Chairman’s Report 2020

This extraordinary year is drawing to a close and I want to share with you some of the group’s positive activities.

The ambitious investigation and excavation at Norwell Overhall drew to a close in the Spring, culminating in a very professional interim report by David Burton. Together with the examination and recording of the architectural stonework in the garden and recording of the main features of the house it was a group activity at its best which should continue with production of the final report.

At the same time more of the secrets of 4 Vicars Court were revealed with test pits excavations. It is hoped that next year will see the publication of a combined archaeological report on the Residence together with 2 & 4 Vicars Court.

Socially distanced post excavation work was introduced for a period followed by group assistance provided through our good friend Becks for post excavation washing of some glorious Roman material from an excavation in Bourne.

Members stepped to the mark in the summer by playing a much-valued role in the examination and recording of the Chapter House sub floor material. Meticulous examination was given to bag after bag of material and whilst archaeological finds were limited it gave a great opportunity for members to meet and chat in the fresh air.

From the late summer members have enjoyed a number of online presentations. Professor Julian Henderson – ‘Early Islamic Archaeology’ ;  Professor Philip Dixon ‘The Chapter House First and Last’ and more recently ‘Early Christian Buildings’; In addition we have been very fortunate to have had a number of talks by Notts CC staff including Tori Bedingfield and Emily Gillott Community Archaeologist on several occasions in respect of the Historic Environment Record and understanding the landscape; Jason Mordan Senior Conservation Officer ‘Industrial Buildings and their uses’ and finally his colleague Janine Buckley with a fascinating look at stables in Nottinghamshire.

Some of these talks were recorded and can be accessed via https://southwellarchaeology.org

The late summer also saw the start of our ambitious Landscape Project. With the use of a variety of online resources including maps, lidar images and other records the aim is to work through the landscape surrounding Southwell. The purpose is to identify archaeological features hitherto unrecorded. We are very appreciative of the support provided by Tori Bedingfield and Emily Gillott and our trustee Dr Chris Brooke.

As part of our efforts to keep you and the wider community informed of our activities, we have contributed to the Bramley Newspaper and Minster Leaves, Facebook, and Website posts and more recently a member’s newsletter.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleague trustees and the management committee members for their continued support and positive contributions for the future success of the group.

We look forward to a new year in which some semblance of normality will return. There is much to look forward to with an exciting project with Zoe Tomlinson investigating the wall plaster from the Villa Site, further test pit excavations, publication of the book telling the story of our investigation into the Saracens Head Elizabethan Wall Paintings and more beside.

On behalf of the trustees, I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful Christmas and a New Year to look forward to and embrace.

John R Lock

December 2020

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