From its foundation the Club has been active in the field of archaeology, and has supported a number of excavations with funds, manpower and publication of results. The Archaeological Research Section (ARS) was started in 1966 to give members opportunities for hands-on excavation, usually under the guidance of professional archaeologists. More recently the focus in the county has switched to developer-funded and localised community-led excavation, supported by the much-reduced county archaeological service. Club members participate in these on an individual basis. ARS members replaced excavation with historical research and investigations in the field, identifying a number of sites worthy of future excavation, and these are reported on in the ARS journal, Herefordshire Archaeological News (HAN), which can be searched and downloaded via the Publications tab.
The Club has a fund – the Geoffrey Walter Smith fund – which makes grants towards publications and projects of Herefordshire interest, including archaeology. Follow the link under WOOLHOPE CLUB for details of recently supported publications and projects and for details of conditions and how to apply for funding.
The definition of the term 'archaeology' has widened over the years and is now given as 'the study of the buildings, graves, tools, and other objects that belonged to people who lived in the past, in order to learn about their culture and society'. This is not wide enough, as 'associated with' should replace 'belonged'. Even before the foundation of the Club, historical artefacts were collected and displayed in Hereford and some went on to become the foundation of Hereford Museum's collection. This collection has widened in scope and timescale, containing items from paleolithic flints to 19th-century farm labourers' smocks.