There are a large amount of exciting historical events happening in the month of April. Why not check them out below?

Until 14th April: A vintage fun fair is currently being held at Wollaton Hall until 14th April. Listen to music from the 50’s and 60’s while riding traditional rides. Check out the event information here.

9th-20 April: Join our amazing Buildings Officer Janine Buckley at Rufford Abbey for the Horse Detective Tours. This up-close look Rufford’s stables in the 17th century will teach you how horses saved the estate from ruin and became famous acting on the Broadway stage as well as engaging in detective work to uncover the lives of famous 19th century racehorses. Tours will be taking place on 9th, 11th, 18th, 19th and 20th; 11am and 2pm each day. Book your free place here.

Saturday 13th April: Drop by the Lakeside Arts for a free workshop where you can make your own stained-glass window, inspired by medieval designs. Check out the event information here.

Monday 15th April: The National Holocaust Centre and Museum will be presenting a talk remembering the 79th Anniversary of the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen by British Troops. Here you will get the chance to learn about a number of artefacts and survivor experiences. Talks will be hosted at 11am and 1pm. Book your place here.

Wednesday 17th April: Head down to Worksop Library at 2pm on Wednesday 17th April to learn about the Dukeries in Bassetlaw. Hear how they came into being, how they were affected by the dissolution and the civil war, plus many other interesting facts. Tickets cost £3. Book your place here.

Photograph of Thoresby Hall

Above: Thoresby Hall. By Philip Wallbank, CC BY-SA 2.0

Tuesday 23rd April: Ever wondered how people were punished in the olden days? Mansfield Central Library is hosting a talk about how society chose to punish their wrong doers, including witches and perjurers. The talk will also tell stories of punishing the dead, a horse and cart, and even a train! Tickets are £3 and will take place at 2pm. Book your place here.

Saturday 27th April: For St George’s day, head to Sherwood Forest for a special Knight School. Enjoy a knightly obstacle course, combat training, blunt archery, among many other activities. Plus, Outlaws will be demonstrating combat techniques and tactics. Book your free place here.

Saturday 27th April: Thoresby Park will be hosting a Militaria valuation day with a Bamford Militaria valuer. The event will be open between 10:30am-3:30pm. No need for booking, just head down! Check out the event information here.

Tuesday 30th April: Local historian Robert Mee will be hosting a talk focusing on the trends of early advertising in 18th and 19th century newspapers at the West Bridgford Library. The talk will be begin at 2pm and tickets cost £3. Book your place here.

Tuesday 30th April: On the 200th anniversary of Lord Byron’s death, join the staff of the Nottingham Archives for a talk exploring the history of Newstead beyond the Byron family. The event starts at 2:15pm and tickets cost £5. Book your place here.

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 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.

There’s plenty of exciting heritage-based events taking place in February 2024. So, if you’re looking for a fun weekend activity or something for the family during the school Half-Term holidays, take a look at the events below!

Saturday 10th – Sunday 25th February: Kids (aged 15 and under) go free to Newstead Abbey’s Historic House this February Half-Term. Check out the details here.

Saturday 17th February: Lakeside Arts will be hosting a free painting session where activities will be based on the designs and decoration of pottery found in Nottingham’s caves. Check out the details here.

Saturday 24th February: Enjoy a special story session about Stone Age hunters, mammoths, and the caves at Creswell Crags. For children aged 5-11. Book your place here.

Wednesday 21st February: Join Project Officer, Denis Hill, at the Worksop library to learn about the Midlands Railway line between Mansfield and Worksop and the effects this line had on the economy and local community (Check out the related Mansfield Worksop Railway Viaduct HER record). Book your place to learn about its history here.

An Extra Heritage Highlight: Between January and November, discover the hidden rooms of Wollaton Hall, such as the Tudor Kitchens and the Cave. Kids (under 16 years old) go free. Check out the tour details here.

Photograph of Newstead Abbey

Above: Newstead Abbey

Some of our wonderful Nottinghamshire museums are hosting a range of free February Half-Term activities:

Mansfield Museum has many free events coming up. Learn about how the Mansfield Museum Collections Officer collects, curates and cares for their taxidermy collection on Friday 16th or come and meet a series of birds of prey alongside an experienced falconer on Thursday 15th (book here). Check out the full extent of Mansfield Museum's events here.

Bassetlaw Museum is taking part in the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity this February Half-Term. Code with special robots, learn where your waste goes, or have a go at tie-dye. For the full list of events, visit the Bassetlaw Museum website.

The National Civil War Centre (Newark Museum) is also hosting a few creative events between Tuesday 13th - Friday 16th. Join artist Vanessa Stone for some paper boat fun based on her creative work or take part in music and movie soundSYNC workshops, using a range of instruments and technologies, each day (book here). For more information, visit the event post here.