Get Adobe Reader

Have a query about rural history or agricultural history? Ask it on our Facebook page.

Recommend us on Facebook: help to increase awareness of the BAHS.

Follow us on Twitter: be sure to hear the latest news.

What’s it all about?

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.

National Mills Weekend, 13-14 May

The White Mill Rural Heritage Centre in Sandwich, Kent, has announced a Bakers, Makers and Brewers Fair to be held on National Mills Weekend. The focus of the White Mill Heritage Centre is a smock mill built in 1760 ... a rare survival of a complete milling site. It promises to be an exciting weekend! White Mill
The press release PDF icon gives more information, including details of the Baking Competition.

Postgraduate Workshop, Wednesday 3 May

The BAHS is pleased to announce a Workshop for Postgraduate Research Students and Early Career Historians, to be held at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 3 May 2017. The Call for Papers PDF icon is now closed.


– The LIBrary of Rural and Agricultural Literature –

At the recent Spring Conference, Richard Hoyle and Catherine Glover made an announcement about LIBRAL.

As a first step to creating this resource for rural historians, we had compiled a catalogue of 18th- and 19th-century literature on agricultural topics that have already been digitised and are available on a variety of Web sites. We have now added 200 titles to the Library, and you are welcome to access them on the test site. We are also working with TannerRitchie Publishing to use their MEMSOshell platform to provide a better service (faster download times, among many other benefits). Watch this space...

BAHS publications

Rural History Today issue 32 is now online, with articles about one of the RASE's magnificent paintings, The Agricultural Meeting at Bristol in 1842 (Michael Brandon), the newly refurbished Museum of English Rural Life (Susanna Wade Martins), and Farming in East Kent in 1816 (Lucy Ann Curling). Cover of current issue of Rural History Today
Cover of current Agricultural History Review Agricultural History Review volume 64 part 2, containing articles by David Crouch and Briony McDonagh, Maika de Keyzer and Eline Van Onacker, Vincent Geloso and Alexis Lacombe, Ted Collins, and James Bowen and John Martin, is now available.
View the locations mentioned in Collins’s paper on Edge tool making in Southern England, 1740-1960 in a full screen map. [Opens in a new window or tab.]

Volume 61 is now open-access from this site.


It’s so easy to join the BAHS because we are now set up to use PayPal.

PayPal Logo

Fill in an online form and pay via PayPal. You will also be able to renew your membership in this way.

Work in Progress

The Work in Progress list, formerly published in Agricultural History Review, is now has over 70 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 other researchers contacting them as a result, making it a valuable resource.

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.

Spring Conference 2017

The Spring Conference was held at Plumpton College, near Lewes, Sussex, at the beginning of April. The programme included a trip to the Weald and Downland Museum, which was very much enjoyed.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the first Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize, awarded for the best book in British or Irish Rural or Agrarian History published during 2016. Martin Thirsk, Joan’s son, presented the prize to Prof. Peter Jones of the University of Birmingham for his volume, Agricultural Enlightenment: Knowledge, Technology and Nature, 1750-1840, published by Oxford University Press.
Announcing the winner, Dr John Broad, President of the BAHS, said, ‘Since January, the judges have been reading the entries ... All the entries were of a high standard and worthy of serious consideration. Interestingly, three of them had a significant ‘transnational’ comparative element which we enjoyed and felt was well done. Although we had marginally different views of the merits of each book, were were unanimous in awarding the prize to Peter Jones.

Agricultural Enlightenment: Knowledge, Technology and Nature, 1750-1840
Peter Jones
‘This is a book Joan Thirsk would have empathised with and enjoyed, since one of her last essays, “The World Wide Farming Web”, covered some of the same issues of the transmission of agricultural ideas in a slightly earlier period. Peter’s book ranges right across Europe from the the British isles to Germany and beyond, and from Scandinavia to Spain, tracing the spread of ideas, the interactions between them, and using illuminating case studies to show the practical implications. It is a pleasure to congratulate him on his achievement.’

Recent publications by members of the BAHS

Routledge recently announced the publication of Transforming the countryside: The Electrification of Rural Britain, edited by Paul Brassley, Jeremy Burchardt and Karen Sayer, and the result of a BAHS-sponsored conference.

Available online at a discount.
Transforming the countryside
The Hornby Castle Estates: Agrarian Change from the 1582 Survey to the 1751 Sederunt The Chetham Society recently published The Hornby Castle Estates: Agrarian Change from the 1582 Survey to the 1751 Sederunt, by Jennifer S. Holt.

Available at an introductory price of £25 (incl. UK delivery) from Prof. Tim Thornton (whose email address is on the Chetham Society web site).
At the same time, Jennifer S. Holt’s previous publication, The Diary of Thomas Fenwick Esq. of Burrow Hall, Lancashire and Nunriding, Northumberland, 1774-1794 is available at a special price of £85 from the List and Index Society.

For four magnificent hardback volumes, this is truly a bargain.
Fenwick Special Offer Leaflet
‘The Fenwick diary provides not only a fascinating introduction to the life of provincial England between 1774 and 1794 but is also an important window onto significant changes in English society in those years’ – Professor Jeremy Black, author of Eighteenth-century Britain.

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. BAHS Leaflet


The Royal Historical Society is holding a conference on Agriculture, Economy and Society in Early Modern Scotland, on Saturday 6 May 2017 at Augustine Church, Edinburgh.
Here is the programme for the new IHR seminar series on Food History.
Rural History 2017, the Third conference of EurHO, will be held in Leuven, Belgium, 11-14 September.

Rural History 2017

The call for papers is now closed.
NUI Galway

The Centre for the Investigation of Transnational Encounters and the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour and Class are delighted to announce that their conference, Agrarian Reform and Resistance in an ‘Age of Globalization’: The Euro-American World, 1815-1914 will be held at the National University of Ireland, Galway, 2-3 June, 2017. The call for papers is now closed.