An Integrated Archaeological Survey of Cuckney Churchyard, Castle, and surroundings. Cuckney, Nottinghamshire, 2016. Archaeological Report  [94.9MB].

http://www.mercian-as.co.uk/reports/cuckney_report.pdf


Battle of Hatfield

Download the Report here:

COmmunity Archaeology Book Cuckney Sherwood Forest



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Battle of HatfieldMercian are proudly working alongside the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society (BOHIS) to research Sherwood Forests Saxon-Age past, which it is believed included the 7th century Battle of Hatfield; fought in the year 633AD. According to Bede on the 12th October the combined forces of Cadwallon ap Cadfan (King of Gwynedd), and his ally Penda of Mercia, made battle against the forces of King Edwin of Northumbria.

King Edwin was killed at the Battle of Hatfield, and it is said his body was taken from the battlefield and buried nearby before eventually being removed. His head was subsequently buried under St Peter’s Church in York and his body buried under Whitby Abbey. Due to him being the first Christian king of Northumbria and his death being at the hands of pagan forces, King Edwin became Saint Edwin after his death.


Edwinstowe church aligns on St Edwin's DayFor a full history of the Battle and research to date please see Mercian’s recent survey of Edwinstowe church which discusses Edwinstowe as being the centre of a medieval cult of St Edwin, with the church there aligned on this Saint’s day sunrise, and a vigil and saint day feast being held in the village during medieval times. It is suggested that Edwinstowe, which means Edwin’s Holy Place was the site of the burial of Edwin, and that the Battle of Hatfield therefore must have taken place in the vicinity of Edwinstowe, in Nottinghamshire.


BOHIS are researching the Battle of Hatfield and its potential links to the village of Cuckney in Northwest Nottinghamshire, please see their website at: http://battleofhatfieldsociety.co.uk for more information about the group and their research into the battle.

Mercian have undertaken two Heritage Lottery Funded Projects with BOHIS in 2015 and 2018 as part of the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project.

Please take a look below for more information on all the work undertaken so far, which included geophysical and topographic surveys of Cuckney church, earthworks of Cuckney Castle, LiDAR survey, excavation at Cuckney Castle, topographic survey of water -meadows, LiDAR ground-truthing and survey of World War II camps, and test-pitting in the village of Cuckney, alongside investigation of the landscape in relation to the 7th century  battle.


“Does the Heritage of the Welbeck Estate Include A King Killed At Cuckney?” Heritage Lottery Funded Project 2015


Heritage Lottery Fund ArchaeologyIn 1951 burials were found under the church in the village of Cuckney a few mile northwest of Edwinstowe. It was suggested that these burials could have dated to the Battle of Hatfield. Mercian and BOHIS undertook a Heritage Lottery Funded Project in 2015 to investigate the site of these potential burials using non-invasive archaeological survey techniques.

The results from the highly successful 2015 “Does the Heritage of the Welbeck Estate Include A King Killed At Cuckney?” HLF funded project can be seen below.


Heritage Lottery Funded “Warriors Through the Landscape” Project, 2018.


Heritage Lottery Fund ArchaeologyIn 2018 Merican and BOHIS also collaborated on the Heritage Lottery Funded “Warriors Through the Landscape”.

Information on this project will be available very soon.




In 2017, Mercian have also undertook a survey of Cuckney Church, which included a photogrammetric survey of medieval 12th century paintings on the north arcade of the church. These were reconstructed in the report.

Click here to find out more



St Edwin's Chapel Cross Sherwood ForestFrom 2014 onwards Mercian have also undertaken fieldwalking, geophysical survey, and top-soil test-pitting at the site of St Edwin’s chapel on the northern edge of Clipstone.




All these projects are part of Mercian’s long-term research into the Battle of Hatfield, as part of the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project.

Summary of the fieldwork:

Open day community archaeology Cuckney Sherwood FOrest

All photographs come from the community project book by BOHIS chairman Paul Jameson available FREE as part of the project (click on the book)

http://www.hlf.org.uk/our-projects/does-heritage-welbeck-estate-include-king-killed-cuckney

HLF Award Total: £15,600


The project began with a launch BBQ on the 17th July 2015 and completed on the 31st March 2016 with the submission of the Archaeological reports from Mercian and lots of paperwork from BOHIS!


Heritage Lottery Fund Archaeology“Does the Heritage of the Welbeck Estate Include A King Killed At Cuckney?” Heritage Lottery Funded Project 2015



Mercian are very proud to announce the successful completion of our recent Heritage Lottery Fund sponsored project which we developed and worked on for the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society.

“Does the Heritage of the Welbeck Estate Include A King Killed At Cuckney ?”

Results from the project are available in the archaeological report below.

The project was a huge success with a large amount of community involvement including 401 attendees at a mixture of Community workshop days, workshops, Fieldwork, and school sessions…

Battle of Hatfield Sherwood Forest

Match Funding:

Match Funding:

In 1951 during underpinning works at Cuckney Church a large number of burials, all stated to be male, were found in a series of pits beneath the northern part of the parish church (Barley 1951).

The bodies were dug up, and subsequently re-buried somewhere in the churchyard. Professor Barley inferred that these burials pre-dated the church and probably dated to the 12th century anarchy, associated with a possible skirmish around the Motte and Bailey Castle that is believed to occupy the site.

In 1977 Stanley Revel proposed a theory based on place name evidence that the burials may instead be from the Battle of Hatfield fought in 632/633AD by the forces of King Edwin of Northumbria, against an alliance between Cadwallon of Gwynedd, and King Penda of Mercia (Revill 1975).

As part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project: Does the Heritage of the Welbeck Estate Include A King Killed At Cuckney? The Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society employed Mercian Archaeological Services CIC to lead an archaeological investigation to locate the possible burial pits, locate the possible reinterments from 1951, and to further interpret the site, earthworks and landscape; which includes the above mentioned medieval castle of Cuckney. This report contains the results of the integrated archaeological survey overseen by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, which included a geophysical magnetometer survey and a topographic earthwork survey by Mercian, and a ground penetrating radar survey by RSK Geophysics. The Ground Penetrating Radar survey detected annomalies under the church which could represent burial pits, and also found anomalies in the eastern part of the churchyard which could represent the re-interments from the 1950s. Magnetometer survey and topographic survey detected banks ditches throughout the survey area, increasing the knowledge of the scheduled area and surroundings.

During the surveys; two late Saxon pottery sherds were recovered from the site, one just to the east of the present church and the other approximately directly 215m west of the first, within the valley of the Poulter. These sherds represent the first archaeological evidence for late Saxon activity in Cuckney.

Other reports:

(also in Appendices of main report above)

Community Archaeology Open Day Cuckney Sherwood Forest

The project was designed an undertaken as a community archaeology project with volunteers receiving training and experience in archaeological techniques, learning about local heritage, and helping with the survey.

Community Archaeology Cuckney Sherwood Forest

 Geophysical Magnetometer and Topographic Surveys of Cuckney Churchyard, Castle, and surroundings.

Cuckney, Nottinghamshire, 2016. Archaeological Report. [5.83MB]

Andy Gaunt

http://www.mercian-as.co.uk/reports/cuckney_mag.pdf

RSK Geophysics

Ground Penetrating Radar Survey Report

Cuckney, Nottinghamshire, 2016. Archaeological Report. [8.39MB]

http://www.mercian-as.co.uk/reports/gpr.pdf

Mercian would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this project including:

All the fantastic volunteers who came and joined in…

The school children, teachers and helpers at Meden Vale, and Cuckney Church of England Primary Schools,

All those who attended workshops, meetings and presentations throughout the project…

We would also like to thank the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society for all their hard work, and in particular the Chairman Paul Jameson and Honorary President Joseph Waterfall for their boundless enthusiasm, driving force and dedication, having provided hundreds of hours of their time to this project and the overall research of the society…

We also thank Tim Allen Inspector of Ancient Monuments, and Erin Lewis, Business Officer, Historic England.

The Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham.

Rev. Simon Cash and the Parochial Church Council of St. Mary’s Church, Cuckney.

The Welbeck Estate.

Ursilla Spence, Principal Archaeologist, Nottinghamshire County Council, for supporting the project (and providing map from previous church yard survey).

Picture: Digital Terrain Model of the results from the topographic survey of Cuckney Churchyard, castle and surrounds. South is to the top. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Digital Terrain Model of the results from the topographic survey of Cuckney Churchyard, castle and surrounds. West is to the top. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Digital Terrain Model of the results from the topographic survey of Cuckney Churchyard, castle and surrounds. East is to the top. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Digital Terrain Model of the results from the topographic survey of Cuckney Churchyard, castle and surrounds. North is to the top. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Picture: Digital Terrain Model of the results from the topographic survey of Cuckney Churchyard, castle and surrounds. North is to the top. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Results from Magnetometer Survey 2016. Contains OS data © Crown copyright [and database right] 2016. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Interpretation plot of Geophysical Magnetometer survey 2016. Contains OS data © Crown copyright [and database right] 2016. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Hachure plan and map of topographic earthwork survey 2016. Contains OS data © Crown copyright [and database right] 2016. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Some results from the report:

Magnetometer survey

Topographic survey

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey

Picture: Results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016. © RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016. © RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Eastern half of interpreted results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016. © RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016. © RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016. © RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.

Some media coverage of the project:

Sheffield Star Wednesday 30th October 2013

The spot where an Anglo-Saxon king died in battle may not be in Doncaster, according to history experts.

King Edwin, who ruled Northumbria, was thought to have been killed at the Battle of Hatfield Chace, north of Doncaster, in 632AD.Read more:

http://www.thornegazette.co.uk/news/local/bid-to-find-king-s-last-resting-place-1-6198342#ixzz44u6OVahH



Mansfield Chad Saturday 2nd May 2015

A group of archaeologists have made their final bid for a £10,000 investigation to discover whether 200 buried skeletons will prove an ancient battle took place near Warsop.

The Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society (BIOHIS) hopes to rewrite the history of the Battle of Hatfield and relocate the site of the death of Edwin - England’s first Christian king - from Doncaster to Cuckney.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/archaeologists-put-in-new-10-000-bid-for-cuckney-battle-skeletons-dig-1-7240627

BBC News Tuesday 22nd October 2013

A full excavation of a Nottinghamshire church's grounds could prove where an Anglo-Saxon king was killed in battle, a team of historians have said.

The Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society believes St Edwin died at Cuckney, near Mansfield in AD632 and not in Yorkshire as has been claimed.

Their theory is based on 200 skeletons found beneath St Mary's Church in Cuckney in 1951.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-24606011

Mansfield Chad Wednesday 2nd October 2013.

With the discovery of the remains of Richard III under a council carpark in Leicester last year and the subsequent row between the city and the people of York about where he should be laid to rest - archaeology has been in the news recently.

Despite the antics of screen archaeologists, it is a meticulous science that relies on the detailed study of artefacts, buildings and local geography to eek out the clues of the past.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/features-columnists/will-skeletons-help-archaeologists-to-rewrite-history-of-the-battle-of-hatfield-1-6107472#ixzz44u8zihT3

Mansfield Chad Thursday 12th November 2015

A group of archaeologists are a step nearer discovering whether 200 buried skeletons will prove an ancient battle took place near Warsop.

Three shadowy hotspots found by ground penetrating radar could finally have pinpointed the location of the remains which could completely rewrite the history of the Battle of Hatfield.

Volunteers from The Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society (BOHIS) are taking part in the first fieldwork they hope could relocate the site of the death of Edwin - England’s first Christian king - from Doncaster to Cuckney.

A whole community including around 100 schoolchildren from Meden and Cuckney Schools are taking part in the eight day project which will examine 1,400 years of the area’s history.

BOHIS was recently awarded £15,600 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) support to explore and share the history of Cuckney Norton and Holbeck.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/battlefield-bones-quest-starts-at-cuckney-1-7567247#ixzz44uA5pDoz

Graveyard Survey

Picture: Gravestone location map, 2016. Contains OS data © Crown copyright [and database right] 2016. © Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Example gravestone photographs 2016.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Volunteers undertaking graveyard survey 2016

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Volunteers undertaking graveyard survey 2016

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016.

© RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016. © RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.

Picture: Results from the Geophysical Ground penetrating Survey, Cuckney 2016. © RSK Environment Ltd.

Please see the report for details and description.


                                                                 The Future of Sherwood’s Past

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project Logo The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project

Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Community Archaeology Derbyshire, Community Archaeology Leicestershire, Community Archaeology East Midlands, Mercian Archaeological     Services Community Archaeology for Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Sherwood Forest,     Leicestershire and the East Midlands. Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Community     Archaeology East Midlands, Community Archaeology Leicestershire. Archaeological




Mercian Archaeological Services Community Archaeology in the East Midlands

Investigating the Battle of Hatfield

Award Winners 2016

for "Engaging people in the heritage, history & archaeology of Sherwood Forest".


Young Archaeology Club Sherwood Forest Trust Magna Carta Sherwood Forest

Some funders and partners:

World-wide Robin Hood Society

Robin Hood Society Feather in Your Cap Award 2016 Heritage Lottery Fund Archaeology Thynghowe Vikings Sherwood Forest Discover King John's Palace free excavation Robin Hood Town Tours

 


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The project culminated in November 2015 with two weeks of fieldwork where Geophysical surveys and topographic surveys were conducted with the community to record the earthworks of the castle, and to search for burials possibly associated with the Saxon Battle of Hatfield fought in the year 633 between the armies of Mercian and Gwynedd, against King Edwin of Northumbira, who died in the battle.