Current programme

Talks are usually on the last Tuesday of the month, doors open 7:00, talks 7.30 to 9.00pm. Our usual venue is the Jim Cook Suite at the rear of Stockton Central Library, accessed from the car park at the rear of the building, or through the library itself.

However, we cannot have this venue for the upcoming April, May and June talks. We are currently firming up on an alternative venue – keep an eye on our website for details, watch out for our emails, or contact us on

2023 Programme (From March onwards, Stockton Library unless indicated otherwise

28 March 2023 Viking camps of the great army | Mark Randerson

From AD 865 to 878 the Viking ‘Great Heathen Army’ wreaked havoc on the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Britain, leading to political conquest and settlement across northern and eastern England. Whilst earlier Viking raids had largely been coastal hit-and-run affairs, this period saw a change in tactics, with Scandinavian forces overwintering at strategic locations across the country. Yet despite the pivotal role of the Great Army, little is known of it: documentary sources provide few insights, and until now archaeological evidence has largely remained elusive. However, in the early years of the 21st century, the locations of two winter camps were identified. These sites at Torksey, Lincolnshire, and Aldwark, North Yorkshire, have yielded thousands of metal finds, showing the Army processing loot, trading, repairing equipment, and preparing for the next campaign. The two camps have revolutionised the understanding of the Great Army and other Viking forces and tell the story of the early years of the Scandinavian settlement of England.

Mark Randerson is an archaeologist with over thirty years’ involvement in fieldwork across Britain and in Norway, specialising in the early medieval period. Presently based at the Historic Environment Record at Durham County Council, he has recently completed a project with the University of York, cataloguing and comparing the finds from the two camps.

25 April 2023 Excavations on the medieval chapel of Kildale | Roger Inman: chair of Hidden Valleys Community Project
Middlesbrough College, Dock Street, Middlesbrough TS2 1AD

30 May 2023 What the Romans left behind: chemical signatures from occupation layers | Gillian Taylor: Teesside University
Venue tba

27 June 2023 Title tba (will be on metal detecting) | Keith Ingledew: metal detectorist
Venue tba

Past events