23 December 2008

Nottinghamshire Archives online catalogue

At last Nottinghamshire Archives has made a start in putting their computerised catalogue on the Internet.

Collections currently online include:
  • Court records (ale house licences, material from the Newark and Southwell Petty Sessions etc)
  • Deposited documents (papers from the Hole family of Caunton, Nottinghamshire Living History Archive, papers from the Webb family of Newstead Abbey, Pearson's of Nottingham archives, Shipstones of Nottingham archives etc)
  • Non-conformist records
  • District council records
  • Prints and illustrations
The full list of collections online is here:

Access the catalogue here:

20 December 2008

New book: "Sherwood Forest and the Dukeries"

Phillimore have just published "Sherwood Forest and the Dukeries" by Adrian Gray.  Adrian starts with the medieval forest, where the hunting rights of medieval monarchs were ruthlessly enforced, through the creation of aristocratic mansions and parks (the Dukeries) and the exploitation of coal in the 19th and 20th centuries and concludes with the impact of tourism.

The book is profusely illustrated with over 100 photographs, engravings and maps (some of which I supplied!) and costs £16.99.

10 December 2008

Possible Roman temple discovered in Southwell

Interesting report in the Nottingham Evening Post suggesting that the impressive remains recently discovered on the site of the Minster School in Southwell are of a Roman temple complex. Ursilla Spence, Senior Archaeologist with Nottinghamshire County Council said "it looks as if it could be a pagan Roman temple ..... It is very much a grand building." Watch this space as they say ....


26 November 2008

Southwell Community Archaeology Group website

A new website has been launched by the Southwell Community Archaeology Group to publicise recent archaeological discoveries in the town. Redevelopment of the former Minster School site to the south-east of the Minster has uncovered more remains of the Roman villa originally uncovered in 1959.

21 November 2008

Roman gold votive object found in Clifton

Nottinghamshire Coronor, Nigel Chapman, has declared that a small gold votive object found by a metal detectorist back in March near Clifton is Treasure Trove.

Full story in the Nottingham Evening Post:


27 October 2008

Archaeologists uncover more of Southwell Roman villa

Development work at the site of the former Minster School in Southwell has led to the discovery of a substantial wall in th eeast wing of a Roman villa that was originally excavated in the 1959. The wall is of large dressed stone blocks and survives to a height of 4 feet.

A press release issued by Nottinghamshire County Council provides more information

24 October 2008

Clifton Hall for sale

Clifton Hall, the Grade I listed building which recently hit the headlines with tales of ghosts driving the owner out, is up for sale for an impressive £2.7 million. Have a browse through the sale brochure and marvel at the impressive state rooms in this wonderfully restored house.

Details of the property are on the Knight Frank website: http://www.knightfrank.co.uk/search/property/results.aspx?OfficeID=8&lk_id=1

23 October 2008

The Derbyshire Portway. Pilgrimage to the Past - a walking guide

Stephen Bailey has just alerted me to his new book on The Derbyshire Portway, an ancient prehistoric trackway which can be traced from Mam Tor in the north of Derbyshire to the Hemlock Stone on the edge of Nottingham.

Stephen has spent several years researching the trackway and his book provides full walking instructions as well as a detailed commentary on the historical sites. The book is illustrated with maps and a wide selection of photographs.

More information at http://www.derbyshireportway.co.uk/

27 September 2008

Latest edition of the Nottinghamshire Historian

I've just received my copy of the Autumn/Winter edition of The Nottinghamshire Historian. Contents includes:
  • William Clark(e) 1843–1884 and Ann Tinley 1842–1927: their stories at Southwell, Halam and Doncaster Deaf & Dumb Institute
  • Fred Whiten 1868–1950: A Lovable Rogue?
  • Boots Booklovers Library 1898 to 1966

More information is available on the Local History website.

10 September 2008

The Harley Gallery Exhibition Talk Programme

Passions & Defeats
William Cavendish: the last great cavalier

Saturday 13th Sept, 2pm

'To amaze the people with pleasure and delight'

Dr Elaine Walker, author and horsewoman will be talking about William Cavendish and his writings on horses, with illustrations from the original 17th Century publications.
Tickets £7 (members of staff at Bolsover can get tickets for £5)

For tickets and further information, please contact the Harley Gallery on 01909 501700

The Harley Gallery
Nr Worksop
S80 3LW
01909 501 700

7 August 2008

Heritage Open Days in Nottinghamshire

The Heritage Open Days (11-14th September) offer the opportunity to visit historic properties not normally open to the public. A list of venues in Nottinghamshire and their opening times is available on the Heritage Open Days website .

28 July 2008

Introductory lessons on family history: 29 July - 26 August 2008

Starting on 29 July Nottinghamshire Archives are running 1-hour lessons on the basics of researching your family history.

The classes cover the following:
  • Registration (Civil & Parish)
  • Census Returns
  • Family History & the Internet
  • Probate Records
  • ‘Digging Deeper’

Further details and booking instructions are available on the Nottinghamshire County Council website:


3 July 2008

Archaeology week in Nottinghamshire, 12-20 July 2008

The CBA's annual Archaeology Week kicks off on the 12 July. Events in Nottinghamshire include a chance to meet Nottingham-born Julian Richards of Meet the Ancestors fame, a wide variety of events at Cresswell Crags, opportunities to see behind the scenes at museums in Newark and Nottingham, explore life in the Roman army with Gaius Flavius Baca of the IX Legion at Bassetlaw Museum, take part in flint knapping workshops and an open day at the Iron Age round-house in Calverton.

Full details are available on the CBA website:


31 May 2008

Salvation Army HERITAGE SYMPOSIUM, Nottingham on Saturday 28th June 2008

... more than heritage - A celebration of Salvation Army Heritage at William Booth Memorial Halls Nottingham on Saturday 28 June 2008.

More information on the William Booth Memorial Halls website:

30 May 2008

Work at Gringley Wharf

Nottinghamshire County Council have spent £20,000 on a project to investigate the remains of Gringley Wharf. Community archaeologists from the County Council worked with local residents and members of Gringley Parish Council to reveal the site. See the Retford Times news item for more information.

16 May 2008

Hazelford Ferry on the River Trent

Interesting item in the Newark Advertiser on Hazelford Ferry, near Bleasby. The site was an ancient ferry crossing (the only one between Nottingham and Newark for several hundred years) but has been neglected in recent years.

Parish councillors and residents of Bleasby and Gibsmere have recently cleared the area and planted a wildflower meadow to create a place for people to sit and enjoy the river.


29 April 2008

Worksop Past

This book, originally published last year, offers a range of "nostalgic photos capturing memories from Worksop’s past 120 years. "

25 April 2008

Anglo Saxon mound discovered in Sherwood Forest

The Nottingham Evening Post has published details of a suspected Anglo-Saxon mound in the Birklands area of Sherwood Forest which is near Ollerton.

The mound, known as 'Thynghowe' was located three years ago by a couple from Rainworth. It is possible that Thynghowe was "used by different tribes as a gathering point to resolve differences and may have marked the boundary between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria."

Nottingham Evening Post article (25 April 2008)

19 March 2008

New book: Downstream by Tom Fort

Excellent new book by Tom Fort, The Financial Times Angling Correspondent, describing the journey he took (mainly by plywood punt!) along the River Trent in the summer of 2005. The book is "an exploration into the historical, geographical, social, cultural and industrial aspects of a river filled with the curiosities, forgotten characters and departed ways."

I should confess to my minor role in the production of the book - I supplied Tom with some of the photographs and did the map but please don't let that put you off buying it!

18 March 2008

Exhibition: Wheels of Fortune - the story of Raleigh Cycles of Nottingham

This exhibition draws chiefly on the archives of the Raleigh Cycle Company (now Raleigh Cycle Ltd.) held at Nottinghamshire Archives. There is also a series of lunchtime lectures associated with the exhibition.

Dates: 12 April – 3 August 2008
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 11am–4pm; Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holidays 12 noon–4pm
Location: Weston Gallery, D H Lawrence Pavilion, University Park, Nottingham
Further details: 0115 846 7777

>> Download the exhibition flyer

16 March 2008

New book: Retford old and new. A new take on some old views of Retford

A fascinating collection of excellent photographs (many taken by the author, Ron Beare) comparing views of Retford from the past with the view today. Having lived in Retford in the 1970s this brings back a lot of memories.
Buy the book from Bookworm's e-Bay shop:

New book: Castles of Nottinghamshire

I was delighted to find James Wright's book, Castles of Nottinghamshire, at the library last week. The book provides "a synthesis of recent archaeological and historical research" and concentrates on the lesser known castles, so Nottingham and Newark castles are largely ignored in favour of Annesley, Laxton, Egmanton etc. Contents include:
  • The castle's place in the landscape
  • The castle's role in war and peace
  • How castles have survived today
  • Current historical, archaeological and architectural techniques in castle studies
  • A gazetteer of all known castle sites in Nottinghamshire

Castles of Nottinghamshire is priced at £5.95 and can be bought from Nottinghamshire Archives and libraries through-out the county. It can also be purchased by post by sending a cheque for £8.95 (including £3 for postage and packaging) payable to Nottinghamshire County Council to: Libraries, Archives and Information, Communities Department, 4th Floor, County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7QP.

5 February 2008

Latest Nottinghamshire Historian journal published

Just received my Spring/Summer 2008 copy of The Nottinghamshire Historian, issued by the Nottinghamshire Local History Association. As ever, it's attractively produced by The Local History Press and contains articles on the following:
  • The Edwardian gardens at Rufford Abbey
  • The role the Co-operative societies in Greater Nottingham played in local politics
  • Investigating the lives and deaths of Hucknall men recorded on two WWI brass plaques found in the town's Central Methodist Church
  • The story of the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Ruddington
Further information is available on the NLHA website: http://www.local-history.co.uk/nlha/nottshistn.html

20 January 2008

In my father's house

Intriguing book by Miranda Seymour reviewed in The Guardian yesterday recounting the painful story of her eccentric father's obession with Thrumpton Hall. Doesn't look like lightweight reading but I'll probably get it anyway!