The Martinmas Fair is back for 2017

Saturday 14 October 2017

Join us for a day of family-friendly fun, living history, and local heritage, with something for everyone. Organised by the community of Dunkirk & Lenton, supported by The Lenton Centre, the fair celebrates Lenton’s lost medieval priory and brings to life the fair that it held at every Martinmas (the feast day of St Martin)

    • Can you support your local event, either in the build up or on the day?
    • Do you have ideas for what the fair could be like, suggestions for activities and things to do, or contacts that might be useful?
    • Maybe you’d just like to hear what’s happening?

We’d love for you to get in touch!  Contact

Many thanks

Jenna Hubball
Community Development Manager
The Lenton Centre

0115 958 8590

My normal working days are Monday – Thursday

Edward Hammond – A Budding Young Historian

My name’s Edward, and I’m the son of local historian and archaeologist Peter Hammond. Through my inherent love of history (which should be of no surprise to anyone, hopefully!) I have started to design a number of talks on a very wide range of topics, with my earliest time frame covering the Second Punic War (216-201BC) and my latest focussing on the Napoleonic Wars!

With my talks so far, I aim to deliver new perspectives on history, introduce people to fascinating new debates whilst conveying my passion and hopefully stimulating others’ interest.

All of my talks all have the goal of providing compelling insights into our past which make up for an enjoyable evening of history!

I am currently studying for a degree in History at Nottingham Trent University and recently completed a historical study for the National Justice Museum.

Current talks (more to come in the future!):

  • Hannibal Barca: Rome’s Greatest Adversary – A PowerPoint presentation telling the story of Hannibal and his epic journey across the Alps to confront the Romans in their homeland. The talk also introduces you to the debates around the history and Hannibal’s decision making. Included with the talk is a series of handouts with in-depth information about the types of soldiers which comprised the Carthaginian and Roman armies. Viewers will also have the opportunity to handle a replica Gladius (with care!)
  • The Napoleonic Wars at Home? – A presentation discussing the extent of the impact of the Napoleonic Wars on domestic life in Nottinghamshire during the early 19th century, with a focus on the Luddites, the Pentrich Revolution, and the debate around economic and political motives at the time.

Home Phone: 0115 9145520

Mobile: 07852957022


Caribbean Conversations

Museumand, the National Caribbean Heritage Museum, is bringing exhibitions to life with their new, cultural 8-part TV series, merging museum content with television. Caribbean Conversations explores 8 different aspects of Caribbean Culture. Catherine Ross, the Museum’s Founder-Director, hosts the conversations and is joined by 4 guests from the Caribbean or of Caribbean descent. In each episode, they will be having an informal, candid chat about different aspects of Caribbean culture, so viewers should be prepared to interact with the on-screen fun in true Caribbean style – laugh, cry and burst into song. Viewers will celebrate and commemorate Caribbean culture in a way they simply won’t get to see anywhere else. Museumand is always looking to tell the Caribbean story, and aims to collect the memories and memorabilia from the Caribbean and the UK in any form – clothing, photos, ephemera, books, furniture and the like. During the TV Series, guests were encouraged to bring their items to add to the museum’s collection so as to sum up, and illustrate, the topic of conversation for that episode, as well as retrieve memories, anecdotes and stories. Different ones will be on display and discussed in each episode, and the conversation could go in any number of wonderfully memorable directions, so be prepared for anything. Viewers are invited to contact the museum should they want to tell their story or donate items for discussion. To be a part of the conversation and have your say on each topic, just log on to our website for ‘Caribbean Conversations Take 2’, where we will continue to discuss this topic. Viewers can join us each week, same place, same time – Mondays at 4 PM on Notts TV, Channel 117 for 8 weeks of Caribbean Conversations. Starting on the 22nd May.

Lowdham Book Festival 2017

Friday 16th – Saturday 24th June 2017, Lowdham, Nottinghamshire

Extra events in July!

Tickets: The Bookcase, Lowdham 0115 9663219

More information  at

See the full programme here

Hello and welcome to Lowdham Book Festival 2017. This is our 18th year and we are delighted to bring you a fantastic line-up encompassing the worlds of fiction, politics, gardening, literary history, music and food! With the usual eclectic mix of talks, music, film and discussions, we hope there will be something for everyone at this year’s festival – do come along and join the fun! – Jane Streeter and Ross Bradshaw

Become a Friend of Lowdham Book Festival

Take advantage of discounted tickets for many of our events and receive our programmes before anyone else – plus a £5 voucher to spend at the summer festival!

All for just £15 a year! (£25 for couples)

Send a cheque (payable to Lowdham Festivals Ltd) along with your name, address, and email address if you have one, to: Lowdham Book Festival, The Bookcase, 50 Main Street, Lowdham, Notts NG14 7BE

Why not join when you order your tickets for this year’s festival and save money immediately!

The history and archaeology of Nottingham Castle – speakers from the We Dig the Castle team at Trent & Peak Archaeology

We Dig the Castle

We Dig the Castle is Nottingham Castle’s flagship training excavation, delivered as a partnership between Trent & Peak Archaeology, Nottingham City Council, and Historic England. In our annual excavation of the outer bailey of the medieval castle trainees are tutored in hands-on archaeological skills while uncovering new information about the history and archaeology of the castle site. 2017 is the third year of this successful dig – the first known archaeological investigation of this part of Castle Rock.

The team

The We Dig the Castle team includes Matt Hurford, Trent & Peak Archaeology’s Community Projects Manager, and Laura Binns, the organisation’s Community Archaeologist.

Matt has been an archaeologist for over 20 years, and is a specialist in buildings. In particular, he has worked closely with Southwell Community Archaeology Group in their excavations at the lost burgage manor and their study of the town’s vernacular buildings. Matt is managing We Dig the Castle 2017.


Laura, also a trained archaeologist, has a Masters in Community Archaeology and is a co-leader of the Nottingham Young Archaeologists’ Club. She also works with schools. Laura has been involved in the excavations at Southwell as well as many other community excavations and associated projects. These include Toton Unearthed, Dig for History! (St Ann’s Allotments), the Lenton Priory Project, and the Big Dig at Derby (part of the Our City Our River flood alleviation scheme). Laura has been the lead tutor at We Dig the Castle since 2015.

Both are experienced, confident, and friendly speakers and happy to stay behind afterwards for a chat with guests.

Trent & Peak Archaeology is a registered charity based in Chilwell, Nottingham. We provide heritage and archaeological services across the Midlands and beyond, run community projects, and support and work with voluntary groups and community archaeology societies in a whole range of ways.

We offer a variety of talks on the history and of the Nottingham Castle site, tailored towards your interests and prior knowledge. We travel through Nottinghamshire (and adjacent areas of neighbouring counties) and can provide all equipment if required.

Talks available year round.

The history of the Nottingham Castle site

Hear about the turbulent, and often violent, history of Castle Rock. Discover the motte and bailey built on the orders of William Conqueror on this easily defended rocky outcrop at the heart of the country.  Learn how Nottingham became one of the most important royal castles outside of London, and the scene of events that changed the course of national history. These include the seizure of the castle by Prince John, forcing King Richard the Lionheart to lay siege to it. Queen Isabella and her lover Roger, Earl Mortimer, were also seized here, allowing their regime to be overthrown. And it was from Nottingham Castle, the seat of his government, that King Richard III set out to the Battle of Bosworth. Two centuries later, in 1642, King Charles I raised his standard here, catapulting Britain into civil war. Soon succumbing to Parliamentarian forces, the Castle would remain subject to repeated, but unsuccessful, Royalist attack throughout the Civil War.  It was subsequently destroyed, on Parliament’s orders, to prevent any enemy force from ever holding the site again. A replacement building, the Ducal Palace, built for the Royalist Duke of Newcastle, would be set alight by rioters during the Reform Bill riots of 1830.

Recent excavations at Nottingham Castle

Hear about the commercial and community excavations carried out at the Nottingham Castle site by Trent & Peak Archaeology. Learn about the artefacts and archaeological remains uncovered, and discover how these have enhanced, and in some places challenged, our current understanding of the site and its history.

Includes news of the spring 2017 gatehouse bridge excavations and the We Dig the Castle training excavation in the outer bailey.

Will also include finds from our We Dig the Castle excavations (2015-current), which will be available for attendees to handle.
We Dig the Castle: Nottingham Castle’s training excavation

We Dig the Castle is Nottingham Castle’s flagship training excavation. Started in 2015, this annual excavation of the outer bailey is a partnership between Historic England, Nottingham City Council and Trent & Peak Archaeology.

Hear about the excavations, the trainees who have taken part, and the artefacts and archaeological remains uncovered in 2015, 2016 and (for post-August 2017 talks) 2017. Learn what it means (and how archaeologists worked out the meaning and put the pieces together). Discover how this has added to our understanding of the outer bailey of the medieval castle and its history both before and after the demolition of Nottingham Castle in 1652.

We’ll bring handling finds from the We Dig the Castle excavations (2015-current), which will be available for attendees to handle.

Get in touch

For more information please get in touch with us at or on  0115 8967400 / 07432694174 (asking for Alison)


Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record Open Days

Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record (HER) will be holding two Open Days where you can drop in and find out more about what the HER is, what it is used for and what information it holds.

Entry is FREE.

The HER has a large collection of data on the archaeology and buildings of the county (excluding Nottingham City):

  • Aerial and ground photographs
  • Old maps
  • Building plans and illustrations
  • Grey literature reports
  • Local journals, leaflets and guides
  • The HBSMR database.

Come and visit the HER and browse through records to find out about the heritage where you live.

When: Thursday 8th June 9.30-3.00pm and Tuesday 13th June 9.30-3.00pm

Where: County Hall, Loughborough Road, West Bridgford, NG2 7QP.

For more information please contact us at or telephone 0300 500 8080 and ask for David Littlewood or Lorraine Horsley.

Space within the HER room is limited so if you would like to visit as a group please get in touch to arrange a time.

For directions and bus information please go to

Please be aware that parking is very limited at County Hall.

Rattlejag are celebrating their 15th Anniversary 2002- 2017

I came across Rattlejag Morris at the Great Nottinghamshire Local History Fair at Mansfield Library on Sunday 7th May 2017. They are a mixed dance side formed in January 2002 with the aim of reviving and developing a dance tradition based in our local area.

Using material collected by Paul Davenport from South Yorkshire as a starting point and also their own material from local research into dancing in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire they have set out to revive and then develop a locally based dance tradition.
Research shows that Morris dancing survived in parts of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire till late in the C19th, lasting longest in association with the winter Plough Monday celebrations.

The dancing they do is very different from that usually associated with most ‘morris dancing’. One feature is that they use a variety of rattles and shakers to give each dance its own distinctive sound. Other dances feature bellsticks to which long ribbons are attached. Their repertoire also now includes broom dances based on material from Lincolnshire and three dances developed by Retford’s Broadstone Morris. They now have fourteen dances and are in the process of developing three more for next season.

More information at

Mining Museum for Mansfield?

The Nottinghamshire NUM Ex-and-Retired Miners’ Association is looking to raise £250,000 to buy a building capable of housing a traditional museum. The building would also feature a virtual-reality room, education space for school groups, storage and offices. The Association is setting up a charity, called Nottinghamshire Mining Museum, to apply for grants from both the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery grants.

The idea is to be able to pass on to future generations the industrial heritage of coal mining in Nottinghamshire and the surrounding counties and present this in a lively way for the benefit of the local community.

The museum would reflect how the Nottinghamshire coalfield was one of the most successful in Europe. At its peak, it had 42 collieries and 40,000 miners, but its 750-year history was brought to an end with the closure of Thoresby Colliery in July 2015. Five months later, deep coal mining in the UK finished for good when Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire ceased operation. However, there is clearly an appetite among the public to preserve the industry’s heritage.

The Nottinghamshire NUM Ex and Retired Miners Association, which is based at Byron House, Commercial Street, Mansfield, is also seeking to collect artefacts for the museum. Those secured to date are being preserved at Mansfield Railway Station, thanks to help from Mansfield District Council. The Association, which is also looking for opportunities to hold ‘pop up’ museums in Mansfield and Sutton, runs between four and six mining road shows in schools every year and has won an award for this work. It hopes to create partnerships with other community, arts, theatre and heritage groups to promote community pride in its coal mining history.

For more information e-mail the association at, or ring Eric Eaton on 01623 416895.

Nottingham City Library Makeovers!

Wollaton and The Meadows Libraries are having new carpets fitted and will be closed for one week in June.

Wollaton Library will be closed from  1pm Saturday 10 June and re-open 9am Saturday 17 June . The nearest library will be Bilborough Library.

Meadows Library will close 1pm Saturday 17 June and will re-open 9am Monday 26 June. The nearest  library will be Central Library.

During the closures the loan period will be extended to 4 weeks. For any enquiries contact 0115 915 2828, Nottingham City

Miriam’s Farm: The story of Haggs farm, the Chambers family and D.H. Lawrence

Published by The Haggs Farm Preservation Society with support from the D.H. Lawrence Society and NOTTINGHAMSHIRE LOCAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION

 Book price  £8.50 ( + £1.50 P and P)

Copies on sale at D.H.Lawrence Birthplace Museum, Eastwood, Local Studies Library, Angel Row, Nottingham and Lowdham Bookcase. For postal sales please send cheque, payable to ‘Haggs Farm Preservation Society’ to Brian Rich, 11 Adams Grove, Leek ST13  8NX. Tel:01538384713; email:

D.H. Lawrence found in Haggs farm, the people who lived there and the surrounding countryside his ‘first incentive to write.’ The essays in the book deal with that relationship, the history of the farm and various aspects of the life of the Chambers family, particularly Jessie ‘ D.H. Lawrence’s Princess’.