29 December 2016

'Council Housing in Nottingham: The biggest collective leap in living standards,' a talk at Nottingham Mechanics on 21 January 2017

The Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Labour History Society's next meeting on Saturday 21st January 2017 at Nottingham Mechanics will include a talk by Chris Matthews and Dan Lucas entitled 'Nottingham Council Housing: The biggest collective leap in living standards.'

21 December 2016

Halfprice sale of Nottinghamshire local history books

Nottinghamshire Archives and Libraries are selling some of their local history stock at half-price. There's a wide range of subjects: railways, the English Civil War, pubs, the Stone Age, Raleigh bicycles etc.

They are listed on the Inspire website:

23 September 2016

Martinmas Fair in Lenton, 22 October 2016

The Martinmas Fair returns on Saturday 22 October, celebrating Nottingham's medieval heritage and sharing the story of Lenton's lost medieval priory. It's taking place on Saturday 22 October, at 11-4pm (grand opening 12 noon), at Priory Park and Priory Church of St Anthony, Old Lenton, NG7 2NW.

Organised this year by the community, the Martinmas Fair brings to life the unique history and identity of our area, past and present. Discover Lenton Priory, the magnificent monastery destroyed by Henry VIII, and its famous medieval fair. With falconry, re-enactment, swordplay, have-a-go archery, crafts, music, storytelling, a closing lantern procession, tree decorating, archaeology, and local history, plus market stalls and food from Veggies (vegan/vegetarian) and a barbeque, there's something for everyone.

Heritage organisations involved include Access Artefacts (medieval object handling), the Galleries of Justice (medieval crime & punishment activities), the English Companions (Anglo Saxon life), Nottingham Hidden History (medieval Nottingham), Lenton Local History Society (Lenton Priory), Trent & Peak Archaeology (artefacts from recent excavations at Lenton Priory), the NLHA, and the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust. English Combat in Dunkirk re-enactment group will be performing, and the lovely Polly demonstrating medieval spinning.

Short talks will be given by the English Companions (Anglo Saxon life in Lenton and Nottingham), Nottingham Hidden History (medieval Nottingham then and now), Trent & Peak Archaeology (the archaeology of Lenton Priory), and the Vicar of Lenton. Trent & Peak will also give several guided tours of Lenton Priory's (lost) precincts.

The fair will partly take place inside the historic Priory Church of St Anthony (with 13th-century chancel), and for one day only the small railed park housing the one surviving pillar from Lenton Priory will be open to the public. Holy Trinity Lenton, newly reopened after 2 years of roof work, and a very short walk from the fair, will similarly be open from 10.45 to 11.45 for those want to see the 12th-century font from Lenton Priory or other features inside the church (including memorials to Albert Ball VC, Samuel Adams, and WWI nurse Dorothea Crewdson).

NCMG's Friar Tuck will also be delivering a guided walk along the historic footpath linking Nottingham Castle and Lenton Priory, running through the site of the medieval royal hunting park, via Lenton Hermitge (a cell of Lenton Priory) and stopping at Holy Trinity to see the font (this is a separate activity and needs to be booked through NCMG).

There's a full provisional itinerary at http://martinmasfairlenton.weebly.com/whats-on.html or get in touch with Alison: 0115 8967400, or amontgomery@yorkat.co.uk

The event was made possible by funding from the Dunkirk & Lenton ward councillors, the NLHA, and the Area 4 Grants.

For one day only, join Nottingham Castle's Friar Tuck and friends as he leads visitors from the town of Nottingham to Lenton Priory

Follow the historic footpath from Castle Rock, through the royal hunting park, and along the ancient route of the River Leen, to Lenton Priory.

En route you will encounter Lenton Hermitage, the priory's outpost in the caves beneath the Park.

Call in at Lenton's Holy Trinity and gaze in wonder at Lenton Priory's unequalled 12th century carved font, still in use today.

And finally, arrive at the home of Lenton Priory for its Martinmas Fair, where your procession will be greeted by musical fanfare as you arrive at 12 noon.

​The walk is free of charge and is approximately 1 mile in distance.

​For more information, and to book a place, please contact Friar Tuck at Nottingham Castle (nottingham.castle@nottinghamcity.gov.uk or 0115 8761400

22 September 2016

Nottingham Heritage Partnership launch event on 26 November 2016

Last year stakeholders throughout Nottingham launched a Heritage Strategy for the City. As part of the strategy there is a plan to establish a heritage partnership/forum for the City that will be open to all those groups and individuals who have a stake in heritage within Nottingham. The first meeting of the partnership will be on the 26 November, 9.30-4 at the Council House Ballroom.
Booking is through an eventbrite website (which is live now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nottingham-heritage-partnership-launch-tickets-27928281241 ) or contact Alice Ullathorne by email (alice.ullathorne@nottinghamcity.gov.uk) or phone (0115 876 1993).

30 June 2016

Explore a virtual 19th century Nottingham textile factory at Sneinton on 9 July

Image courtesy of the Backlit Gallery
The Backlit Gallery in Sneinton is hosting a 'immersive Virtual Reality experience' on 9 July. By wearing a VR headset visitors will be able to explore the sights and sounds of the textile factory of I&R Morley as it looked in the late 19th century.

The VR experience is part of a day of events at Backlit on 9 July, from 12 noon to 5pm, which will be devoted to Sneinton and the life and legacy of Samuel Morley (1809-1886), a Nottingham MP, textile manufacturer, social reformer and philanthropist.

The Backlit Gallery is at Alfred House, Ashley Street, Sneinton, Nottingham NG3 1JG.

27 June 2016

Remembering Victoria Station exhibitions (August-September 2016)

It has been 50 years since the closure and subsequent demolition of Nottingham's Victoria Railway Station. To mark the anniversary, Nottingham's Railways Remembered is holding exhibitions at Nottingham Industrial Museum (6 & 7, 13 & 14 and 20 & 21 August), GCR Ruddington (27 & 28 August) and Intu Victoria Centre (29 August to 4 September).

The 3rd Nottinghamshire Local History and Archaeology Day, 9 July 2016

The event is designed to showcase 'the wide and varied work taking place throughout Nottinghamshire by local history and archaeology societies, archaeological units, museums and other regional archaeological organisations.' It will take place in The University of Nottingham Museum, Angear Visitor Centre, Djanogly Gallery and Rehearsal Hall on Saturday, 9 July.

Highlights of the day:
  • short talks on local archaeology and history projects
  • stalls and exhibitions
  • a hands-on session with archaeological material from Nottinghamshire
  • meet the Finds Liaison Officer for Nottinghamshire and Nottinghamshire County Council
  • Pastfest ('Highfields Park will be taken over by archaeological and historically themed characters, giving you the chance to meet some of our ancestors who will tell you about their life and times and demonstrate skills and crafts from the past. There will also be the chance to take part in crafts and games.')

See the Lakeside Arts website for further details.

19 May 2016

Transactions of the Thoroton Society for 2015 published

The latest issue of the Transactions of the Thoroton Society : the Journal for Nottinghamshire History and Archaeology is now available.

Articles include reports of three major archaeological projects in the county: the Time Team evaluation at King John's Palace, Kings Clipstone, Iron Age and Romano-British sites discovered while widening the A453 and the Ice Age Journeys project at Farndon Fields, Newark.

Other articles cover such diverse subjects as the receipt (recipe) books of the Countess of Oxford, the Stretton and Lowe families who worked as Sir Richard Arkwright's builders and millwrights, how the village of Edwinstowe became associated with the Robin Hood legend in the 19th century, changes to Rufford Abbey in the Victorian and Edwardian periods and the importance of cigarette marketing at John Player & Sons.

Further details and ordering information is available on the Thoroton Society website.

1 May 2016

The Great Nottinghamshire Local History Fair, 8 May 2016

The Great Nottinghamshire Local History Fair 2016 will take place on Sunday, 8 May at Mansfield Library (11.00am - 3.00pm).

  • Local history displays from across the county
  • Old photographs
  • Craft demonstrations
  • Old films of Notts
  • Mining Heritage
  • FREE activities for children 
  • Costumed Characters
  • Aviation history
  • Archaeology
  • Bookstalls - new and second hand 
  • Refreshments Available
More information on the Our Nottinghamshire website.

Nottinghamshire Coalfields Project

The second phase of a Historic England funded project, 'The Physical Landscape Legacy: An Assessment of the Nottinghamshire Coalfield', has just been launched.

ArcHeritage, who are managing the project have organised six community-based workshops 'to identify public perceptions of the coalfields landscape and to identify potential community-based initiatives that can be undertaken to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the Nottinghamshire coalfields landscape.'
Further information is available on the Nottinghamshire Coalfields Project website.

9 April 2016

From Here We Changed The World - a new book from Adrian Gray

Bookworm of Retford have recently published a book on the religious history of North Nottinghamshire (and west Lincolnshire) by local author, Adrian Gray. Subtitled 'Amazing Stories of Pilgrims and Rebels from North Nottinghamshire and West Lincolnshire' this well illustrated book reminds us what a huge impact this small area of the English midlands has had on the development of the Christian faith.

As the promotional literature says, 'from this area have come of the great martyrs of the English Reformation, the leading puritans of Elizabethan England, the "Separatists" who became the "Mayflower" Pilgrims, and the founders of the Baptist, Quaker and Methodist denominations.'

Further information is available on the Bookworm website: www.bookwormretford.co.uk/publications.html

Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record now online

The Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record (HER) is now online courtesy of Historic England's Heritage Gateway website. This is excellent news for researchers interested in archaeology and the built environment in Nottinghamshire. Please note the HER does not, regrettably, include the City of Nottingham itself.

The HER (formerly known as the Sites and Monuments Record) is a database of information on archaeological sites and finds, historic buildings and historic landscapes in Nottinghamshire. According to the county council website 'there are currently over 15,000 data entries in the Nottinghamshire HER. They refer to features ranging in size from single chance finds, such as Roman coins, to WWII airfields.'

Results from a search on the small village of Winkburn in central Notts are shown below:

Details of the record on the church of St John of Jerusalem are shown below:
Interestingly, there is no mention in the Heritage section of the Notts CC website that the HER has gone online. I found out today thanks to a posting by Emily Gillott on the East Midlands History and Heritage Facebook page.

Is this an example of what they call a system 'soft launch'?!

26 January 2016

New book: 'Lost Nottingham in colour' by Ian D. Rotherham

Another attractive and lavishly illustrated book from Amberley Publishing has arrived for review. Lost Nottingham in Colour by Ian D. Rotherham (Professor of Environmental Geography and Reader in Tourism and Environmental Change at Sheffield Hallam University) includes a wide range of images showing the city and its environs in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The illustrations are sensibly organized into themed chapters, each with a brief introduction on such topics as industry and commerce, parks and gardens, education and health etc. Many of the images are from early postcards but there are also a large number of sepia-toned engravings presumably taken from The Illustrated London News and The Builder.

The book is printed on good quality paper and the illustrations are well reproduced. However, the captions contain a few minor errors and at least one 'howler': the house on page 29 was known as 'Thurland Hall' not 'Thirland Hall'; the Plumptre not the Pumptre family had a house on the site of the Flying Horse Hotel (p67); the engraving of the Guildhall on page 76 clearly dates from 1888 rather than 1988; the picture of a young lady by the River Trent cannot have been near Kimberley as it is 7 miles from the Trent!

However, that said it is a very attractive book with many delightful and interesting illustrations of Nottingham in the past.