Good News .. Bad News ... The Way Forward

Posted by Paul Jameson on March 17, 2017 at 4:35 AM


Dear All,

 


Sorry for not reporting back earlier but an awful amount of work and subsequent deliberations have been taking place over the last few weeks.

 


Firstly the good news … The P.C.C. will support a Diocesan Faculty approach

 

As previously alerted, we duly met the P.C.C. (Parochial Church Council) on the 20th February with a view to obtaining their support for invasive analysis of 2 of our Community vote adopted preferences.

As a reminder :

Request 1 = PREFERENCE 1 + PREFERENCE 2

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

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

 

Request 2 = PREFERENCE 1 + PREFERENCE 3

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")

 

 

As promised, the P.C.C. communicated next day that they would support an invasive bid but only initially for our Preference 1 (the large feature in the central portion of the modern graveyard).

However they also stated that they had not ruled out any of our other preferences.

Whilst this is great news, our enthusiasm was tempered slightly by concern that the evidence from Preference 1 might not be enough to achieve a statistically significant result (& hence be inconclusive).

A certain critical volume of uncorrupted skeletal analysis (bones & teeth) needs to be available in order to ensure confidence in the findings.

Hence we are seeking advice as to whether a single target will be sufficient to excite funding.

 

 

Secondly .. the Bad News … Funding

We met the H.L.F. on the 3rd March, where they declined to support an invasive bid re. the features discovered at St. Mary’s.

The skeletal analysis is likely to cost upwards of £50,000 and they do not believe that high cost archaeological projects represent value re. “Community outcomes”.

 

 

Towards an Amended HLF Bid … (by 21st May 2017) ?

 

The HLF have now suggested that we put together a revised bid (without skeletal excavations).

Whilst they made no firm suggestions, we are querying the need for Terrain analysis (as part of a revised HLF bid) as a necessary precursor of AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) excavative work.

We appreciate that if Terrain analysis were to include test pits then that might enable us to find elements from the battlefield that would better excite AHRC funding.

 

However we have 2 concerns :

 

1/ The difficulties of determining an Anglo-Saxon battlefield location

2/ In not involving experts (such as Dr. Glenn Foard) in that HLF funded terrain analysis, that we might not achieve the optimal battlefield result (and that it would be better considered lastly, separately, after the AHRC analysis)

 

 

A new HLF Project Enquiry / bid may therefore cover :-

• Cuckney Castle (invasive) (part of our recently rejected project enquiry)

• St. Edwin’s Chapel , Edwinstowe (invasive) – as a substitute for anomalies excavation

• Norton & Carburton P.O.W. Camps (research) (part of our recently rejected project enquiry)

 

• Terrain Analysis ? (invasive) ? (NOT part of our recently rejected project enquiry)

 

 

Whilst we would be minded to accept expert advice re. Terrain analysis the question needs to be asked, “If we are not invasively searching for the battlefield (via terrain analysis) – then why will that analysis produce compelling evidence that will ensure the AHRC supply the funding re. the anomalies ?”

Although ambitious, we may be able to put in a HLF funding bid by 21st May and receive notification of success (or otherwise !) by early July.

 

 

Summary of Proposed new HLF Bid Options

Option 1 – With Terrain Analysis

Option 2 – Without Terrain Analysis

 

If Option 1 is appropriate then we will expect deliverables from the terrain analysis to excite a discreet (but later) AHRC funded anomalies analysis.

If Option 2 is preferred then we will seek help / advice to enable an AHRC funded pit analysis as a parallel work stream to the HLF project.

 

 

Obtaining Funding From A Different Source – the A.H.R.C. ?

We are about to ask for advice on obtaining alternative funding via an A.H.R.C. grant (for a University led project for this element of the project).

 

There is now a further issue re. Faculty Timing – If we were awarded a faculty, (then as this is strictly awarded for 1 year) - we would not wish this to lapse due to funding unavailability.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Having worked very hard for 4 years you may be assured that we remain fully committed to obtaining a timely resolution to this exciting project.

 

Many thanks to the 53 people who attended our talk at Worksop library on Wednesday (15th March).

 

 

Regards,

 

From All The Team

 

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