11th June 2019:

OA South recently hosted pupils from Chuter Ede Primary School on a visit to an archaeological site next to their school in Fernwood, Nottinghamshire.

A team from OA’s Oxford office spent 10 weeks excavating in advance of construction of a new Barratt Homes development east of Newark. During those works, remains of an Iron Age farmstead with associated fields and enclosures have been revealed, together with a windmill likely to have been documented in the Domesday Book.

Year 4 at Chuter Ede Primary School have been studying later prehistory this term and the class of 30 children were offered an opportunity to visit the site within view of their school on the final day of excavation. The visit was hosted by OA South site staff and OA's Community Archaeology Manager, along with representatives of CgMs Heritage, the archaeological consultant for Barratt Homes.

The pupils had already learned about how roundhouses were built during their lessons on the Iron Age earlier in the term but were surprised to see how little evidence remains in the ground for archaeologists to find. When viewing the windmill remains, many of the children were familiar with modern wind turbines generating electricity but did not realise that wind power was commonly used in the past to grind grain.

The Year 4 teacher at Chuter Ede Primary School, Katherine Jones, said after the visit: “The children had a fantastic time getting to experience history hands on and to see examples of what we have been learning about. It was an amazing experience, and we are very grateful to Barratt Homes for giving us the chance to visit the site so close to our school.”

OA South is now washing and marking the pottery and bone recovered from the site, ready to be sent for specialist analysis. A report on the findings is expected to take approximately 12-18 months and will be available to the public via OA's online library.