While the Society's initial focus was on protecting the Abbey and other churches, members such as Richard Lowe were soon involved in using archaeology to discover more about the Abbey's past as a monastery, as well as the Roman city of Verulamium.

This work continued throughout the 19th century, spreading awareness of the importance of the Roman city, and paving the way for the famous excavations of Verulamium in the 1930s by Mortimer and Tessa Wheeler (both honorary members of the Society). In the 1960s, a group of young members undertook a series of rescue excavations.

By the early 21st century, efforts were concentrated on carrying out research based on original sources, and using non-invasive remote sensing techniques to discover more about key archaeological sites.