Council for British Archaeology — East Midlands Group: Archaeology for all
Charity No. 1082287
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The Roots and Development of Bingham, Nottinghamshire
Bingham Heritage Trails Association is carrying out a three-year project examining the historic core of Bingham, and
how it developed through time. This follows on from, and supplements, a successful field-walking project which
examined all 2,000 acres of arable land in the parish.
The current project has now dug 60 1m-
holes, pits, drains and floors that date
square test pits in central Bingham, and is
back to medieval times in some cases. All
finishing off by digging a larger trench to
last year’s finds were entered on a database
explore some of the remains found last year.
over the winter, and plotting of their
Roughly 10,000 sherds of pottery and other
distribution suggests that a previously
finds have been found in the pits from the
unidentified Roman settlement existed in
Roman period onwards, as well as post-
the centre of Bingham, near the church.
Much of the pottery has now been identified by specialists. The medieval assemblage gives a good indication of where
people were living in Bingham immediately after the Norman Conquest. It looks as though there are also some Anglo
Saxon sherds — did the Roman settlement continue into Anglo-Saxon times? The animal bones, bricks and tiles are
currently being studied, and these will provide further information about how people lived in historic Bingham. There
is still plenty of work left to do unravelling the centuries of history that lie just below the surface of people's gardens.
Guidelines for setting up fieldwork projects, based on BHTA’s experience over the last decade, can be found here.
The first two test pits are begun, under the watchful
eye of staff from Trent and Peak Archaeology
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Excavation at Robert Miles School, Bingham, Nottinghamshire
As an adjunct to the ‘Roots and Development’ project (see above), the Bingham Heritage Trails Association decided
to extend a test pit it dug in 2012 and explore the stone surface and posthole that had been revealed, as part of the
CBA’s 2013 Festival of Archaeology.
Excavation began in July with the aid of a mini-digger, taking the topsoil off a 4x7m
area and removing a compacted layer of burnt shale that probably formed an access
road when the school was built. Underneath the road was a layer of rubble from
when the old rectory had been demolished in 1964 — this was also removed with the
16—18 diggers and sievers spent the next five days working
under the guidance of Laura Binns of Trent & Peak Archaeology,
including three pupils from Toot Hill School. A steady supply of
pottery, animal bones, clay tobacco pipes and a whole range of
other finds kept everyone interested — especially when some of
the animal bones turned out to be the skeletons of two hunting
dogs, probably belonging to a 19th-century rector who was
keen on hunting.
The stone surface that was found in the original test pit ended up covering the whole
trench, subsiding at one point into a medieval sand pit that lay underneath it. It may
have been the floor of a large barn, or perhaps an external yard surface. No more
postholes were discovered, but a pit was uncovered that once held a flagpole that can
be seen on a late 19th / early 20th-century photo. A calendar coin belonging to the Rev
John Walters was found in the bottom, dating to 1764 — these gave not only calendar
dates, but also details of the ecclesiastical year.
Council for British Archaeology
18th/19th-century drain made
from medieval stone roof tiles
Post-hole at the corner of a
stone floor to a 17th-century
Stone foundation layer to the
13th-century tiled floor of a
Gazebos allowed the digging to carry on come
rain or sunshine — mostly rain in summer 2012!
Fieldwork in the East Midlands
Covering five counties, the CBA East Midlands group is in a great position to bring the activities of other archaeological
groups in its area to a wider audience. Whether you’re recording gravestones, fieldwalking, digging test pits or running
large excavations, this page is available to publicise your work. We welcome anything from a single paragraph of text to
a fully illustrated report, or even just a link to your project’s website if one exists — please send any material for
inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org
Burrough Hill Iron Age hill-fort, Leicestershire
2014 marked the final season of ULAS and the University of Leicester’s joint training and research excavation at Burrough
Hill hill-fort near Melton Mowbrary, the finest example of a large univallate (single banked) hillfort in Leicestershire. See
the University’s website for the latest news about the project.
Croxton Kerrial Manor House, Leicestershire
Following a successful geophysical survey of the area near Croxton Kerrial church in an attempt to find the lost manor
house, the Framland Local Archaeology Group (FLAG) has been excavating the remains of the manor. Click here to see
what the excavations have found. Volunteers are still required — contact Tony Connolly for further information.
Ice Age Journeys: Farndon, Newark, Nottinghamshire
FARI Archaeology is continuing its project to learn more about Ice Age hunter-gatherers in the
Newark area. Click here for information on the group’s previous activities.
Mercian Archaeological Services CIC
Mercian Archaeological Services is a company of professional archaeologists who work with community groups across the
East Midlands. They are currently looking for volunteers for Phase 2 of the Robin Hood's Village Volunteer Dig at
Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, between Sunday 26th and Friday 31st October 2014; as well as digging, there will also be
less physically demanding opportunities such as finds washing and archaeological drawing. For the latest news about this
and other projects with which they are involved, click here.
Navenby Archaeology Group, Lincolnshire
Investigation of the landscape along the line of High Dyke, which follows the Roman road Ermine Street, continued
throughout the summer of 2013. Click here to see what the excavations uncovered.
Southwell Archaeology’s Burgage Earthworks project, Nottinghamshire
A piece of open grassland in the heart of Southwell, known as The Burgage, has been interpreted as anything from an
Iron Age hill fort to Civil War defences. The Southwell Archaeology group has been using a mixture of documentary
research and archaeological fieldwork to attempt to work out what these earthworks were — click here to visit their
website and find out more.
Toton Unearthed: Friends of Toton Fields community archaeology project
Summer 2014 saw the start of a community archaeology project to investigate the water mills and manor house of Toton,
west of Nottingham. The project is a joint enterprise between the Friends of Toton Fields and Broxtowe Borough Council,
funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Trent & Peak Archaeology are leading the archaeological work, with assistance from local volunteers. The project’s main
objectives are to locate the mills and manor house by carrying out geophysical surveys, digging test pits, and carrying
out larger excavations. Click here to visit the project’s website, which includes a project diary and information on how
you can volunteer. See below for a summary of how work has been progressing, and selected photos.
St Anns Allotments, Nottingham
St Anns Allotments in Nottingham, started in the early 19th century, is the oldest and largest area of Victorian
detached town gardens in the world, comprising approximately 700 plots individually enclosed by 32 miles of
hedgerow on a 15 acre site. Many plots had elaborate summer houses and greenhouses, supported by underground
water cisterns and wells — one summerhouse even had a wine cellar. Census returns show that as many as 200 people
lived on their plots right through to the 1930s.
STAA Ltd was formed in 1998 by a group of allotment holders, to protect and improve these historic gardens of St
Anns. Much of its work relies on volunteers, and STAA Ltd would now like to find people who have the knowledge,
interest and enthusiasm to investigate the remains of the many underground structures on site, to enable a better
understanding of the allotments' heritage. STAA Ltd is trying to extend the involvement of all sections of the
community, and the site’s archaeological heritage is seen as a particularly important aspect that requires attention
before it is lost.
As a charity, STAA Ltd doesn't have funding to pay for professional archaeologists, and would therefore like to find
volunteers local to Nottingham who would be willing to become involved in investigating the below ground heritage
of St Anns Allotments. Anyone interested should contact Paul Freeborough, one of STAA Ltd’s trustees, on 0115 9234
287 (home) or email@example.com. Further information on the allotments can be found at www.staa-allotments.org.uk
Toton Unearthed update
Section of western range
Hive of activity
Volunteers scrape, dig and draw