History Group

Covington and Keyston History Group

Covington and Keyston History Group Logo

Covington and Keyston History Group was formed with the aim of researching, recording and presenting the history of both villages. Meetings take place on the second Monday of the month from October to March at 7:00pm alternating between Covington and Keyston Village Halls. The programme for each 'season' can include visiting speakers, primary document research, identification of archaeological finds. Visitors are very welcome to come along to Group meetings.  We also go on interesting summer outings, which usually include a very good lunch!

Recent topics have included talks on Kimbolton Airfield during WWII and another on American forces in our area during that period, the Manchester Family, the diary of Cornelius Binns, and details regarding an active Archaeological dig in Norwich.  Some summer highlights have included visits to the Northamptonshire Archives and Hemingford Grey Manor House along with the continuance of the archaeology activities including metal detecting, field walking and test pits.


With help and guidance from Jigsaw (Cambridgeshire), the Covington and Keyston History Group has found evidence of people living continuously in both parishes since the Bronze Age. There was an impressive Romano British settlement, with several families of ordinary people living in roundhouses and farming the pastures pretty much as has continued for the intervening 2000 years. In Saxon times, it would appear there was iron smelting activity in Covington – possibly with the ore coming from nearby Raunds. Covington really expanded in medieval times and plenty of utilitarian pottery from the Lyveden area has been excavated. The Group has had enormous fun learning archaeological skills and has put together reference collections of pottery and bone found in the area (see links below). Reports of the excavations have been lodged with the Archaeological Data Service.  Investigations continue!

Local History

History is not just about archaeology, we just need to look around us to see elements of the past, but they are not always easy to interpret. Most people are interested in what went on in their local area be that recent history or the more ancient information found via a dig. Investigating a particular subject or building can be just as rewarding as picking up a piece of pot

Families of Covington and Keyston 1600 – 1911

Covington is a small village, consisting of never more than 200 souls for most of its history, so attempting a genealogy of the entire village is a reasonably achievable target. Simon Parsons is currently distilling parish records, gravestones, photographs, personal histories and stories into a genealogy database. The site is being regularly updated, usually when Simon is on holiday, with 1100 People and 253 Families entered as of the last update on 4th December, 2023. Unless original family name known, female subjects retain their maiden name all the way through.

You can access the Covington database by clicking HERE.

Keyston Church

Following the creation of The Covington and Keyston History Group, it was decided that we should also have a database of Keyston residents. The village has always been slightly larger than Covington with a peak population of just short of 240 in 1881, since 1951 we do not have an exact population, as for reporting purposes, it was merged with Bythorn. We do have access to St John the Baptist church records for Births, Deaths and Marriages along with Census data for the village from 1841 to 1911 so populating the database should not be difficult.

You can access the Keyston database by clicking HERE.


If you have any questions about our History Group, or would like to book a place on an outing / event, we would love to hear from you.

Fields marked with * are required


Our museum is primarily dedicated to items found by the Covington and Keyston History group during its archaeology activities. Since the opportunity to provide a more comprehensive view proved too good to miss, we have added documents, photographs and newspaper cuttings too.


History Group – Latest News

Covington and Covington and Keyston History Group – Summer Trip Two

Covington and Keyston History Group – Summer Trip Two

A visit to Huntingdon Archives. Receive a behind the scenes tour of the facilities followed by the viewing of village documents on the afternoon of Wednesday the 31st of July. £10 per person.

Covington and Keyston History Group Summer Trip

Covington and Keyston History Group – Summer Trip One

The first of this year’s summer trips will be a tour of Kimbolton Castle on Friday the 5th of July 2024 at 10:30AM at a cost of £10 per person. Following the tour, we will have lunch in a local hostelry.

Presentation on the The Hearth Tax – By Liz Ford

Covington and Keyston History Group – Presentation on The Hearth Tax

To be held at Keyston Village Hall at 7:00PM on Monday the 11th of March 2024. The last speaker for the 2023/2024 winter season. Non-members welcome (£5)

See all our news