Building on Church History: The Church in London
The Diocese of London Lambeth Palace Library King's College London The Open University

How useful are Local History Societies to my Research?

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Where is the nearest local history society to me?

Getting involved in local history societies can be an excellent way of meeting people interested in similar areas of research. They can also provide the expertise and assistance you may need to research your local parish or church history. By asking around, you may be able to identify other people in your area with similar interests to your own. They usually have an attractive programme of events in which you are welcome to participate. This can include monthly meetings, lectures, seminars, coffee mornings and walking tours of local churches. Attending these events can be the best way to get started with local history societies. You will be charged a small membership fee to join local history societies. This is rarely more than a few pounds a year, but worth doing to keep if you want to keep up-to-date with their publications and events. 
However, you do not necessarily have to join these groups to benefit from their work. More established societies have also started to publish material on their websites. This can include a local history journal, memoirs and visual materials such as photographs and illustrations. Many local history societies also have their own research projects or maintain a list of members' interests. If these aren’t advertised on their website, you can try and find out what they are, since many local historians have their own, unpublished archives of information and photographs.

Where is the nearest local history society to me?
The list below contains details of London’s local history societies, but it is not a definitive list. If you have a society that would like to be included in this list please email us at Alternative lists are maintained online on the ‘local history on line’ directory of local history societies and affiliated groups. You could also enter the name of the place you’re interested in a search engine (such as ‘Google’ or ‘Yahoo’) with the phrases 'local history' and ‘local history society’. You may often find that your local history group meets in your local parish hall. You should check their notice board for more details.

Acton History Society was established to promote the history of the village of Acton in West London and to show a few pictures of the area.

Barnet and District Local History Society is housed in the Barnet Museum which opened in 1938.

Bloomsbury Association is local residence group.

Brentford and Chiswick Local History Society was established in 1958 to encourage interest in the history of the area and to provide opportunities for members to find out more. They run a series of lectures. Membership details can found on their website.

The Brentham Historical Society was established in 1999 as an offshoot of the Brentham Society. Their aims are to advance the education of the general public in the heritage, architecture and development of Brentham Garden Suburb, in particular by the collection and preservation of photographs, documents, films and other artefacts that relate to the history, architecture or development of Brentham Garden Suburb. There is also an archive attached to this society.

The Brentham Society is a non-profit making voluntary organisation of residents living in Brentham Garden Suburb in the London Borough of Ealing. Their website has some excellent pages on the history of Brentham.

Camden History Society promotes history of all parts of the London Borough of Camden. It has a programme of monthly lectures, held at various venues in the borough, and there is an annual outing. They have a number of downloadable PDFs.

Ealing Civic Society was established in 1967 to preserve and improve the borough.

Edmonton Hundred Historical Society is interested in the immediate area including Edmonton, Enfield, Potters Bar, Southgate, South Mimms, Monken Hadley, Tottenham and Wood Green. They have monthly meetings and an annual conference. They are also active in publishing short histories.

Enfield Society, formerly Enfield Preservation Society, was founded in 1937. Their newsletter can be downloaded from their website, which also lists future events.

The Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society was founded in 1971. The society holds a number of events and publishes works on local history.

Hackney Society was formed 1967 to involve and support local people in the conservation of Hackney. They run a number of events including walking tours of the immediate area. They have a useful photographic survey.

Hayes and Harling Local History Society

Hendon & District Archaeological Society was founded in 1961.

Islington Archaeology and History Society organises lectures, walks, visits and outings throughout the year.

Kensington and Chelsea History Group was founded in 1989. It has developed many new ways of enabling people, especially those from ethnic minorities, to make an exciting and much valued contribution to the life of the local community.

London and Middlesex Archaeological Society was founded in 1855. They run an annual conference and seminars. They also publish the journal Transactions which is free to members. Details on membership can be found on their website. They also monitor the state of historic buildings and monuments in Greater London.

The Pinner Local History Society was established in 1972. It has an active programme of events. Membership details can be found on their website.

Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local History Society aim to promote the conservation of Ruislip's heritage and to bring the history of this area to life. They run lectures throughout the year and walking tours in the summer. Membership details can be found on their website.

West and East Surrey Family History Societies
Two local history societies outside of the Diocese of London that have some excellent resources on how plot the boundaries of Victoria parishes are West and East Surrey Family History Societies ( and These include publications that might help you to identify a churches location by outlining parish, borough, or district boundaries. It is likely that some boundaries will have shifted since the later nineteenth century with the creation of new parishes and the readjustment of others. These useful guides can be identified and ordered from the West Surrey Family History Society Website. They rarely cost more than a few pounds.


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