At Mercian we offer a variety of archaeological training schools, that enable delegates to choose the school most suited to their needs.

These include our ‘training fieldschool’ experience; covering a wider variety of topics and skill-sets, and our more traditional ‘training excavations’ focused more on teaching, and learning, digging, and recording techniques.

These schools are held at iconic and legendary sites rich in archaeology and heritage.

Current schools include:

The Sherwood Forest Archaeological Training Fieldschool at King John’s Palace, former royal heart of Robin Hood’s world famous medieval Sherwood Forest.


The Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

Click on the links below to view each fieldschool in turn and follow links to the individual pages to see which fieldschool most suits your requirements and preference:


Archaeological Training Schools

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Discover King John's Palace free excavation

This is not an ordinary fieldschool - this is a ‘Training Fieldschool’ where you will learn about all aspects of archaeological excavation and receive hands on training and learning from archaeological professionals in the heart of Sherwood Forest…

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the 2019 Field School is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil the requirements of the

Archaeological Skills Passport.

Take your skills to the next level by joining our week long

Sherwood Forest Archaeological Training
Fieldschool 2019

at King’s Clipstone.

Price £250 per person

Archaeological Skill Passport Archaeology Field School Sherwood Forest

For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.

Archaeological Training Field School 2019:

This course is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

We cover the Core Skills of the Archaeological Skills Passport:

Handtools (Trowel etc); Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc); Site Formation Processes; Stratigraphic Excavation; Context Sheet Recording; Site Photography; Site Grid and Trench Layout;; Dumpy Level and Staff; Planning; Section Drawing; Collection of Samples; Artefact Recovery; Recording & Storage; Site Safety;

And we also provide lessons in:

3 dimensional surveying with a total station; Finds Processing; Pottery identification; Finds handling; Finds processing; Flint Knapping Demonstrations; History of Ceramics lectures and much more…

Field Days include lunch provided by our field caterers which will be eaten in our welfare area in the field.


The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Training Fieldschool focuses on the al hunting lodge and palatial enclosure of the King’s Houses, now known as King John’s Palace, and the designed landscape that surrounded it.

King John’s Palace was the Royal Heart of Sherwood Forest in the Medieval period.

The site was visited by all 8 kings from Henry II to Richard II, with King John possibly holding a proto-parliament there in the early 13th century and Edward I holding Parliament there in 1290.

As part of the field school attendees will have the opportunity to learn all about Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood, outlaws, foresters, the landscape of Sherwood Forest in medieval times, the forest law, courts, offences and judiciary, the Palace at Clipstone, monasteries, chapels and hermitages, hunting parks, Nottingham Castle , Sheriffs and much much more about life in Medieval Sherwood Forest…

2019 Dates:

Week A: 22nd - 26th July

Week B: 29th July - 2nd August

Week C: 12th - 16th August

Week D: 19th - 23rd August

Join Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales for this week-long training excavation, which focuses on the teaching of archaeological excavation methods.

As well as offering the very best in archaeological training and support, this training excavation is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation 2019

At Bainbridge, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

Price £250 per person

2019 Dates:

Week 1: 9th - 13th


Week 2: 16th 20th


Students at the Archaeology Field School Sherwood Forest Archaeological Skill Passport

The beautiful village of Bainbridge was formerly the administrative centre of the medieval Forest of Wensleydale, and the magnificent Bolton Castle near Leyburn dominates the valley to the east. A Roman fort looms large over the village on the eastern side.

The site of the excavation is overlooked by a Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age Slight Univallate Hillfort. This fort occupies the high ground at the top of a steep slope on the southern side of the site.

We will be concentrating our excavations on the possible medieval manorial complex to the north of this fort, which has been identified from earthworks and recently discovered pottery (see below).

The area is famous not only for its beautiful landscape, but also it world famous cheese, and as the backdrop to the Television series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.


Archaeological Training Excavation 2019:

This course is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

This training course focuses on the skills of archaeological excavation. You will receive training and experience in many techniques of excavation, including many Core Skills listed in the Archaeological Skills Passport:

Handtools (Trowel etc), Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc), Site Formation Processes, Stratigraphic Excavation, Context Sheet Recording, Site Photography, Dumpy Level and Staff, Archaeological drawing, Artefact Recovery, Recording & Storage, Site Safety.

This training course focuses on excavation and recording skills but there will also be a chance to undertake a number of techniques that make up the Secondary Skills of the Archaeology Skills Passport including:

Survey (Total Station), Finds Processing.

All techniques are taught and experienced throughout the week, a mixture of classroom sessions and hands on training from our Archaeological experts.

For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.

The Sherwood Forest Arhaeological
Training Fieldschool, Nottinghamshire

Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

Specialists in Community Archaeology, Public Involvement, Research & Training

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