The medieval Cistercian abbey at Rufford was closed during the Dissolution and the land was granted to the Earl of Shrewsbury, who started to build a grand country house on the site of the ruined abbey in 1560. The house underwent many alterations and additions and was inherited by the Savile family in the 17th century. An elaborate set of wrought iron gates were erected in 1734 at the end of an ornamental ride, and these will form the focus of the 2013 excavation.
The field school is ideal for people who want to get a proper introduction to professional excavation techniques. Excavation will take place on the foundations of an ornamental gateway at the north end of the Broad Drive, near to the mill, and is part of a project to preserve the remaining stonework with a view to potentially reinstating the ornamental gates. The dig day will commence at 9.30am and finish at 4pm, with time for lunch in the middle.
If you wish to sign up to the field school you must be able to attend for all 5 days. Participants who have been on one of Nottinghamshire County Council’s field schools before are welcome to come again, but priority will be given to people who haven’t attended previously.
If you have any questions, or would like to book on to the field school, please get in touch with the Community Archaeology Team, either by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 0115 969 6525.