A Nottinghamshire farmer is building a Romano-British dwelling in his back garden in Calverton. Grahame Watson said he had started the project because he wanted to learn more from experimental archaeology.
The only known Ice Age cave art in Britain is to be revealed to the public for the first time. But the tours, to be held for just two weeks next month, will be the only chance to see the 12,000-year-old carvings at Creswell Crags (Nottinghamshire, England) for some years... continues...
In a part of the country which is thin on the ground in anything worth seeing,Oldox camp is a real gem.I went to find it on hearsay, without a map, and after a nice walk through some fields, it just appeared off to the right of the path.Very easy to find.There is an entrance directly facing the tumulus adjacent to the camp with some low but nicely pronounced ditches and earthworks.The walls get higher as you go further round the camp, and as you reach the entrance at the back, they are really impressive and built on quite a steep slope.It's not too overgrown with trees either.There is a small straight ridge running from the camp to the direction of the village of Oxton; it's only a few metres long, but I'd be interested to know if it's part of the camp or some later agricultural addition.The view from the top of the earthwork is something else.I've read that there were other settlements close to Oldox but I don't know where they were, and I don't think they exist anymore.There is a sunken lane running from the village towards the camp.Pretty and fascinating site.
I found a prehistoric guide book written in 1960 which says," This hill-fort is roughly triangular and encloses 1.5 acres. Outside the NW entrance there is a barrow over 90ft across...Roman coins in a pot and a Saxon burial have been found here, but the mound is either a barrow of c. 1,700-1,400 BC or a natural hillock". Nicholas Thomas 'Guide to Prehistoric England' 1976
In addition to a nice photo, Dr Millington's article mentions something that's suggested in the Victoria County History - about various other holed stones being useful to pass your ill children through to perk them up. But maybe he's got a lead - a local lane is called Ricket Lane... so maybe the hole was used to cure rickets? You never know.
At Blidworth in a hollow to the west of the village are some masses of Bunter conglomerate, which stand out above the level of the fields. They remind us of the Hemlock Stone, and like it, are connected by tradition with the pre-Roman past, under the name of Druid Stones. The largest of them rests upon a knob of rock which juts a little above the soil; it has been hollowed from the western side for a distance of about six feet into the interior of the mass. The hollow is pierced through the back in such a way that, it is said, the aperture exactly faces the sun on the morning of Midsummer Day. Thus we are again pointed, as in the Beltane usage on Stapleford Hill*, to rites in which reverence for the sun played a leading part.
*ie the location of the Hemlock Stone.
From 'The Victoria History of the County of Nottingham' v1 (1906), edited by William Page.
The Hemlock Stone features in D H Lawrence's 'Sons and Lovers':
They came to the Hemlock Stone at dinner-time. Its field was crowded with folk from Nottingham and Ilkeston. They had expected a venerable and dignified monument. They found a little, gnarled, twisted stump of rock, something like a decayed mushroom, standing out pathetically on the side of a field. Leonard and Dick immediately proceeded to carve their initials, "L.W." and "R.P.", in the old red sandstone; but Paul desisted, because he had read in the newspaper satirical remarks about initial-carvers, who could find no other road to immortality. Then all the lads climbed to the top of the rock to look around.
I live close by so i thought i might take a walk and have a look.The easiest an safest way to get here without running foul of the landowner is to walk down to the lakes off southwell road and take the footpath from the lakes to the A617.The path runs parallel to where you want to be..it means a quick dash from the path across the field to the site...if its been raining the clay soil will devour you!!..
The site is really overgrown and is a struggle to walk through..Wear boots!.
Couldnt really make out anything nor spot any visual evidence of a settlement.(Evidence of gamekeeping in the past is littered about, old cages, traps and LOTS of used cartridges!!).
The undergrowth hides the ground heavily though...
"The top of Beacon Hill is the finest view-point in the county. The outlook embraces Lincoln Cliff, the Carr lands as far as the Ouse, and the country west of the Magnesian Limestone escarpment. Here are earthworks believed to date back to Roman or British times. Prince Rupert encamped here before going to the relief of Newark in 1644." http://www.nottshistory.org.uk/swinnerton1910/chapter26.htm
from 'Nottinghamshire' - HH Swinnerton (1910)
The spectacular view out may have looked rather different in the past when the lower lands were undrained - and from down there, the elevated beacon looked even more impressive?
"We were travelling From Misterton to Gringley (Notts). Just before the last corner leading up to Beacon Hill, in the headlights we saw a white figure about 3ft into the road. It was that of a young lady, beckoning us to come towards her with her left hand. My father slowed down. As he did she was smiling.
"At this point we noted that her flowing white gown was somewhat 8 to 10 inches from the floor with no feet visible. As my father accelerated past she retreated (floated) backwards at an angle in front of us with an angry scowling face, through a closed iron farm gate and quickened pace until almost a blur, across the field until she vanished into the hillside. Lengthy discussions followed on the way home with my father refusing to believe what he had seen.
"Over the past years since then, both my mother and father have seen the same apparition twice, years apart, but around the same autumn period in the same place. Discussions have ensued after each occurrence, my father now reservedly admits he has seen something; my mother, well, she would not mind seeing her again.
"Some years after our experience, a bus crashed at that same spot, he was coming down the hill and said he had swerved to miss a 'woman in white'. No one else was found around the crash."
I can see this site from where I currently work and live, strange though how for months this hillside has taken my attentions so much!. I've stood and watched the sunrise over this place from where I work now many times.
This place is easy to find, turn left of the A6097 onto Greaves Lane, youll see the footpath sign on the right hand side, several hundred yards up the lane, park on the side and you just follow the trackway turning righ as you come to the woods, its easy from there!
First impressions... you can see for miles from here! What a vantage point!! To the west(ish) you can see what is supposedly known as Robin Hoods Pot, and down over to the southeast(ish) you can make out embankments and a ditch system which I would have interpreted as once being a small community under the shadow of this hillfort. Spend time here and it all comes together.
Visions came to me as I stood here, I saw a curved trackway coming from the northwest side of the embankment making its way up to the mound called the 'Pot' and more in the surrounding landscape.
Didn't enjoy standing on Robins Pot though, supposedly a burial mound, the feelings I picked up there ushered me along quickly!
Wonderful enviroment though, somewhere to breathe deeply and lose yourself and find yourself!!.. ;)