Home About News Services We Dig the Castle Projects Staff Vacancies Community Contact
The Nottinghamshire Aggregates Resource Assessment
Trent & Peak Archaeology  Established 1967
About the Project The Nottinghamshire Aggregates Resource Assessment was undertaken jointly by staff of  Nottinghamshire County Council and Trent & Peak Archaeology between 2009 and 2012, and  culminated in the publication in May 2013 of a guidance booklet entitled Aggregates and  Archaeology in Nottinghamshire.   It is expected that this document, together with the archive report and the Geographical  Information System (GIS) that underpins it, will be consulted prior to the development of  archaeological schemes of treatment in the aggregates-producing areas of the County. A copy of  the published booklet in electronic pdf format is available here, while a hard copy may be  obtained free of charge from Christine Kyriacou at York Archaeological Trust  (ckyriacou@yorkat.co.uk). The 2012 archive report will also shortly be available in pdf format  from this website. The GIS may be consulted by application to the Nottinghamshire Historic  Environment Team, and should be consulted at the earliest opportunity to identify the potential  archaeological resource of proposed development areas. Background The project was conducted with funding from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, distributed by English Heritage on  behalf of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and from the national perspective forms part of  a package of Aggregates Resource Assessments that together provide a valuable resource for assessing the  archaeological potential of the aggregates-producing areas of England. We have liaised closely with colleagues working in  neighbouring areas of the Midlands with the aim of achieving compatible end products, and with this in mind have  employed the landform element methodology that was pioneered in the Till-Tweed catchment and extended subsequently  to Derbyshire and the Peak District. Efforts have been made to ensure compatibility with current national guidelines for  archaeological investigations in advance of mineral extraction. These are expounded in a suite of guidance booklets,  including Mineral Extraction and Archaeology: A Practice Guide. Readers are referred to the latter document for a valuable  summary of appropriate assessment, evaluation and mitigation techniques and to the Sustainable Aggregates website for  an up to date and concise summary of the planning background, good practice and other operational considerations.   The published booklet was written by David Knight and Ursilla Spence,  building upon Historic Environment Record data provided by Virginia  Baddeley and David Budge and a GIS developed by Andy Gaunt, and was  designed by Lesley Collett of York Archaeological Trust. It focuses upon  the assessment, evaluation and mitigation techniques that should be  employed during the development of archaeological schemes of  treatment in advance of aggregates extraction and the research  priorities that should inform these, and draws upon an archive report  incorporating detailed assessments by period of the archaeological  remains that have been recorded in the aggregates-producing areas of  Nottinghamshire. This information is presented in the archive report in  a tabular format for ease of reference, with details for each class of site  of appropriate assessment, evaluation and mitigation strategies.  Aims and Objectives The principal aims of the Aggregates Resource Assessment were to assess the archaeological resource of those parts of  Nottinghamshire that are potentially available for aggregates extraction, provide guidelines for assessment, evaluation  and mitigation in advance of mineral extraction and define the key priorities for research. Nottingham City, which  incorporates no areas that are likely to be targeted for aggregates extraction in the foreseeable future, was excluded  from consideration, although archaeological sites within the City boundary are shown in the maps that accompany the  archive report and published guidance document. The built environment resource was also excluded, although full  consideration was given to earthworks and other archaeological remains indicative of standing buildings, and it is hoped  that opportunities will arise in the future to integrate more effectively the archaeological and built environment heritage.  It is hoped that the published guidance document will provide a concise  and useful synthesis of the archaeological resource for the aggregates  industry, planners, curators, consultants, contracting units and other  historic environment stakeholders, facilitate decisions on strategic  planning, management and the preservation of archaeological remains  and historic landscapes, and increase general awareness of  Nottinghamshire's archaeological resource. For this purpose, we have  compiled tabular summaries of the archaeological evidence by period,  with the aim of creating a user-friendly resource that may be easily  updated as new discoveries emerge. These tables may be viewed in the  archive report, together with all of the distribution maps generated from  the project GIS, and in the published guidance document we include a  concise summary by period of the data contained in these tables and a  selection of the maps compiled during the project. The resource  assessment tables provide the springboard for tabular summaries of assessment, evaluation and mitigation techniques  that should be considered when developing archaeological schemes of investigation and a research agenda and strategy  for each archaeological period.   Attention is focused upon areas where British Geological Survey data indicate bedrock or  superficial deposits suitable for use as aggregates. This has restricted the survey to assessments  of the archaeological resource of the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group, the Permian Magnesian  Limestone escarpment and the Superficial Sands and Gravels (principally of the Trent and its  tributaries). Within these zones, we have focused upon areas beyond established settlements that  are potentially available for mineral exploitation. References to sites outside the aggregates-  producing areas have been made where appropriate, but a systematic survey of the archaeological  resource of Nottinghamshire beyond the areas potentially available for aggregates extraction has  not been attempted. The key objectives of the project underpinning this document were to: 1. Define the total aggregates resource of Nottinghamshire and identify, from data held by  Nottinghamshire County Council as the County Minerals Planning Authority, areas of past, present and potential  extraction. This embraces all sources of fine to coarse rock particles used in construction, which for the Nottinghamshire  minerals industry comprises sand, gravel and crushed limestone.  2. Define a series of Aggregate Character Areas by reference to variations in the character of the  superficial and bedrock deposits that may be utilised for aggregates production. These areas, of  Magnesian Limestone, Sherwood Sandstone and Superficial Sand and Gravel, form the  foundation of this resource assessment, and it is hoped will provide a clear framework for  decision-making by mineral planners, developers, heritage professionals and other stakeholders.  3. Assess from Historic Environment Record (HER) data and other sources the archaeological  resource of each Aggregate Character Area (ACA) and of the landform elements within these.  Full details are provided in the on-line archive report, while a concise synthesis for each period  and tabulated summaries of the archaeological resource of each landform are provided in the  published booklet. The Nottinghamshire HER was enhanced for this purpose, and all available  data were incorporated into a Geographical Information System (GIS) tailored to the needs of this  assessment. Interpretation of the GIS data has been facilitated by the sub-division of each ACA  into Landform Elements. These may be defined simply as geomorphologically and  topographically distinct landform units, and provide a valuable framework for assessing spatial  variability in the archaeological and environmental resource and for identifying appropriate  assessment, evaluation and mitigation techniques. The landform element approach forms the foundation of the  Derbyshire and Peak District Resource Assessment, and was employed in this study with the aim of ensuring compatibility  between the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire assessments. 4. Develop recommendations for the most appropriate assessment,  evaluation and mitigation techniques to be adopted for the identification  and study of particular categories of site within each landform element   5. Develop a period-based archaeological research agenda and strategy  tailored to the needs of each Character Area, taking into account the  research priorities identified in the Updated Research Agenda and  Strategy for the Historic Environment of the East Midlands.  6. Increase the awareness of the minerals industry, planners and other historic environment stakeholders of the  archaeological resource preserved within the aggregates-producing areas of  Nottinghamshire.  It is anticipated that assessment, evaluation and mitigation strategies will evolve  as knowledge accumulates and techniques of investigation develop. This  assessment should be seen, therefore, as a living document requiring periodic  updating as our understanding of the archaeology of aggregates-producing  areas in Nottinghamshire grows and the effectiveness of particular investigative  strategies develops.
Trent & Peak Archaeology is a trading name of York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research. Limited Registered Office: 47 Aldwark, York, YO1 7BX A Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England No. 1430801 A registered Charity in England & Wales (No. 509060) and Scotland (No. SCO42846)
    Aggregates and Archaeology in Nottinghamshire Aggregates and Archaeology in Derbyshire and the Peak District Mineral Extraction and Archaeology: A Practice Guide Aerial view of the Sherwood Sandstone outcrop in the vicinity of Hodsock, near Blyth, showing cropmarks of the brickwork-plan field system and associated rectilinear enclosures. Reproduced by permission of English Heritage (NMR) Derrick Riley Collection Late prehistoric palaeochannel at Girton: one of many landform elements that contribute to the topographic diversity of the Superficial Sands and Gravels.  Trent & Peak Archaeology, on behalf of Lafarge Tarmac Ltd Past and current aggregates extraction areas in Nottinghamshire (source: Notts HER) Girton Quarry: quarry section, showing the complex stratigraphy of the Holocene Coversands that extend along the eastern side of the Lower Trent Valley.  Trent & Peak Archaeology, on behalf of Lafarge Tarmac Ltd Updated Research Agenda and Strategy for the Historic Environment of the East Midlands