Cornwall Archaeological Society seeks to:
- Identify new archaeological sites through survey and excavations
- Record sites, monuments and buildings in the field as part of one off or long term projects;
- Protect sites, monuments and buildings through co-operation with landowners, Historic England and Cornwall Council
- Conserve archaeological monuments through active management work on site
- Monitor the condition of our monuments through field visits
- Help fund Archaeological research projects in the county by awarding grants
The Society has always encouraged Members to get involved with as wide a variety of activities as possible. Opportunities to learn more about archaeology in Cornwall and elsewhere are provided by an annual conference and a winter lecture series and a summer walks programme that takes in all corners of the county.
Over the last 250 years, antiquarians and archaeologists have identified, surveyed, protected and in many cases conserved an astonishing range of monuments and historic landscapes that make up the area’s wonderful archaeological heritage. Cornwall has amongst the largest collection of nationally protected heritage sites of any county in Britain, with over 1,340 Scheduled Monuments, more than 12,500 Listed Buildings, 145 Conservation Areas, 37 Registered Parks and Gardens, 2 Registered Battlefields, 8 Designated Wrecks and the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.
Getting involved with the recording, protection and conservation of archaeological sites is at the heart of the Society’s purpose. The Society organises excavations, field surveys, buildings surveys, geophysical surveys, finds processing as well as the monitoring of the condition of sites as part of the Heritage at Risk Programme. The annual journal Cornish Archaeology and a Newsletter provide the opportunity to report findings and announce future activities.
All this activity requires a Constitution, a Membership and an organisational structure to guide the Society in its work. A Board of Trustees oversees the running of the Society through a General Committee. This is helped in its work by several specialist Panels, some permanent and some that are ‘Task and Finish’. All Members are encouraged to become involved.
The Society includes a number of members who act as Area Representatives (ARs), in order to provide a local contact for CAS members, and for others wishing to contact the Society. An AR will normally be responsible for one or more parishes around his/her home area, and between them they cover the whole of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The AR is expected to be watchful for any occurrence within their area which might have archaeological significance, such as developments disturbing the soil or likely to have an impact on archaeological and historic sites and monuments, and to bring any such to the attention of the local professionals. The AR is also responsible for co-ordinating the Monument Watch project in their area.
To get in touch with your local AR please contact the Secretary and include the name of your parish in your message.
The Society assists Historic England and Cornwall Council archaeologists in monitoring and recording the state of Scheduled Monuments and other sites of historic interest in Cornwall. The procedure for assessing and recording monuments has been agreed with the professional archaeologists, and regular training sessions are provided for those members taking part.
Monument Watch is co-ordinated by the Area Representatives, and is an important activity carried out by the Society. If you would like to take part in this activity, please get in touch, as new volunteers are always welcome.
The Society is keen to co-operate with other organisations carrying out heritage work in Cornwall and Scilly and is able to provide small grants to help support archaeological projects. We are happy to help researchers make contact with local experts, and assist with enquiries. The following Guidance documents should be examined and completed by those who wish to apply. Applications will be considered at the committee meeting following the receipt of your request. We’re also able to offer help in kind to projects as match funding.