Phase 2 – Recent Progress ….

Phase 2 – Recent Progress ….

Dear All,

We’d like to say sorry that there hasn’t been a post since late September but a lot has occurred in the interim that will hopefully hearten you !

A Summary of Events Since September

Firstly, we have now have verbal sampling permissions from the Welbeck Estates Company Ltd. re. their land abutting St. Mary’s Church, Cuckney which may be great news for the location of Cuckney Castle.

Secondly, the Community has now decided (via our 8th meeting of 14th October) which features to request for sampling.

Thirdly, on this basis, we have now put together a 20 page proposal document and are about to send it to the P.C.C. (Parochial Church Council) to see if they will agree to support it by sending a “Petition for Faculty” to the Diocese of Southwell.

Timings will depend on how quickly the P.C.C. meet. Then there would be a further month set aside for potential objections prior to a, “Petition for Faculty”.

Our 8th Meeting – 14th October … Our Aims – Getting Community Support and Reducing / helping Define Our Options

The aim of Community choice (re. Subjects and Sampling options) that are covered (most possibly relating to the Battle of Hatfield), is to prove that we have Community support to the Diocese (re. permissions) and to the Heritage Lottery Fund (“H.L.F.).

Prior to the 14th October meeting, we delivered about 200 meeting leaflets to the 3 villages apprising people as to the choices available (with voting forms) and also notified our email distribution list about the meeting subjects.

We also mimicked the information presented to the meeting via an on line survey utilising SURVEYMONKEY. (with photos to explain the options).

This was to allow as many Community members as possible to take part.

Our 8th meeting (and A.G.M.) of 14th October was attended by 56 people (our best ever).

We delivered a Powerpoint presentation on our recommended subjects and sampling options :

Those at the meeting were also given a hardcopy voting form.


Voting Results

Voting Concluded on 6th November 2016

• About 80 Community (Adult) members voted almost unanimously to adopt our 3 subject recommendations plus our 5 sampling recommendations and the Preference order.

• The Meden School (11+ years) have also indicated that c. 100 pupils would love to take part again (having already participated in Phase 1 in November 2015).

• Cuckney School (up to 11 years) have been contacted via Governor David Alvey & we await a response

• Other Volunteer Adults – currently 45 persons have already indicated a willingness to take part via the MERCIAN (archaeology company) website

3 Main Topics Were Recommended by BOHIS / MERCIAN and Adopted By the Community

• 1/ Dating skeletal remains from St. Mary’s that may relate to the Battle of Hatfield

• 2/ Finding Cuckney Castle

• 3/ Norton Camp (with Carburton Camp)

5 Sampling Options at St. Mary’s were Recommended – Now Adopted By the Community

• Preference 1 – External Feature 1 = NE Modern Graveyard Large Reinterment feature

• Preference 2 – External Feature 2 = Immediately external to Nave – Non Reinterments

• Preference 3 – External Feature 5 = in Line with West Tower nr. Northern Boundary – Reinterments (small depression)

• Preference 4 – External Feature 4 = Extreme NE of Old Graveyard – Reinterments

• Preference 5 – External Feature 7 = Reinterments Just West of Tower (small depression)

1 Sampling Options NON St. Mary’s was Recommended – Now Adopted By the Community

• Preference 6 – External Feature 10 = Non Church Land – One other area – (Cuckney castle related ?)

TOWARDS Another FACULTY AWARD by the Diocese of Southwell


At a meeting at St. Mary’s on the 25th July, the Diocesan archaeologists were asked whether they would recommend repudiation by the Diocese of our Faculty bid (via the P.C.C.) on the basis of not agreeing with ANY part of it.

They indicated a more flexible approach that would enable BOHIS to amend any initial bid and for them to then be able to recommend a Faculty issue to the Diocese of Southwell.

As per the extract from minutes of the meeting of 25th July (below) :

“In conclusion, the Diocesan advisors pointed out that they would look at any proposals and that if any element was not satisfactory that this would not mean an outright rejection of the bid.

They would ask us to moderate or reject that issue. If there was a rejection of an approach via the P.C.C., then another proposal could proceed a month later.”

We have not yet obtained any costings because each feature sampling possibility will involve time and effort and we therefore wish to define those elements that we would like to proceed upon.

The 1st stage of this was to reduce the (possible battle) related options to 5.

We have feature preferences but what we ultimately request for sampling will be from our universe of 5 feature possibilities decided by our vote.

Therefore we have narrowed our options and if the P.C.C. / Diocese further define those by allowing 2 of those 5 features to be sampled then that will represent the point when we formally ask for costings from any companies concerned.



A Flexible Approach

With flexibility in mind, we have bundled 3 of our 5 preferences into 2 (mutually exclusive) Requests which involve Preferences 1 to 3 but we have also included the 2 other preferences in reserve.

Hence we would prefer to undertake Request 1, but if this is not possible would then opt for Request 2.

If neither Request is possible then we would consider substituting in 1or both of the other 2 preferences.



Where PREFERENCE 1 = (External Feature 1) – NE Modern Graveyard Large Reinterment feature

Where PREFERENCE 2 = (External Feature 2) – Immediately external to Nave – Non Reinterments



Where PREFERENCE 1 = (External Feature 1) – NE Modern Graveyard Large Reinterment feature

Where PREFERENCE 3 = (External Feature 5) – in Line with West Tower nr. Northern Boundary Reinterments (small depression).



PREFERENCE 4 (External Feature 4) – Extreme NE of Old Graveyard Reinterments

PREFERENCE 5 (External Feature 7) – Reinterment Feature Just West of Tower (small depression)




We are acutely aware that we must utilise the winter months in the most effective way possible to allow work to commence in the more viable weather months of 2017.

However, a 2nd major component (not discussed above) will be our re-engagement with the Heritage Lottery Fund (“H.L.F.”).

We will engage with them before Christmas and seek to gain an audience in very early in 2017 re. funding.

Ultimately the H.L.F. will NOT award funding if :

a/ It is not Community driven (we think we can already prove it is via our voting process & results)

b/ The subjects are too archaeologically biased (we have educational elements planned which will reduce that bias)

c/ We do not have permission to carry out our proposals (we have Welbeck Estates permission and now seek the final permission from the Diocese)

d/ We cannot properly cost our proposals. A large part of that will be in settling which preferences are allowed at St. Mary’s by the Diocese. Costing all 5 Church related preferences is not a route we can realistically take.


Hence we believe we are operating in a logical manner but would beg for your understanding as this is a complicated process involving many parties and that the 2 people doing all of the work at BOHIS both have full time jobs as well !!

Finally, one of those 2 (Jennie Johnson, our new Vice Chair) deserves great credit for spending about 100 hours (so far !) researching a story provided by Alex Brewster last November. This concerned the reporting of findings of Saxon artefacts at St. Mary’s (anywhere between 1960 and 1964 was suggested).

I will put a separate post on about this very shortly as we could really use your help in this regard.



Regards and Happy Christmas,

Paul Jameson



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