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One of North Nottinghamshire’s most mysterious ancient monuments is yielding its long lost secrets – and it seems it was a great place for a shouting match!
Four years ago the Forestry Commission revealed that the Friends of Thynghowe had found a rare Viking meeting place – or a ‘Thing’ - in the Birklands, near Mansfield, part of Sherwood Forest.
Since then efforts have stepped up to unravel its past and earlier this year archaeologists probed the site using hi-tech equipment.
They have now created a first ever 3-D map of the earthen mound’s lumps and bumps an to help in the analysis.
Experts from University College London and the Friends also discovered Thynghowe was a perfect place to be heard.
They tested the site’s acoustic qualities by reciting passages in Anglo Saxon from the top of the mound, with researchers testing how well it could be heard in the surrounding area.
Lynda Mallet, who together with husband Stuart Reddish and John Wood, all from Rainworth, rediscovered Thynghowe, said:
“The words could be heard over a very wide area proving that the site was ideal as an assembly point where issues were resolved and disputes heard. Thynghowe is unique as no other site of this kind has much or any recorded history, but ours has been cited in documents from the 1200s to 1816. Experts in Scandinavia are very excited by the find, which has been mentioned at international conferences.”
The sound experiment will be repeated on Saturday (16 April) when history fans are invited to join the annual free Warsop Boundary Perambulation which passes Thynghowe. The three mile walk was once used to establish parish boundaries and settle disputes. It meets at the Warsop Windmill Gate into Birklands at 10am. Booking essential on 01623 822447.
Andrew Norman from the Forestry Commission added:
“We are beginning to learn more about this amazing place, which has only re-merged from the shadows because of the hard work of local volunteers. The site could be even more important than we first thought– perhaps a `Super Thing` - as it marked the boundary between Anglo Saxon Mercia and Northumberland.”
Note to Editor
- Thynghowe is one of the few such sites known in the British Isles and may date back much further than the Dark Ages. The term ‘howe’ is often used to indicate a prehistoric burial place. The mound – first noticed on 19th century maps and then identified in the landscape – has been put on English Heritage’s National Monument Record. More details at www.thynghowe.org.uk
- Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. To find out more got to www.forestry.gov.uk/EastMidlands
Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038