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Thread: Danelaw Thing Mound Rediscovered in Thynghowe (Sherwood Forest)

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    Thumbs Up Danelaw Thing Mound Rediscovered in Thynghowe (Sherwood Forest)


    Thynghowe was an important Danelaw meeting place, today located in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England.

    The site's rediscovery was made by Lynda Mallett, Stuart Reddish and John Wood. The site had vanished from modern maps and was essentially lost to history until the local history enthusiasts made their discoveries.

    Experts think the rediscovered site, which lies amidst the old oaks of an area known as the Birklands in Sherwood Forest, may also yield clues as to the boundary of the ancient Anglo Saxon Kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria.

    English Heritage, recently inspected the site and believes it is a national rarity. Thynghowe[1] was a place where people came to resolve disputes and settle issues. It is a Norse word, although the site may older still, perhaps even Bronze Age. The word "howe" often indicates a prehistoric burial mound.

    Possible Norse 'thing', or moot mound, represented by a mutilated mound, approximately 0.7m high and 8m in diameter, on locally high ground at the intersection of three parish boundaries. Three parish boundary stones are still present on the mound, of which two are marked but now recumbent; historic Ordnance Survey map editions also show a triangulation pillar, presumably on the summit. This, and a plantation boundary ditch that cuts through the mound, have mutilated the original earthwork, and at the time of the English Heritage field observation the area was too densely covered in bracken to make secure interpretations. The place was known in 1334 and 1609 as Thynghowe, suggesting a mid-10th century origin under the Danelaw, although the 'howe' element could refer to a prehistoric burial mound. The locality may also have the site of a Saxon Hundred meeting place. The mound is not in itself diagnostic. In 1615, it was called Thinghough and in 1629 Finger Stand, this eventually corrupting, apparently, to the present name of Hanger Hill.
    OLD OAKS IN SHERWOOD FP Local people are helping to shed light on a rare archaeological find amidst the gnarled old oaks of the Birklands in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire.

    The Forestry Commission and the Friends of Thynghowe are bidding to unravel the secrets of an ancient meeting place - called Thynghowe - dating back to at least Viking times.

    Three years ago the mound-like feature was rediscovered by history lover and former teacher Lynda Mallett, along with husband Stuart Reddish and John Wood, all from Rainworth, using an original "perambulation" document dated to 1816.

    Miraculously, when they visited the spot they found that the hill still exists, along with historic boundary stones. Their research has also suggested that it may once have marked the boundary between the Anglo Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria.

    After reporting the intriguing find to local history society members in Clipstone, Warsop and Edwinstowe, a new group was formed to work with forest chiefs to investigate the site's significant history and encourage wider community appreciation and involvement.

    Andrew Norman, Ranger with the Forestry Commission, said:

    "Our forests in Nottinghamshire contain many historic sites, but it's down to the efforts of local people that Thynghowe has re-emerged from the shadows. It's our policy to protect the site and work with the community to ensure its continued survival."

    Al Oswald, an Archaeological Investigator with English Heritage, recently inspected the site and believes it is a national rarity. He explained:

    "I was very surprised by this discovery. The site had vanished from modern maps and was essentially lost to history until local people made their discoveries. There are only a handful of such sites surviving in the British Isles in places like Orkney and the Lake District. Basically, Thynghowe was a place where people came to resolve disputes and settle issues – quite literally where people came to talk about things. It's a Norse word, although it's quite possible the site is much older still, perhaps even Bronze Age. The word howe often indicates a prehistoric burial mound. We do know that it's been an important place for centuries and even today there are three parish boundary markers on top of the mound. This is an exceptional survivor and needs further study."

    Lynda Mallett, who with her husband owns 17 acres of woodland nearby in Sherwood Forest, added:

    "We have also discovered a 1609 map of the Birklands showing routes to Thynghowe, in addition to the 1816 perambulation document describing the walk around the Lordship of Warsop. Today it is known as Hanger Hill, but our research has shown it really is a window into the past of Sherwood Forest. There is probably much more to be discovered. We are working with the Forestry Commission to look at options for the site's management and protection and to make it more widely known."

    Local people are now being given the chance to tread in ancient footsteps and visit Thynghowe as part of a walk re-tracing the so called Warsop Boundary Perambulation. This annual walk was once used to establish the boundaries of the parish and settle any disputes. It is being held on Saturday 26 April, meeting at 10am at Budby Pumping Station. Booking essential on 01623 822447.

    The Friends of Thynghowe

    This is down the road from me. Anyone who wants to meet up there for a summer party thing let me know.

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    What a shame that, in 2009, Sherwood Forest could be sued under the 'Trades Description Act'.
    It should really be renamed 'Sherwood Copse' or just 'SherWood'.
    Anyone who has driven down the busy A1 motorway from South Yorkshire into Nottinghamshire can look out of the window on their left and see Sherwood Forest for all of 3 or 4 minutes, before the bland farmers' fields take over the view, once again.

    I've spent several nights sleeping under the stars in the middle of Sherwood Forest. The only problem was, I was staying in a tacky, middle-class holiday resort, plonked right in the middle, called Center Parcs.

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