"Maintaining the best standards of independent archaeology."

16th Century Church Masonry

16th Century Church Masonry

What is SOAG?

SOAG brings together individuals who are interested in archaeology, to inform, encourage research, stimulate further interest and enthusiasm, and generally act as a forum for archaeology in South Oxfordshire. Founded in 1969 by Cynthia Graham Kerr (1920 - 2011), SOAG now has over 150 members. It works in close co-operation with Oxford Archaeology, is a member of the Council for Independent Archaeology and is affiliated to the Council for British Archaeology South Midlands Group.

What does SOAG do?

  • It holds monthly meetings from September to April at the Goring Heath Parish Hall, Whitchurch Hill. Lectures by professional speakers and members are given on a wide range of topics in an informal atmosphere. Visits are made to places of interest during the summer - sometimes to sites not open to the public.
  • It provides opportunities for members to take part in archaeological excavations, fieldwalking, surveys and post-excavation work.
  • It publishes an annual journal, the SOAG Bulletin, which contains reports of the Group's activities and original articles by members. The journal is available at standard deposit libraries and local libraries (see list). There is also a regular newsletter, the SOAG Messenger, carrying news of SOAGs activities, details of forthcoming events and topical comment.

How can I get involved?

If you are interested in any of SOAG's activities, why not become a member? Experts and complete beginners of all ages are warmly welcomed as new members. To become a member see the membership details.

SOAG committee 2021-22


* = SOAG Officer  

  Role Contact
Hazel Williams SOAG President

Project Director of the Roman Villa Excavation
Dave Carless* Chairman

Co-Director of the
Blewbury Big Dig 
Bill Annan* Vice Chairman

Director Goring Heath Landscape Study
Nigel Peters* Secretary

Interim Editor SOAG Messenger
John Hesketh* Treasurer
Linda Annan
Membership Secretary 

Events organiser
Lindsey Bedford Co-Director of the
Blewbury Big Dig  
John Scarborough
Project Leader Smokedown Geophysical Survey
Lois Rock
SOAG equipment officer loisrock@soagarch.org.uk
Jo Morris

(photo tbs)

Chris Pollard

(photo tbs)

Ian Clarke
Vice President,
Honorary Member (see below)
Director Ascott Park Project
Mike Vincent
Vice President,


Not on committee

Mike Green Website Administrator

SOAG archives project


Professor Malcolm Airs OBE
(Kellogg College ,Oxford)

Honorary Members 

Tim Allen
Senior project manager,
Oxford Archaeology
Tim Allen, was leader of a major archaeology project in the 1980s which gave rise to SOAG's long running excavation of a Roman villa complex. Tim has been a supporter and good friend of SOAG ever since.
Paul Smith
retired County
archaeologist for Oxfordshire
From his appointment as county archaeologist in 1991 until his retirement from the position in 2010 Paul actively supported and encouraged all SOAG activities.
Ian Clarke
former SOAG Chairman and Secretary

Ian joined SOAG in 1999 and has made major contributions to the Group both administratively and as a project leader. He served as Secretary and then Chairman, during which time his major contribution was to put the organization of SOAG on a more secure footing. Ian also initiated and directed the Brightwell Baldwin Community History and Archaeology Project (BBCHAP), and later the Ascott Park project. He is currently our Honorary Vice President.

Late Honorary Members

Pat Preece,
former SOAG chairman
Pat, joined SOAG in the mid seventies, served on the committee for nearly 30 years and was for five years its chairman. But her major contribution to SOAG has been through her research. For nearly 40 years, Pat investigated the history of South Oxfordshire using as her primary sources the landscape itself, the memories of local people, and historical maps and documents, and was responsible for establishing Landscape Archaeology as an essential and integral part of field research in SOAG.
Margaret Westwood,
former SOAG committee member

Margaret joined SOAG in the early 1980s and took part in all the key excavations of that period including the original work with Oxford Archeology that lead to SOAG's long term project at the Roman Villa. But perhaps Margaret’s most important contribution to SOAG has been her 12 years as Hon Secretary from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s, and after stepping down from this role, continuing to help organise tea and coffee at lectures for several years. 
Robin Cloke
former landowner, Roman Villa Site

Ever since SOAG's excavation of the Roman Villa commenced on his land in the early 1990s Robin was an excellent host, generously allowing SOAG the use of his utilities, providing space for storage, and land for parking. Without this practical support, not to mention Robin's regular good humoured welcome, SOAG's longest running project would not have been be the success that it has.

Further Information

For any further information please contact us.