Did you know it was only 30 years ago that the last pit pony finished working in British mines? Their service was over in Nottinghamshire’s pits by the 1970s, but prior to mechanical removal of coal, pit ponies were used in large numbers. By 1913, 70,000 pit ponies and colliery horses were at work in Britain’s mines. This book traces the lives of the pit ponies from the collieries around Sherwood Forest through exploration of their underground stables. Miner2Major, a landscape partnership scheme aimed, with support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to explore and celebrate the built heritage of the Sherwood Forest area including these fascinating stables.

This new publication examines the colliery stables around Sherwood Forest through the twentieth century. Based on archival research, photographic evidence and oral histories, this book examines the stables built to accommodate the huge equine workforce that were hidden underground.

Book Cover of Colliery Stables and the Nottinghamshire Pit Pony

Loan copies are available in all Nottinghamshire libraries. Printed copies will be available free of charge from larger Nottinghamshire libraries while stocks last (at Hucknall, Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse, Ollerton, Southwell, West Bridgford and Worksop). Also available at Five Leaves bookshop in Nottingham and ‘The Bookcase’ in Lowdham, Bilsthorpe and Kirkby Heritage Centres. It is also available to download as an e-book here.

Colliery Village Records on the Historic Environment Record (HER):










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Some of our wonderful heritage sites across the county will be hosting special trails and events this coming Easter, so why not check them out below?

Photograph of the Major Oak, Sherwood Forest

Above: The Major Oak at Sherwood Forest. Image by Nilfanion - Wikimedia UK, CC BY-SA 4.0

A 'Small Animals of the Ice Age Easter' trail is currently open at the amazing Creswell Crags. Ten small animals from the Ice Age are hidden around the ancient crags holding secret letters. Use those words to reveal the secret word and you’ll receive a chocolate egg at the end. This event is running until Friday 12th April. Find out more about the trail here.

At Rufford Abbey, the popular 'BIG Easter Egg Hunt' returns this Easter school holidays (Saturday 23rd March – Sunday 14th April) with another charming trail. Find the hidden eggs and win a special prize! Visit the trail information here.

Sherwood Forest will be hosting a lovely fairy-tale themed trail which will lead you to a series of magical locations, across the forest, linked to mystical creatures. This event will run throughout the Easter school holidays (Saturday 30th March to Sunday 14th April). Find out more about the fairy-tale trail here.

Throughout the Easter school holidays (Saturday 30th March to Saturday 13th April), the National Civil War Centre in Newark is putting on some wonderful Easter activities, including a themed trail. These activities will be free for residents of Newark and Sherwood. Visit the event page here.

If you’re looking for something a little different this Easter weekend, Papplewick Pumping Station is hosting a delightful Spring Fair and Model Submarines steam event on Sunday 31st March and Monday 1st April. Book your tickets here or you can buy tickets at the museum on the day.

If you're looking for exciting events with a historic focus this March, look no further than our list below!

Until Sunday 3rd March: Ending on Sunday 3rd March, a free exhibition on the values and uses of correspondence from the medieval period all the way up to the present day is being hosted by Lakeside Arts. The beautiful range of content shows the power of this seemingly overlooked aspect of personal connection. Make sure to visit before it ends! Visit their website for exhibition information.

Saturday 2nd and Saturday 23rd March: With spring quickly approaching, why not take a tour around Sherwood Forest with the Sheriff of Nottingham’s Master of Arms? Learn about legends and myths, life in medieval times, and of course, the famous Robin Hood. This is a rolling event, with two in March and many more in the coming months, so don’t worry if you can’t make it this time! Book your place on the wonderful tour here.

Monday 19th March: Ever wanted to discover more about your own family history? A lovely group of librarians will be hosting a session, at the Mansfield Central Library, demonstrating how to use the website Ancestry.co.uk to research your own ancestry for free. The session will take place on Monday 19th March. To book your place for free, visit the Inspire website here.

Wednesday 20th March: Head down to Beeston library to learn all about the River Trent’s exciting history and how it has affected Nottingham’s community. Book your place here.

Photograph of Southwell Minster

Above: Southwell Minster. By DeFacto - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia.

Two Additional Heritage Highlights:

For the 140th anniversary of Southwell Minster, each month 14 historical objects relevant to the cathedral’s story, will be showcased. To see the full events list, visit the Southwell Minster website here.

The University of Nottingham’s Museum is hosting an exhibition showcasing brilliant finds discovered in Nottingham’s cave system. Learn about how and why the caves were used, as well as daily medieval and post-medieval life in Nottingham, through these wonderful artefacts. This exhibition is currently running and will run until Sunday 7th July 2024. View the exhibition information here.