John Smallwood (1934 - 2022)

John Smallwood

Founding Member of the West Norfolk and King's Lynn Archaeological Society

John Smallwood giving a lecture to the Society

John Smallwood, lecturing on the Roman villa at Grimston, West Norfolk. It was 2013 and he was presenting as part of the HLF supported 'Gaywood Valley Archaeological and Historical Project end of project conference evening at Hanse House, King's Lynn.


John was a History Master at King Edward VII High School, King's Lynn and a Field Archaeologist, joining the school after studying History at Wadham College, Oxford University . John established this Archaeological Society in November 1967. John was an inspiration for many students, local people and adult learners over decades!

A teacher, historian, archaeologist, parish councillor and cricketer.... A further legacy due to his teaching from the mid-1970s, 'A' Level Archaeology, is several generations of young archaeologists. Many of these former students are still active in commercial archaeological units, County Councils and universities across UK and indeed the World.

John was a pioneer - he was the one dynamic force on threat-led archaeology in West Norfolk covering well over 50 years fieldwork locating and recording 100s of new sites of all periods. He led Society members, students and local enthusiasts to record the archaeology and landscape history of West Norfolk. He was held in high esteem by archaeological professionals, museum staff, academics and the broader local community.

With deep appreciation, admiration and respect. We are thankful for his contribution.

May you rest in Peace John.



Some press comments 13th December 2022



Lecture Programme

The program of lectures for the next season can now be found under the 'Lectures' tab above.

Kettlewell Lane

Socially distanced visit and picnic

A successful picnic/guided visit to Kettlewell Lane and Littleport Street occurred on the first Sunday in October. But, at present no further events are organised.

WNKLAS In The News

The society has been in the local Newspapers recently in coverage of the conference to celebrate our 50year anniversary and also the presentation to John Smallwood one of the founders.

Press Article


King John's Treasure

The society's investigation of a local farm contributed to a programme made for US television as part of the Expedition Unknown series. This systematic survey of an area that was a likely route for the Royal Treasure was also the subject of a recent lecture evening.

More Information

The TV Programmes