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School pupils brush up on local history with archaeology visit in Newark

School pupils brush up on local history with archaeology visit in Newark

Children from Chuter Ede Primary School have been given a glimpse into the rich history of Fernwood in Newark after archaeologists hosted an exclusive visit at a new Barratt Homes development.

A team from Oxford Archaeology have spent the last 10 weeks excavating in advance of construction of the development east of Newark. During those works, remains of an Iron Age farmstead with associated fields and enclosures have been recorded, together with a windmill likely to have been documented in the Domesday Book.

Barratt Homes arranged for the local school to be given a special visit to the site on the final day of excavation to fit in with their studies of the Romans, finding evidence of activities relating to those periods.

Simon Mortimer of CgMs Heritage, Archaeological Consultant for Barratt Homes, said:

“It is fantastic to be able to provide pupils, who may well become the next generation of archaeologists, the opportunity to see sites such as this and so close to their school.

“The windmill in particular is a site where through further documentary research we can learn a lot about Medieval agricultural practice and technology. None of it would have been possible without the funding and encouragement from Barratt Homes.”

Katherine Jones, Year 4 Teacher at Chuter Ede Primary School, said:

“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.”

Oxford Archaeology will now wash and mark all of the sherds of pottery and bone recovered from the site, which will then be sent for specialist analysis.

Off-site works are expected to take approximately 12-18 months, but an illustrated report will be subsequently be prepared and made available to the public.

Trevor Rockley, Technical Director at Barratt Homes North Midlands, said:

“We are always looking for ways to build legacies with the communities where we develop. I am quite sure that some of the children who visited site will remember this experience for years.

“It is remarkable to think that we are simply the latest in the line of people who have established a community on this site – stretching back to the Iron Age. Nobody knew that these remains existed before we purchased the site and it is great to think that we have developed the local historical understanding.”

More information about Barratt Homes’ upcoming Fernwood development will be released in due course with the launch of the site later in the year.

For further information on any developments near you, please call the sales team on 033 3355 8472 or visit

Caption: Ed Tolley and a school pupil holding a piece of Iron Age pottery discovered onsite

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