Firstly, our 7th meeting of May 13th had an attendance of over 40 who witnessed a presentation on the discoveries found in Phase 1 last November. These included 6 anomalies which may represent original burials in and around the church and reinterment sites, plus notification of a 7th anomaly on land belonging to the Welbeck Estates Company Limited.
The 6 anomalies included what may be a large pit in the central eastern section of St. Mary’s, Cuckney – not far from where suggested.
The focus now is on securing invasive (digging) Permissions from the Parochial Church Council (P.C.C.) and the Diocese of Southwell, plus extending the timeline of our existing invasive permission with Welbeck Estates.
On the 27th May, Andy Gaunt (from Mercian) & I met with a representative of Welbeck Estates & just yesterday I sent a letter formally requesting an extension to our current permission timeline to examine parts of their land (abutting St. Mary’s).
Having already had a recent 3 hour meeting with the Rev. Simon Cash (Priest In charge at St. Mary’s) we’re also close to arranging a date for an informal meeting with the 2 Archaeological advisors to the Diocese of Southwell.
We need to create a compelling argument for future HLF funding and we believe that securing permissions is 1 vital component.
As part of this however, we are now approaching a requirement to “firm up” any new proposals from the many options that may be available. This includes the parcelling of potential invasive work into multiple options in order that we don’t just put our faith in 1 archaeological proposal that could perhaps be rejected due to the inadmissibility of a small component.
We also need to decide which other subjects we might like to include in another “umbrella of events”. This may continue to include Cuckney Castle and ought to involve at least 1 other subject (in much the same way that Bob Needham’s Photo Collection was part of our portfolio in Phase 1).
What is that other subject ?
For example, is it something pertaining to St. Mary’s church – do Welbeck Estates have information that they might let us utilise (this question has already been asked) ?
Certainly, the history of Edwinstowe, its church and St. Edwin’s Chapel / Chantry should not be dismissed and I am starting to research this (beginning with a lovely small book (c. 35 pages) called, “The Story of Edwinstowe and its Parish Church” by the Rev. H. Pickles originally published in 1961 which I purchased via Amazon recently).
All of this will greatly help determine the cost component of the next bid.
To help us to decide such matters we urgently need to seek the advice and support of the HLF (including Tim Allen of Historic England) and the County Archaeologist, Ursilla Spence. This will be arranged shortly.
A cross fertilisation of ideas is often a compelling way of moving forward.
Keep in touch with your ideas also !