Saturday, 17 December 2011

Viking Thing Site Research Project in Sherwood Forest Looks for Volunteers

Finding The Vikings of Sherwood Forest

The Friends of Thynghowe have just been awarded £49,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

This money will fund a two year project 'Thynghowe – and the forgotten heritage of Sherwood', in the Birklands area of Sherwood Forest.

The project starts with a Lidar survey in January (Lidar is an optical remote sensing technology, a type of aerial photography). To investigate further the results of the Lidar survey the project team will recruit local people to join in the research activities. These activities will include volunteers going into the forest and 'ground truthing' – a form of surveying that uses the Lidar results to see what is actually on the ground. The project will also train people to use the Nottingham Archive and other sources to research and record their findings and discover their local heritage. It is hoped volunteers will include young people and people who may not have done anything like this before. The project will have a public launch and display at the beginning of March at Mansfield Museum.

The Friends of Thynghowe group was formed seven years ago from members of the three local history groups of Edwinstowe, Clipstone/Kings Clipstone, and Warsop after Stuart Reddish and Lynda Mallett rediscovered a Viking Assembly site called a Thyng or Thing deep in Sherwood Forest. During the last seven years the group have worked hard to research the area and to bring it to national and international attention.

Lynda Mallett one of the project managers said “We aim to include people who would not normally participate in these sort of activities for all sorts of reasons. We have funding to pay for transport where required, and even carer support for those who have elderly parents or children. One of our partners is Greenwood Community Forest and Gill Grievson their Greenwood & Conservation Projects Officer is very experienced in recruiting people particularly young people who need encouragement to participate”.

Emma Sayer, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said “We at HLF are delighted to be able to offer our support to the Friends of Thyghowe. This is a fascinating site, this project has the potential to open up our understanding of the history of Sherwood Forest. By giving volunteers from across the community the opportunity to get involved in researching and interpreting the results of the survey, more people will have the chance to learn about and explore the heritage of their local area. We look forward to sharing in their discoveries as the project progresses.”

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Thynghowe Nottinghamshire Topographical Survey Report

Friends of Thynghowe: Here is our full survey report which has just been published. We are now working to obtain more funding to investigate what appears to be a possible court circle to the side of the 'law rock'. The adjoining area is called Budby South Forest and I am now researching the Icelandic Norse as to Bud (booth) and By (Farm) being a possible indication of a Thing settlement.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Things Viking: Ship Yard Found on Scottish Island

Friday, May 6, 2011 News

Investigations by marine archaeologists at Loch na h-Airde on Skye’s Rubh an Dunain peninsula by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) have uncovered the remains of a possible medieval shipyard, including boat timbers dating from the 1100s, a stone-built quay, a man-made entrance canal, and a blockage system designed to keep a constant water level in the Loch.
It is now believed that the site has been a focus for maritime activity for many centuries, from the Vikings to the MacAskill and Macleod clans of Skye. The loch and canal would likely have been used for the secure wintering of boats, along with their construction and maintenance.

Loch na h-Airde. Image: Mac ind Óg, Flickr
Loch na h-Airde. Image: Mac ind Óg, Flickr

Colin Martin, a marine archaeologist specialising in ship wrecks who is investigating Loch na h-Airde said, “This site has enormous potential to tell us about how boats were built, serviced and sailed on Scotland’s western seaboard in the medieval period – and perhaps during the early historic and prehistoric eras as well. There is no other site quite like this in Scotland.”

RCAHMS aerial survey team have been assisting in the investigation with reconnaissance flights photographing the loch and the surrounding area. As well as providing a context for the site in the landscape – helping to explain where and how 12th century mariners lived and worked – the imagery will also be used at high resolution by ground surveyors to identify possible dive sites for ships and other remains.
We are now so used to thinking about travelling round Scotland by roads, that it is difficult to visualise how our ancestors might have used the sea as a highway
RCAHMS aerial survey manager Dave Cowley said, “We are now so used to thinking about travelling round Scotland by roads, that it is difficult to visualise how our ancestors might have used the sea as a highway, connecting communities across these maritime landscapes. The aerial perspective gives us an excellent sense of this, showing the inter-relations of land and sea, and helping us to understand how people may have travelled, traded – and fought – on the waters around Scotland’s western isles.”
The ongoing aim of the investigation is to build up the most accurate possible picture of the site’s historical significance to Scotland’s western seaboard, allowing landowners and other  heritage bodies to map out a plan for its future conservation and preservation. 
Canmore mapping (sites of Scotland on interactive searchable mapping)


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Norse Heritage: Shetlands

"I was told Old Scatness was the best. So I packed a tent and a rucksack, took a coach and an overnight ferry to Shetland. I had not been able to get a hold of them on the phone. I arrived and stated my intention to volunteer. Thankfully, as I was standing in the road with a bag, they felt they couldn’t send me home" READ ON.

Old Scatness Excavation Manual: A Case Study in Archaeological Recording

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Hyllestad Norway Kvernsteins Millstone Park


Kvernsteins Millstone Park

The production of millstones in Hyllestad started over 1,000 years ago and used to be a major industry employing up to 1,000 people. Millstones were exported to Denmark, the Baltic Sea region, and across Norway. Many of the stone crosses to be seen along the coast are made from millstones from Hyllestad, including the crosses in Eivindvik and Korssund. The park offers nature trails that visualize the history of the industry, with debris, broken product, and half-carved stones still not separated from the rock surface. At the stonemason camp there is a guided tour of the historic stone quarry in the mill stone park and a visit to Åfjordstein where you can see how mill stones are used in a modern, new design.

Demonstrations are given by the young people of the district attending the local school.
The spend one afternoon a week for a whole year learning old and ancient skills to show visitors how life was once lived in this area.
These young people are wonderful, confident and inspiring and extremely good at the skills they have learnt. The adults learned a lot from them!
Click here to visit the website

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Viking Woman : Dundee academics reconstruct Viking woman's face

Academics at Dundee University have helped recreate the face of a Viking woman whose skeleton was unearthed in York more than 30 years ago.
The facial reconstruction was achieved by laser-scanning her skull to create a 3D digital model.
Eyes were then digitally created, along with hair and a bonnet, to complete the look.
The project was part of a £150,000 investment at York's Jorvik Viking Centre.
Viking Womans face reconstructed full story here

Jorvik Viking Centre: Official Guide
Jorvik: The Viking Kings

Sunday, 17 April 2011


A thing (Old Norse, Old English and Icelandic: þing; other modern Scandinavian languages: ting) was the governing assembly in Germanic and introduced into some Celtic societies, made up of the free people of the community and presided by lawspeakers, meeting in a place called a thingstead. Today, the term lives on in the official names of national legislatures and political and judicial institutions in the Nordic countries, in the Manx form tyn, as a term for the three legislative bodies on the Isle of Man, and in the English term husting.
In Anglo-Saxon England, a folkmoot or folkmote (Old English - "meeting of the people") was a governing general assembly consisting of all the free members of a tribe, community or district. It was the forerunner to the witenagemot, which was in turn in some respects the precursor of the modern Parliament.
The Slavic Veche similarly developed from a general assembly into a legislature, and by some theories might have been directly inspired by the Scandinavian institution brought to Rus by the Varangians.

Click here for a list of Thing sites on Mainland Britain