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This is an old revision of BinghamHeritage from 2008-02-18 10:13:45.

This LHI funded project is being carried out by Bingham Heritage Trails Association (BHTA) and was begun in November 2004. It is due to finish in October 2008. As BHTA is not primarily an archaeological research group the project has been supervised by Trent & Peak Archaeology of the University of Nottingham. There are three parts to it:
Field walking all the arable land in the parish
Analysis and interpretation of all the old maps available including the assembly of a map from a 1586 survey carried out of the tenancies in the parish
A topographic and geophysical survey of Crow Close, a deserted medieval village
Field walking was completed in November 2007; work on the other two projects is ongoing.

Bingham is in Rushcliffe, the southernmost borough of Nottinghamshire, south of the River Trent. The parish is about 1200 hectares in area, of which about 890 are arable. Field walking took 74 weeks spread over four winters. Nearly 100 individuals took part in the field walking during this period and another 30 to 40 have been involved in finds processing, database work, identification of finds and so on. Over 52,000 finds have been collected. Data on them are stored in an Access database; the spatial information is handled in ArcGIS9. Field walking was done along 2-metre wide transects spaced 20 metres apart; finds were bagged up every 5 metres.

Finds have been identified by a number of specialists, but the writing up of the project is largely in the hands of BHTA members and is being done now.

Bingham has a rich archaeological history. The western boundary of the parish is the Fosse Way and the Roman small town of Margidunum sits at the apex of the parish. Building works during the last 40 years have revealed other interesting RB sites. Crop marks of post war air photographs show a presumed Iron Age settlement in the parish; field walking in the late 1960s revealed an Anglo-Saxon cremation cemetery and many prehistoric lithics have been recorded and registered as SMRs. The Crow Close deserted medieval village is said to have been the first to be formally recognised in England.

The bedrock to the whole of the parish is Triassic Mercia Mudstone Group. There is little till, but the northern part of the parish is underlain by up to 3 metres of clays and peat laid down in a post-Devensian lake. The lake gradually filled up and at some time during the middle ages or later was drained and put to arable farming. There is one large island in the lake on which is the supposed Iron Age settlement

Though interpretation of the results is only now taking place there are fascinating preliminary findings:

Three Lower Palaeolithic flints have been picked up, one of which, a flake, might have been made by Homo heidelbergensis

Three sites around the lake deposits yielded Mesolithic flints and may indicate hunter-gatherer camp sites.

High concentrations of early Neolithic flints show where the first farmers came and settled in the parish.

Handmade PRIA sherds are associated with the crop marks indicating the putative Iron Age settlement.

RB pottery is scatterd over the whole of the parish, often in small clusters. Two clusters are associated with crop marks recorded on air photographs; one of a double enclosure, the other of two small, adjacent enclosures with a hut circle in the middle of one of them. The scatter of RB pottery around Margidunum is far wider than previously understood.

A few sherds of Anglo-Saxon pottery have been identifed localised in two areas.

Large amounts of medieval pottery have been picked up in the open field areas of the parish, ranging from 10th century Stamford ware onwards.

The distribution of late medieval and early post-medieval pottery is expected to give an indication of the date that the lake area was drained for agriculture.

Large concentrations of post-medieval sherds in one area seems to identify a part of Bingham that was once settled, but ceased to be at some time during the nineteenth century.

It is hoped that the distribution of post-medieval pottery might give information about the date of enclosure, for which documentary evidence is poor, but suggests it happened in about 1690.

This page will be updated at the end of the project, but for information on its progress and about other projects done by BHTA will be available in our newsletter and on our web site

Peter Allen
Chairman BHTA and project coordinator

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