of the history of agriculture, rural society and the landscape of Britain and Ireland. We publish a magazine, Rural History Today, as well as a scholarly journal, Agricultural History Review, and our conferences provide opportunities for historians (professional and non-professional) to meet, mix and exchange views in a friendly and sociable atmosphere.

It’s easy to join the BAHS. Just fill in an online form and pay via PayPal or Standing Order. You can also renew your membership in this way. Or you may prefer to use a paper formAdobe PDF icon and send a cheque through the post.

Anthony Phillips Memorial Seminar

In November we announced the death of A. D. M. Phillips, formerly editor of Agricultural History Review. The University of Keele School of Geography, Geology and the Environment is organising a memorial seminar and tree planting ceremony, to be held on Friday 18 May 2018 in the William Smith Building and the KPA (Keele Postgraduate Association and one of Tony’s regular haunts). They are also inviting contributions from colleagues to talk about their memories of working with Tony. If you would like to attend and/or speak, please contact Clare Holdworth at the email address given in the PDF.

Latest BAHS publications

Cover of current issue of Rural History Today

Agricultural History Review Volume 65 part 2 is available to members via the Ingenta web site.
Rural History Today issue 34, the first to be edited by Rebecca Ford, is available online.

Cover of current Agricultural History Review

Volume 62 is now ‘open access’ on this web site.

Report of Rural History 2017 at Leuven

Dr Samantha Shave Samantha Shave attended the Rural History 2017 Conference held at Leuven last September: read her report here.


The LIBrary of Rural and Agricultural Literature: enthusiastic testers wanted!

Version 3.0 now has over 300 digitized items uploaded to it, including 72 volumes of Farmer's Magazine and 45 issues of Dairy World. We have been working with TannerRitchie Publishing to use their MEMSOshell platform to host our online library. We need feedback on the content and the user experience, to help us improve it and ensure that it meets your needs. Please sign up here if you are interested in helping us.

Please sign up for LIBRAL 3.0 here.

The LIBRAL 2.0 site will close on or before 10 February 2019, but has been superceded by LIBRAL 3.0.

email newsletter

Do you have trouble remembering to look at this web site? Would you like a reminder now and again? We plan to send out email newsletters about once a month (on average) when the content on the web site changes. We promise not to bombard you with spam, and you can un-subscribe whenever you like, from a link at the bottom of each newsletter.

BAHS forums

Do have a look at BAHS forums, where you can ask questions or start discussions on any subject related to agricultural history and the history of rural economy and society. Even if you don't have a question in mind right now you might be the one person able to answer one of the questions that are there! So please register now and subscribe to the ‘Agricultural history’ forum so that you will be notified by email about any new posts.

Publicity leaflet

The Society has a publicity leaflet. If you would like copies of the leaflet to distribute to potential members, or to leave at a location likely to be frequented by potential members, please contact us.

Funding opportunities

We have a fund available to support otherwise unfunded Conferences and Initiatives. If you are considering holding a conference, workshop, special meeting or something similar, why not apply?   We also offer bursaries to student members who want to attend our conferences and other meetings supported by the Society.

The Society’s Spring Conference 2018 will be held at the Cannington Campus of Bridgwater and Taunton College just outside Bridgwater, 26 to 28 March 2018. Cannington has a lovely walled garden in the grounds of a medieval priory.

The varied programme includes papers on Water Management in Britain; the Knight Family and the Reclamation of Exmoor Forest; the Economics of Grain Storage in England; Women’s Work in Early Modern England; and the Green Revolution. There will also be a New Researchers session. The call for papers is now closed.
There will also be an excursion on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 March to the Somerset Museum of Rural Life in Glastonbury.
Booking has now closed | How to get to Cannington
Not too far away: Historic Farms in Crewkerne

Recent publications

Sian Edwards, Youth movements, citizenship and the English countryside: creating good citizens, 1930–1960 (Palgrave). Sian gave a paper in our new researcher's session at the Spring conference in 2014. In her book she explores the significance and meaning of the countryside to twentieth-century youth movements such as the Scouts, Guides, Woodcraft Folk and Young Farmers' Club.
Hadrian Cook, New Forest: the forging of a landscape (Windgather Press). A contested landscape for at least 1000 years, the New Forest has a complex history, here explored through four themes: the shaping of the natural environment before historical times; the effects of management of natural resources; the governance of the Forest with its conflicting pressures on resources and attempts to exclude certain social groups; and attempts at conservation of the Forest.
David Edwards and Colin Rynne (eds), The colonial world of Richard Boyle, first earl of Cork. Richard Boyle was a grasping colonial adventurer who became the biggest landowner in the Munster Plantation (Four Courts Press). This book pays close attention to his estates and clientele to reveal new evidence of connections across the Atlantic, offering a new view of colonialism in the seventeenth century.
Susan Rose, The Wealth of England: the medieval wool trade and its political importance, 1100–1600 (Oxbow Books). The wool trade and its influence on English history are explored here through the lives of prominent wool-men: producers like the Stonors, middlemen such as Nicholas Brembre and Richard Whittington, and wealthy merchants such as William de la Pole of Hull.

What’s On

Special Exhibition at the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Hants: Maps – The New Forest Unfolded: 21 January to 15 April. Discover the story of the New Forest and its people through maps chosen from the Christopher Tower Reference Library. These large- and small-scale maps illuminate not only the landscape but the individuals and institutions that shaped the Forest as it is today. Plan of Bucklers Hard
On your way to or from the BAHS Spring Conference in Cannington, you might want to detour to see the exhibition, ‘Historic Farms in Crewkerne’, which opens on 24 March at the Crewkerne and District Museum. More information will be available soon.

New Boydell & Brewer Series

Boydell & Brewer, the leading independent publisher of academic works in History and the Humanities, announces the launch of a new series, Boydell Studies in Rural History, under the editorship of Professor Richard Hoyle.
Read more... Adobe PDF icon.

Bursary Announcement

The Richard Jefferies Society has established a bursary to support work on Jefferies or related topics: highly suitable for agricultural history applicants.

Work in Progress

The Work in Progress list, formerly published in Agricultural History Review, is now over 90 entries, together with an online form for you to create your own entry, which will only take you a few minutes. Researchers listed here have reported contacts being made with them as a result of their entry here, making it a valuable resource.