News for Winter 2019

Boreholes at Burton Lodge, Burton Joyce, Nottinghamshire

Absolute dating evidence from the upstanding earthwork enclosure at Burton Lodge, Burton Joyce is currently lacking. A tentative Iron Age date has been suggested based on recovered stratified pottery from excavations conducted on the site in the 1950s. Absolute dating techniques, as well as environmental sampling methodologies, were not available at this time. Such procedures, it is hoped, may be able to provide age determinations as well as a depositional history for the ditch sequence at Burton Lodge.

Borehole drilling under way in the centre of the Burton Lodge ditch.

The aim of the investigation was to recover material from the ditch fills suitable for radiocarbon dating. The objective to meet this aim was to conduct a hand auger survey in order to assess the nature and extent of the deposits and recover sediment suitable for appropriate sampling. Initial attempts at a hand auger survey were unsuccessful following the inability to penetrate past the stiff mudstone-derived upper stiff clay fill of the ditch. It was therefore decided to hire a drilling rig in the form of a tracked windowless sampler which could drill boreholes and recover the complete intact sediment sequence for the ditch.

In total, four boreholes were sunk at the base of the ditch. Initially two boreholes were sunk to assess the width of the ditch. These were recorded on site and reinstated having hit the sandstone (skerry) lined sides of the ditch at depths of 1.60-1.70m below ground level which impeded further progress. This did provide an indication as to how significantly the ditch narrowed towards the base. The further two boreholes were sunk centrally with the aim being to recover the maximum extent of the ditch fills. These two complete sets of cores were retained, having been drilled to a maximum depth of 3.00m below ground level, before encountering the base of the ditch represented by the mudstone bedrock.

At present, only one of the borehole cores has been extruded, recorded and examined. The examined borehole core does not appear to match the descriptions of the profiled encountered in the 1950s excavations. No organic deposits or layers were observed with the fill comprising a seemingly homogenous stiff red brown mudstone derived clay. No further diagnostic evidence was retrieved from this core. The second core remains sealed at present.

Further work is required on the recovered intact sequences from Burton Lodge. It is hoped that additional external funding may be sought out and that micro morphological analysis could be undertaken to elucidate the depositional sequence. The material from both complete cores will be examined extensively for material which may be suitable for radiocarbon dating, for which further additional external funding will be sought. In addition, portions of the sealed core may be submitted for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating should no appropriate organic material be present for radiocarbon dating.

A report detailing the complete findings from both of the intact sediment cores is forthcoming and it is hoped, that following further work, that the full results could be published should the findings be successful.

Tom Keyworth, Geoffrey Bond


Reginald Spofforth was bom in Southwell in 1769, being baptised on 12th September. He was a musician; an organist, conductor and music teacher, but best remembered as a composer, notably for his glees. These include “Hail Smiling Morn”, said to be the most popular glee of its time, and “Hark! The Lark at Heaven's Gate Sings”. Southwell Choral Society sang “Hail” at a recent concert.

During his career Spofforth composed about 75 glees, three books of nursery rhyme settings and also hymns and many songs, including some for various stage performances at Covent Garden in the 1790s. He had moved to London at about that time but still remembered Southwell - a plaque in the Minster records his gift, by will, to support the poor of the town.

He died on 8th September 1827 - a memorial to him is on the walls of St Mary Abbots, Kensington.

Barbara Cast


A record number of applications for research awards were received this year, all most interesting projects. Three of the applicants were successful in being awarded amounts towards their research - these were:

•    Scott Lomax, who is undertaking a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. He requested support for the scientific investigation of horn cores recovered from clay and timber-lined pits or vats excavated at Goose Gate, Nottingham, in 1976. Three of these pits contained more than 100 horn cores, important evidence of industrial activity during the late medieval period - examples of these are to be investigated, including radio-carbon dating. Scott is the City Archaeologist and a member of Thoroton Council.

•    Victoria Owen, an archaeologist with Trent and Peak Archaeology, is undertaking bio-archaeological research at St Nicholas Church graveyard and documentary research on residents of this ancient part of Nottingham. Vicky was awarded a sum towards the documentary research.

•    Val Wood, who is leading research on nursing in Nottinghamshire; the sum awarded will support the project. Val, a former nurse and nurse educator, lectures extensively to academic institutions and local organisations, including to the Society most recently in January 2018 to mark the centenary of Representation of the People Act, and she will be known to many members from her involvement in the Nottingham Women’s History Group.

Barbara Cast


False alarm in Nottingham in December 1819, but troops billeted at Bromley House.

Following the so-called Peterloo Massacre of protesting citizens in Manchester on August 16th 1819, the members of the Borough of Nottingham passed a motion on September 24th deploring the violent dispersion of such persons. They did not agree with their sentiments and ‘we decidedly disapprove of the People assembling with Bands of Music, Flags and other Emblems’. But they declared that ‘the right of Englishmen publicly to assemble....was confirmed by the Bill of Rights, one of the best Securities of public and personal Liberty’. They intended to present an Address to the Prince Regent, imploring him to exhort the Authorities to act with firmness but fairness and ‘in particular that a Military force be not employed until the Civil Power shall have proved inadequate’.

Nevertheless, in December 1819, when distress, unease and possible rioting unsettled the Borough, troops were rapidly sent to occupy Bromley House which was empty at the time. On the 10th, four companies of the 52nd Regiment of Foot marched into town and on the 13th two other companies joined them in the House. Next day, several wagonloads of ammunition and stores were delivered to the premises. The military presence was again reinforced by the arrival in the town of the Holme and Watnall Yeomanry. (It is difficult to see where six companies of soldiers could have been accommodated in the House, although some must have slept in the garden).

Fortunately, nothing alarming happened to justify these arrangements and within three weeks the soldiers had withdrawn, leaving ‘somewhat damaged premises’. In addition to the rent to be paid for Bromley House, the Corporation had to pay for at least ‘15ft 6ins. of rail and turned pegs taken down and not replaced, three mahogany bannisters broke and gone from the best staircase and sundry holes in the plastering’. Apparently, the officers behaved better when using furniture etc. which had been provided specially for them at a cost of a little over £108. A short while after the occupation the contents were auctioned for £92. 5s. 4d. The crisis was over.

With thanks to Terry Fry for this piece

250 years ago

9th January 1769. The County Hall, being very dilapidated and insecure...the magistrates came to the resolution of rebuilding and enlarging it. A petition for an Act of Parliament to give them the necessary powers was consequently agreed upon and signed by the magistrates and freeholders present.

Nottingham Date Book

260 years ago

4th April 1759. Samuel Ward was hung for breaking into the house of Mr Liptrot, tallow-chandler and grocer, at the top of Byard Lane. This young man’s untimely end excited much commiseration: his connections were respectable, and many entertained the idea that he had not a felonious design in entering the house. It was generally understood that Mrs Liptrot died of a broken heart in consequence.

13th September 1759. Defeat of the French at Quebec, and the death of General Wolfe.

17th November 1759. The Duke of Newcastle, Recorder of Nottingham, presented an Address to the King, at St James’s, from the Mayor and Burgesses in “Common Council” assembled, in which they congratulate His Majesty on “The signal and glorious successes which have attended your Majesty’s arms both by sea and land in this auspicious year, particularly upon the defeat of the French army in Canada, and the taking of the City of Quebec”. His Majesty, it is said, “received the address very graciously”.

Nottingham Date Book

Banking in Nottingham

The bank of Messrs Smith and Co, South Parade, is the oldest in the town. It is believed to have originated in the year 1700’.

1759 saw the establishment of the banking firm, Messrs John and Ichabod Wright and Company, Carlton Street.

Messrs Moore and Robinson’s Banking Company was established in 1802, under the style or firm of Messrs Moore, Maltby, Evans and Middlemore. The partnership was dissolved in 1815, in consequence of the deaths of three of the partners. The bank then became known as that of Messrs Moore, Maltby and Robinson (Mr Moore being the son of the former banker). In 1836, the firm disposed of a certain portion of their interest in the business, and the bank became the joint concern of a numerous and highly respectable proprietary, under the name of Messrs Moore and Robinson’s Banking Company.

The Bank of Messrs Fellows, Mellor and Hart was established January 1st 1808 at the premises in Bridlesmith Gate.

Messrs Rawson, Inkersole, Rawson and Co instituted a bank in the same year (1808) at premises in The Poultry. This bank closed its operations in 1817.

The Northern and Central Bank of England, Manchester, opened a branch in Carlton Street in 1834. The directors, having had to encounter severe losses, wound the concern up in 1934.

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Banking Company commenced business in Pelham Street in April 1834.

The Nottingham Joint Stock Bank commenced in 1865, at the corner of Bridlesmith Gate and Low Pavement, and removed to new premises in Victoria Street in 1874.

Nottingham Date Book

[Does anyone know what happened to these banks? Possibly some may have ‘survived’ to the present day by incorporation into other, larger, banks]

John Wilson
Hon. Treasurer and Membership Secretary