22 December 2011

Nottingham University Local History Seminars, January-March 2012

Nottingham University's School of History is running a series of Saturday Local History Seminars early next year. They take place at the School of History in Lenton House, start at 10am and admission costs £5. The programme is as follows:
  • 14 January 2012 – Researching Nottinghamshire's Architectural History by Elaine Harwood (English Heritage)
  • 11 February 2012 – Going Local with the National Trust by Ben Cowell (National Trust)
  • 10 March 2012  – The South Oxfordshire Project: Perceptions of Landscapes, Settlement and Society, c500-1650 by Stephen Mileson (VCH and editor of the Oxoniensia journal) 
Full details from Professor John Beckett at john.beckett@nottingham.ac.uk

19 December 2011

The latest from Nottinghamshire Archives

Two new publications from Nottinghamshire County Council's Libraries, Archives and Information department offer a bit of a contrast:
  • A Grisly History of Nottinghamshire is aimed at children and "reveals the gory details of the bloody and gruesome history of Nottinghamshire" - sounds fun!
  • Stone Age Nottinghamshire, written by David Budge and Chris Robinson, is a well illustrated guide to the archaeology of Stone Age Nottinghamshire and includes the recent discoveries from Creswell Crags caves 
Nottinghamshire Archives is also offering free 15-minute 'taster sessions' to introduce new users to the search room (how to use the microfiche machines, finding your way around the catalogues and indexes etc). You can also take part in one of the 'special interest' topics on offer:
  • Cemetery records
  • Electoral registers
  • Building plans
  • Maps
  • Poor law records.
More information is available on the Nottinghamshire Archives website.

12 December 2011

Friends of Newark and Sherwood Museum Service launch, 15 December

The Friends of Newark and Sherwood Museum Service are holding a launch event this Thursday between 6 and 9pm at the Millgate Museum in Newark.

The group has been set up to "to educate, promote, support, assist and improve the Newark and Sherwood Museum Service" and alongside the launch event they are promoting their "Adopt an Object" project which encourages members of the public to adopt objects in the museum collections.

More information on the Friends' website: www.civilwarnewark.co.uk/

3 November 2011

The Victoria County History of Nottinghamshire

There's an article in Tuesday's Nottingham Evening Post on the VCH Nottinghamshire project.

The first two volumes of the Victoria County History of Nottinghamshire were published in 1906 and 1910 and some 100 years later work is now underway to produce parish histories.

A draft of the first parish history (Plumtree with Clipston and Normanton-on-the-Wolds) is now online, with others in preparation.

A printed volume of 10-15 parish histories is planned for 2012/13.

19 October 2011

Listed buildings in Nottinghamshire on the English Heritage 'Heritage At Risk' Register

The ruins of Haughton chapel
English Heritage has just published its 2011 Heritage At Risk register for listed buildings in England. The Risk Register "includes grade I and II* listed buildings, listed places of worship, scheduled monuments, registered parks and gardens, registered battlefields, protected wreck sites and conservation areas that are at risk as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

Pages 59-68 of the East Midlands summary document highlight the heritage assets at risk in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Entries include Annesley Hall (last occupied in 1974 and a worry to locals ever since), the Roman fort at Scaftworth near Bawtry, the ruins of the medieval chapel at Haughton near Walesby, the west front of Newstead Abbey, Worksop Manor Lodge (seriously damaged by arsonists in 2007) and the Roman vexillation fortress at Osmundthorpe near Southwell.

16 October 2011

Open day at Kirkby Hardwick excavation, 15 October 2011

I had an interesting time on Saturday morning wandering around the archaeological excavation at Kirkby Hardwick near Sutton in Ashfield. The ruins of an impressive house dating from the 16th century stood here for many years until the wrecking ball demolished most of it in 1966. Nottinghamshire County Council's Community Archaeology Team, along with local volunteers, have spent the last fortnight trying to determine how much of the complex has survived among the trees.

The archaeologists were very informative and helpfully explained the site and its potential. It is hoped that the Heritage Lottery Fund will provide sufficient funding for further seasons of work on this intriguing site.

5 October 2011

Kirkby & District from Old Photographs

Amberley Publishing has just sent me a review copy of 'Kirkby & District from Old Photographs' published last year. Kirkby-in-Ashfield was a predominantly agricultural village until the mining industry and the railways transformed it in the late 19th century.

The photographs are from the archives of the Kirkby & District Conservation Society and they have been carefully selected to reflect all aspects of life in the town: work, sport, education, religion, entertainment and heritage. There are some evocative images of some of the fine houses, such as Kirkby Hardwick and the Manor House, that were lost in the destructive 1960s and of well attended Whitsuntide marches which, to my surprise, continued into the 1960s. One of the most eye-catching photographs is the snapshot of a bricklayer balancing 10 bricks on his head!

It is a fine collection of images with very informative (and occasionally amusing) captions.

27 September 2011

Kirkby Hardwick excavation: 3-14 October 2011

Kirkby Hardwick in 1912.
Community archaeologists from Nottinghamshire County Council have teamed up with volunteers from Kirkby and District Archaeology Group to run a two-week excavation of Kirkby Hardwick, a large house with medieval origins, which is located near to Sutton Parkway railway station. The house was demolished in the mid-1960s and the aim of the excavation is to "uncover some of the foundations and footprint of the building, and start to understand how the building developed over time." A brief history of the house is available on my Notts History website.

The dig will be open to the public on Saturday, 15 October between 10 and 4. Information is available on the Nottinghamshire County Council website.

Thanks to the Southumbria blog for alerting me to this project.

Request for help with the Nottinghamshire Great War Centenary Exhibition (2014)

Major John Cotterill is organising an exhibition on Nottinghamshire in the Great War to be held at Nottingham Castle in 2014. The exhibition will "cover all aspects of the part played in the Great War by the men, women, institutions, industrial enterprises and regiments of Nottinghamshire." John is putting together a team of volunteers to undertake research and also act as guides for some of the events and if you would like to take part please email him at john.cotterill@btinternet.com.

Event: 'People, places ... and baskets' A Nottinghamshire historical miscellany (29 October 2011)

The next Nottinghamshire Local History Association conference will give several local history societies the chance to "offer short presentations on aspects of their particular local interest and the fruits of their labour in pursuing it." Presentations include 'Ravenshead- birth of a community', the effect of WW1 on Bramcote, the history of basket-weaving in East Leake, Thynghowe ("a Viking age assembly site in Birklands on the western edge of Sherwood Forest"), the Elston Heritage Project, Cuckney village history and George Freeth (a Victorian solicitor). The conference will take place at Ravenshead Village Hall on Saturday, 29th October, 10am-4.30pm.
See the Nottinghamshire Local History Association website for further information.

The Nottinghamshire Historian, Autumn/Winter 2011

The latest edition of The Nottinghamshire Historian has just arrived. There is a fascinating article on the development of Nottinghamshire County Council's CLASP (Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme) modular building system. These distinctive buildings can be found all over the county (and country!) and I spent many 'happy' hours being educated in the ones at Rampton Primary and Retford Grammar schools in the 1960s and 70s. Other articles cover the work of the Norwell Parish Heritage Group, reminiscences of Vernon Radcliffe (curator of Newark Museum from 1964-1991) and a profile of Arthur William Brewill, architect and soldier.
Further details (and downloadable documentation on CLASP buildings) are available on the Nottinghamshire Local History Association website.

24 September 2011

Hyson Green flats feature on BBC2's 'The Reel History of Britain programme

The Hyson Green local history project, 'On the Flats', will feature on next week's 'The Reel History of Britain' programme, presented by Melvyn Bragg.

Entitled 'Streets in the sky', the programme "will explore housing redevelopment in the ‘60s and ‘70s – including how high-rise housing like Hyson Green Flats was said to promise a better way of living when it was first built."

The programme goes out at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 27 September on BBC2.

19 September 2011

Romano-British village found near Collingham

There's a report in today's Nottingham Evening Post covering the excavation of a Romano-British rural settlement at Tarmac's Langford Quarry, near Collingham.

A team from Trent and Peak Archaeology has spent the past year working on the site and have uncovered eight stone-lined wells, containing worked timbers, and a wide range of small finds.

Archaeologist Lee Elliott commented that "the exceptional range of artefacts for a rural community suggests prosperity, possibly built on large-scale animal husbandry and associated products servicing the nearby Romano-British towns at Brough and Lincoln."

30 August 2011

Open Heritage Day events: 8-11 September 2011

"Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission." A wide range of properties in Nottinghamshire will be open, including Nottingham Central Fire Station, Sneinton Hermitage caves, Barton's bus garage in Chilwell, St Ann's Heritage Gardens, Pleasley Pit and Retford's Majestic Theatre in addition to behind-the-scenes tours of Nottinghamshire Archives and the Local Studies Library.

A full  list of events in the county is available here: http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/county/Nottinghamshire

There is also a booklet for events in Nottingham: http://nottinghamcivicsociety.org.uk/images/pdf_files/heritage2011v3.pdf

20 July 2011

News from Nottinghamshire Archives (July 2011)

Nottinghamshire Archives is running a talk on Sherwood Forest. The talk is part of the 'Creative Perambulations' project and will cover medieval perambulations of the Forest, the courts that administered justice and Forest Law and the various medieval inhabitants of the area. A medieval perambulation and other relevant documents will be available to view.

Archives have also recently produced a new well-illustrated book, 'Turning back the pages on Maid Marian Way', which looks at the history of this controversial road project. The architectural historian, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, commented on the road's ugliness and many historians have deplored the way the road disrupts the medieval street pattern and led to the destruction of some fine buildings.

Further information is available on the Nottinghamshire Archives website.

Hyson Green History

'On the Flats' is a Heritage Lottery-funded project to research the history of the Nottingham suburb of Hyson Green. The project is using oral history interviews and archive-based resources but is also gathering material from former residents to deposit in the archives.

A website (www.hysongreenhistory.org) has been launched and at the end of 2011 the team will produce a booklet and stage an exhibition at Brewhouse Yard on the Hyson Green Flats Story.

The project is looking for ex-residents to interview, anyone who worked in key services connected with the Flats (e.g. health, social work, council officials, police) and any materials and items which have a connection with the Flats.

8 July 2011

Open Churches Weekends in Nottinghamshire, July 2011

The Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham has launched the Open Churches Project as part of the Church History Project (which intends to provide detailed historical and archaeological information about every church in the Diocese).

71 churches in the south and west of Nottinghamshire are open over Saturday and Sunday 9th-10th, 16th-17th July 2011. Further details (including downloadable church guides, church trail leaflet and posters) and a full list of participating churches are available on the website: www.nottsopenchurches.org.uk/index.html

4 July 2011

New Woodborough Heritage website

The Woodborough Heritage website has recently been "overhauled, extended and improved in its presentation and ease of reference."

The website has been reorganised into major themes and now contains an impressive total of 200 articles most of which are illustrated with photographs taken from a database of more than 4,500 images (an example is shown below).

"This 1913 photograph shows the Bugle Horn Pub, Old Post office, butchers shop and also the blacksmiths, this really was the centre of the village in 1913 as it is today but without the trades. The only building that has been demolished is the Bugle Horn and that happened in the 1960’s. On the opposite side of the road but out of view is St Swithun's Church. From left to right Mrs. Martha E Foster, with Miss. Gertie Foster and Tommy Burnett RN. Also Mr. Henshaw with his horse and trap, the main lettering on the rear states ”Hygienic Bakery - Lambley”, lettering on the side states P Henshaw. The Foster’s ran the Post Office and the Burnett’s lived for a short time at the Manor House leaving around 1915."

2 July 2011

Roman Nottinghamshire Blog

Mark Patterson, author of a new book on Roman Nottinghamshire, has emailed to tell me about his new blog.

The blog includes news on the book and a useful gazetteer of Roman sites in the county.

28 June 2011

Exhibition: 'Dinner with a Duke' at the Harley Gallery, Welbeck Abbey

'Dinner with a Duke - Decoding food and drink at Welbeck 1690 - 1910' is an intriguing exhibition showing at the Harley Gallery, Welbeck Abbey until February 2012.

The exhibition "focuses on 400 years of entertaining at Welbeck, looking at the lavish and fashionable tableware, entertaining as social duty, and the specialist departments that included hothouses, bakehouse, poultry house, dairy, fruit and vegetable gardens along with stories of servants eating and drinking too much while the family was away."

There is also an accompanying programme of talks.

More information is available on the Harley Gallery website.

25 June 2011

Besthorpe Quarry excavations

There will be an Open Day at Besthorpe Quarry on Sunday 24 July with site tours and a finds display as part of the CBA's Festival of British Archaeology (though I can't find it listed on their website!).

Later in the summer, Nottingham County Council's Community Archaeologists will be running further open days and a community dig at the Mons Pool part of the site.

Further information and contact details are available on the Nottinghamshire County Council website. A press release on the work done here by Salford University's Centre for Applied Archaeology has been published on the Lafarge website.

CBA Festival of British Archaeology 2011: 16th - 31st July.

The Council for British Archaeology is holding another national Festival of British Archaeology next month.

The Festival "showcases the very best of British archaeology, by presenting hundreds of special events organised and held by museums, local societies, national and countryside parks, universities, and heritage organisations across the UK" and offers "everyone the opportunity to learn about their local heritage, to see archaeology in action, and to get involved."

Events in Nottinghamshire include:
  • Moor Pond Wood Project in Papplewick (Excavation and exploration of an 18th-century water system designed to serve cotton mills along the River Leen).
  • A display at Mansfield Museum of 12th century pottery found last year in Skegby
  • Iron Age roundhouse open day (Calverton)
  • Pageant at King John's Palace, Kings Clipstone (includes display of some of the results of Time Team's excavation a couple of months ago)
  • Guided walks to the Queen's Sconce, an English Civil War defensive work south of Newark
  • A display by Priories Historical Society at Worksop Library of finds from recent archaeological work and Nottinghamshire/South Yorkshire local history
  •  Behind-the-scenes tours of Nottingham City Museums & Galleries
  • Living history and family-oriented activities with Nottinghamshire County Council's Community Archaeologists at Riverside Park, Newark

Further information is available on the CBA Festival of Archaeology website.

23 June 2011

The Manorial Documents Register now online

National Archives have launched an online version of their Manorial Documents Register, which identifies the nature and location of manorial archives. The Register includes "court rolls, surveys, maps, terriers, documents and all other documents relating to the boundaries, franchises, wastes, customs or courts of a manor" and Nottinghamshire is one of the counties included.

18 June 2011

Excavating Southwell's Roman past

Staff and students from Nottingham University's Department of Archaeology have been digging 1 square metre test pits in Southwell to try and find out more about the development of the Roman settlement that underlies the present town.

A large number of Roman and Anglo-Saxon finds have been discovered during excavations in 25 gardens in Southwell.

31 May 2011

New book on Roman Nottinghamshire

Nottingham-based author, Mark Patterson, is to be commended for making recent archaeological research on Roman Nottinghamshire available "in accessible narrative form." Motivated by a desire to correct the widely-held view that the county is a black-spot for Roman archaeology, Mark has trawled through academic journals, talked to professionals and experts and visited the sites to produce a readable and comprehensive synthesis of the latest thinking on this 400 year period of Nottinghamshire history.

The book covers the standard themes of pre-Roman tribal society, Romano-British religion and culture, military sites, villas and roads. The author also devotes space to every major Roman site in the county and summarises past and present discussions about their development; from the 17th/18th century fantasies of the antiquarians to the more scientifically based conclusions of modern archaeologists. The roadside settlement of Margidunum on the Fosse Way near Bingham is given the most attention and Patterson challenges some of the conclusions drawn by Felix Oswald who excavated it in the 1930s. I was, however, sometimes surprised by the order of the sections, particularly the one on post-Roman Nottinghamshire which appears at the end of the 'life's essentials' chapter after a discussion on diet and food!

The book is well illustrated but would be improved by the addition of detailed maps showing the distribution of villas, forts and roads in Nottinghamshire and the surrounding area: the two maps that are included depict some of the information but they don't show the full picture.

Minor criticisms aside, it remains a very useful and eminently readable summary of the latest research on the Roman archaeology of Nottinghamshire and is highly recommended.

30 May 2011

Laxton Heritage Day, 3 July 2011

The heritage day is being held at Crosshill Farm on July 3rd to celebrate "the amazing story of Laxton and how it came to be  the last open field farming village in the country where strip farming is still practised,  the manorial system still operates  and the farmers are  bound by the rules of  the  Court Leet."

Events on the day include:
  • Guided tours of the Open Fields , the church and the motte & bailey castle
  • Talks by Professor John Beckett, the authority on the history of Laxton
  • Display by Laxton History Group featuring many items not normally on view to the public and incorporating Newark & Sherwood Museums Service and Tuxford Windmill
  • Heritage films and photos
  • Vintage tractor and horse ploughing
  • Craft demonstrations and information stands
  • Morris dancing from Rattlejag Morris of Retford – the people who dance in the May at Laxton castle
  • Notts Wildlife trust
  • Medieval Lives demonstration
  • Refreshments, sandwiches, cakes, bar
  • Raffle and lots more
See the Laxton Heritage Day 2011 website for further information.

15 May 2011

Transactions of the Thoroton Society, Volume 114 (2010)

The latest Transactions of the county historical society has just been published. Contents include:
  • Cranbrook House, Cranbrook Street, Nottingham: An Archaeological Excavation Revisited by Scott Lomax
  • Tree-Ring Dating and the Historical and Social Context of Timber-Frame Buildings, Norwell, Nottinghamshire by Matthew Hurford, Michael Jones and Cathy Tyers
  • Ergotism? A Seventeenth Century Demographic Crisis in Bassetlaw by Jean Nicholson and Hannah Nicholson
  • The North Nottinghamshire Coal Trade in the Eighteenth Century by Philip Riden
  • The Nottinghamshire History Lecture 2010. Harmony and Good Company: The Choir-Band as a Vehicle of Sociability in Nottinghamshire, c.1750-1830 by Katie Holland
  • The Library World of Nottinghamshire in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century by Peter Hoare
  • Burgage Manor: New Perspectives on Georgian Southwell by Stanley Chapman
  • Byron at Burgage Manor, 1803-08 by Geoffrey Bond
  • Cheering the Member: Gladstone Election Songs at Newark by Richard A Gaunt
  • The Clergyman, The Widow, and The Milkman: An Examination into the Landlords of Working Class Housing in Edwardian Nottingham by Maureen Cooper
  • Archaeology in Nottinghamshire 2010 edited by Keith Challis
Further information is available on the Thoroton Society website.

"East Retford and the Dukeries"

The latest addition to my Nottinghamshire History website is "East Retford and the Dukeries", a guide to the town and the surrounding area dating from 1908. I was delighted to find the book at Ken Spelman's bookshop in York a couple of months ago and particularly enjoyed  looking at the adverts: many of the names (e.g. Northern Rubber, Jenkins, Bamforth, Curtis) are familiar from when I lived in Retford during the 1970s.

14 May 2011

Graffiti at the site of the Southwell Roman villa

On a recent visit to Southwell I was amused to see that not only do the locals write graffiti in Latin but that fellow citizens helpfully correct their grammar! What an educated place....

Fading Faces exhibition at the Central Library in Nottingham

The Fading Faces Project is recording gargoyles, grotesques & reliefs in Nottinghamshire. The aim is to "document, archive and record these stone sentinels of history in anyway possible before they disappear completely."

A photographic exhibition showing examples of Nottinghamshire gargoyles is running throughout May at Nottingham Central Library.

25 April 2011

John Speed's map of Nottinghamshire available online

Cambridge University Library holds one of five known sets of proof maps prepared for John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, which was published in 1611/12. The University Library has digitised the atlas and full-sized prints can be purchased online.

The Nottinghamshire map depicts towns and villages in the county and includes a detailed street plan of Nottingham and information on the Battle of Stoke (1487). A zoomable image can be viewed on the website.

9 April 2011

Time Team in Notts!

A few posts ago I bemoaned the fact that Time Team had consistently ignored Nottinghamshire over 18 series of exploring the archaeology of the UK (and occasionally beyond). I now learn that this week the team have been working on King John's Palace, a medieval hunting lodge and royal palace at Kings Clipstone, near Mansfield - that'll teach me!

There are some nice photos on the Nottingham University website and a report and photos on the Mansfield Chad site.

7 April 2011

Nottingham Civic Society celebrates demolished hotel

Nottingham Civic Society has unveiled a plaque on the site of the long-demolished Nottingham landmark, The Black Boy Hotel. This impressive 1887 building was designed by the flamboyant architect Watson Fothergill and regrettably destroyed in 1970 to be replaced by a dismal Littlewoods store (now occupied by Primark).

Ken Brand of the Civic Society commented that "its demolition was considered by most to be the worst example of architectural vandalism of that era in Nottingham."

24 March 2011

New Nottinghamshire community history website

The 'Our Nottinghamshire' website has been launched with the aim of encouraging people to add their memories, stories, photographs and comments on Nottinghamshire.
The website is available at  http://www.ournottinghamshire.org.uk/

D H Lawrence Heritage Centre reprieve

Nottingham University has come to the rescue and agreed a £105,000 grant to ensure Durban House in Eastwood remains open for the next two years. Originally, it was built as offices for the Barber Walker Colliery Company and was bought and restored by Broxtowe Borough Council in the 1990s. It houses the D H Lawrence Heritage Centre which is under threat because of cuts in council funding.

17 March 2011

"From Villa to Minster, Southwell - its origins, and place in our national heritage" on 29 March 2011

A public meeting has been organised by Southwell heritage groups to discuss the national significance of the town's Roman archaeology and will feature leading experts on Roman and ecclesiastical archaeology.
The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of the remains recently uncovered on Church Street prior to council planners considering an application for 31 houses on the site.
Further details are available on the Southwell Archaeology website.

4 March 2011

Free access to Nottinghamshire museums, 20 March 2011

BBC Nottingham has organised another "Big Day Out" - "a celebration of the county's history and heritage" for 20 March. Many museums in Nottinghamshire will offer free entry and those participating include:
  • Clumber Park
  • D H Lawrence Birthplace Museum and Heritage Centre
  • Flintham Museum
  • Brewhouse Yard, Nottingham
  • Iron Age Roundhouse, Calverton
  • Galleries of Justice, Nottingham
  • Laxton Heritage Centre
  • Newark Air Museum
and many more!

See the BBC Nottingham website for further details.

2 March 2011

Metal-detectorist uncovers Bronze Age tools near Newark

Maurice Richardson, who discovered an impressive Iron Age Torc near Newark a couple of years ago, has uncovered a cache of Bronze Age tools 8 miles outside Newark. The cache includes "several well-preserved socket axe handles, chisels, a spear head, broken sections of swords, and unmoulded clumps of bronze."

28 February 2011

Time Team avoid Nottinghamshire again

I'm enjoying the current series of Time Team (while quietly hoping that Channel 4 don't mess about with the scheduling like they did last year) but find myself musing on the fact that this is series 18 of TV's longest-running archaeology show and yet again the team give Nottinghamshire a wide berth! Is it something we said???

What sites in the county would be sufficiently interesting to lure Tony and his chums here? Here are a few suggestions:
  •  Haughton Hall, near Walesby, was a magnificent medieval house, surrounded by a moat, set in impressive parkland. There is a ruined medieval chapel a short distance away from the site of the hall, presumably associated with the deserted settlement of Haughton, and a duck decoy refashioned from a motte and bailey castle (see the following articles on the Notts History website "Haughton to the verge of splendour" and "Haughton Hall")
  • Greasley Castle, a mid-14th century fortified manor house near Eastwood (see article covering brief excavations in the 1930s and the Greasley Parish website for further information)
  • Cromwell Roman villa just north of Newark is clearly visible from the air but (as far as I know) hasn't been excavated
  • Medieval-18th century coal pits near Strelley village on the western outskirts of Nottingham
  • The English Civil War defensive earthworks around Newark-on-Trent
  • Clipstone Peel in Sherwood Forest, identified by Dr David Crook, was "a sophisticated wooden palisade with external ditch and gates ...  [it] included a gatehouse, hall, royal chamber, a chapel, bakehouse, grange, and animal sheds" - it only lasted a few years in the early 14th century before being dismantled (further information on The Gatehouse website)
Any others?!

22 February 2011

Nottingham University Museum of Archaeology 'Prehistory Day', 23 February 2011

There's a chance to connect with our prehistoric forbears at the The University of Nottingham Museum of Archaeology's 'Hands on Prehistory Day' tomorrow. See the article on the BBC Nottingham website for further details:

19 February 2011

Latest 'The Nottinghamshire Historian' published

The Spring/Summer edition of The Nottinghamshire Historian has just arrived through my letterbox and contains the following articles:
  • Sutton-in-Ashfield: The Unwin Dynasty and the Bag Hosiers
  • Homes fit for Heroes: Nottingham's First Council Houses, 1919–1927
  • The centenary of the first cinemas in Nottingham

Further information is available on the Nottinghamshire Local History Association website.

18 February 2011

Searching for the grave of the 5th Duke of Portland

During a recent visit to London I spent a couple of hours wandering around the impressive monuments of Kensal Green Cemetery. Not only is it a superb example of an early Victorian cemetery but it also contains the grave of the eccentric 5th Duke of Portland, best known for being "The Underground Man" or "Mole Duke" who spent much of the family fortune constructing tunnels and underground rooms at Welbeck Abbey.

The Duke's monument is quite difficult to find*, despite being the largest plot in the cemetery, and is surprisingly plain (in stark contrast to those of many of his contemporaries). It consists of a pink Peterhead granite slab surrounded by grey granite kerbs and posts. The memorial was damaged by World War 2 bombing and bronze chains and fittings were stolen in the early 1950s. The inscription reads "SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF THE MOST NOBLE WILLIAM JOHN CAVENDISH BENTINCK SCOTT FIFTH DUKE OF PORTLAND. BORN 17TH SEPTEMBER 1800. DIED 6TH DECEMBER 1879."
* Thanks to John Clarke of Brookwood Cemetery for help with locating the monument.

14 February 2011

Bid for funds to investigate prehistoric site near Newark-on-Trent

Farndon Archaeological Research Investigations (FARI) are applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £50,000 to enable them to further investigate a prehistoric site in the fields near Farndon. It is likely that the site was a camp (or several camps) where hunters processed killed animals.
Further information on the BBC Nottingham website:

18 January 2011

Notttinghamshire Archives news

Nottinghamshire Archives has purchased a 12th century charter at auction in London. The charter dates from the 1180s and records a grant by Rufford Abbey of land in Eakring to Osbert de capella and his wife Emma.
A £38,000 project to catalogue the archives of Southwell Minster now held at Nottinghamshire Archives has been completed. Information on the 7,000 documents is available on the Nottinghamshire Archives Online Catalogue:

6 January 2011

Society of Landscape Studies Study Weekend in Nottinghamshire, May 2011

The Society of Landscape Studies has organised a study weekend for the 14-15 May 2011 which will focus on the area around Norwell, Ossington and Egmanton on the first day and the parkland landscape of Thoresby Hall on the second day.
Further details are available on the society's website.