Writing our History:Digging our Past
Connected Communities

Revolutionising our understanding

Our multi-period and interdisciplinary fieldwork project is investigating the historic minster town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire in its wider landscape setting. It is combining a range of desk-based and archaeological survey techniques (e.g. test-pitting, geophysics, fieldwalking, environmental and standing buildings recording) to examine how the area developed from the Roman period to the present day.

SACG archaeological finds analysis July 2012

Southwell Archaeology

Members of the local community have allowed us to dig 1m x 1m test pits in their gardens.

Archeological aspects of Southwell

The modern town is underlain by an important, but enigmatic, Roman settlement. Significant Roman remains of a high-status building, possibly a villa, were discovered when the Minster School was constructed in 1959-1960. However, we know astonishingly little about the nature of the Southwell’s Roman settlement, its extent or how it developed into the beautiful town we know today.  

One particularly interesting aspect of the town's history is how it developed through the Roman-medieval transition. There is evidence of a large Anglo-Saxon cemetery, perhaps relating to a religious establishment that preceded the foundation of the Norman Minster but, currently, the location of any associated Anglo-Saxon settlement is uncertain.  

Today, the Minster dominates the town but there are many other equally important historic buildings in the centre and beyond, such as The Southwell Workhouse.

Test pits

Members of the local community have allowed us to dig 1m x 1m test pits in their gardens, and local volunteers and the Southwell Community Archaeology Group have been active participants.


Writing our History: Digging our Past

For more information and how to get involved in our project please see:


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