Settlers of the Nene Valley

Explore, re-create and celebrate the journeys made by settlers as they travelled, settled and traded along the Nene Valley.

Settlers of the Nene Valley – an exciting new project!

Follow this link to find out more about our activities for all the family.  Settlers of the Nene Valley”

Who were the Settlers?

We shall be exploring the successive settlement along the Nene Valley by Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Medieval settlers over the past 5,000 years. Our aim is to create a better understanding of how these settlers changed the valley, what can still be seen of this today, and what can be learned from them.

Our Settler Trails

A trail for children is being prepared that will take the young settler through the different periods of settlement here at Stanwick Lakes. There will be a prize for all completed trail sheets. The trail will be open on Thursday, 30th August between 10.30am and 3pm.

For 13+ to adults, a new heritage leaflet will be launched on Saturday, 22 September. The Trail uses stone markers to show visitors where historic settlements were found during the archaeological excavations in the 1980s & 90s.

Where and how the Settlers lived

We have started to build a small ancestral barn using the different materials and building techniques that would have been familiar to the Nene Valley settlers. We shall be looking for volunteers to wattle and daub! A replica Roman mosaic will be laid on the barn floor. Once it is built we shall use it for activities which reflect the settlers’ daily life, such as weaving/dyeing fabric, pottery, and historic cookery and food-based activities.

The reconstruction of a replacement Iron Age Roundhouse is continuing and we hope that you will come along on 22nd September to help Wattle and Daub the walls.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

The Stanwick Lakes site will be packed with hands-on activities for all the family to enjoy. In addition, local re-enactors, The Bifrost Guard, will be camping on site over the weekend and living the life of a Viking settlement. Andy Chapman, Senior Archaeologist at Stanwick in the 1980s, together with other archaeologists, will also be on hand to describe how the settlers lived and worked by the river.

There will be opportunities to try activities such as:

  • Helping to Wattle and Daub our Iron Age Roundhouse
  • Making Saxon pottery
  • Experiencing Roman cookery
  • ‘Messy Museum’ (Pre-book for “Becoming an Archaeologist!”)
  • Following the Settlers’ Trails (one for children, one for 13+ to adult)
  • ‘Trying on Settlers Fashions’ and taking a selfie with Willow and Stan
  • Having a go at Archery or Axe Throwing
  • Learning, and using, some of the Settlers’ traditional craft skills

Over the coming year we will finish constructing both an “Ancestral” barn, which will use the materials and techniques that would be recognised by past settlers, and a replacement Iron Age Roundhouse.  Come and see how we are getting on.

Memories of the “Dig”

If you have photographs or memories of the site before or during the investigations, then we would be delighted to see and hear them. Have you discovered any “finds” yourself? Would you like them to be identified? If so, bring them along on the day.

Rockingham Forest Trust, which manages Stanwick Lakes, is one of several organisations in the Nenescape Landscape Partnership Scheme that have received funding for activities which explore the Nene Valley, its people, heritage and identity in a changing landscape.