The iconic K6 telephone kiosk, more commonly known as the red telephone box, dates to 1935. It was designed by the famous British Architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V.

The K6 was the first telephone kiosk to be employed extensively outside of London. It was made from four cast-iron sections, bolted together and installed on a concrete base. Three of the sides, which included the teak door frame, were glazed with eight rows of three panes of glass windows, in a decorative mould surround. The ‘telephone’ sign at the top was illuminated. The domed roof incorporated a moulded royal crown representing the current monarch at the time of installation. Three crowns can be found on K6 kiosks: King George V, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. The standardised paint colour is ‘currant red’.

Photograph of an iconic K6 Kiosk at Maythorne Mill

Above: An iconic K6 Kiosk at Maythorne Mill. Check out the HER record here.

By 1968, 60,000 original K6 kiosks had been installed by the General Post Office, making them a familiar sight throughout Britain. Ordinary homes did not have a landline until the 1950/60s, so public telephone boxes were vital for communications. They were sited in the main areas where people would pass by, often close to road junctions. In high footfall areas such as the marketplaces at Newark and Bingham, pairs of kiosks were installed.

Photograph of two pairs of K6 kiosks at the Market Place, Newark

Above: Two pairs of K6 kiosks at the Market Place, Newark. Google Image. Check out the HER record here.

In the 1980/90s K6 kiosks began to disappear as they were replaced with a more modern design. The introduction of mobile phones in the 1990s, made telephone boxes virtually redundant, and many more disappeared from the street scene. In 2017/18, British Telecom wrote to councils offering them the option to purchase redundant K6 kiosks in their area for just £1.  Many were purchased and repurposed by councils and community groups for a range of uses. In Nottinghamshire, K6 boxes are commonly used to house defibrillators and book exchanges. One in Ravenshead has become a floral display, while others have been incorporated into museums and public places (Newark Air Museum). Some can even be spotted in domestic properties where they are sited as garden features.

Photograph of a K6 Kiosk defibrillator adjacent to Martins Arms Public House, Colston

Above: K6 Kiosk now houses a defibrillator adjacent to Martins Arms Public House, in Colston. Check the HER record here.

In 2022, it was estimated that 11,700 K6 kiosks remained. As one of the most recognisable symbols of 20th-century British design, Historic England considers the best-surviving K6s to be an important part of our national heritage. So far, almost 2,500 have been Grade II listed. 38 of these are in Nottinghamshire. You can find out which ones, by entering 'K6' in the search bar of our website here.

These listed examples serve as reminders of the era when phone boxes were an essential part of communities across Britain. The iconic design of these modest yet striking structures has secured their place in our national heritage.

Nottinghamshire County Council and Forestry England have worked together to help shed more light on the archaeology buried within Sherwood Pines. A crew of volunteers assembled from Operation Nightingale and Forestry England have excavated three archaeological targets within the WWI training trenches within the forest. These features were selected over the course of several months, where specialists consulted the HER, conducted thorough archival research, and carefully studied the LiDAR survey data in the area (more information can be found here: The Veiled Landscape: Sherwood Lidar Project - Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record) . Soil samples were collected on site and processed to help us understand the environment of the past, and a metal detector and unexploded ordnance officer were also on site to lead in the discovery of a number of fascinating finds (and help keep us safe while doing so!)

Photograph of Sherwood Pines Excavation

A huge thanks goes out to the volunteers who braved the very wet conditions to help us better understand this important relic landscape and improve the management of the WWI trench network within the Sherwood Pines.

Photograph of a group excavating Sherwood Pines

To find out more about the Clipstone Camp and the effects of WWI in Nottinghamshire:

Check out some more photographs from the excavation below:

Photograph of a couple of people on a break at Sherwood Pines Photograph of a man showing a find from Sherwood Pines 

Photograph of a couple of people excavating Sherwood Pines Photograph of a couple of people having a break from excavating Sherwood Pines 

Photograph of a group excavating Sherwood Pines

Delivered as part of the Miner2Major Landscape Partnership scheme, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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Miner2Major focuses on the heart of the Sherwood Forest area from Nottingham to Ollerton, and Mansfield to Rufford Abbey, an area that has a distinctive landscape character. Just like archaeological sites, historical sites, monuments and historic buildings, the landscape is an integral part of the historic environment. Place names establish identity and assist communications, but historic maps show us that place names change through time. How do these changes help us unravel history?

Place names can tell us stories that would otherwise be unknown. Often made up of two elements, a prefix and a suffix, the names can be decoded to reveal natural features that may have disappeared, ownership or the character and origins of a settlement. Through the centuries, place names have evolved, reflecting historical, linguistic, and cultural changes. The evolution of place names is called Etymology.

Anglo-Saxon Names

Many names are rooted in Old English, the Germanic language that was brought to England by the Anglo-Saxons, and in-use between the mid-5th to 12th centuries. Anglo-Saxon place names take different forms. Some refer to people or animals in the prefix, followed by a suffix that denotes ownership. Examples include Blidworth, probably meaning Blida’s Farm, and Ravenshead, high ground named after the bird or a man bearing that name. Others refer to the landscape, ending in ‘field’ (Mansfield) or ‘ley’ (a clearing), (Annesley).

Settlements and towns were given names ending in ‘ham’, ‘tun’ or ‘ton’ (Ollerton). A fortified town is indicated by the suffix ‘burh’ ‘brough’ ‘borough’, ‘burgh’ or ‘bury’, for example the hamlet of Brough, built around a Roman military settlement.  

Places with a religious connection often end in ‘minster’ or ‘stow’. Edwinstowe is documented in the Domesday Book of 1086 as ‘Edenestou’. The name commemorates the legend of the body of King Edwin of Northumbria, being laid to rest near here after he was killed in battle in 632. Many other spellings occur over the centuries Hedenestoua (1173), Edenestowa (1194), Eddenstowe (1287); Edwynstow (1300); Edenstow (1577); Eddingstowe (1633).

Modern Edwinstowe overlying Chapman’s map of 1774.

Above: Modern Edwinstowe overlying Chapman’s map of 1774.

Viking Names

The Viking settlers of the 9th and 10th centuries left their mark on the Nottinghamshire landscape, with place names ending in ‘by’, the Danish word for town, or ‘thorp’ meaning settlement of Danish people. Examples of these include Walesby, Budby, Bilsthorpe and Perlethorpe. The prefix of the name can also reveal clues about the landscape. Linby for example, means Lime Town and’ Kirk’ indicates a church (Kirkby and Kirklington).

The Domesday Book

The first large-scale survey of England was commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086. The Domesday Book was a comprehensive survey of the land and resources in England to be used as a tool for taxation and governance. This was probably the first time place names in Nottinghamshire were officially written down. The Norman surveyors were French speakers and whenever they encountered a tricky name, they simplified it and recorded a variation that was easier for French speakers. Sometimes they added ‘bel’ or ‘beau’ as a prefix (Beauvale).


One of the oldest maps of the area was drawn by Joan Blaeu in 1646. Most of the names are recognisable, but the spelling of place names in maps and documents continued to vary due to mispronunciation and inconsistent spelling. Several variations of a name might be in use at the same time. It was not until the first Ordnance Surveys in the 1840s that the spelling of place names became standardised.

Joan Blaeu Map 1646

Above: Joan Blaeu Map, 1646. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland CC_BY (NLS). Visit the Blaeu Atlas here: Map

Place names are still not set in stone. Some place names are relatively new where new settlement or industry occurs, and some do change. Clipstone and King’s Clipstone are good examples. King’s Clipstone is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as ‘Clipestune’. King Edward I, bestowed the prefix King ‘Kyngesclipston in 1290, after parliament was held at King John’s Palace. As its importance declined, it became simply known as Clipstone, then Old Clipstone as the new Clipstone Colliery village grew in the 1920s. In 2011, the community chose to reinstate the medieval name of Kings Clipstone to create a distinct identity separate from the colliery village of Clipstone.

Kings Clipstone shown as ‘Clipstone’ on Sanderson’s map of 1835.

Above: Kings Clipstone shown as ‘Clipstone’ on Sanderson’s map of 1835.

Place Name Etymology in the Miner to Major Landscape Partnership Area.

Below are other examples of place name etymology in the Miner to Major project area, recording the name changes as shown on dated maps or documents.

Wellow - First attested in 1207 in pipe rolls as Welhag’. Also, Welagh (1316), Wellehach’ (1250); Wellhawe (1275); Whellay (1494); and finally, Wellow in 1747. The word is a compound word from Old English: wielle and haga, referring to an enclosure of some kind near to a spring. A small tributary of the Maun is nearby and could refer to that.

Blidworth - First attested in the Domesday book in 1086 as Bliedeworde. Also, Blieswurda (1158); Blithewurth (1240); Blittewrth (1271); Blideth (1670). Blieworth probably means “Blida’s Farm”.

Annesley - First attested in the Domesday book in 1086 as Aneslei. Also, Anisleia (1190); Anyslegh (1250); Ansley (1590). Possibly a compound of a personal name An with Leah (meaning An’s clearing).

Linby - First attested in 1086 in Domesday book as Lidebi. Also, Lindebeia (1316); Linneby (1233); Lundeby (1304); Lynby (1392). From Old Norse linda býr, meaning “lime-tree village”.

Bestwood -First attested in 1177 as Beskewuda in the pipe rolls. Also, Beescwde (1200); Buskwud (1207); Bekeswood (1523); and finally, Bestwood in 1619. From Old English bēosuc, a derivative of the Old English word bēos(e), meaning bent grass (how Beeston also gets its name). Therefore, Bestwood means “wood where bent grass grows” in Old English.

Ollerton - First attested in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Alretun. Also, Allerton (1276); Alverton (13th c.); and Ollerton by 1316. From the words alor and tun, meaning “farm of the alders”.

Papplewick - First attested in the Domesday book in 1086 as Paplleuuic. Also, Papelwich (1316); Papewich’ (1165); and Papleweeke. Formed from the words pappol(stan) and wic, meaning “dairy farm in the pebbly place” in Old English. As noted by some researchers, some fields on the east side of the village are very pebbly.

Ravenshead - First attested in 1205 as Ravenesheved. Literally means “Raven’s Head” It is the highest ground in the neighbourhood and the hill may have been so called from the bird or from a man bearing that name.

Newstead - “New Place”. The place obtained its name at the time of the foundation of the Austin Priory here by Henry II.

Warsop - Domesday book 1086 as Wareshope. Also, Wyrssop (1321-4); Worsoop (1569); Warsopp Church towne, Warsopp Markett towne (1653). The second element of the word is hop, “valley”, the well-marked valley between the two settlements at Church and Market Warsop being the determining factor in the original settlement. Warsop means “the Valley of Wǣr” (Wǣr being an Old English personal name).

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