Current Archaeology in the East Midlands

Recent excavations by Trent and Peak Archaeology

Saturday 6 April – Sunday 30 June
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm; Sunday 12noon-4pm; closed on Mondays.

University of Nottingham Museum

Admission free

A new Museum Exhibition Programme, Current Archaeology in the East Midlands, displays and examines work undertaken throughout the East Midlands by archaeologists, community groups and museums.

This small exhibition examines some of the recent archaeological work undertaken by Trent and Peak Archaeology. Covering a broad period of time from the prehistoric to Victorian period it looks at the excavations and related finds and discusses the new information it is providing about the East Midlands.

This exhibition is in collaboration with Trent and Peak Archaeology.

Justin Time

Group Visit Information

Museum of Timekeeping

Group visits are a brilliant way to view our award winning Museum of Timekeeping which houses the most comprehensive collection of clocks, watches, and other timepieces outside London.

What to expect:

Private Tours typically last around two hours and feature an introduction about the history of the British Horological Institute, the museum and collection, followed by a guided tour of a selection of artefacts and displays from our ground floor museum galleries and the stories behind them, with time for questions at the end.

You will hear the original speaking clock, see the watch taken to the Antarctic by Captain Scott and be enthralled by the story of John Harrison, saviour of thousands of lives by his invention of the chronometer.

Group size:

A group size of around 15-24 people is ideal.  For groups of over 24 we just ask that you let us know in advance so that we can make arrangements for an additional guide.


Admission is charged at £10 per person, with a minimum charge of £100 applying during normal office hours i.e. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm although we can arrange visits at other times.

Availability and bookings:

For further information or to check available group visit dates please call 01636 817 601 or email

the booking period, so an approximate number is absolutely fine in advance, to be confirmed no less than two weeks before the tour date.


Upton Hall offers ample free parking and disabled access with the tour area situated on one level.


There is a café on site and by prior arrangement it is also possible for groups to enjoy a buffet lunch in our Ballroom as an extension to your visit,

We very much look forward to welcoming you.

Upton Hall, Upton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5TE

T: 01636 817601

Exhibition celebrating 200 years of the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway

At the Mansfield Museum, Leeming Street, Mansfield Sat 2nd Feb to Sat 2nd Mar 2019

The Kirkby and District Archaeological Group has joined with the Old Mansfield Society, Sutton Heritage Society, Pinxton and South Normanton History Society and railway historians to celebrate this wonderful piece of our heritage. Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant we are celebrating with exhibitions, talks, walks, book, leaflets, website, archaeology, teaching materials, activities and heritage boards along the route.

A Few Facts

  • The Mansfield and Pinxton Railway opened 13thApril 1819
  • The route went 7½ miles from Mansfield Wharf, over the viaduct at Kings Mill, past Kirkby Hardwick, over the Summit, through Kirkby, Portland Park and New Selston before arriving at the Pinxton Wharf 
  • The railway brought coal into Mansfield, and exported sand, stone and malt, amongst other items, via the Cromford Canal link at Pinxton Wharf
  • The opening celebrations included a marching band, a bonfire in Mansfield Market Square, the ringing of church bells, a procession, and feasting!
  • The wagons were pulled by horses, not engines, until the Midland Railway took it over in 1849
  • The rails were laid on stone blocks, not wooden sleepers and were “fish-bellied” in shape
  • A passenger carriage was added in 1832 to take people from Pinxton to Mansfield Market on Thursdays
  • The line has been in continuous use since 1819, now with the Robin Hood Line closely following the Kirkby to Mansfield section, this makes it the oldest continuously operating railway line in England – and a cause for celebration!

For further information please email

Digital support for the visitor economy in Nottinghamshire.

Visitor economy businesses – including heritage and voluntary groups – within Nottinghamshire can take advantage of a range of fully-funded digital-themed support workshops and seminars, plus one-to-one adviser support, as part of the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme.

Managed by East Midlands Chamber, the Digital Growth Programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund – and this strand of the project will be delivered in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council.

The sessions will feature some of the region’s leading technology solution providers, from web developers and business intelligence providers to graphic designers, telecoms suppliers, digital marketing agencies and mobile providers.

Businesses and organisations are now invited to attend one of two launch events, being held to gain a greater understanding of the support available:

5 February 2019 – 5:30 pm – 8:30pm


28 February 2019 – 5:30 pm – 8:30pm


The programme is being run to tie in with the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the pilgrims to America on the Mayflower ship, which takes place in 2020 – many of those on board originated from Nottinghamshire and the surrounding areas of Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire.

Working with Nottinghamshire County Council, the programme is designed to help local organisations – including tourism bodies, community interest groups and church/heritage groups and sites with a shared interest in Pilgrims’ heritage – commemorate this event.

What’s on offer?

The wide range of business support events are aimed at helping organisations achieve their full potential and introduce them to new markets and visitors, boosting competitiveness.

Workshops will be themed under the following strands:

  • Website development
  • Video creation and marketing
  • Blogging
  • Social media marketing
  • Producing and working with digital images
  • Taking payments online
  • Creating WiFi hotspots
  • Using 360 degree camera, digital projections and video tours
  • Developing mobile apps
  • Virtual and augmented reality

The launch events provide delegates with opportunities to:

  • Discover how organisations can benefit from this new opportunity
  • Officially register with the programme
  • Secure free places on the events programme
  • Meet with a dedicated Business Adviser to discuss business needs
  • To qualify for the programme organisations must be a visitor economy business (accommodation, attraction, activity provider, food and drink provider etc) or a voluntary / heritage organisations and based in Nottinghamshire.

For more information on the Pilgrims visit the regional and national websites here and here

Kind regards

Laura Simpson Senior Practitioner in Heritage, Tourism Place Department, Nottinghamshire County Council

Tel: 0115 9932595 Mob: 0777 5018901 please note my new mobile number

Follow us on Twitter @Notts_Heritage

Like us on Facebook ‘NCC Nottinghamshire Heritage Tourism’

Bassetlaw Christian Heritage


RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE FORUM, Retford, 9th March 2019

Following the success of previous events attended by those involved in Christian heritage from across the UK, we are holding our fourth free conference on 8th March 2019 in Retford. This year we plan to have a mixed programme covering themes and issues from our work, and we hope to have some overseas guests as well. A detailed programme will follow.

Call for topics and presentations:

It would be great if you could let us know if you can speak on a specific topic or development that would be of interest to other group members, for example holding public lectures, events for children/families, marketing, lottery and grant applications etc. Please also let me know if you know of others who might be interested in attending. Please also feel free to suggest topics for wider discussion or that you would like help with.

Religious Tolerance Forum:

On the following morning, a Saturday, we will hold the fourth event marking the contribution of Christians to the development of religious tolerance worldwide. Speakers already booked include Prof Larry Kreitzer talking about the early Baptists and their contribution to religious freedom and Masoud Abadi, an Iranian refugee and campaigner. We are also in discussion with the US Embassy about a speaker from Washington which would be very exciting.

As before, there is NO CHARGE for either of these events but you are asked to pay for lunch on the Friday. Retford has good rail and road links, and we are also arranging low price B and B at Mattersey Bible College.


If you think you can come, please let Adrian and MAGGY WATKINS know:

If you want to stay at Mattersey, please let us know soon as space is limited.

Advise Maggy on what accommodation you would like and for which nights. Please also indicate if you will be using your own transport or not.

Costs to stay at Mattersey are approximately:   Cooked Breakfast £3.00 Bed and Breakfast single room £20.00 per night. Bed and Breakfast double en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people, £30.00 for 1 person (only 3 rooms available). Bed and Breakfast twin en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people,£30.00 for 1 person (only 1 room available)

“Wonderland” at Nottingham Playhouse

Friday 8 – Saturday 23 February 2019  
“THE BEST PLAY about the Miners’ Strike”  Nottingham Post★★★★ Powerful, pertinent drama” The Stage ★★★★ “This is a big play…full of heart.” The Guardian  
Nottinghamshire, 1983. Two 16 year olds wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by a veteran miner, they descend into the brotherhood, banter, searing heat and liquid blue light of Welbeck Colliery. Meanwhile in London, an American CEO known as The Butcher is brought in to reform King Coal. Pits close and a strike is called. A Tory MP tussles with his leader’s hard line ideology, whilst an eccentric dandy is sent undercover to break up the strike. Cracks appear on all sides as the embattled miners are torn apart trying to protect their livelihoods and families. Nothing will be the same again. Wonderland is the spirited and uplifting drama written by the daughter of a Nottinghamshire miner. Expect dark humour and tension in this 360° look at the events leading up to and during the miner’s strike.

We are delighted to offer you the chance to see Wonderland with an exclusive offer for members of the mining community. 

Please see below all the information you will need to book and we hope to see you at the Playhouse soon!

Get 10% off up to eight tickets to see Wonderland using the code MINERS10 when booking online or via the Box Office*

*To redeem this offer on up to eight tickets, use code MINERS10 when booking online or via the Box Office.
The offer ends on Thursday 7 February and applies to Band A-C seats, subject to availability. This offer does
not apply to tickets already purchased and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Please check
that the discount has been applied before you check-out. 

Volunteering at Wollaton Hall: Walled Garden Restoration project

Wollaton Hall is an Elizabethan mansion situated on a natural hill three miles west of Nottingham City Centre. It is set in five hundred acres of spectacular gardens and parkland.

Wollaton Hall was built by Sir Francis Willoughby Between 1580 and 1588; the Walled Kitchen Garden which was added between 1783 and 1788 was designed to provide all the flowers, fruit and vegetables required by the family, their servants and guests at the Hall.  The idea of a walled garden was to shelter plants from wind and frost with the walls creating a microclimate, by radiating the sun’s heat, which can raise the ambient temperature. 

In 1924 the 11th Lord Middleton sold the Hall and the Park to the City Council. For some years, the walled garden remained in use as a nursery garden until the 1980s when it was abandoned.

At some point the great glasshouses and the conservatory either fell down or were demolished. Only the home farm (now Mr Man’s restaurant), the walled garden, some derelict potting sheds and the Head Gardener’s cottage survive. Sections of the walls have collapsed with some sections gone completely.The glasshouse is now just the brick base, which has been converted into offices, and the gardener’s outdoor loo remain!

The Walled Garden was made a Grade II listed building in 1989 and we are now working to restore this area.

Stage 1 is to repair the walls and outer area so that the space is safe to be used again. The cost of this stage is estimated at £20,000. The current priority is to find strategies to stabilise the walls and prevent further deterioration.

Stage 2 would be complete restoration if funding can be sourced and is likely to cost millions of pounds. It will need to result in the walled garden becoming financially self-funding and sustainable, whilst remaining suitable for the Park and area. 

Getting involved

Current main activities

Helping us stabilise the walls and prevent further deterioration of the area

  • Clearing the area of vegetation
  • Collecting all historical material- bricks, tiles, timber work, architectural features
  • Brick reclamation
  • Clearing paths to improve public access

Skills and Experience:

  • Ability to work in a team and take guidance from staff
  • Enthusiasm for gardens and heritage
  • Physically fit to work in gardens with uneven ground and often-heavy vegetation.


The group meet every Thursday 9.30am by the 508 café at Wollaton Park. We tend to garden until around 12noon.

Benefits in volunteering with us

  • Volunteering can help increase your confidence, provide social interaction and vital skills to help you into or back into employment if you wish
  • See an area the public do not get to see!
  • Free tea and coffee whilst on site

How to get involved

No need to complete an application form – just turn up at the stated time and get stuck in! Guidance will be given by our Park Ranger. Please wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy closed toe footwear.

For more information

Tel: 0115 8763100



Lowdham Book Festival 2019

Hello all – Happy 2019!

Firstly we would like to thank you all for your much appreciated  support last year, and especially at Christmas when the shop was really buzzing!

If you are a Friend of Lowdham Book Festival you will soon be receiving details of how to renew your membership – thank you so much in advance for this truly invaluable help in keeping our events programme thriving!

If you are not a Friend of the Festival then please do let us know if you would like to join. Membership costs £15 per year, £25 per couple, and this entitles you to lower ticket prices at most of our events, vouchers and freebies at the time of the summer book festival, advance notification of events and a paper copy of the festival programme posted out to you in May. (Plus the feel-good factor from enabling us to carry on inviting authors to Lowdham?!)

So now we are all getting back to reality it’s good to look forward to some fun events and getting dates in the diary….

Tickets for all our events are available from:
The Bookcase, 50 Main Street, Lowdham 
or on  0115 966 3219

First Friday Events

First Friday talks take place in Lowdham Methodist Chapel  2pm – 3.30pm.
£6 full, £5 concessions, £4 Festival Friends (including tea and cake)

FRIDAY 1st February 2019
Broadcast Brothers with Steve Jenner

Steve Jenner was a teacher for many years before embarking on a broadcasting career. He and his brother Paul founded two FM radio stations providing commercial services in Derbyshire and Staffordshire. He’s been breakfast DJ for nearly four years, drivetime presenter, sports commentator and all airshifts in between and spent a spell as Managing Director. He’s been on air on commercial radio stations for over 30000 hours and performed more live appearances (some of them in Lowdham!) than the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who put together. His media career has also included many TV appearances, including BBC 1 Breakfast’s famous red sofa,, Sky, ITV and CNN whilst working as chief press officer for leading language pressure group, the Plain English Campaign. As such he’s also worked on BBC Radio 2,4 and 5 along with almost every local and regional BBC station in the country – and, bizarrely, appeared on Russian state TV and South Korean TV. He’s also been a successful national championship – level racing driver, news journalist and still works as a music critic for a top London music website. His book, ‘Broadcast Brothers – On The Radio’ tells the story of two brothers and their desperate race to win the last ‘new’ commercial radio licence in mainland England. Told as a dual – narrator autobiographical comedy, it is also a chronicle of the development of local media in the previous century, it shines a light on a now – disbanded government quango, is a dramatic family story of brotherhood, gives a terrifying insight into the ups and downs of ‘pirate’ broadcasting, is an hilarious ‘Spinal Tap’ for UK radio and is the East Midlands ‘born and bred’ answer to Danny Baker’s ‘Going To Sea In A Sieve’. Having sold hundreds in paperback and scheduled for a reprint later this year, the book carries the recommendation of musicians who, between them, have sold around 80 million records worldwide.
Come and hear Steve’s fascinating story!

Film screenings

Film screenings take place in Lowdham Village Hall.
Tickets £6 full , £5 concessions/children

There is a licensed bar plus ice cream, popcorn, hot drinks and a delicious selection of home made cakes.

Friday 25th January 2019 7.30pm

The Little Stranger 111mins  (12A)

Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Charlotte Rampling and Ruth Wilson.

Based on the bestselling novel by Sarah Waters, the story is set in a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, when a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners – mother, son and daughter – struggling to keep pace.

But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his. 

Forthcoming events

Sunday 17th February 2019
Community Room, Southwell Road, Lowdham 
An afternoon with bestselling crime writer Elly Griffiths

Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd March
Lowdham Village Hall and St Mary’s Church, Lowdham
A weekend of films and music in partnership with Warthog Promotions

Times and ticket prices for these events to be confirmed – more details to follow very soon!

We look forward to welcoming you to lots of our events in 2019!

Very best wishes  
Jane Streeter 

Nottingham City Library

Join our family history group

Are you researching your family history? Would you welcome meeting others who are also researching family history to share progress and brickwalls? Then come along to our regular family history group meetings.Nottingham Central Library, Learning Suite, Floor 2, 10am -12pm.Upcoming Saturday meetings: 26 January, 30 March, 25 May, 27 July, 28 September and 30 November.For more information contact Nottingham Local Studies or Tel: 0115 915 2873.

Family history drop in sessions

Our Nottingham Local Studies team also run a regular drop in session for people interested in family history research.Our knowledgeable local studies experts are on hand to help you on your research journey and anyone with family history questions is welcome – whether you are just starting or are already doing your research.Workshops run the first Wednesday of every month from 10am – 12pm in our Local Studies library at Nottingham Central Library. The next session will be Wednesday 5 February.  No need to book but for further information contact  0115 915 2873 or email

County Council to explore possibility of buying historic Laxton Estate

Nottinghamshire County Council is weighing up an opportunity to buy the Laxton Village Estate, near Ollerton – the only place in Europe to still operate the medieval traditions of open field farming. The County Council is leading a project with Nottingham Trent University on a potential bid for the 1,900 acre site with a view to developing its potential as an educational asset, linked to the nearby Brackenhurst Campus which is also operated by the university. The estate is currently owned by the Crown Estate, which it inherited from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food in 1981 with a Parliamentary undertaking to conserve the asset. It comprises of agricultural land, 10 residential properties, 17 farms, a public house, visitor centre and museum buildings. The farmland and associated houses are leased to 14 tenant farmers. The Crown Estate has indicated it may be willing to sell the estate and is inviting the submission of non-binding expressions of interest by the end of December with a view to exploring developed, competitive bids in the new year. Members of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Policy Committee agreed to submit a formal expression of interest at its meeting today (Wednesday 19 December 2018). Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Chairman of the Policy Committee, said: “The Laxton Estate is a unique heritage asset in Nottinghamshire of national and international significance The Annual Court Leet held each November in the village, with its complicated system of fines for infringing good practice, demonstrates an early form of local democracy. “We have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure its status is protected, while its potential is fully developed. Following discussions with Nottingham Trent University and other stakeholders – including tenants of the estate – we believe there is an exciting opportunity to achieve both. “This is a non-binding expression of interest at this stage, and the ultimate cost will be a significant factor in determining if our ambitions can be realised. However, we hope that a publicly-funded proposition, which respects and retains Laxton’s heritage and the farmers who work the three-field system whilst developing it as an educational asset, will be looked upon favourably by the Crown Estate.” Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, Professor Edward Peck, said: “While discussions are in the early stages, we are keen to work with Nottinghamshire County Council to help find a viable future for the estate and to help preserve and protect the last remaining medieval farming system of its kind.”