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History of the Society

The Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS) began as the Camerton Excavation Club, formed in 1948 by the late Bill Wedlake. Wedlake grew up in Camerton, and at 13 began working at Camerton Farm, where he developed a passionate interest in the archaeological remains that had been excavated by the Reverend John Skinner. He was involved in excavating the extensive Romano-British settlement at Camerton from 1926 to 1956. He is also notable as having dug at Maiden Castle with Sir Mortimer Wheeler, and led the excavation of a Romano-British Temple site at Nettleton between 1956 and 1972. Wedlake and his partner, Peter Greening, and the Society itself were instrumental in preserving many of Bath's historic buildings from sweeping 'modernisation', such as the now-replaced development at Southgate Street.

The first President of the Society was the Right Rev. Ethelbert Horne, the Abbot of Downside Abbey and parish priest of Stratton-on-the-Fosse for some fifty years. Abbot Horne was well-known as an archaeologist, for his involvement in such excavation as the Camerton site, as well as being a director of excavations for 12 years at Glastonbury Abbey. He was an active member of many local historical and archaeological societies in the area, and a great contributor to many journals. Click here for Abbot Horne's obituary.

Horne's successor was Sir Mortimer Wheeler, a key figure in archaeology in the early half of the 20th Century, about whose illustrious career much has been written.

More recently, BACAS had a 10 year project based at Blacklands. This was the site of an early Romano-British villa. In 2006, we were visited for an episode of Time Team. Click the link to watch: Time Team

You can also read the Wessex Archaeology Report on the Blacklands Excavations 2006.