Experience Nottinghamshire SurveyClose

Give us feedback on our website and be entered into a free prize draw to win a Nottinghamshire themed hamper full of foodie delights. Our short survey should take no more than a couple of minutes. Complete Survey.

Only one email address per entry for the Nottinghamshire themed hamper prize draw, the winner will be selected at random. Terms and conditions apply and can be obtained via email from enquiries@experiencenottingham.com.

Uncovering treasures of the past at King John’s Palace


History lover Geoff Allen fulfilled a life-long ambition when he joined Mercian Archaeological Services on a recent excavation at King John’s Palace in Clipstone. In this guest article, Geoff, from Derbyshire, writes about his experience.

I recently completed a week’s course at King John’s Palace with Mercian Archaeological Services – and as an introduction to the practice and theory of archaeology it would be hard to beat.

From the outset we were made very welcome with the archaeologists giving us a history of the palace (which was visited by all eight English kings from Henry II to Richard II) and showing us numerous finds from the site to help us identify new artefacts which we would unearth from our own digging. Finally, on the first morning we were shown how the palace grounds were laid out and discussed how the building related to other medieval sites around Sherwood Forest including Rufford Abbey as well as Nottingham Castle.

Beneath the lively on-site banter, it soon became obvious that the archaeologists were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the project. Our dig was in what was thought to be a medieval boundary ditch which the Mercian group had located in previous surveys. As well as discussing ‘finds’ – mainly medieval pottery but also a couple of stone age flints – we had talks throughout the week from the resident archaeologists, plus one on buildings archaeology by an expert attached to the Museum of London.

Towards the end of the week, we were shown how to record our findings by photography and drawing.

We were joined on the dig by the owners of the palace – I had not met someone who owned a palace before – and we were provided with a tasty cooked lunch each day. Andy, Sean and David, the professionals who organised the field school, have put together an enjoyable and stimulating course which I am pleased to recommend.

For more information on Mercian, including future digs, visit the website. Geoff is pictured at the top, first left. Image credit: Mercian Archaeological Services.

Posted on 26 September 2014
Featured author: Catherine Allen Marketing Assistant

Arts fan, runner and cyclist who has been living in Nottingham for more than a decade. Loves real ale, craft beer, good food, travelling and sausage dogs.

Comments (0)

Post a comment

Our monthly pick


Walking Nottingham’s Canals

As a new year begins, many of us are facing up to the fact that we may have revelled a little too much over the festive period and that it’s time to put December’s celebrations – and all of those extra pigs in blankets, turkey cobs and Christmas tipples – behind us. With health on…

Your favourite places

Featured authors

  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

  • Kinga

    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

  • Alistair

    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

  • Natalie

    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

Have a go...


Eight reasons why you’ll love a helicopter pleasure flight…

Central Helicopters give you 8 good reasons to take to the skies on a helicopter experience! Take off in style like a celeb If you like the idea of flying like a celebrity or high-powered VIP, then a helicopter pleasure flight is for you. For the likes of Star Wars hero Han Solo aka Harrison…