Your chance to be part of an archaeological project investigating one of the oldest continually used railways in the country.
Booking is now open for members of the community, students and budding archaeologists to Join Kirkby and District Archaeological Group and Trent & Peak Archaeology in uncovering part of the remains of the 200 year old Mansfield and Pinxton Railway, the oldest continuously running commercial train line in England.
Opened on the 13th April 1819, the first trucks on the railway were pulled by horses. Initially used to transport heavy goods, such as coal into Mansfield, passenger travel was eventually introduced. The line was purchased by the Midland Railway Company, upgraded and extended into Nottingham between 1847-49. Steam locomotives were introduced and continued to transport goods and passengers until they were superseded by diesel power. During the mid-1960s the passenger services were withdrawn but goods continued to be transported. It was then reinstated as part of the newly opened Robin Hood Line in 1993, making it one of the oldest railways in the UK in continuous use.
The free excavations will run from the 14th to the 23rd October in Portland Park, Kirkby in Ashfield, and will enable people from all backgrounds, aged 16-plus, including people who have never done anything like this before, to get involved in archaeological investigations uncovering new information about the location of a sidings and the construction of the railway line itself. There will also be an opportunity for children under 16 and their parents to get involved with hour-long bookable slots running on the Sunday 20th October. Schools are also invited to book in a visit to the site during the ten days of excavations.
Quote from Denis Hill, President of the Kirkby and District Archaeological Group:
‘The excavation at Portland Park is very exciting; not only are we to research the oldest continuously running commercial railway in England but, although much has been written about the early rail systems, very little is ever mentioned about the construction of their track-beds.
We feel as though this project may significantly add to the story of early railways and consequently be of national significance’
Bookings can be made by emailing Laura Parker from Trent & Peak Archaeology - firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0115 8967408 / 07767238756.
Name: Laura Parker Tel: 0115 8967408 Email: email@example.com