The Workhouse Volunteering

Volunteer Taster Day 20 January 2018

Are you looking for a new challenge?

Do you enjoy working with people and sharing information?

Are you passionate about history and wish to share your enthusiasm with the wider public?

Then the Workhouse has something for you. We are currently recruiting for a number of roles at The Workhouse and are looking to widen our team for 2018. If you want to know more, The Workhouse will be open 20 January for a Taste of Volunteering Day. Take part in an outside tour with one of our tour guides, experience the Workhouse from a volunteer’s perspective and learn more about our fascinating history. Pre-booking required. Contact Emma Michalak on 01636 817263 or email


Nottinghamshire People’s Exhibition

Pay a visit to the fascinating Nottinghamshire’s People exhibition on display in the Gallery, at Worksop Library. Originally created by Nottinghamshire Archives with The University of Nottingham’s Manuscripts and Special Collections Team, the exhibition is now touring libraries. Featuring case studies including local people, the exhibition shows the range of documents that can build up a picture of someone’s life.

At Worksop Library from 02 December 2017 to 30 January 2018, open all day.

CAAG & KDLHS Census event: “Education in Keyworth”

A big “thank you” to all who contributed to the success of the CA Census event “Education in Keyworth” in the Centenary Lounge on Saturday 25th November 2017, including the thirty or so people who came in to see the exhibition: some promised to contact us again in order to record their mementoes, photographs and reminiscences of village life.  Please do!

We opened at 11am (a little earlier than billed) by invitation of the organisers of the Christmas Fair, in the adjacent Village Hall.

Keyworth and District Local History Society members provided a bookstall of publications and cards, and refreshments (mince pies, biscuits, tea, coffee) for a small charge.

The development of education in our village from as early as the 1870s was reflected in displays of photographs documents and artefacts previously donated, and those loaned for the day: from Playgroup, through the formal education in all of our schools, (depicted in albums kept by staff, now retired, who still live in the village) to the establishment of Mary Ward College, and items relating to life-long learning offered by K&DU3A, personal reminiscences were contributed from as far afield as Australia.

We are able to scan photographs directly to the electronic archive.  The rolling picture gallery (now a regular attraction) has been recently expanded by village archivist Dave Clarke, to include many education related images.  Some albums were loaned temporarily for scanning and prompt return to the owner.  Scores of photographs have been added to the record; being able to do them on the day really helps us add precious material to the historical record.

Several younger people were thrilled to see the Playgroup and Junior Schools pictures; we are always looking to add to our archive record, so if you missed it, or have anything you would like us to share, please

contact the archivist directly:

see the KDLHS website: and

The next CA Census event (Saturday 17th February 2018) will feature “Farms, Barns and associated rural buildings”, and a display feature on the Harry Johnson Award, Wright’s Place (our next Blue Plaque).

I hope you will be able to come along.

Sheila Barton CAAG and KDLHS

Danelaw Saga: Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands

Friday 15 December 2017 – Sunday 8 April 2018
Weston Gallery, Lakeside, University of Nottingham
Admission Free
Open Tuesday – Friday 11am-4pm
Sunday 12noon-4pm
Closed Mondays

Invade…immigrate…integrate… inspire.  ‘Danelaw Saga’ tells the tale of how the Vikings shaped the East Midlands.

In the 860s the Great Heathen Army invaded the East Midlands, agreeing peace with the Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great, in the 870s. The agreement established the Danelaw where Viking laws and government reigned, giving the Vikings half of England to rule. They settled in the five boroughs of the Danelaw (Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford) and integrated with the existing population. The legacy of these settlers can still be seen today in place-names like Gunthorpe, Nottinghamshire named after a Viking woman, Gunnhild.

‘Danelaw Saga’ tells a local story of Viking culture with artefacts, maps and medieval documents from Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham and from regional museums. This exhibition presents an opportunity to see extraordinary Viking works brought together and to learn about the places whose names evoke the Viking past. Visitors can map the routes of Viking expeditions, view coins brought from the Middle East to the East Midlands, and explore their heritage further with artefacts and jewellery worn by the Viking women that settled in the East Midlands. ‘Danelaw Saga’ tells the story of Viking heritage hidden in plain sight, from place names in use since they were given by the Vikings to modern literature inspired by the East Midlands’ own Viking past. ‘Danelaw Saga’ uncovers the legacy of the Vikings on our doorstep.

‘Danelaw Saga’ has been jointly curated by Professor Judith Jesch and Dr Roderick Dale of the Centre for Study of the Viking Age, and by Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham. The Bringing Vikings back to the East Midlands project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Viking: Rediscover the Legend

Saturday 25 November – Sunday 4 March

Open Tuesday–Saturday, 11am-5pm
Sunday, 12noon-4pm
Closed on Mondays

Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside, University of Nottingham

Admission free

Nationally and internally significant Anglo-Saxon and Viking artefacts from the British Museum and Yorkshire Museum Trust along with current research are brought together in this exhibition to provide a new interpretation and a fresh perspective on how Vikings transformed and shaped every aspect of life in Britain.

The exhibition, programmed by the University of Nottingham Museum, will include the most well-known Viking hoards ever discovered in this country, including the Vale of York Viking Hoard, Cuerdale Hoard, Bedale Hoard and the recently discovered Watlington Hoard on loan from the Ashmolean Museum.

The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd by DH Lawrence at the Lace Market Theatre

An authentic Nottinghamshire working-class tragedy, 13th to 18th November 2017

Book now to see Lawrence’s intense, powerful drama on stage at the Lace Market Theatre

A little over 100 years ago a Young DH Lawrence wrote his second play, ‘The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd’ about life in a Nottinghamshire mining village. This hard-hitting alter ego of the short story “Odour of Chrysanthemums” deals with a catastrophe in the lives of a coal mining family.

Drawing upon the intensity of events that unfold in the miner’s kitchen, the play explores a marriage bowed under the weight of a husband’s drinking and infidelity and peers into the strange, burgeoning relationship between the neglected wife, Mrs. Holroyd, and the young electrician in whom she seeks emotional refuge.

Theatre managers of the 1900’s, although encouraging about the play and lawrence’s dramatic gifts, were reluctant in the years just before the First World War to stage a serious play, even a tragedy, about working-class life: it would be seen as too critical of middle-class attitudes and would never attract an audience.

Matinee Sold Out

Monday evenings tickets only £8 – £10
Other performances £9 – £11

“one of Lawrence’s many gifts as a dramatist is his ability to endow his characters with an emotional intelligence that makes them painfully aware of their plight” – Michael Billington

Click here to book tickets or call 0115 950 7201 Mon-Fri 7:30pm-10:00pm / Sat 12:30pm-2:00pm

Christmas at The Workhouse, Southwell, 2017

Join us for a special Christmas at The Workhouse, Southwell which this year takes place over two days, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. The National Trust property will be celebrating highlights from the past year and there are also traditional seasonal favourites for visitors to enjoy.

Come and stir the Figgie pudding while listening to the paupers in the kitchen, see rag rugs being made or sit in on a Christmas themed school lesson. Gather round the fire and listen to stories from ‘The Voices of the Poor’, accounts of life in the institution. There’s a Twelve Days of Christmas trail and children’s crafts will be on offer with cornucopias, Christingles and lantern-making among the Victorian themed activities. Create a paper bird, write a Christmas wish and hang it on the tree. Have a go at making your own lantern and then join in the procession down the paupers’ path at 3.30pm each day.

The Workhouse choir, accompanied by the harmonium, will be encouraging visitors to sing along to traditional carols. A girls’ choir from the Minster School, Southwell will be performing on Saturday at 3pm. If you are feeling hungry the café will be open and mulled wine and mince pies will also be available. The shop will be stocked with seasonal goods to cater for any last minute gift ideas.

The overall winner of the year-long exhibition ‘The History of The Workhouse in 20 objects’ will be announced and all the winners from the four rounds will be on show. See if the winner got your vote?

Some of the partner organisations who have worked with The Workhouse over the past year on the theme ‘What is Home?’ will be contributing to the Christmas event. The Bare Project, the creative fellows for the year, will show a film of their multi-sensory performance ‘Dangerous or Otherwise’ created in association with Newark Emmaus Trust. Young people from Minster View, the local children’s home, will be making a creative contribution and once again there will be a foodbank, this year in aid of Newark Emmaus Trust.

We will also be celebrating the contribution made by Workhouse volunteers over the year. Their wide-ranging skills and relentless enthusiasm enable us to deliver the varied programme of activities. Maybe you will be inspired to make a New Year’s resolution to join them?

Please book tickets priced £5 (plus 5% booking fee) by calling 0344 249 1895 or see:

The Workhouse is now closed (except for the Christmas event 2 and 3 December) and will reopen for the 2108 season on Saturday 10 February.

Book Launch: Letters From The Cardinal

Letters from the Cardinal will be launched at The State Chamber, Archbishop’s Palace, Southwell on Saturday 11th November 2017 at 11:30 am.

In 1530 Cardinal Wolsey, having fallen from favour with Henry VIII, stayed in Southwell for four months on his way to York to take up his appointment as Archbishop of York. In a series of imaginary letters to Thomas Cromwell,
David Turner tells the story, from contemporary records, of Wolsey’s last few months.

This is a fascinating period of history vividly brought to life by David Turner’s pen.

Launch price £5.

All proceeds to the Leaves of Southwell Project whichThe Minster is hoping will allow it to reinterpret and better present the famous leaf carvings, which can be found in the Chapter House.

The main focus is to interpret the leaves by installing better lighting for visitors to see the carvings found in the Chapter House and around the minster’s pulpit.

The money will also go towards paying for underfloor heating in the Chapter House

The carvings known as The Leaves of Southwell are world renowned. There are images of animals – goats, hares, birds and fabulous creatures – and human heads in portrait and caricature, combining superstition and fable with religious beliefs. There are also many different types of leaf, all of which would have been found in Sherwood Forest.

There are also carvings of ten “Green Men” who have branches of leaves growing from their mouths or who have heads formed of leaves. The origins of the Green Men are obscure. They are found in mythology long before Christianity came to Britain and are linked to rites of fertility, Spring and new birth. If the Green Men represented new birth and new life then they could, perhaps, also represent the resurrection in the Christian context.

In 1945 Nikolaus Pevsner wrote a short book entitled The Leaves of Southwell. It was published as a King Penguin, with photographs by F. L. Attenborough, the principal of University College, Leicester, and father of Sir Dickie and Sir David.


Lenton Fair, 14 October 2017

Lenton Community Association made £177.00 on the day through entrance fees and had an attendance of 201 (although it was noted by some that a few people still snuck in through the back gates.)

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)

The priory was established in Lenton, about 1½ miles south-west of Nottingham, by William Peverel in the first years of 1100 and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The charter of foundation states that Peverel founded the charter “out of love of divine worship and for the good of the souls of his lord King William, of his wife Queen Matilda, of their son King William and of all their and his ancestors”.

William Peverel gave Lenton Priory a substantial endowment which included: the townships of Lenton, Keighton, Morton and Radford (all in Nottingham), Courteenhall, Northamptonshire, and all of their appurtenances and seven mills; land and woodland in Newthorpe and Papplewick; control of the churches of St. Mary, St. Peter and St. Nicholas, all in Nottingham; the churches at Langar, Linby and Radford; the tithes raised from Peverel’s fisheries throughout Nottingham; portions of the tithes from his lands throughout the Peak District including those from Ashford, Bakewell, Bradwell, Buxton, Callow, Chelmorton, Cowdale, Darnall, Dunningestede, Fernilee, Holme, Hucklow, Newbold, Quatford, Shallcross, Stanton, Sterndale, Tideswell and Wormhill; all the tithes raised from his colts and fillies in his stud-farms in the Peak District; the tithes from the lead and venison from his lands in Derbyshire; part of the tithes from Blisworth and Duston and the churches of Courteenhall, Harlestone, Irchester and Rushden, all in Northamptonshire; and the church at Foxton, in Leicestershire.

King Henry II’s charter granted the priory freedom from taxes, tolls, and customs duties. In a further charter he granted them an eight-day fair to celebrate St. Martin’s Day. A charter of Henry III’s extended this fair to twelve days in length.

Lenton’s last prior was Nicholas Heath (or Hethe) who was appointed in 1535, having gained the position due to his connection to Thomas Cromwell. Prior Heath was thrown into prison in February 1538, along with many of his monks. They were accused of high treason and in March the prior with eight of his monks (Ralph Swenson, Richard Bower, Richard Atkinson, Christopher Browne, John Trewruan, John Adelenton, William Berry, and William Gylham) and four labourers of Lenton were executed. The priory was dissolved in 1538.