The Future of Sherwood’s Past

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Mercian Archaeological Services Community Archaeology The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project

Visitors since 7th November 2013

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

Community Archaeology in the East Midlands,

 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 2013.                           Registered Business No. 08347842.                                All Rights Reserved.

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Sherwood Forest History

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The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project has undertaken a large amount of work investigating the Viking meeting site of Thynghowe in Sherwood Forest with Mercian undertaking excavations, topographic survey, and geophysical survey at the site; alongside the Friends of Thynghowe and the Forestry Commission of England.

The individual phases of work are listed below.

In 2016 work began on the latest project at the site funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund :

Vikings of Sherwood HLF

Free activities included:

30 Jan 2016 Map Regression Workshop: Old maps and LiDAR of Thynghowe landscape

Sherwood Pines - 10am to 2pm - By comparing maps from the past five centuries with the latest LiDAR data we will investigate how the landscape surrounding Thynghowe has evolved. Session led by The Friends of Thynghowe.

13 Feb 2016 Walk around the landscape surrounding Thynghowe

Walk around the landscape surrounding Thynghowe - Birklands Forest - 10am to 2pm - Following the Map Regression Workshop we will place Thynghowe in its landscape context whist wandered around the Forest relating features on the ground to the maps and LiDAR. Session led by The Friends of Thynghowe

27 Feb 2016 Archaeology Workshop 1: About Thynghowe and planning the archaeological investigation

Archaeology Workshop 1 - Sherwood Pines - 10am to 2pm -This session will summarise the previous research into the origins of Thynghowe, proving the context for the planned excavation. The objectives for our investigation will be outlined along with the stages. Session led by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

12 Mar 2016 Archaeology Workshop 2: The skills needed to take part in an archaeological excavation

Archaeology Workshop 2 - Sherwood Pines - 10am to 4pm -This workshop will take us through the stages of an excavation and will include training for volunteers wishing to be involved in the dig or processing any finds. Session led by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

April 2016 Community Excavation on the hill of Thynghowe

(Participants are expected to have attended the Archaeology Workshops)

Community Excavation on Thynghowe - Opportunities to take part in the week of excavation or you can come along on the open day on Thynghowe to find out what has been discovered. Excavation organised by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

16th April Archaeology Public Open Day

Come and see the excavation on Thynghowe and learn about the site and the results so far.

April 2016 Finds Processing following the excavation

Finds Processing - Opportunities to take part in the cleaning, identification and recording of any finds from the excavation. Session led by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

May 2016 Feedback explaining what we discovered about the past of Thynghowe

Feedback Session - Displays and discussion with archaeologists, historians and volunteers covering the preliminary results of the excavation. Session led by The Friends of Thynghowe.

As many of these events take place in the Forest during winter there may be changes to this timetable due to weather or ground conditions.

Results and photographs from the excavation, will be online when available.

Geophysical Magnetometer survey 2016 and 2015

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project Logo

Funded in partnership with the Forestry Commission, Friends of Thynghowe, Mercian Archaeological Services CIC and the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project.

Excerpt from preliminary results of Magnetometer survey 2016
© Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

The excavation took place over 3 days from the 23rd -25th April 2013 alongside volunteers from the Friends of Thynghowe who sieved 100% of the spoil generated. There were a further 3 days of recording by Mercian.

The work involved the hand excavation of one 10m x 1.5m trench at right angles to the central section of a curvilinear earthwork consisting of a bank and ditch and an adjacent trackway.

The excavation was undertaken to investigate the nature of the earthwork; to understand its original shape and dimensions and to determine, if possible, the date of its construction and use. Also to determine, if possible, the age of the adjacent trackway.

The excavations revealed that the bank and ditch were considerably larger than the visible surface remains suggested. Evidence from the excavation and the preceding topographic survey, LiDAR and historic mapping suggests the feature may have originally formed part of a circular enclosure with the bank on the inside of the ditch.

Environmental evidence does not directly suggest the enclosure was formed to enclose and area of woodland (Mike Allen, pers comm.). If the earthwork was originally circular the internal bank suggests the site was designed to limit access to an internal space.

This function, the location of the feature at the extreme periphery of the Parish of Budby where the parish adjoins two others (often ancient meeting sites are at the periphery of landscapes) (Mallett et al 2012), and the spatial proximity to Hangar Hill (a posited Viking assembly site) suggests that it is not impossible that the enclosure may be associated with the possible Viking meeting site of Thynghowe.

The only artefacts recovered from the excavation (except for CBM, iron and pottery all from the adjacent modern trackway) were Heat Shattered Pebbles. These seem to have been deposited after the ditch and bank were constructed.

Their presence, combined with the environmental evidence, indicates that a Bronze Age or Early Medieval construction period for the bank and ditch is not impossible and may even be most likely.

The ‘CourtCircle’ Excavation at Thynghowe, Hanger Hill, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. Archaeological Report. Gaunt and Crossley 2014.

Andy Gaunt and Sean Crossley

An excavation of earthworks in the vicinity of Hanger Hill, known historically as Thynghowe, was undertaken in April 2013 funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The excavation was carried out for the Friends of Thynghowe by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC (Mercian).

Project Report:

Thynghowe archaeological excavation report Sherwood Forest Nottinghamshire The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project Logo

Excavation 2014:

Reports for 2015 and 2016 coming soon.

Short report for 2015 in Transactions of the Thoroton Society 2015 in line with Mercian’s publications policy.


Award Winners 2016

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

Official Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project T-Shirt for just £9.99 +p&p

Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project T-Shirt Sherwood Forest Archaeoogy Project Mug

Official Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project Coffee Mug for just £8.50 +p&p

World-wide Robin Hood Society

Robin Hood Society Feather in Your Cap Award 2016

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