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This is a long-term project designed to develop an understanding of the intensity of human activity over time within the landscape surrounding Southwell.  As part of the investigation we will try and understand more about the development of the Southwell Peculiar (land given by King Eadwig in 956 to Oskytel, Archbishop of York).


We began the project on 14th April 2016, with a taster day at Brackenhurst Nottingham Trent University, led by Dr Richard Jones.  Richard is Senior Lecturer in Landscape History at the University of Leicester. Having studied at Exeter and Oxford Universities, Richard has over twenty-two years experience in archaeology and local history, which has included thousands of miles of fieldwalking.  His specialist interest is English landscape and societal change during in the medieval countryside (c440-1500). One of Richard's research projects has been a study of the Southwell Peculiar and we have already started to benefit from his insights into this period.


Richard gave us an introduction to the methodologies of fieldwalking, advantages and shortcomings, then led twenty of us on a fieldwalk of South Briggs field on the Brackenhurst estate.  A lot of finds were recovered and recorded.


The project is hoping to secure permissions from as many landowners as possible in the area to walk their fields when uncultivated.  This will mainly be in the autumn and spring, there will then be regular sessions to wash, analyse and record the finds.  This will take some time to complete and volunteers are welcome to join us at any stage of the project. For updates on the project click here.


If you wish to join the fieldwalking group, please e-mail Stephen on [email protected]


If you are a landowner who is willing to let a small group of people walk in transects across your land, we would be very grateful to hear from you, e-mail Stephen on the above e-mail address.


Field Survey