Nottingham Confucius Institute to partner on ground-breaking Dinosaurs of China exhibition

The University of Nottingham and Nottingham City Council are delighted to welcome the Nottingham Confucius Institute as a partner on the world-exclusive Dinosaurs of China exhibition, which opens in Nottingham on July 1, to help deliver a legacy of the exhibition for Nottingham’s families and children.

Along with a donation for the Heritage Lottery Fund and funds raised through Nottingham Lakeside Arts’ crowd-funding campaign, The Nottingham Confucius Institute’s contribution will enable The University of Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts to: commission a unique animatronic puppet feathered dinosaur (a baby Alxasaurus) that will have a permanent home at the Nottingham Lakeside Arts and will be used to teach children about dinosaurs both during and after the exhibition; create a permanent ‘Dino-Dig’ in Highfields Park, with dinosaur bones buried near the existing play park that children will be able to excavate and experience what it’s like to be on an archaeological dig and feel the excitement when they discover dinosaur bones for the first time; and help children create their own dinosaurs on iPads, projecting them onto the wall at Lakeside as part of the exhibition.

Dinosaurs of China is a collaboration between Nottingham City Council and The University of Nottingham, who have worked closely with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing and the Long Hao Institute of Geology and Paleontology Inner Mongolia. The Nottingham Confucius Institute’s involvement in the project further enhances the cross cultural collaboration, fuelled by the University’s strong connections in China, which have proven vital to bringing such a prestigious world-class exhibition to Nottingham.

Jason Feehily, Director of Knowledge Exchange Asia at The University of Nottingham, commentsI am very pleased that the Nottingham Confucius Institute has joined the Dinosaurs of China as a partner. The partnership with a Model Confucius Institute demonstrates the powerful connections between Nottingham and China and to be working together on this world exclusive exhibition is hugely exciting”.

Dr Jian Chen, Acting and Executive NCI Director, saidWe are delighted to be part of this exciting endeavour, which not only enables people in the UK to see some of the world’s best-preserved dinosaur discoveries from China, but also creates a great opportunity to inspire young minds and generate interest in science. This is another excellent example of how NCI engages with the local community and helps build friendship between the UK and China”.

Taking place from 1st July to 29th October 2017, the exhibition will span two sites – Wollaton Hall in Nottingham and University of Nottingham’s public art centre, Lakeside Arts. Tickets for Wollaton Hall are now on sale. Prices are £7.70 for an adult and £5.50 for a child. There is a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for £22.00. Children under five go free and the event welcomes school parties at a reduced price. Entry to Lakeside is free of charge.

For more information about the exhibition, please visit

Results of Mercian Archaeological Services CIC’s Geophysical Magnetometer Survey at King John’s Palace, Clipstone

Mercian Archaeology is very pleased to announce that the  results of the survey are now available to download from their website and show that there is potentially a lot more below ground than previously thought. King John’s Palace was the royal heart of Sherwood Forest in Medieval times and was visited by all 8 kings from Henry II to Richard II. The geophysical survey maps magnetic anomalies in the soil, and although it cannot be certain without excavation,  it is possible to interpret these features, and some may be humanly made. This survey has given a glimpse at what might be below the surface including many possible buildings, ranges of buildings and courtyard areas. This is very exciting as the layout of the site in any of its phases is not known.

It is hoped that these results can form a significant part of Mercian’s long-term aim of understanding the boundaries and layout of this once large royal hunting palace of the Kings of England in the heart of Sherwood Forest.

Despite what you may have heard or read elsewhere the site is not yet well understood, but the work and research goes on. Archaeology and research can be a slow process but should always be done to the highest standards, and this takes time. It is well worth having a look at what is currently known about the site, as the story is updating all the time. This report also has a new up to date archaeological and historical background for the site and offers the best evidence yet for a boundary bank to the site on the southwestern side.

Further reports will follow over the summer including the 2015 and 2014 excavations. So this is the most exciting year so far for the Palace site and its archaeology.

If anyone wishes to come and be part of the research at Clipstone and King John’s Palace there are still places available on the Sherwood Forest Archaeological Training Fieldschool

Dr W G Hoskins CBE – historian

“No consideration of the history of the people is complete without a look at the important role local history has played.”

The man who did more than any other to promote the study of local history and to get it taken seriously by scholars was W.G. Hoskins. William George Hoskins was born at 54 St David’s Hill, Exeter, The young Hoskins won a scholarship at the age of ten for Heles School, before attending the University College of the South West where he made a special study of local commercial history before moving to Leicester. He became the first professor of local history at the University of Leicester in 1965 when he was appointed Hatton Professor of English History It was at Leicester that he developed his deep commitment to adult education, teaching local people about the history and especially the landscape of their own county. The Vaughan Archaeological & Historical Society sprang directly from classes taught by Hoskins and an annual lecture is held in his honour

Hoskins’ enthusiasm led, in 1948, to the establishment at Leicester of the first university department devoted to the study of English local history. Hoskins had clearly touched a nerve for many people: he was soon in demand for radio broadcasts and he also wrote books explaining aspects of local history for the general reader. His book Devon, a volume that included a gazetteer of all 430 parishes of the county, along with chapters covering the history of the county and its towns, was published in 1954. Some consider it to be the finest modern county history; several of the photos for Devon were taken by F L Attenborough, vice Chancellor of Leicester, and father of David and Richard.

Hoskins most influential work was The Making of the English Landscape, a chronological survey of English history traced through the physical evidence of buildings and field patterns which many people could see but did not necessarily know how to decode.

This book became a best seller. W G Hoskins also made two TV series for the BBC, the first in 1972 based on ‘The Making of the English Landscape’ and the second in 1976, called The Landscape of England.

Preserving Nottingham’s History: Susan White and NLHA

Susan White’s original Salmon’s Map of Nottingham is assessed at Sycamore Bookbinding & Paper Restoration, Moorgreen, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire

SALMON’S MAP OF NOTTINGHAM, 1862  is a key historical map of Nottingham.  The date is right in the middle of Nottingham’s expansion into a modern industrial city.  The Inclosure Act of 1845 had released land in the town’s surrounding common fields for development, hosiery and lace were well established and the Corporation had set out to tackle major issues of health and housing. Salmon delineated this changing landscape in remarkable detail and leaves us with an invaluable legacy.

Susan White’s original copy was discovered in a building skip! It is currently being preserved (see photograph) and this will include digitisation to allow greater public access.  Nottinghamshire Local History Association is providing a grant of £300 towards this and is liaising with Susan on digital and access conditions.

Note by Susan White: ‘ My husband Doug White was involved in building projects in various areas of Nottingham.  While working on the Corner House site he discovered a rather tatty old map in a skip and with the site owner’s permission rescued it from disposal. It has remained in our house to this day.  My husband died in 2013 and I would like the map to be restored and used in memory of my husband.’

Progress of work on Salmon’s map will be reported through the NLHA website

New Website for Notts & Derbyshire Labour History Society

The Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Labour History Society is an organisation of members who have an interest in working class history, and the history of the labour movement in these two counties. Meetings are held at least four times a year. Recent meetings have taken place in Nottingham, Chesterfield and Selston with speakers on a variety of subjects. See our Past Events pages for more information. We hope you will join us: see our Contact page for help with membership.

Captain Pouch’s Dream

Captain Pouch’s Dream is a play written by local author Len Holden and is based on real historical events which took place in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire in 1607.

Performances will take place on:

  • Friday 9th and Saturday 10th June 2017 at The Stable Yard, Cotesbach, Lutterworth
  • Saturday 17th June 2017 at the Village Hall, Geddington, Corby.

In 1607 a series of riots led by John Reynolds, known as ‘Captain Pouch,’ exploded across three counties. The cause was the enclosure of land which resulted in many people being evicted from their homes and losing their land and animals. ‘Pouch’ was a charismatic and strange figure who inspired the angry peasants to take things into their own hands by digging up the hedges and throwing down the fences which the new landowners had erected. The riots affected many local villages such as Cotesbach, Haselbech and Withybrook and culminated in a huge battle at Newton, Northamptonshire in which over 50 people were massacred.

More information from: Cotesbach Educational Trust

BHI Museum launches summer opening 2017

Every Friday 26 May – 8 September, 11am – 3pm

General admission is charged at £3 per adult, £2 BHI members, Children under 12 free (payment by cash at the door). Parking is available free of charge, and visitors can also enjoy a tasty treat at the independent on-site Clock House Café.

The BHI Museum is pleased to announce details of its summer opening arrangements for 2017, as part of exciting new developments.

In a first step to deliver the museum’s commitment to open its doors more regularly, it will be opening to visitors every Friday from 26 May through to 8 September 2017, 11am-3pm (last admission 2.30pm).

The museum is based at the home of the British Horological Institute, in Upton, Nottinghamshire.  The museum houses a fascinating collection of clocks, watches, timepieces and archives brought together by BHI members since the founding of the Institute in 1858.  The BHI Museum Trust, was established as a separate registered charity in 1994, transferring the collection into public trust, to help ensure its long-term future and enjoyment by all.

Until now the museum has traditionally been accessible only via pre-booked group visits, plus special event days when the clocks go forward and back and a weekend event in June.

Visitors can look forward to exploring the museum’s treasures, including Britain’s first 3 Speaking Clocks, stunning early 17th century timepieces, the BHI’s famous 150th anniversary clock, and even Captain Scott’s pocket-watch carried on his ill-fated 1912 Antarctic expedition.

Over the course of the next 3 years the museum plans to extend these seasonal summer opening hours to cover additional days, including weekends.  It also plans to introduce new events and develop museum displays and exhibits to add new features and activities for visitors.

The museum team are looking forward to welcoming new visitors, and to learning more about how visitors would like to see the museum develop in the future.  The museum is currently recruiting room guide volunteers to assist on these open days.

For additional information and enquiries please contact Eleanor Baumber Museum Manager on 01636 817 601 or email

The museum is located in the village of Upton, on the A612 between Newark and Southwell.

Full address: The BHI Museum Trust, Main Street, Upton, Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5TE.


Domesday at Lincoln Castle

One of the earliest surviving public records – Domesday Book – will be loaned to Lincoln Castle as part of a major exhibition for 2017.

The iconic document was commissioned in 1086 by William the Conqueror following his successful invasion 20 years earlier. Domesday gave the king a picture of his realm by recording the taxable value and resources of all the boroughs and manors in England.

On display in the Magna Carta vault from 27 May to 3 September, Domesday will be one of a number of local and national treasures showcased as part of the exhibition Battles and Dynasties.

More information at

Did you or someone you know get married at St Martin’s, Bilborough?

Then please share your wedding photos with us! From 17th June to 9th July we will be celebrating weddings at St Martin’s with an exhibition of wedding photos and wedding memorabilia……..and you can be part of this!


We can scan and return original photos if you supply a return postal address. You can email, bring in, or post photos to us. Email them to

If you intend to post photos please don’t send them to the church but contact us by phone or email for a mailing address.

Tel: 07821 156909 / 07971 937046 or email

St Martin’s Church, St Martins Road, Off Strelley Road, Bilborough, Nottingham, NG8 3BH

Leicester Heritage Sundays: Tours and Open Days 2017

11am – 3pm
Last Sunday of the month March – November:
Sunday 30 April, 28 May, 25 June, 30 July, 27 August, 24 September, 29 October, 26 November

Clustered around The Newarke and De Montfort University campus, just minutes from the city centre, are remarkable buildings that tell the story of Leicester from its medieval origins to its manufacturing heyday.

During the last Sunday of the month visitors can explore some of these historic places free of charge. The area also has lovely outdoor spaces to discover including Castle Gardens and the tranquility of some of the city’s beautiful secret gardens.

Blue Badge guided tours of the Magazine and Castle Great Hall (From May 2017) can also be booked for a small fee.

What Can I Visit?

The Magazine
Originally a 15th century gateway into the former Newarke religious precinct, this striking stone building was later used as a munitions store during the English Civil War. Interesting features of this three storey building include graffiti dating back to the 16th century. Pre-booked guided tour available at 11am.

Leicester Castle Great Hall (Opening May 2017)
Built in the 12th century, the timber-framed Great Hall has hosted many illustrious visitors including Richard III and other kings. It hosted Parliament in the 14th and 15th centuries and today features an original Victorian criminal courtroom. Follow themed audio trails about the Castle using your mobile device by visiting while on site. Pre-booked guided tour available at 12.30pm.

Trinity Hospital Chapel
Inside the university’s Trinity House building can be found a stone chapel that originally served the medieval Trinity Hospital, founded in 1330 to care for the poor and infirm. Drop-in guided tours available.

De Montfort University Heritage Centre
Showcasing the only remaining ruins of the medieval Church of Annunciation, the university’s Heritage Centre also hosts temporary exhibitions featuring DMU art and archive collections as well as themes of local history. Please visit for our exhibition schedule.

Newarke Houses Museum
Created from two historic houses that date from the 16th century, this museum tells the story of Leicester. Discover how we used to live in the recreated street and find out about the industries that made Leicester wealthy. The museum incorporates the Royal Leicestershire Regimental Museum. For information on regular opening times visit the museum website.

Heritage Panels
Across the city a series of themed heritage panels celebrate the story of Leicester from Roman times to the present day ( Look out for these on campus celebrating the industrial history of the city. Others, relating to King Richard III’s Medieval Leicester, are linked by a walking trail which can be downloaded on

Castle Motte
In 1068, just after the Norman Conquest of 1066, Leicester Castle would have consisted of an earth mound (or motte) with a timber tower (or keep) on top. Climb to the top of the motte for views over Castle Yard, The Newarke and Castle Gardens.

St Mary de Castro Church
Open just for Christian worship on Sundays, this historic church was founded as a chapel to serve the medieval castle. Henry IV was knighted here as a boy and Chaucer married here in the 1360s. Although much altered since medieval times, the church still retains many of its early features.

Turret Gateway
Built in 1423, the Turret Gateway separated the Newarke religious precinct from Leicester Castle. Locally it is also known as Ruperts Gateway as Prince Rupert and King Charles I commanded the royalist army that captured Leicester Castle in 1645 during the English Civil War.

Newarke Houses Garden 
The herb garden at Newarke Houses Museum is one of the oldest gardens in Leicester. Together with a later Regency style garden, they provide a beautiful haven for rare plants and wildlife. The Newarke wall can be seen in the garden, complete with gun loops used to defend the area during the English Civil War.

Trinity House Herb Garden
Recently refurbished to resemble an Elizabethan style garden, this tranquil space was once used to grow medicinal herbs for patients at Trinity Hospital. The DMU Green Futures project regenerated the colourful garden to improve biodiversity, provide cooking herbs and attract wildlife to campus. Entrance off Castle View.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are available at Newarke Houses Museum. Donations welcome.

Guided Tours
Guided tours of Leicester Castle Great Hall and the Magazine are available on the last Sunday of the month with a Blue Badge Guide. Booking essential. £2.50 per building or £4 for tours of both on the same day. Each tour lasts one hour. Book through Visit Leicester (0116 299 4444) or online at

Tour times
11am The Magazine
12.30pm Leicester Castle Great Hall (from May 2017)

(Please note tours are not suitable for small children who may need to be carried; there are stairs at both sites. Suitable footwear is advisable.)