Kelham in the Civil War

 

The Kelham in the Civil War project began in September 2014 and has seen group members trained in research methods and supported in undertaking new studies.

We have explored documentary and map sources, visited Manuscripts Departments and Local Studies and undertaken field visits to local sites linked to the Civil War. These have included churches at Kelham and Hawton, the ‘Standard’ at Hickling and the local garrison town of Newark.

We are currently working on collating our research and trying to answer specific questions about the role that Kelham played in the Civil War, as well as an attempt to identify the location, size and structure of the Scottish Camp, ‘Edinburgh’. These two strands are our principle research aims.

 

Background to our work

Kelham, a small village on the River Trent, is about a mile outside of Newark, and played an integral role in the Civil War in the mid-1600s.

As many will be aware, the new National Civil War Centre has recently opened in Newark, and they will be conducting an archaeology project alongside the University of Sheffield. This aims to identify and map earthwork defences in the region, both still upstanding and those that are now ‘lost’ above ground.

 

17th century defences map of the Newark area

 

Our project sits alongside this research, and is supported by the Civil War Centre, and aims to discover more about Kelham’s role. We will be conducting further archival research via maps, plans and documentary evidence, non-obtrusive surveys including aerial photos, landscape surveys and geophysics, plus a test-pit campaign digging in people’s gardens.

The project runs on Tuesdays at the Fox Inn at Kelham, usually 10am – 12 noon but sometimes full days if we are out on fieldwork.

 

©The Friends of Newark & Sherwood Museum Service

 

Next Steps

The second phase of our project (which started in the of Autumn 2015) will see us conduct a landscape survey of the village (including examining the possible location of the original, Medieval village) and begin to look at old maps and original documents as we try to compile a documentary account of the village in the Civil War period.

We will also be exploring earthwork features through LIDAR and geophysical surveys, and hope to plan and record the ones that relate to Kelham.

We have now obtained LIDAR imagery of the region and have analysed this for the area between Kelham and the Newark Rugby ground, specifically in search of Camp Edinburgh (the focus for much of our work) but also to identify other features and potential targets.

We are attempting to link the features visible on the LIDAR imagery to those detailed on Clampe’s 17th century map of the Civil War defences.

We have also recently been awarded a Geoffrey Bond Research Award grant to conduct a geophysical and earthwork survey of a feature abutting Kelham Bridge (on the Newark side of the river) and write this up for publication in the Transactions of the Thoroton Society.

Phase Three (2016) will then see us conduct some new fieldwork, including fieldwalking, further geophysics, and test-pitting in the village of Kelham. We are currently seeking a small funding pot for a feasibility study in terms of test pits, to identify the potential for a wider excavation campaign, to be undertaken in the summer of 2016.

If you are new to archaeology or to local history research, don’t worry! The project is aimed at beginners and training and support will be provided. Plus, the group are a friendly bunch!

 

 

For more information, or to sign up to the project, email matt@mbarchaeology.co.uk

 

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