At Mercian Archaeological Services; as a Community Interest Company set up to undertake Community Archaeology- the opinions of the community and volunteers who have worked with us are the most important thing to us, and we are very proud of our reputation for quality work.

We are very proud of our place at the heart of the community we serve.

At Mercian we recommend that any group looking to work with a Community Archaeology provider asks for feedback from their previous customers.


Community Archaeology is a skilled specialism that demands the highest commitment and standards.

We believe that large commercial archaeology companies cannot necessarily provide the personal service you will receive from a dedicated community archaeology company.

Please scroll down to read and and listen/watch some of the fabulous testimonials we have received from satisfied customers.

"I have worked alongside them, their work is considered and professional and to the highest standards. At all times they share information and knowledge to volunteers and visitors. Their encouragement has helped us achieve so much not only on this project but also with other groups in the area." - Mickie Bradley site owner King John's Palace, Sherwood Forest.

"We thought the teaching was very good, both informally and via the lunchtime talks and handouts.  The handouts were especially appreciated. You were patient, encouraging and prepared to answer questions both in general terms and in detail.  Our members especially appreciated the fact that you did not talk down to them." - Ticknall Archaeological Research Group committee.

"Mercian are some of the most trustworthy, reliable, hardworking and honest people I've worked alongside" - Mike Currie, Volunteer Archaeologist.

"Andy's knowledge and understanding of Sherwood Forest and its surrounding area cannot be equalled. He is essential to so many projects." - Mickie Bradley site owner King John's Palace, Sherwood Forest.

The following is a small part of Mercian's excellent feedback from Community Groups, Volunteers and Site owners:

Testimonials, Recommendations and References

Picture:Archaeological volunteers at the 2016 excavation. ©Lynda Mallett 2016










Mickie and Martin Bradley, Site Owners King John’s Palace, Clipstone, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire:

“Mercian’s work is always of the highest quality and undertaken to the highest professional standards…

…Andy Gaunt published his Master’s dissertation on the medieval landscape of Clipstone and has identified the landscape as being that of a medieval designed landscape around the palace…

… Mercian are well-respected by all the groups and landowners they have worked with and have our complete trust and support in all the work they undertake at our site…”


Reference Mercian Mickie and Martin Bradley King John's Palace Clipstone Sherwood Forest

Mickie (Michelle) Bradley site owner of King John’s Palace gives Mercian a glowing testimonial…

Mickie Bradley site owner of King John's Palace Kings Clipstone Sherwood Forest Archaeology

Paul Jameson, Chairman, The Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society:

“Mercian really do meet our exacting standards and our ethical outlook”.

“Therefore, BOHIS have no qualms in recommending Mercian Archaeological Services CIC to any local archaeology Society community group wishing to undertake a community archaeology project”.

as our chosen partners they have helped successfully deliver an HLF funded project in November 2015, "Does the Heritage of the Welbeck Estate include a King Killed at Cuckney?”.”

Indeed, their “Integrated Report” (of the project) was called, “an extensive and influential piece of work”.”

“The project was completed on time and on budget”.

“They always respected BOHIS’s ownership of the project and never attempted to take control of it.”

“Mercian were always professional on and off site & impressed us with the overall management on site, specifically of note was their conscious efforts to ensure that on-site health and safety was of paramount importance”


Testimonial from the Friends of Ashby Bath Grounds, Ashby de la Zouch

Friends of Ashby bath Grounds, Ashby-de-laZouch, Leicestershire.

“We understand that the HLF, who funded the project, were very please that all the objectives had been met and that a significant number of people had learnt more about archaeology and the history of the Ashby Bath Grounds”.


“We would recommend Mercian Archaeology Services to anybody who wishes to undertake a community archaeology project”.

Sat Sian (NEBOSH, I Eng, BA), Sian Safety Consultancy Limited:

“I Have found Mercian Archaeological Services CIC to be a safety focused organisation who diligently produce site specific risk assessments of a high standard which I appreove/ammend and sign off.


These are briefed to all staff, volunteers and visitors to site.


The attention to detail and overall vision and ethos of the organisation in terms of Health and Safety as well as environmental and welfare issues are to be admired.”





Sherwood Forest Trust Reference

The Friends of Tynghowe

Some lovely feedback on Mercian and our work from our friends at the Viking Assembly Site of Thynghowe:

“In conjunction with Mercian Archaeological Services CIC we trained a significant group of volunteers to undertake a week's archaeological investigation.

Our relationship with the three archaeologists Andy Gaunt, Sean Crossley and David Budge from Mercian has been crucial - and somewhat unique. They have worked with us for years and a profound trust has developed between them and the Friends of Thynghowe.

As a community group working on this site we have developed our own expertise and insight and a certain level of ownership. The Mercian guys have been acutely sensitive to that and have shown us - through their work with us and other community archaeology projects in the Sherwood Forest area - that they do not 'take over'. They consult at every level and deliver a high level of training with an awareness as to what can be achieved. They are highly professional in every aspect of their work but also like us have a passion for the site.

So an honesty and an extraordinary working relationship has developed between us – we the Friends of Thynghowe have gained the scientific skills and knowledge – Mercian appreciate that our group will pass on and keep vibrant all the information and discoveries of this incredible site.”





Mercian Archaeological Services CIC Reference from The Freinds of Thynghowe Community Group

Lynda Mallett of the Friends of Thynghowe says some very kind words as she gives Mercian her seal of approval at the University of St Mary’s in Nova Scotia in a presentation to the Nova Scotia Archaeological Society:



References:

The Sherwood Forest Trust, Dr Patrick Candler Chief Executive

“The Sherwood Forest Trust is very pleased to endorse Mercian Archaeological Services as the leading Community Archaeology Company operating across Nottinghamshire…”

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email: info@mercian-as.co.uk

“The week at King's Clipstone was brilliant! I was really surprised by the sheer volume of knowledge and tasks we got through without feeling overloaded at any point. It was great to learn how to interpret different facets of the site and how to use a variety of instruments and techniques to record it, from the traditional to the very modern. Everyone had the chance to have a go at every task (the team deftly organised us around the downpours) and was guided appropriate to their experience.

Between tasks were interesting powerpoint presentations and fun find-identification quizzes or lunch with excellent, hearty meals provided by Roy. Additionally, on two evenings, we were treated to in-depth tours of Sherwood Forest and the local villages, exploring the history, geography and literature of the area.

Andy, Sean and Dave are a great team who really care about their projects and share their love of archaeology in an enthusiastic, engaging and accessible manner. They were very patient and professional with us and were always willing to help with whatever problem or query we had. I would also like to add they are completely down-to-earth and a great source of humour and funny stories!

A huge thank you to the guys at Mercian for giving me a fantastic introduction to the world of archaeology!”
(LD, Week B 2019)



Great week of intensive Archaeological training with the experts. I was very impressed with all the activities arranged which gave a comprehensive overview of the job of an archaeologist and the skills needed. Many thanks to Mercian for the experience with a special thanks to Roy for supplying the culinary delights for lunch.

(SH week B 2019)



Well I'm back to work today after what was a truly memorable experience with you last week. Having done a couple of volunteer digs, I wasn't quite sure what a training school would entail but you managed to get just the right balance of teaching new skills, taught sessions and opportunities for practical work. Throw in the hugely informative evening walks and you provided the whole package. I have spent the weekend watching you all on TV, reading your reports, looking at historic mapping and relating some of the Forest/Park elements to my own area. I will definitely be booking again in the future and will be telling anyone who will listen how brilliant you all are! Please also pass on my thanks to Roy - its worth coming just for his lovely food!”

(KW week A 2019)



Thank you for an amazing experience, and what a fascinating site? We were looked after so well, and you were all very informative and friendly. This is the sixth dig I’ve been on, and by far the most informative and fulfilling. I, and probably we, will be back.” 

(LM, Week A, 2019)



I have just experienced an inspiring week with Mercian archaeologists at King John’ Palace, Kings Clipstone. Thank you for the learning, fellowship and fun. Keep up the good work you guys.

(FS, Week A, 2019).



Thank you so much Andy, Sean and David for such an enjoyable week! I had a great time learning new skills and meeting wonderful people. The evening tours were great as well and thank you also to Roy and Mickey! Best part of my trip by far, when I am next in the country I will see what you guys are up to! Best wishes

(LI, Week A, 2019)



Had the most amazing time. Everyone is very friendly and it was informative and very practical course. I’ve learnt a lot. Thanks.

(GC, Week A, 2019)



Thank you for inspiring my son. He has told his Dad all about it and he has got all of his facts right. Seems he has absorbed most of what you all said during the week :) Hope to see you again next year

(PA,  Week C, 2019)



Excellent week - great learning experience!

(CL, Week A, 2109)



Fantastic training school in fundamental archaeology

(JM, Week A, 2019)



“ … just wanted to say how much we’d enjoyed our almost week.  We loved being immersed in the timelessness of the Sherwood Forest landscape… say goodbye to Roy from us - we loved looking forward to his lunches and thank you for catering for allergies.
(E & LH, Week B, 2019)



Thank for such a warm welcome, fantastic training and delicious food… a brilliant week… - lots of learning, laughter, great food and plenty of sunshine.  What more could you ask for?

(CJ, Week A, 2019)



I just wanted to send you an email to again say thank you for last week; learnt a lot and had a lot of fun doing it.

(LH, Week B, 2019)



Thank you all so much for your time and care… Shaun, David and yourself were absolute stars! I enjoyed your camaraderie and passion for your subject immensely. Thank you all so so so much for a wonderful week!

I hope that i will be able to join you again in the near future.”
(L T-R, Week A, 2019)



Great coverage of archaeology, local history and excellent social context

(FS, week A, 2019)



Wonderful and very informative course. I will be back. Thank you!
(LM, Week A, 2019)



My hubby has been there this week. I bought the course as a surprise for his birthday and he has absolutely loved it. Thank you for making his week so enjoyable” 

CH week B 2019)



Perfect Everything! Thank you very much!”

EO & LBH, Week B, 2019)



Fantastic. Learnt so much and much to learn. Would love to come back!
(DM, Week B, 2019)



Great time, learned a lot to enhance my journey towards an archaeological career. Thank you very much!

(RC, Week B, 2019)



Excellent training session by top archaeologists. Amazing knowledge. Thanks.
(SH, Week B, 2019)



Enjoyed every moment.

(AE, Week B, 2019)



It was an amazing experience and I hope to return as soon as I can… I hope everything continues to go well and thanks again. I learnt so much.

Cheers,



Absolutely Amazing! Learned lots, had a blast.

(DC, Week B, 2019).



“Very instructive on both the theory and putting it into practice.”
(JT, Week B, 2019)



“A brilliant week - didn’t want it to end! Learnt and laughed a lot!

(LD, week B, 2019)


A great variety, fun an learnt a lot - thank you one and all!
(LH, Week B, 2019)



“I’ve had a lovely time at the tin tabernacle. I came for the archaeological fieldschool, and over the five days I have met some great people; eaten like a king every meal, and learnt more about pottery than I ever expected to know in a lifetime.“
(CM, Week C, 2019)



I’d highly recommend this wonderful field school set amongst all the history and legend of Sherwood Forest.
(KA,2018 Week B)


I wanted to thank you, Sean and David for a brilliant week at the Summer Field School at Kings Clipstone. I had a fantastic time and it was not only an extremely educational week, but great fun!”
The week really set me up for starting my Master's degree in Archaeology and thanks to Mercian, I feel prepared and excited for this new stage in my career. The course was perfectly structured, from taking us back to basics and helping us to understand key archaeological concepts to developing our knowledge of more advanced concepts. I learned SO much while having such a good laugh!”
I honestly can't thank you and recommend you all enough, I will definitely be returning for more field schools and courses! (and the lunch club!!)”.
(KF, 2018 Week A)


“Thanks for a great experience on your field school last week (20th - 24th August). As a first time experience of getting my hands dirty on a historical site it proved to be all I could have hoped for. The range of elements covered in the training gave me a valuable in depth understanding of the degree of skills involved in discovering the past history of the site…
I realise that over the 5 days we could only get an introduction to the many skills involved but it did create a desire to learn more even in someone who is just doing it for fun.
I openly admit that the experience of revealing a piece of 10th century pottery during the cleaning activity is something that gave me a real buzz. To be handling something that was made by human hands a thousand years ago was magical…
The week was a wonderful experience which was also enhanced by Roy's meals.
My thanks again to you all for allowing me to share a great 5 days and to gain so much from all your undoubted skills and enthusiasm. It has left me wanting more.”
(BS, 2018 Week C)


Thank you so much for our field school experience, it was brilliant. I am very happy to write you a testimonial from a higher education perspective, endorsing the opportunity for undergraduates.
(KY, 2018 Week C)


Thank you guys for giving so many people such a great opportunity. Absolutely fab and I learned lots! I’m glad we had the lectures too- it helped when digging to have an idea about what we were seeing when we were digging. The field trips meant we saw how King John’s Castle fit into, and changed the environment around it. It’s a pity Hong Kong doesn’t have half term, or I’d be back sooner.
(LS, 2018 Week B, via Facebook)


I just wanted to leave a review of sorts, as this was one of the most enjoyable and truly educational field schools that I’ve been to! Whether you have experience in archaeology or not, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn, in a welcoming environment; all three Mercian members are extremely knowledgeable in their various fields of expertise and are able to teach aspects of archaeology that might usually be a bit daunting in an accessible, understandable, often comical way. This is a great field school to experience a wide variety of archaeological work (surveying with equipment, digging, finds processing, site photography, plan drawing)- you get to try it all and the staff is so approachable, happy to answer questions. If you have the chance to attend this school, you’ll be happy that you did; regardless of your level of experience with archaeology, you will learn a lot, likely with a good bit of laughter along the way.
Thank you Andy, Sean & David for an excellent field school experience and I hope to return for another!

(K C-L, 2018 Week B, via Facebook)



The welcome from the Mercian team was warm, with coffee provided by Roy (the onsite caterer… I’ll say more about him and his culinary skills further on...) and the training group was a lovely mix of all ages and experience. We had a welcome talk and introductions, which was lighthearted and relaxed, then a site tour and a fascinating background history of the medieval palace site and how it functioned and related to the surrounding area. This set the field school into a lovely context as part of the long-standing research and hard work by Mercian, who are a not-for-profit, Community Interest organisation... Their ethos is outstanding. They have a firm emphasis on research, community engagement, training and education - all underpinned by their very obvious passion for the local Sherwood Forest archaeology and history.
The course itself was amazing, with depth and meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of core skills such as excavation, context sheet recording, plan and section drawing and site photography, and secondary skills such as finds processing. I loved the pottery and small finds identification sessions, and the animal, vegetable, mineral’ object quizzes....and we even got to have a go at flint-knapping at the end of the week. I think I might manage a stone tool or two now, should things get apocalyptic... :-) Seriously, it was great fun.
We learned a massive amount in the space of a week. The teaching involved not just the correct processes, but also the whys, the wherefores and often the maths (yes, maths!) behind technical approaches such as trench layout from co-ordinates, use of dumpy level, total station, and so on. Now, I don’t have a particularly refined maths brain, and it’s a (very) long time since my GCSEs but Andy presented it in such a way that we could apply and use it effectively. I was pretty impressed that his approach made it stick!
The excavation part of the course was interesting and rewarding… finding and identifying medieval pottery and other small finds on a medieval site is always exciting…
I wish I could have been there for longer! It was a fantastic experience and I came away feeling a lot more confident in my developing skills.
Now I have to talk about the food. Oh goodness me. Roy, the site caterer, is a magician. A two course hot meal every day cooked onsite in a tent, ranging from full-on roast dinners to kebabs, cottage pie and fish and chips and some rather naughty puddings. His homemade cinnamon sponge with homemade jam has custard was divine. I think there must have been some ex-army field catering experience there...but the food he produced every day was amazing and delicious.”
(KA, 2018 Week B).


Thanks folks! I had a really awesome time for that week. Andy, Sean, Dave and Mickey -- thanks so much for the endless knowledge and all subtle requests to just tell me a story. And the potatoes. I don't think I'm going to look at clay pipes the same way again... I'll definitely recommend this dig to other people and I'll watch for your future events.
(KG, 2018 Week A, via Facebook)


Just want to say thanks for a great week. I learned lots and had a great time. The week was well organised and the mix of skills, hands on experience and theory was just right. Hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later.
(LS, 2018 Week B)


I just wanted to say thank you, Sean and David for a very enjoyable week.  I came away buzzing with all the information you’d tried so hard to impart and determined to keep in touch with your work and community archaeology in general.  A big thank you too to the wonderful chef.
(2018 Week A)


“I so enjoyed the archaeology field school with Mercian Archaeology last year that I've been back again this week for more! Just home after a week of trench planning and digging, finds sorting, surveying and lots of concentration on flint technologies for me this year - just fantastic! Flint knapping, experimenting with tools - heaven. Andy, Sean and David at Mercian are so knowledgeably, professional and caring and are doing wonderful work at King John's Palace, it's a privilege to be part of it.
(LF, 2016 & 2017).





Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

Specialists in Community Archaeology, Public Involvement, Research & Training


Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Excavation, Research, Volunteering, Community Archaeology Derbyshire, Training, Social, Learning, Community Archaeology Leicestershire, Heritage, Involvement, Belonging, Knowledge sharing, Community Archaeology Lincolnshire, Topographic Survey, Talks and Presentations, Outreach, Archaeology Projects , Open Days, Schools, Finds Processing, Day Schools, Field Schools, Young People, Archaeology and History of Sherwood Forest, Pottery Research, Medieval, Roman, Prehistoric, Community Interest Company, Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire.



Community Archaeology in Nottinghamshire

Community Archaeology in Derbyshire

Community Archaeology in Leicestershire

Community Archaeology East Midlands

Community Archaeology in Lincolnshire


© Mercian Archaeological Services CIC 2019. Registered Business No. 08347842. All Rights Reserved.

Community Archaeology in Yorkshire





On Mercian and young archaeologists:

"Firstly we all thoroughly enjoyed the dig. I have nothing but praise for the archaeologists on the dig.  They were helpful, informative and friendly and each took a lot of time to involve the girls and explain about how a dig is organised and the techniques that were used.  The lunchtime lectures were a definite added bonus giving us some theory behind the practical work. I would certainly recommend Mercian Archaeology to any other amateur group, particularly a group containing children, as at no point did they talk over their heads or make them feel uninvolved or intimidated. It was a fabulous experience for us all." - A volunteer archaeologist.

Talks and presentations:

“Thanks for a really interesting presentation in Radcliffe last night, the small but keen group really appreciated it” - Val, Radcliffe-on-Trent History Group

“I would just like to thank everyone involved in the Peel and Spa Ponds presentation to our group (Forest Town Nature Conservation Group) yesterday evening. A totally captivating, exciting and informative presentation, many thanks - I know we are all excited about what we may discover around the next corner” - Richard, Forest Town Nature Conservation Group.



Volunteers at the Heath End Excavation in Leicestershire:

"I thought they were excellent – well qualified, experienced, thorough, well equipped and prepared, patient and very good at talking things through – their mini lunchtime “lectures” were enjoyable and instructive and – they were good fun!  A template for the most part of how things should be done and would recommend and rate them highly. I benefited hugely."

"I felt that the archaeologists were clear in all that they did and said and helpful in all aspects of the work.  I only had to ask a question and they were there instantly with helpful information and advice.  They were very encouraging and didn’t treat me like a complete amateur; they were patient and able to simplify more complicated explanations!  They also realised that they were with a group of older enthusiasts and did a lot of the heavy work themselves!  They were very pleasant and approachable young men."

"I learned a great deal from the experience and particularly enjoyed drawing the profiles of sections of the dig.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time I was able to spend on the dig and look forward to the next outdoor season."

"I would certainly recommend Mercian to other groups.  They were immediately just part of the TARG Team, a very useful and knowledgeable part, explaining measuring, stratigraphy, photography and drawing in terms understandable to amateurs such as ourselves.  As well as these specific disciplines there was also a great sense of exchanging information and experiences."

"Mercian Archaeological Services were very friendly and stood back so all us members could have a dig, instead of taking over the dig.  Once again I thank you for a super time."

"Although I was there for only a short time, they made you feel part of the team straight away and were interested in your thoughts and ideas and willing to show you how best to proceed.  Their small lectures were adequate and uncomplicated.  I would recommend Mercian Archaeology to other groups as they seemed to know their stuff and recorded all aspects.  Overall the dig was professional, relaxed and very enjoyable."

"...would have no hesitation in recommending them for similar activity in running/supervising any other group of volunteer amateurs"

“I… really enjoyed my time learning with the archaeologists.  I did ask many questions and got good and full answers, everybody had the chance to do some digging which we all like to do, me in particular.

Some feedback from Customers at our annual field schools and training shools:

Talks & Workshops Indoor Training Outdoor Training Vitual Training Fieldschools Experience Days Events Calendar Sherwood Forest