Priories Historical Society was formed in June 2000 with the intention of bringing a wide variety of talks to the public. We are predominantly interested in the history and archaeology of the local area which covers Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire although we do have talks on interesting topics from further afield such as Sutton Hoo, the Staffordshire Hoard and Native Americans. The group initially did some metal detecting work but as land was hard to come by decided to concentrate on history talks and visits such as Carlton-in-Lindrick Church and the Leeds Armouries.
Proof that history happens when you’re least expecting it is that the first two locations where the society met are no longer in existence. Our first venue – Langold Hotel closed several years ago and was demolished in 2009. The society moved to the Grade I listed Worksop Manor Lodge in 2001 which at that point was a public house with hotel facilities. After the pub closed the lodge moved into private ownership in 2002. This was severely damaged by fire in June 2007, its current status is still unrestored and on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register. Fortunately we managed to get a lot of interior photographs of the building so the details of its later state and construction are still available for future generations. After this we moved to several locations before finally moving to Oldcotes Village Hall where we have settled for the last few years.
The society was involved in Worksop’s biggest excavation in recent history at Raymoth Lane with Pre-Construct Archaeology and Nottinghamshire County Councils Archaeology Department. A large Romano-British farm enclosure was discovered and assessed before being enveloped by a modern housing estate. The week long dig in 2004 unearthed human and animal skeletons, pottery and remains of structures as well as an impressive ditch which enclosed the site. Some of these are viewable in the Bassetlaw Museum in Retford.
The group has held several major lectures over the years and the most recent was by Dr. Kevin Leahy on the Staffordshire Hoard. This event filled the hall and it is one of the society’s aims to get large meetings like this as regular events. Previous talks over the years have included Sutton Hoo, Worksop Manor Lodge, Lincoln Cathedral and the Wars of the Roses.
In 2010 the society launched its own quarterly magazine, blog
photographic page. All contributions to the magazine are welcome, we are interested in publishing any historical articles and these can either be short texts or long articles. These must however comply with copyright laws and not have racist/sexist views or be in anyway condescending.
During 2011 the society hoped to extend its membership even further as well as expanding itself out of meetings in the Village Hall. During April we started our first solo fieldwork project near Maltby, South Yorkshire and held two events for the CBA Festival of British Archaeology during July (at Worksop Library and Throapham Church). The website was created with BT's Community Website Builder and will be used to promote the societies activities. A Twitter account @PrioriesHistSoc was also created to announce important information about the groups meetings and anything else we think is important. During the latter half of the year the Society's Publicity Officer, David Cook, started writing articles for Worksop Life magazine to promote north Nottinghamshire's long and proud history.
Like most societies 2012 was not a good year for us, diminishing turnout at Oldcotes throughout the year forced us to move to a more central location and so from January 2013 meetingsweren held at the BCVS Old Abbey School next to Worksop Priory before we moved agian to the Innings on Gloucester Road as our permanent home.