Get Adobe Reader
Site map


We are pleased to announce our programme of Virtual Seminars, to be held via Zoom at 2pm on Monday afternoons fortnightly from 1 March to 10 May. On 12 April we will also hold the Society's Annual Meeting and announce the winner of the Thirsk Prize 2021. There is no cost for the seminars but you do have to register. The full programme is here, and the short programme is below, left.

Papers for the AGM are available here.

Monday 12 April: The Society’s annual meeting

Non-members are welcome to attend the papers but must leave before the AGM starts at 4.30.

At 2.00

  • Dr Harvey Osborne (University College Suffolk), ‘The changing meaning of Salmon: Environmental crisis and social conflict in Victorian Britain’.
  • Dr Mary Fraser (University of Glasgow), ‘Police as Ploughmen in 1917/18: How Britain’s policemen helped local populations by temporary release into agriculture’.

At 3.00

  • Professor Annie Tindley (University of Newcastle upon Tyne), ‘Landed responses to land reform in Scotland and Ireland, c. 1860 to 1903’

4.00: award of the Thirsk Prize, 2021

4.15 Book Launch

Histories of people and landscapes

R. W Hoyle (ed.), Histories of people and landscapes. Essays on the Sheffield region in memory of David Hey.
Clicking on either the image or the title will take you to a page where you will get a discount on the paperback. There is also a discount on the hardback here.
These discounts are for the duration of the Spring Seminars, and end on 10 May.

4.30 The Society’s AGM

Papers for the AGM are available here [PDF].

Monday 26 April: Ploughing a literary furrow: popular writing about twentieth century English agriculture
  • Dr Paul Brassley, ‘The farm in the library: writing about agriculture in the twentieth century’
  • Dr Peter Dewey, ‘From farming failure to literary celebrity: the career of A. G. Street (1892-1966)’
Monday 10 May: Welsh landlords and Welsh society in person and at a distance
  • Dr John Davies, ‘Thomas Turnor Mousley: land agent on the Cawdor estates, 1863-93’.
  • Dr Shaun Evans, ‘Coming of age: landowners and tenants in Welsh Society, c.1770-1920’.

See the full programme here...


The videos of the first three seminars are now available on our YouTube channel. We encourage you to subscribe to our channel so that you will receive notifications when we add new videos. And please don't forget to 'Like' the videos as well as watch them!

Monday 1 March: Water under the feet: new perspectives on watery landscapes

Monday 15 March: Agriculture on the hoof

See the side bar on the right for links to new books by both of Seminar 2’s speakers.

Monday 29 March: Colonial rule: Aspects of the British impact on Indian rural society


The Online LIBrary of Rural and Agricultural Literature now comprises over 850 digitized items, classified into over 200 categories. The LIBRAL Gateway enables you to exploit this classification to find literature you didn’t know existed. And once you have entered the library itself, you can use its magnificent full-text search capability.

By some contrivance, as the latest batch being announced on St David's Day, all our new additions to LIBRAL concern the agricultural and rural history of Wales. We have the General Views for Wales, both North and South (3 volumes, 1810, 1814), by Walter Davies (Gwallter Mechain). We have added two classic works of Welsh rural history, Williams, The old farmhouse (1961) a memoir of nineteenth-century rural life in Carmarthenshire, Peate, The Welsh House (1946) and the memoir of a world which had already passed by Vaughan, The south Wales squires (1926).

Nant-y-ffin, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

Finally, and this is no small finally, we have added all the Welsh counties in The Land of Britain edited by L. Dudley Stamp. We have permission to make the whole of the series available on LIBRAL and will add more volumes from time to time. The Land of Britain receives less attention and use from agricultural historians than it should. Other than being the most comprehensive account of landscape, farming practice and infrastructure in the 1930s, some county accounts also contain voluminous historical materials as the county authors tried to trace the nature of agricultural change over the previous century and more. Those who do not already know it will find it to be a massive resource.

North Wales

For the General Views, we have to thank Shaun Evans and Elen Simpson of the University of Bangor for facilitating the loan of the volumes. For Williams and Peate, we have used copies lent to us by Dr John Davies. For The Land of Britain we are greatly indebted to Giles N. Clark, who holds the copyright in the publications of Geographical Publications both for permission to make the scans and for the donation of a set of the volumes from which to work. We are grateful to them all for their help in advancing LIBRAL.

South Wales

Some of the books we have scanned are available for purchase. Other than raising some money, we need to make room for more books. We make no great claims for the quality of the books – they are strictly working copies – but if there is anything you would like to have for a modest price, do get in touch.

Other news

Other societies are also launching online lectures: we noted, for instance, the series launched by the Yorkshire Vernacular Architecture Studies Group. If you are launching your own series or know of others, let us know.

Historians always knew that epidemics were transformative and accelerated change: it is the adoption of Zoom and video conferencing as a ubiquitous form of communication which will perhaps mark this one.

Agricultural History Forum

Apparatus for lifting hay

This image recently started a discussion on our Agricultural History Forum, although we still don’t have a name for it. The forum is the place where anyone can ask questions or start discussions on any subject related to agricultural history and the history of rural economy and society. We’ve noticed that far more people have signed up to receive our newsletters than have signed up for the BAHS forums. Some of you are missing out on some interesting discussions, and the world is missing out on a huge pool of rural history knowledge. We would really appreciate it if more of you could sign up and be ready to join in the discussions! You can register here.


And if you have trouble remembering to look at this web site, sign up for our email newsletter. We send one out about once a month 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.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress is a list of researchers working in the field of agricultural history and the history of rural economy and society – and related disciplines. Researchers listed here have reported contacts being made with them as a result of their entry, making it a valuable resource. This month we have redesigned the facilities for filtering the list. In particular, we used the keywords in your entries to make a drop-down list to choose from. And from the same list we made the word art below.

Word cloud for WIP keywords

If you don’t already have an entry in the list please use the contact form to let us know your research interests, keywords, and period and regions of interest. If you already have an entry, please check that it’s up to date and use the contact form to let us know what changes you want to make.

Support Agricultural and Rural History

It’s easy to join the BAHS and by doing so you will be supporting the work of the Society in promoting rural history.

Join Now and picture of Geese