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Society History


A group of students attending a comprehensive two year course in archaeology in Mansfield in 1960 formed a society at the suggestion of the late Professor Maurice Barley of the University of Nottingham. After one or two hiccups the group created the Sherwood Archaeological Society in it’s present form, but it is entirely due to the inspiration of Professor Barley that the society exists.


The name Sherwood was chosen because an ancient oak tree in Mansfield’s Westgate was traditionally considered to be the centre of Sherwood Forest, but our activities have generally focused in central and west Nottinghamshire. Although our achievements may appear modest, compared to the work of professional archaeologists, our activities have been valuable to expanding the knowledge about Nottinghamshire. Our research projects have varied greatly from limited ground surveys to long-term excavations, and we pride ourselves on the writing up and publication of our findings.

In one thing our Society has been very fortunate over the years in that

Mansfield Museum allows us to store our artefacts, our archive and reports in controlled conditions in it’s Archaeology Store. The support and assistance we have received over the years from the Museum, it’s curator Liz Weston and staff has been considerable, and we must in turn thank Mansfield District Council.

Members who enjoy the practical side of excavations are not confined to digging for our Society alone. Members have been welcome on many professional sites in the past, such as the Paleolithic sites of Whaley Thorns, Steetly Quarry, locally, and Brean Down in Somerset. A Bronze Age barrow in Scarcliffe Park. Iron age sites at Danebury, Gamston, Segsbury, King Alfred Castle, and Frilford. Roman sites at Ancaster, Aslockton, Brough, Carsington, Ockbrook, Scratter Wood, Worksop

(Raymoth Lane), and Vindolanda. Medieval sites at Worksop (Kilton Hill), Newark, and Nottingham (Chapel Bar Bastion, Drury Hill Caves and Fishergate), and finally the multi-period settlement sites at Sedgeford and West Heslerton.


Many of our members have gone on to acquire diplomas and degrees in archaeology.


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