North Notts History by Ian Clarke

Ian Clarke is an alumni of the University of Nottingham who has lived in Nottingham since his graduation in the early 80s. After he retired in September 2019 he choose to spend time looking at the system formed by the environment and geography of North Nottinghamshire, and the politics of the crown, state and people of the region using the systems thinking skills he had developed during his career.

He set his time bounds from the start of the population of the county to the start of the industrial revolution with the intention of getting into the detail of those events that shaped both the county and our country. From a very early point in his research it became clear to him that the Nottinghamshire landscape of today is nothing like the landscape of the quite recent past and he paid a particular attention to the role of Nottinghamshire in providing one of only two viable routes between the north and south of the country for long periods of history.

Before he started his research he had little knowledge of the conflicts that shaped our country but he has come to understand how many of these have depended upon the route of the  ‘Kings Great Way’ through Nottinghamshire for the transit of forces to areas of conflict, within and without, the borders of the county.

During his research ge gas discovered a number of topics which could be of interest for further investigation but has taken them as far as he can without help. He is now looking for help from anyone interested in discussing any of the following topics to gain further insights which could help share the conclusions he has reached over the past 18 months and prove or disprove his hypotheses.

  • The role of the string of Iron Age hill forts running from Burton Joyce through to Edingley Camp
  • The Roman advance through North Nottinghamshire including the farnsfield fortress and associated road.
  • The emergence of Nottinghamshire as a no-man’s land in the immediate post roman period, similar to the Scottish Borders during the period of the border reivers
  • The conflict between Edwin and Æthelfrith and formation of Northumbria
  • A potential case for the site of the battle of Brunnanburh in North Nottinghamshire
  • The role of the Cistercian monks of Rufford abbey in the defence of the north south frontier

At some stage in the near future he aims to publish a completed 86,000 word text containing 32 Illustrations covering the above and many more topics involving the people of Nottinghamshire. This is mainly written for popular interest with the aim of engaging other budding and amateur historians in their own investigations of our past

Anyone who is interested can contact Ian at 07743 478077 or

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