In order to understand our story I will firstly introduce Mansfield Woodhouse, a large village in Nottinghamshire, North of Mansfield, situated in what was the Royal Forest of Sherwood. It lies between the Rivers Maun and Meden. It was established before the Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD).
In 1786, the remains of a Roman villa was discovered at the east end of the village, Northfield, Pleasley Vale, by local resident Mayor Hayman Rooke (1723-1806) British soldier and antiquarian. He drew the ground plans and their supposed elevations of the remians, Roman villas Urbana and Rustica. He also found evidence of a mosaic on the site. The position of the mosaic pavement discovered is marked with an ‘a’ on the ground plan No 1 of the Villa Urbana see below.
The local area has a deep rooted industrial history of limestone and sandstone quarrying. Many early buildings in Mansfield Woodhouse are built from the local stone; St Edmunds Church, which has 14th C origins, is thought to be the oldest surviving building within the Conservation Area. In addition, parts of both Lincoln cathedral and the Houses of Parliament have been built with stone from the local quarries. Other significant industries in the area were farming, framework knitting and, later, coal mining. Mansfield Woodhouse became a designated Conservation Area in 1972. Information regarding this can be found at https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/downloads/file/455/mansfield-woodhouse
With such an interesting and diverse industrial and social history Mansfield Woodhouse has a wealth of historic information in its midst. This prompted the setting up of the Old Mansfield Woodhouse Society in the early 1970s, a registered charitable organisation run by volunteers. The Old Mansfield Woodhouse Society is concerned with the heritage of Mansfield Woodhouse and aims to promote studies and activities on all aspects of the place, from the past to the present and into the future. To find out more visit https://oldmansfieldwoodhousesociety.com/
Over the years the Old Mansfield Woodhouse Society has collected a wealth of documents, photographs and other memorabilia; many kindly donated by the local community. In 2013, with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and support from Inspire Culture/Learning/Libraries and Nottinghamshire County Council, Heritage Link was formed. This community archive was created to develop, preserve and protect the historic material collected by the Old Mansfield Woodhouse Society.
Heritage Link is run by volunteers who actively engage with the local community, helping them to learn about the rich heritage on their doorstep. Many of our volunteers and students kindly donate their time to help us continue the good work, to care for this important archive, develop it further and continue to collect relevant material. Click this link if you would like to find out more about Volunteering.
As a charity we rely on the generosity of the public and organisations to support us. This is acheived through membership of the Society and donations. We also fundraise through holding events and workshops, and through the sale of merchandise. Browse our Shop.
BLOGIn 2017, a new Heritage Lottery Funded project began, to document and digitally image this important collection making it more accessible to the public, to create events and workshops and to grow retail sales to help make it financially sustainable. Heritage Link sits within the popular Mansfield Woodhouse Library. For further information about this exciting project, and others, visit our Historic News and Features page or our BLOG to see current news.
Heritage Link is a non-profit organisation, meaning that all of the proceeds from these activities go to support the ongoing costs of maintaining and developing the archive, and towards local community projects. Click this link if you would like to know more about how you can to Support Us.