News for Spring 2003

Retirement of Nottinghamshire’s Principal Archivist

From left: John Beckett, Adrian Henstock, David Lathrope

From left: John Beckett, Adrian Henstock, David Lathrope

Adrian Henstock has retired: the news, when it came, was shattering. He cannot possibly be as old as that, we all said, but it’s true! His official retirement took place on 31 January 2003, and members of the Society were privileged to share with his colleagues at County Hall in a tribute to his work over so many years. We saw pictures of Adrian as a fresh-faced young lad, heard stories of his ‘finds’, and learned of his involvement in building up the work of the Archives Office to the level of efficiency and competence that we know today. Many people were there to pay him tribute, including the Lord Lieutenant Sir Andrew Buchanan, David Lathrope, the Nottinghamshire Archives User Group, former colleagues, and our own Chairman Professor John Beckett. Adrian was presented with, among other gifts, an overhead projector. Perhaps the most abiding memory will be of the obvious affection in which he is held by all who worked with him and/or who know him. With a modest self-effacing demeanour, he sometimes tries to hide his scholarship. We hope that now he is released from the administration side of things, he will be able to return to his first love, and we all shall benefit from his deep insights into the history of Nottinghamshire - maybe with a little time off for Derbyshire, his county of birth. And, of course, he remains as Editor of Transactions and the Record Series.

Keith Goodman

National Archaeology Days: 19/20 July 2003

The Council for British Archaeology and the Young Archaeologists’ Club are again organizing a major event aimed at families throughout the UK, which will be held over the weekend of 19 and 20 July. The CBA says: ‘The aim is to encourage young people and their families to visit sites of archaeological and/or historical interest or museums/heritage and resource centres, to see archaeology in action and to take part in on-site activities.

‘The event also provides an excellent opportunity to promote venues, and to encourage people to join in the work of their local societies.’ The CBA will issue posters and press releases for all participants, and will also assist in promoting the event through targeting local and national television, radio stations, newspapers, relevant magazines, websites, etc.

  Applications are welcome from all organizations, and you don’t have to be running a field project – you could, for example, just open your office to the public for the day. For further information see for the variety of events which took place last year, when 161 venues attracted around 90,000 visitors. The website also gives ideas for the current year.

  If you wish to discuss the Days in more detail, or want a copy of the guidelines or an application form (which must be returned by 1 May 2003), contact Jan Cox, NAD Co-ordinator, Council for British Archaeology, or tel 01904 671417; email Ms Cox can also supply details of the regular activities of the Young Archaeologists’ Club, and the Council for British Archaeology.

125th Anniversary of Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 3 July 1878. To commemorate the 125th anniversary, members of staff will present a series of talks about the building and the collections, which are historic in their own right. All talks are free, but it would be appreciated if people wishing to attend would telephone the Museum Office (0115) 9153651 to book in advance. Coffee and biscuits (£1.50) will be available from the Museum Café.

The time: 10.30am. The venue: Studio 2, Nottingham Castle

The first talk will be given on 13 May, when Dr Trevor Foulds, Documentary Historian, will speak to the title 'Perfectly adapted': T.C. Hine's Conversion of Nottingham Castle into a Museum and Art Gallery’. The series continues until 3 July. For full information consult the Museum’s publication ‘What’s On’ (out from April); or telephone Nottingham Castle Museum on  (0115) 9153651.

Nottinghamshire Local History Association Day School on The Elizabethan Age, 29 March:

Speakers include Dr David Marcombe and Mr Graham Beaumont. For further details and to book contact David Ross-Ellis, 128 Sandhill Street, Worksop, S80 1S7.

Archaeological Investigations Project 2001

More details in the next Newsletter; but if you would like to find out how this is proceeding, see

Lost Village Sites in Nottinghamshire

Anyone with interests in the lost or deserted village sites of the county may like to look at Tom Smith’s website which includes up-to-date references on the location of many sites in the county. Interest in the subject really began only in the 1960s, although the Thoroton Society’s long-serving secretary Mr John Holland Walker was responsible for persuading Nottingham City Council to commemorate the name of one lost village, Sutton Passeys, in a street name in Wollaton. Subsequently our Transactions have carried a number of articles on particular lost villages, including Sutton Passeys (vol 80), Thorpe in the Glebe (vol. 85) and Keighton (last year).
John Beckett

The British Great House: articles by Peter Smith

Members have been pleased to be made aware of the articles on Nottinghamshire Houses in the Georgian Group Journal, and might appreciate knowing about more papers by Peter Smith, originally given to conferences on the British Great House at Oxford University, Department of Continuing Education and later published by Rewley House Oxford (ed. Malcolm Airs). They deserve to be more widely known, although some libraries do have copies. Of particular interest are: ‘The Architecture of Nuthall Temple’ in The Later 18th Century Great House, 1997; ‘Wollaton Hall: comfort and security’ in The Regency Great House, 1998; ‘Welbeck Abbey and the 5th Duke of Portland, Eccentricity and Philanthropy’ in The Victorian Great House, 2000; ‘Welbeck Abbey and the 6th Duke of Portland’ in The Edwardian Great House, 2001; ‘The Survival of the Fittest, Welbeck Abbey and the Great Houses of Nottinghamshire in the Twentieth Century’ in The Twentieth Century Great House,  2002.             
Neville Hoskins