Field Visits

The association organises a number of visits each year, one longer tour, usually overseas and others in the UK.

Many field visits are also included in the Annual Conference and the Practical Days


In most years an overseas tour is planned in the Spring. Recent trips have included: Sweden, the USA, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Romania, the Netherlands, Saxony and Hungary.

The 2020 Spring Tour will be to Poland 11th – 17th May 2020.

The AIA last visited Poland in 1996, led at that time by Ray Riley who sadly passed away in 2019. This return trip to a much changed country is dedicated to his memory.

The outline itinerary is:

11th May Tour group members make their own way to Gdańsk (Information about suitable flights is available)

12th May Tour of the former Lenin Shipyard; short cruise on the Elbląg Canal to experience the ship lifts

13th May Drive south to the Salt Works at Ciechocinek; drive to the textile town of Łódź for a visit to the Central Museum of Textiles.

14th May View mill buildings and the Izrael Poznański Palace; drive to Maleniec to visit the historic metallurgical plant.

15th May Visit the Guido Mine in Zabrze the deepest mine in Europe open to the public, 320m underground; visit the Historic Water Supply Station “Zawada” at Karchowice.

16th May Visit the Walcownia Zinc Rolling Mill; visit the Nikiszowiec Settlement – one of the most notable workers’ communities in Europe; visit the museum of match production at Częstochwa.

17th May Make their way homewards from Krakow;

The tour is all-inclusive, 6 nights full board. Members enjoy a discount of £20 per booking but non-AIA members are most welcome too.

The management of the tour has once again been entrusted to Heritage of Industry Ltd and booking is now open.

Click on this link for full details and booking:

In the UK

There have been a number of visits investigating Country House Technology led by Professor Marilyn Palmer (President) and Dr Ian West.

During the late 18th and 19th centuries a variety of technological innovations were becoming available to enhance the comfort and convenience of domestic life but, far from urban centres, the great Country Houses had to be self sufficient in the provision of gas, electricity, sanitation and water supply if they wished to make use of them.

Subsequently, the decline of many country houses, together with their being donated to the National Trust, has meant that less alteration has taken place than in domestic property. In 2008 Professor Marilyn Palmer (AIA President) and Dr Ian West began studying the technology in a wide range of country houses, examining both the physical remains and the historical evidence and trying to place them in the wider context of the effects they had above and below stairs.

Previous tours have included the South West, The North West, The North East and Scottish Borders, The Welsh Borders, East Anglia and Bucks, Oxon & Surrey.

These Country House Comfort & Convenience tours are run in agreement with the Association by Heritage of Industry Ltd.
For full details visit:
Write: Heritage of Industry Ltd, The Gables, 20 Main Road, East Hagbourne, Didcot OX11 9LN
Phone/Fax: +44 1235 352275  09:00 – 17:30 GMT