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Talk at Worksop Library, Weds. 15th March @ 2pm

Posted by Paul Jameson on March 8, 2017 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Did a King Die at Cuckney?

Wednesday 15th March 2017, 2 - 3pm

Worksop Library


Tickets: £3

Booking advised

Call 01909 535353 or book at


As the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society continues its search for the last battle of King Edwin, its chairman Paul Jameson describes the background, aims and progress of this exciting local archaeology project.


Meeting With The Parochial Church Council (P.C.C.) on the 20th February

Posted by Paul Jameson on February 15, 2017 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,


On the 3rd January we presented the Parochial Church Council (P.C.C.) with a document entitled, "Supporting Information for Faculty Request".

This document is available here


This details the Preferences adopted by Community vote for sampling work at St. Mary's.

Further to this, the Parochial Church Council (P.C.C.) briefly discussed our document at their meeting on the 6th February.

We have now been invited to explain our case at a special meeting (next Monday 20th February @ 7:30pm).

Andy Gaunt (Mercian Director) and I will be attending and this should last about 30 minutes.

The P.C.C. will then make a decision and communicate this to us the next day (21st).


Clearly a positive decision is absolutely crucial to the continuance of the whole project.


At the meeting we will :-

• Stress that 330 people have already lindicated that they would like to take part (of which about 200 will be children from 2 local schools)

• That 85 community members have voted for these options

• That about 7,000 (free) hours have already been put into the project

• Ask if the PCC have an overall future strategy for St. Mary’s - and discuss how this project could help the Church financially ?


A Flexible Approach

With flexibility in mind, we have bundled 3 of our 5 preferences into 2 (mutually exclusive) Requests which involve Preferences 1 to 3 but we have also included the 2 other preferences in reserve.

Hence we would prefer to undertake Request 1, but if this is not possible would then opt for Request 2.

If neither Request is possible then we would consider substituting in 1 or both of the other 2 preferences.


We would love to work with the P.C.C. to arrive at a solution acceptable to both parties.

This would allow the P.C.C. to petition the Diocese of Southwell for a Faculty.

We will let you know the outcome as soon as possible.



From All at BOHIS



Presentation for Norton Cuckney History Society on 14th February

Posted by Paul Jameson on February 3, 2017 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,


I will be doing a presentation entitled :

“The Ongoing Search for Evidence that Edwin was slain in Battle at Cuckney in 632”


Location : Cuckney Village Hall on 14th February (please arrive by 7:20pm, starts at 7:30pm)


Please note that the entry fee is £5 for non members (£4 members).


All proceeds will go to the Norton Cuckney History Society.


The focus of the talk will be :

• A Brief resume of proceedings up to our last meeting of 14th October 2016

• What has occurred since re. Permissions and Funding


Please come along to support us.




Paul Jameson


An Interview with Mansfield Radio (103.2 FM) @ 3pm Next Monday 30th January (Greendale Oak, Cuckney)

Posted by Paul Jameson on January 25, 2017 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,


Apologies for the short notice, but BOHIS will be interviewed at the Greendale Oak, Cuckney next Monday (30th January) @ 3pm by Mansfield Radio (103.2 FM) – this should take about an hour.

If you are attending, please arrive by 2:45pm.


They would ideally like to ask questions to a variety of supporters about the project.


Project volunteer Nick Mason and Andy Gaunt of Mercian CIC (archaeologists) will also be helping to answer questions.


Some of the questions Mansfield Radio intend to ask are :


How did the investigation society become established ?

When did you, yourself become involved ?

Have events been encouraging or discouraging ?

Where are you up to now ?




If you have other questions you would like Mansfield Radio to ask us then please email me by 1pm this Friday (27th Jan.) and I will endeavour to have it added to their list.


[email protected]



Alternatively, if you just want to come along to publicly show your support then that would be fantastic as we move towards a new Heritage Lottery (HLF) bid.

Please note that the interview will not be "live". It will be recorded and then an edited version will be broadcast soon.


We would envisage taking a few photos that could be promoted to the HLF as part of a future bid to prove the interest in the project.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

From All The Team




CAN YOU HELP ? Were Saxon artefacts found at St. Mary's, Cuckney in the 1960s ?

Posted by Paul Jameson on January 5, 2017 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,


Can you help BOHIS solve a mystery which could have major consequences for Phase 2 (Sampling) - Funding & Permissions ?


As you know, having discovered features (ie. possible reinterment sites etc..) at St. Mary’s, we are now trying to gain permission & funding in order to sample these to see whether the bones are of Saxon origin.


Very interestingly, during those Phase 1 field operations operations (conducted by our archaeological partner MERCIAN) in November 2015, I was approached in the field abutting the church by a gentleman called Alex Brewster.

Alex explained that Saxon artefacts (sword pommel hilts etc..) had been found at St. Mary’s as a consequence of a, “YOPS type scheme” to clear part of the churchyard in the 1960’s (so at least c. 9 years after the subsidence operations uncovered 3 or 4 mass burial pits in 1950/1).

However, a little research soon revealed that “YOPS” (Youth Opportunities) schemes only existed between 1978-83, but it could have been a predecessor scheme.


Alex dated these finds to 1960 or ‘61 and thought that he had read about them in a Mansfield CHAD article whilst travelling on a bus from Worksop to Mansfield.


He furthered that it could possibly have been the Worksop Guardian (although he thought this unlikely).


Intriguingly his story was corroborated by another gentleman that Alex introduced (whom we shall call Jim) who thought that it could extend to having been reported in the Derbyshire Times and be as late as 1964.


Jim added that he thought these artefacts were discovered near or under a hedge (but we have to remember that this recollection relates to events over 50 years old).


As neither Alex nor Jim had a copy of the article, Jennie Johnson (our New Vice Chair) very worthily proceeded to spend around 100 hours (initially examining the CHAD and Worksop Guardian between 1960 – 65) but without success in locating the article.


Around late September 2016, I recounted Alex’s tale to a long standing Cuckney resident.


She was adamant that the church yard had been partially cleared between her temporary departure from Cuckney (in May 1965) and her return (in Feb. 1967).


This was extremely interesting because it tallied with Alex’s churchyard clearance tale and provided a rationale for the discovery of artefacts.


Of course, we are aware that the 2 themes (of clearance and artefacts discovery) may not be linked at all.



This led Jennie to extend her CHAD search to 1966 & ’67 and as a consequence she found 2 articles dated the 10th and 24th March 1966. The earlier article says that a Faculty had been “asked for” (in the week preceding 10th March).


The Faculty was duly awarded in May 1966 for a partial clearance of St. Mary’s church yard, but unfortunately it does not appear to reside at Notts. C.C. Archives although the Diocese say that it would have been deposited there.


Thankfully, St. Mary’s Parochial Church Council (“P.C.C.")  have provided a map, detailing the proposed works.


This shows the location of 5 gravestones prior to their removal as part of the clearance in 1966.



If we refer to Jim’s previous comment (re. the discovery of artefacts near or under a hedge), then at face value, this is puzzling as none exist within St. Mary’s boundaries.

However, if taken less literally, this might also mean or even have stated, “under a bush or tree” (and there are some of those).


Disappointingly, there were no further articles in the CHAD in 1966 detailing any finds.


One might believe that having carried 2 Faculty related stories in 1966 that there would be a follow up story if anything was discovered.


One has to observe or ask :


• Who passed the story to the newspaper(s) ?


• In clearing the church yard in 1966 was this carried out by or with the help of a, “YOPS” type scheme ?


• That it is likely that any artefacts would have passed into the possession of a museum or other facility (although Mansfield Museum said they did not have any Saxon Artefacts – c. 2 years ago).


• That BOHIS have not yet researched the Derbyshire Times at all (mainly due to access restrictions).

Have you access to this paper, especially for 1966 – and could you help with some research ?



In conclusion, (and possibly with YOUR help) we think that it would be superb if this mystery could be resolved and amazing if it led to the re-discovery of artefacts.


If they were then dated and found to be associated with the early Saxon period, then this may provide much greater impetus to our imminent requests for another Faculty and further H.L.F. funding.

To get in touch via a message please choose, "More" (from the options near the top) and then choose, "Contact Us".

Alternatively, please ring Paul Jameson on 07894 297206.


From All the Team




Phase 2 - Recent Progress ....

Posted by Paul Jameson on December 5, 2016 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,

We'd like to say sorry that there hasn't been a post since late September but a lot has occurred in the interim that will hopefully hearten you !


A Summary of Events Since September

Firstly, we have now have verbal sampling permissions from the Welbeck Estates Company Ltd. re. their land abutting St. Mary's Church, Cuckney which may be great news for the location of Cuckney Castle.

Secondly, the Community has now decided (via our 8th meeting of 14th October) which features to request for sampling.

Thirdly, on this basis, we have now put together a 20 page proposal document and are about to send it to the P.C.C. (Parochial Church Council) to see if they will agree to support it by sending a “Petition for Faculty” to the Diocese of Southwell.

Timings will depend on how quickly the P.C.C. meet. Then there would be a further month set aside for potential objections prior to a, “Petition for Faculty”.


Our 8th Meeting - 14th October ... Our Aims – Getting Community Support and Reducing / helping Define Our Options

The aim of Community choice (re. Subjects and Sampling options) that are covered (most possibly relating to the Battle of Hatfield), is to prove that we have Community support to the Diocese (re. permissions) and to the Heritage Lottery Fund (“H.L.F.).

Prior to the 14th October meeting, we delivered about 200 meeting leaflets to the 3 villages apprising people as to the choices available (with voting forms) and also notified our email distribution list about the meeting subjects.

We also mimicked the information presented to the meeting via an on line survey utilising SURVEYMONKEY. (with photos to explain the options).

This was to allow as many Community members as possible to take part.

Our 8th meeting (and A.G.M.) of 14th October was attended by 56 people (our best ever).


We delivered a Powerpoint presentation on our recommended subjects and sampling options :


Those at the meeting were also given a hardcopy voting form.



Voting Results

Voting Concluded on 6th November 2016


• About 80 Community (Adult) members voted almost unanimously to adopt our 3 subject recommendations plus our 5 sampling recommendations and the Preference order.


• The Meden School (11+ years) have also indicated that c. 100 pupils would love to take part again (having already participated in Phase 1 in November 2015).


• Cuckney School (up to 11 years) have been contacted via Governor David Alvey & we await a response


• Other Volunteer Adults – currently 45 persons have already indicated a willingness to take part via the MERCIAN (archaeology company) website


3 Main Topics Were Recommended by BOHIS / MERCIAN and Adopted By the Community


• 1/ Dating skeletal remains from St. Mary’s that may relate to the Battle of Hatfield

• 2/ Finding Cuckney Castle

• 3/ Norton Camp (with Carburton Camp)


5 Sampling Options at St. Mary’s were Recommended - Now Adopted By the Community

• Preference 1 - External Feature 1 = NE Modern Graveyard Large Reinterment feature

• Preference 2 - External Feature 2 = Immediately external to Nave - Non Reinterments

• Preference 3 - External Feature 5 = in Line with West Tower nr. Northern Boundary - Reinterments (small depression)

• Preference 4 - External Feature 4 = Extreme NE of Old Graveyard - Reinterments

• Preference 5 - External Feature 7 = Reinterments Just West of Tower (small depression)

1 Sampling Options NON St. Mary’s was Recommended - Now Adopted By the Community

• Preference 6 - External Feature 10 = Non Church Land - One other area - (Cuckney castle related ?)



TOWARDS Another FACULTY AWARD by the Diocese of Southwell


At a meeting at St. Mary’s on the 25th July, the Diocesan archaeologists were asked whether they would recommend repudiation by the Diocese of our Faculty bid (via the P.C.C.) on the basis of not agreeing with ANY part of it.

They indicated a more flexible approach that would enable BOHIS to amend any initial bid and for them to then be able to recommend a Faculty issue to the Diocese of Southwell.

As per the extract from minutes of the meeting of 25th July (below) :

“In conclusion, the Diocesan advisors pointed out that they would look at any proposals and that if any element was not satisfactory that this would not mean an outright rejection of the bid.

They would ask us to moderate or reject that issue. If there was a rejection of an approach via the P.C.C., then another proposal could proceed a month later.”


We have not yet obtained any costings because each feature sampling possibility will involve time and effort and we therefore wish to define those elements that we would like to proceed upon.

The 1st stage of this was to reduce the (possible battle) related options to 5.


We have feature preferences but what we ultimately request for sampling will be from our universe of 5 feature possibilities decided by our vote.


Therefore we have narrowed our options and if the P.C.C. / Diocese further define those by allowing 2 of those 5 features to be sampled then that will represent the point when we formally ask for costings from any companies concerned.





A Flexible Approach

With flexibility in mind, we have bundled 3 of our 5 preferences into 2 (mutually exclusive) Requests which involve Preferences 1 to 3 but we have also included the 2 other preferences in reserve.

Hence we would prefer to undertake Request 1, but if this is not possible would then opt for Request 2.

If neither Request is possible then we would consider substituting in 1or both of the other 2 preferences.



Where PREFERENCE 1 = (External Feature 1) - NE Modern Graveyard Large Reinterment feature

Where PREFERENCE 2 = (External Feature 2) - Immediately external to Nave - Non Reinterments



Where PREFERENCE 1 = (External Feature 1) - NE Modern Graveyard Large Reinterment feature

Where PREFERENCE 3 = (External Feature 5) - in Line with West Tower nr. Northern Boundary Reinterments (small depression).



PREFERENCE 4 (External Feature 4) - Extreme NE of Old Graveyard Reinterments

PREFERENCE 5 (External Feature 7) - Reinterment Feature Just West of Tower (small depression)




We are acutely aware that we must utilise the winter months in the most effective way possible to allow work to commence in the more viable weather months of 2017.

However, a 2nd major component (not discussed above) will be our re-engagement with the Heritage Lottery Fund (“H.L.F.").

We will engage with them before Christmas and seek to gain an audience in very early in 2017 re. funding.

Ultimately the H.L.F. will NOT award funding if :

a/ It is not Community driven (we think we can already prove it is via our voting process & results)

b/ The subjects are too archaeologically biased (we have educational elements planned which will reduce that bias)

c/ We do not have permission to carry out our proposals (we have Welbeck Estates permission and now seek the final permission from the Diocese)

d/ We cannot properly cost our proposals. A large part of that will be in settling which preferences are allowed at St. Mary’s by the Diocese. Costing all 5 Church related preferences is not a route we can realistically take.


Hence we believe we are operating in a logical manner but would beg for your understanding as this is a complicated process involving many parties and that the 2 people doing all of the work at BOHIS both have full time jobs as well !!

Finally, one of those 2 (Jennie Johnson, our new Vice Chair) deserves great credit for spending about 100 hours (so far !) researching a story provided by Alex Brewster last November. This concerned the reporting of findings of Saxon artefacts at St. Mary's (anywhere between 1960 and 1964 was suggested).

I will put a separate post on about this very shortly as we could really use your help in this regard.



Regards and Happy Christmas,

Paul Jameson




Phase 2 Invasive - Major Meeting to Discuss Full Project Plan and Application for Diocesan Faculty with MERCIAN Archaeologists - Thursday 8th September

Posted by Paul Jameson on September 5, 2016 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,

BOHIS have a major meeting with our preferred archaeological team (MERCIAN) at the Greendale Oak, Cuckney, this Thursday 8th September at 1pm.

These are exciting times and I hope you realise how much unpaid work has been performed, just to get us to this meeting stage.

In synthesis, we need to agree and cost the components of a now almost fully realised Project Plan and also decide which areas we would like to request permission to perform invasive work upon via the Parochial Church Council ("P.C.C.") / Diocese of Southwell.

We should aim for a Project start date of 1st March or 2nd April 2017 (... well .. we don't want to start on April Fools Day !!).

Meeting Objectives

After the meeting we :-

1/ Seek to be in a position to immediately complete the Heritage Lottery Fund ("HLF") online Project Enquiry Form (1000 words max.) which is a precursor to being granted a face to face meeting in Nottingham with the HLF.

2/ Seek to know what to put in a form to the P.C.C., which if accepted, would be presented by them to the Diocese of Southwell.

Proposed Phase 2 (Invasive) Project Title

The Cuckney Connection - A Battle, a Church and a Castle, cloaked in a riddle.

Proposed Plan Summary

BOHIS have been busy formulating a full (but still Draft) plan that encompasses which subjects to include in our Phase 2 (Invasive) bid to the HLF.

Presently we are considering including :

• Analysis of the skeletons possibly relating to the Battle of Hatfield (originally discovered in 1950/1)

• Invasive Cuckney Castle

• Norton Prisoner of War Camp (with Carburton Camp addendum)

• Possible additional subjects suggested by responses from (online) SURVEYMONKEY / or paper based equivalents (which needs to take place over the next couple of weeks).

Proposed Plan Details

Our project will involve educating and enabling the local Community (the 3 villages of Cuckney,Norton and Holbeck ,(plus 2 local schools) to fully participate in an interactive invasive quest.

This will attempt to locate physical evidence of Cuckney Castle , to analyse skeletons and determine whether they relate to the Battle of Hatfield plus to fully explore the history of Norton (Prisoner of War) Camp.


• Firstly, suggest / agree (Phase 2) CORE Subjects with Community via a, “Which Subjects Survey” delivered by SURVEYMONKEY & paper based survey.

• Follow with delivery of a “Setting The Scene” (MATCH FUNDED) Community Day 1 which will summarise the activities that will occur.

• This will be operationalised by delivering Pre & Post Activity Educational Field Schools and workshops. The Pre activity Field Schools will enable the community to get the most out of the archaeological activities that will take place shortly afterwards.

• The Workshops which reveal the research of Norton Camp will be Pre Invasive Activities.

• Deliver of a “Working Saturday” which will enable the Community to have weekend participation.

• The Workshops which reveal both the results of the Castle & skeletal archaeology will of course be Post Invasive Activities.


• There will also be an Art competition where children and Adults can enter one exhibit under the theme of, “Cuckney Long Ago” or “The Battle of Hatfield”, or “Norton POW Camp” with 6 prizes (Winners / Runners up – 3 categories U8, 8-12, Adults) – this will be a “During Invasive Activity”.

• We propose development of a Cuckney & Meden Schools delivery only scrapbook “This Is my Family tree” / “All about me” /  “Communitree” in order to engage children in thinking about the general concept of time, history and family. – again this will be a “During Invasive Activity”.

• “Findings & Interpretation” (MATCH FUNDED) (Final) Summary Community Days 2 & 3 will detail the findings of the activities that have occurred via the Castle and the skeletons (possibly from the Battle of Hatfield).

• Produce and distribute the (proposed 250) Community Books + 250 Norton Camp booklets.

• Finally assess Project Outcomes (as required by HLF) of Phase 2 chosen Subjects with Community feedback via a, “Community Events Satisfaction Survey” again delivered by SURVEYMONKEY & paper based survey.


Other News

1/ Welbeck Estates Permissions


As regards the ratification of Welbeck Estates Company Permissions re. land abutting St. Mary's (which may be especially relevant to Cuckney Castle).

We are asking  for an amended timescale agreement to the end of 2020.

You should note that we do not wish to unneccesarily elongate the project until 2020 but that the current agreement is only until the end of 2017.

Last week we received word from Welbeck that a permissions letter will be forthcoming around mid September (so only another couple of weeks to go !). This is great news.

2/ Match Funding for HLF Bid

It's been confirmed in writing by Grantscape (acting as administrative agents for SolarCentury) that the funding awarded to BOHIS will remain available beyond their originally stipulated "Start of Project work Must be by" date of September 16.

We will let you know the outcome of the meeting as soon as possible.


From all the Team

Phase 2 Invasive - Meeting with Diocesan Advisors and Notts. County Council Archaeologist at St. Mary's on Monday 25th July @ 11:30am

Posted by Paul Jameson on July 19, 2016 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,

We are now beginning the "ground work" in preparation for another HLF bid re. an exciting Phase 2.

As part of this, BOHIS have secured a meeting at St. Mary's Cuckney with both of the Diocese of Southwell archaeological advisors – on Monday 25th July @ 11:30am.

This is with a view to the potential granting of permissions (via another Faculty).

 Archaeology Leader at Nottinghamshire County Council, Ursilla Spence, will also be present.

The first part of the meeting will be a tour of the potential invasive sites re. the (possible) Battle of Hatfield skeletons. This will be more of a "listening brief" for those in attendance.

In my opinion, there are 4 main reinterment areas and an area along the nave area up to 10 feet outside the church that represents bodies not displaced during the subsidence operations of 1950/51.


For the 2nd part of the meeting, Ursilla expressed a wish for as many members of BOHIS / Community to be involved as possible, and I am sure she would love to hear your opinions about any future project.

Your attendance and enthusiasm will reflect well on the project so I urge you to attend if you are available.


You should note that Ursilla will want to hear your opinions about what the whole project should represent (not just the Battle of Hatfield component).

For example, BOHIS / MERCIAN would suggest that our Phase 2 should include an invasive (ie. digging) search for the Castle.

Another possible component could be to include an invasive search for St. Edwin's Chapel near Edwinstowe.

Our archaeological partners, MERCIAN, completed some work there in 2014 and discovered many interesting things, including what may be the footings of the Chapel.

MERCIAN also noted some faded wall paintings inside St. Mary's which may be uncovered and brought back to life. Could this be the start of a children's painting competition ?


As per Phase 1 (non invasive), BOHIS intend to be fully Community participatory in Phase 2 (for example another online Survey via SurveyMonkey etc..) & this has been informally endorsed as an approach by the HLF.


We really hope to see you there next Monday.


Paul Jameson


Recent Progress

Posted by Paul Jameson on June 3, 2016 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,

Firstly, our 7th meeting of May 13th had an attendance of over 40 who witnessed a presentation on the discoveries found in Phase 1 last November. These included 6 anomalies which may represent original burials in and around the church and reinterment sites, plus notification of a 7th anomaly on land belonging to the Welbeck Estates Company Limited.

The 6 anomalies included what may be a large pit in the central eastern section of St. Mary's, Cuckney - not far from where suggested.

The full agenda from the meeting can be downloaded here.

A pdf of the presentation can be downloaded here.

The focus now is on securing invasive (digging) Permissions from the Parochial Church Council (P.C.C.) and the Diocese of Southwell, plus extending the timeline of our existing invasive permission with Welbeck Estates.

On the 27th May, Andy Gaunt (from Mercian) & I met with a representative of Welbeck Estates & just yesterday I sent a letter formally requesting an extension to our current permission timeline to examine parts of their land (abutting St. Mary's).

Having already had a recent 3 hour meeting with the Rev. Simon Cash (Priest In charge at St. Mary's) we're also close to arranging a date for an informal meeting with the 2 Archaeological advisors to the Diocese of Southwell.

We need to create a compelling argument for future HLF funding and we believe that securing permissions is 1 vital component.

As part of this however, we are now approaching a requirement to "firm up" any new proposals from the many options that may be available. This includes the parcelling of potential invasive work into multiple options in order that we don't just put our faith in 1 archaeological proposal that could perhaps be rejected due to the inadmissibility of a small component.

We also need to decide which other subjects we might like to include in another "umbrella of events". This may continue to include Cuckney Castle and ought to involve at least 1 other subject (in much the same way that Bob Needham's Photo Collection was part of our portfolio in Phase 1).

What is that other subject ?

For example, is it something pertaining to St. Mary's church - do Welbeck Estates have information that they might let us utilise (this question has already been asked) ?

Certainly, the history of Edwinstowe, its church and St. Edwin's Chapel / Chantry should not be dismissed and I am starting to research this (beginning with a lovely small book (c. 35 pages) called, "The Story of Edwinstowe and its Parish Church" by the Rev. H. Pickles originally published in 1961 which I purchased via Amazon recently).

All of this will greatly help determine the cost component of the next bid.

To help us to decide such matters we urgently need to seek the advice and support of the HLF (including Tim Allen of Historic England) and the County Archaeologist, Ursilla Spence. This will be arranged shortly.

A cross fertilisation of ideas is often a compelling way of moving forward.

Keep in touch with your ideas also !


Paul Jameson

(07894 297206)