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9th Meeting 19th May Agenda

Posted by [email protected] on April 24, 2017 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (0)

BOHIS talk at Elmton with Creswell Local History Group tomorrow night at 7pm

Posted by Paul Jameson on April 5, 2017 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,

Apologies for the very short notice, but if you would like to attend a talk at Elmton with Creswell Local History Group tomorrow, then here are the details.

This will include the very latest on the Battle of Hatfield Investigation’s Society’s quest to resolve the mystery of the skeletons discovered in 1950/1 at St Mary’s Cuckney.

The talk itself will last just over an hour and there will then be time for immediate questions & follow ups over tea or coffee.


Paul Jameson

Details :

When : Thursday April 6th from 7- 9pm

Where : In the Cavendish Room in the Social Centre in Creswell

Directions : The Social Centre is on Elmton Road in Creswell and if you come off the main Sheffield to Mansfield Road, turn into Elmton Road, continue straight forward until you have driven under the railway bridge, passed the Junior School on your left, then the Social Centre is the next building. Pass by the front of the Centre, take the first turn left onto Pit Lane then a few yards on the left turn in and this will bring you into a large car park behind the building.

Entry Fee : is £2.50 for the evening and 50p for a coffee or tea - pay on the night.

Sat. 1st April - Meeting With Hunter Archaeological Society at St. Marys Cuckney at 11am

Posted by Paul Jameson on March 28, 2017 at 2:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear All,

We are meeting c. 11 members of the (Sheffield based) Hunter Archaeological Society at St. Mary’s Cuckney at 11am this Saturday 1st April.


We will be having a walk and talk at St. Mary’s and then “repairing” to the Greendale Oak for lunch and further questions.


All are welcome to join us but I would be grateful if you could let me know via an email to :

[email protected]

by 3pm on 29th March if you are attending and whether I should include you in the table reservation numbers (if having food).






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

Posted by Paul Jameson on March 17, 2017 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

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 :


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")



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.





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).





From All The Team


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