Recreating the Shepherd's Race - a medieval turf maze
Based on an ancient drawing, NGI helps set out the shape of a modern rendition of an ancient maze, on grassland close to its original site, in St Anns, Nottingham .
The idea to recreate the maze originated with Mo Cooper, of St Anns Allotments. The aim is to preserve the maze and its history, adding historical importance and pride of ownership to the local community.
Until now, the only reference to its existence in Nottingham, is a garage located on the Wells Road called the Shepherd’s Race. But, if that garage disappeared there would be nothing left to hint at the existence of an ancient maze in the area.
Recreating the maze
An ancient maze has been recreated in the St Anns area of Nottingham. Strictly though, this is a labyrinth, not designed in the modern sense as a puzzle with dead ends, but rather as a continuous convoluted route, for meditation as well as enjoyment, being popular at country fairs.
The image of a labyrinth ca.550AD, with the proposed
modern rendition overlaid [Image credit The Paul Nix Collection]
NGI's Lukasz Bonenberg volunteered to help recreate the maze, work which involved the creation of a digital model based on a surviving drawing, above; scaling and adjustment of this design to fit into the space currently available; and supervising the setting out process as carried out by volunteers unfamiliar with total station technology.
Total station in action setting out the new maze
The completed maze, with two less bastions than planned,
owing to space constraints [Image credit Mo Cooper]
View the Nottingham Hidden History Team's article for additional information