"I have worked alongside them, their work is considered and professional and to the highest standards. At all times they share information and knowledge to volunteers and visitors. Their encouragement has helped us achieve so much not only on this project but also with other groups in the area." - Mickie Bradley site owner King John's Palace, Sherwood Forest.

"We thought the teaching was very good, both informally and via the lunchtime talks and handouts.  The handouts were especially appreciated. You were patient, encouraging and prepared to answer questions both in general terms and in detail.  Our members especially appreciated the fact that you did not talk down to them." - Ticknall Archaeological Research Group committee.

"Mercian are some of the most trustworthy, reliable, hardworking and honest people I've worked alongside" - Mike Currie, Volunteer Archaeologist.

"Andy's knowledge and understanding of Sherwood Forest and its surrounding area cannot be equalled. He is essential to so many projects." - Mickie Bradley site owner King John's Palace, Sherwood Forest.

Volunteers at the recent Heath End Excavation:

"I thought they were excellent – well qualified, experienced, thorough, well equipped and prepared, patient and very good at talking things through – their mini lunchtime “lectures” were enjoyable and instructive and – they were good fun!  A template for the most part of how things should be done and would recommend and rate them highly. I benefited hugely."

"I felt that the archaeologists were clear in all that they did and said and helpful in all aspects of the work.  I only had to ask a question and they were there instantly with helpful information and advice.  They were very encouraging and didn’t treat me like a complete amateur; they were patient and able to simplify more complicated explanations!  They also realised that they were with a group of older enthusiasts and did a lot of the heavy work themselves!  They were very pleasant and approachable young men."

"I learned a great deal from the experience and particularly enjoyed drawing the profiles of sections of the dig.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time I was able to spend on the dig and look forward to the next outdoor season."

"I would certainly recommend Mercian to other groups.  They were immediately just part of the TARG Team, a very useful and knowledgeable part, explaining measuring, stratigraphy, photography and drawing in terms understandable to amateurs such as ourselves.  As well as these specific disciplines there was also a great sense of exchanging information and experiences."

"Mercian Archaeological Services were very friendly and stood back so all us members could have a dig, instead of taking over the dig.  Once again I thank you for a super time."

"Although I was there for only a short time, they made you feel part of the team straight away and were interested in your thoughts and ideas and willing to show you how best to proceed.  Their small lectures were adequate and uncomplicated.  I would recommend Mercian Archaeology to other groups as they seemed to know their stuff and recorded all aspects.  Overall the dig was professional, relaxed and very enjoyable."

"...would have no hesitation in recommending them for similar activity in running/supervising any other group of volunteer amateurs"

“I… really enjoyed my time learning with the archaeologists.  I did ask many questions and got good and full answers, everybody had the chance to do some digging which we all like to do, me in particular.”

On Mercian and young archaeologists:

"Firstly we all thoroughly enjoyed the dig. I have nothing but praise for the archaeologists on the dig.  They were helpful, informative and friendly and each took a lot of time to involve the girls and explain about how a dig is organised and the techniques that were used.  The lunchtime lectures were a definite added bonus giving us some theory behind the practical work. I would certainly recommend Mercian Archaeology to any other amateur group, particularly a group containing children, as at no point did they talk over their heads or make them feel uninvolved or intimidated. It was a fabulous experience for us all." - A volunteer archaeologist.

Talks and presentations:

“Thanks for a really interesting presentation in Radcliffe last night, the small but keen group really appreciated it” - Val, Radcliffe-on-Trent History Group

“I would just like to thank everyone involved in the Peel and Spa Ponds presentation to our group (Forest Town Nature Conservation Group) yesterday evening. A totally captivating, exciting and informative presentation, many thanks - I know we are all excited about what we may discover around the next corner” - Richard, Forest Town Nature Conservation Group.

At Mercian Archaeological Services; as a Community Interest Company set up to undertake Community Archaeology- the opinions of the community and volunteers who have worked with us are the most important thing to us, and we are very proud of our reputation for quality work.

    we are very proud of our place at the heart of the community we serve.

The following is a small part of Mercian's excellent feedback from Community Groups, Volunteers and Site owners:

Testimonials, recommendations and references

Mercian Archaeological Services Community Archaeology

Visitors since 7th November 2013

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

Community Archaeology in the East Midlands,

 Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Excavation, Research, Volunteering, Community

    Archaeology Derbyshire, Training, Social, Learning, Community Archaeology Leicestershire,

    Heritage, Involvement, Belonging, Knowledge sharing, Community Archaeology Lincolnshire,

    Topographic Survey, Talks and Presentations, Outreach, Archaeology Projects , Open

    Days, Schools, Finds Processing, Day Schools, Field Schools, Young People, Archaeology

    and History of Sherwood Forest, Pottery Research, Medieval, Roman, Prehistoric, Community

    Interest Company, Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire.

© Mercian Archaeological Services CIC 2013.                           Registered Business No. 08347842.                                All Rights Reserved.

Community Archaeology in Nottinghamshire

Community Archaeology in Derbyshire

Community Archaeology in Leicestershire

Community Archaeology East Midlands

Community Archaeology in Lincolnshire

At Mercian we recommend that any group looking to work with a Community Archaeology provider asks for feedback from their previous customers.

Community Archaeology is a skilled specialism that demands the highest commitment and standards.

We believe that large commercial archaeology companies cannot necessarily provide the personal service you will receive from a dedicated community archaeology company.

Home About us Services Testimonials Projects Publications Staff Contact 
Info 4 Groups Talks and Tours Experience Days Heritage Bus Tours Field Schools Sherwood Forest Notts 1000 Shop

“…Mr Gaunt is one of the very finest archaeologists and historians currently practicing in the United Kingdom. His work is of the very finest quality and his research has been established as ground-breaking through his deployment of a range of techniques in symbiosis such as map regression, documentary research, landscape analysis, topographical survey, geophysical survey and archaeological test-pitting, evaluation and excavation. The publication record of Mr Gaunt is impeccable and he has been a regular contributor to the Transactions of the Thoroton Society for many years. More recently his work can also be found in the Castle Studies Group Journal. Aside from academic publications Mr Gaunt also has an aptitude towards popular dissemination of his work which has led to features in the local press and Current Archaeology Magazine alongside his own online outlets in the form of website, blog and social media. His conference and lecture appearances have been unanimously well-received by organisations such as the Council for British Archaeology, the University of Nottingham, Elmet Archaeological Services, Sherwood Archaeology Society and many local history groups. Andy is booked to give a keynote lecture to the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire in 2015.

“In particular the recent work by Mr Gaunt at King’s Clipstone in Nottinghamshire has helped to drive up the knowledge of this often overlooked site of the royal palace of the

Plantagenets in the heart of Sherwood Forest. His dedication to this project has been

incredible and has led to an 11 acre geophysical survey which has revealed the extent of the archaeological anomalies for the very first time. This was followed up by an archaeological evaluation and a programme of test pitting and topographic survey to help clarify the nature and extent of the archaeology of the village community. All of this work was backed up by the most sophisticated landscape analysis utilising geographic information systems and analysis of the historic mapping for the parish which has led to a major breakthrough in understanding how the Mediaeval landscape was deliberately stage-managed to present an idealised romantic setting for the Plantagenets. The work that Mr Gaunt has carried out has also helped to focus attention on the peasant community both during the Mediaeval and Post-Mediaeval period through a project to better understand the historic development of the village adjacent to the palace complex.

“Mr Gaunt is the director of Mercian Archaeological Services CIC. This is a strictly not-for profit organisation which seeks to work with and for local communities to better understand their place through the study of history and archaeology. The approach taken through this community organisation leads to a bottom-up method of work which enables a sense of pride of place to be instilled and developed within local groups. Education is of paramount importance to this organisation and all communities will receive first class training in archaeological skills. Mr Gaunt’s team also includes vastly experienced archaeologists including Sean Crossley who has worked on projects throughout the United Kingdom with a focus on the East Midlands and David Budge who is a reknowned expert in the fields of both historic ceramics and flint technologies.

In summary, Andy Gaunt and Mercian Archaeological Services would be a very fine asset to any archaeological project, especially one which prized community involvement and

development. The range of skills currently retained within the company are regionally

incomparable and only the very highest caliber of results should be expected.”

Yours faithfully,

James Wright

Senior Archaeologist, MOLA

James Wright Archaeologist

Download a pdf of the full reference here

Sherwood Forest Trust Reference


The Sherwood Forest Trust, Dr Patrick Candler Chief Executive

“The Sherwood Forest Trust is very pleased to endorse Mercian Archaeological Services as the leading Community Archaeology Company operating across Nottinghamshire…”

James Wright (Student, University of Nottingham):

Mickie and Martin Bradley, Site Owners King John’s Palace, Clipstone, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire:

“Mercian’s work is always of the highest quality and undertaken to the highest professional standards…

…Andy Gaunt published his Master’s dissertation on the medieval landscape of Clipstone and has identified the landscape as being that of a medieval designed landscape around the palace…

… Mercian are well-respected by all the groups and landowners they have worked with and have our complete trust and support in all the work they undertake at our site…”

See more below:

King John's Palace Archaeology History Clipstone Reference Mercian