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ARCHAEOLOGY OF BINGHAM PARISH

PROJECTS DETAILS

Since 2004 Bingham heritage Trails Association has carried out two major archaeological projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. These are:

HISTORY OF SETTLEMENT OF BINGHAM PARISH
ROOTS AND DEVELOPMENT OF BINGHAM

HISTORY OF SETTLEMENT OF BINGHAM PARISH

In November 2004 Bingham Heritage Trails Association (BHTA) received a grant from the Local Heritage Initiative to carry out a project called A History of Settlement in Bingham Parish. It was completed in December 2009 by which time the LHI had been subsumed into the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The objective of the project was to collect information that could be used to show how Bingham parish was settled and how it developed from prehistoric times to the present.

Volunteer members of BHTA carried out the bulk of the project work. Trent & Peak Archaeology was appointed as advisors, while individual consultants and specialist firms were commissioned to identify finds and carry out geophysical and topographical surveys.

There were three parts to the project:

  • Archaeological field walking of all the arable land in the parish
  • Analysis of all the old maps and other spatial information that were available
  • A survey of the deserted medieval village in Crow Close.

The results of the field walking and Crow Close elements of this project can be accessed from here. The Study of Old Maps has its own, separate section accessible from the home page dropdown menu.

Field walking

Most of the farmland in the parish is used for arable agriculture, making it ideal for field walking. 868 hectares were field walked in a 10% survey. Anything man-made or influenced by humans was collected. An important policy decision taken at the start was to examine the distribution of finds rather than to concentrate on the search for sites for detailed further examination. This meant that negative results, in other words the absence of certain types of finds, were as important as positive ones. The report on field walking is divided into two parts: a detailed description of the finds and an analysis of the results of the interpretation of the finds distributions. The analysis presented here covers all periods from the Lower Palaeolithic to 20th century.

Study of old maps

As many old maps of Bingham and the surrounding area were collected as possible. These ranged from Chapman’s map made in the late 18th century to 20th century O.S. maps. In addition there were three other sources of information, all lodged with the Nottinghamshire County Archives.

Manorial survey of 1586
A survey of the land owned by the Stanhope family within Bingham manor was carried out in1586. This amounted to about 85% of the land. There is no map with the document, which is written by hand in Latin. In this project all the information in the document was transcribed to a database and a conjectural map made of the whole parish. This map shows the open fields with their constituent furlongs and the strips within them, the common land and demesne land. A street map with all households located was made for the town itself.

Estate survey of 1776
The Earl of Chesterfield, who in 1776 owned most of the parish, commissioned a survey of the estate. It takes the form of a number of thumbnail maps of each tenant’s holdings with supporting documentation. There is no information about the land owned by freeholders. All the information has been put in a database and a map of the parish constructed.

Tithe map 1841/2
Unlike the previous two maps, the tithe map is of the whole parish giving information about the holdings of all landowners and tenants. It also exists in map form. As with the others the supporting documentation has been transcribed to a database. The map itself has been warped to fit the national grid.

These important sources of information have been used to generate pictures of life in Bingham in late Tudor times, the late 18th century and mid 19th century.

Crow Close

Crow Close has been regarded as the site of a deserted medieval village since 1907, but it has never been examined in detail. A topographical survey of the whole field was carried out using state-of-the-art laser surveying equipment. Geophysical surveys were done of selected parts. The information gathered has been used to test the hypothesis that the field is the site of a deserted medieval village.

Much of the new information acquired in this project has gone into a rewritten version of the History of Bingham.

ROOTS AND DEVELOPMENT OF BINGHAM

Details of the project

This project was carried out by the Bingham Heritage Trails Association between November 2011 and November 2015 funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Trent & Peak Archaeology provided professional oversight and a direct input. There were two parts of the project:

  • Archaeological test pits
  • House histories.

Archaeological test pits

The project proposal was to dig 30-50 test pits within Bingham. In all 72 sites were offered by members of the public and we dug 62, nearly all in the historic core of Bingham. These were made up of:

47 in gardens
9 in school projects
5 in Warner’s Paddock
1 in a public area.

In addition there were three extra elements to the project:

A trench measuring 7 x 4 metres dug in the front lawn of Robert Miles Junior School
A small excavation (2 x 2.8 metres) dug in Bingham Market Place
A project to sieve the soil in two trenches dug in Bingham churchyard prior to tree planting.

All the field work was done by volunteers. In the three school projects the field work (digging, sieving and finds washing) was done by the pupils themselves. Finds identification was done by consultants who are specialists in their fields.

House Histories

This part of the project dealt with the histories of several houses in the core of the town.

Trent & Peak Archaeology produced historic buildings surveys for 9 buildings, for 7 of which Nottingham Tree-ring dating laboratory was able to date timbers. Tree ring dates were obtained for three buildings not subjected to an historic buildings survey. Several other buildings were inspected but they did not have dateable timbers, usually because they were pine, but in one case they were elm.

The results from all parts of the project are recorded on this site using these four routes:

Field Walking
Crow Close
Test Pits
House Histories


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