Alston Town Hall -
Archives Office

Alston Town Hall Archives


The Alston Moor Archives are normally open every Saturday from 12.00pm to 2.00pm. But understandably they are currently closed. In the meantime please contact us if you need help with historical information.
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"Saturdays at the Archives"
Come and join us

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Developing the Archives for public use in this form is a new and dynamic direction for Alston Moor Historical Society that was first made possible in September 2017 by the gift from Alston Moor Parish Council, acting as the Sole Trustee of Alston Town Hall, of office space for a trial period of three months.

For general interest there are many old photographs, old postcards and old maps of the district, while for the researcher there are lots of local records on many subjects, such as lead mining, education, local family names, churches and chapels, local government, agriculture, etc. We can offer help with family history investigation by arrangement with St. Augustine’s Church. Pride of the archives are sets of first and second edition O.S. maps of the area that show how Alston Moor has changed – or not – over the last 160 years. If you have a particular topic of interest then the volunteer archivists will help you to find the information you need. But look at our online catalogue elsewhere on the Alston Moor Historical Society website to find out exactly what is available.

Around the walls of the Archive room are photos of the old town, with a brief guide as to the stories they tell. Several photograph and postcard albums are permanently available to look at, as well as a slide show, in which the photos go back to the 1870’s, when Richard Von Dix first set up shop here as a ‘Photographic Artist,’ and postcards that date back to the reign of Edward VII in the early 1900’s.

We also organise small temporary displays of local interest.

Alston Moor Historical Society with its Archive is run not so much on a financial shoestring as on a financial thread. We need support, not just moral support and your presence as a visitor, but also your financial support. There is a bowl beside the Visitor’s Book for donations or you can "Donate here" – please give generously.
Entry to the Archives is FREE (although donations - and volunteers - are very welcome). The annual membership subscription for the Society is £10, and entry for visitors to each talk is £3 on the night.


People often ask about the 1000 year lease of Alston Moor, so here it is.

1000 year lease

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A bit about the Society

Alston Moor Historical Society was founded in 1973 and it is a member of the Cumbria Federation of Local History Societies.

The history of our unique community, from its earliest records to the present day, is of great social and cultural importance.  We have links all over Europe, in the Americas and in Australia and New Zealand and doubtless in other places.  People come from across the world to see where their ancestors came from, and the study of our two millennia of mining history alongside farming, road engineering and more, the rôle of women in rural communities, the development of compulsory education, the transition from mining to the 21st century economy  (and much, much more) makes our archives a very important resource.

The Society meets every month from March to December on the first Wednesday of every month, usually for a talk and sometimes for a walk, and the Archives are open every Saturday from 12pm to 2pm. See "What's on" for details.

We are working on digitalising the Alston Archives and putting interesting local stories on the website. There is a new story every few days, so plenty to read and come back for!

To get a feel for Alston Moor's fascinating past, read our Local Stories.
You will find that, Alston Moor is full of things historical and there are several organisations that cater for some of them. They are:
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The Society

Alston Moor is very fortunate among local history societies to have its own archive.

A group of volunteers is in the process of organising all of the Society's historical records so that they can be more readily available for research.

Archives in the Town Hall Library

Alston Library in the Town Hall also houses a good selection of local history reference books and items to view on microfiche. See the Archives page for the list of contents.
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Alston Moor Historical Society acknowledges with grateful thanks the support and the financial contribution provided by Alston Moor Parish Council and the people of Alston Moor, without which none of our work would be possible. 
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About Us
Alston Moor Historical Society was founded in 1973 and, due to the nature of Alston Moor, it is a member of both the Northumberland Association of Local History Societies and the Cumbria Federation of Local History Societies.
Alston Moor Historical Society
Alston Moor, Cumbria. UK.

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Alston Moor Historical Society