‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ course

Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Community Archaeology Derbyshire, Community Archaeology Leicestershire, Community Archaeology East Midlands, Mercian Archaeological     Services Community Archaeology for Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Sherwood Forest,     Leicestershire and the East Midlands. Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Community     Archaeology East Midlands, Community Archaeology Leicestershire. Archaeological

email: info@mercian-as.co.uk

This 5-day Landscape Archaeology course combines class-room lectures, field visits, and site tours of the landscape, to give an immersive learning experience, introducing students to the wide and exciting field of landscape archaeology.

The course uses the legendary landscape of Sherwood Forest as the main case study, with site visits to Creswell Crags, Thynghowe and Robin Hood’s Hill, Laxton and Wellow villages, the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, and Thoresby Park, and also includes examples from around the UK and the wider world, to enable students to experience the subject first-hand and to begin seeing the landscape in a new way.

The course studies not only the changes in landscape use over time, but also how peoples relationship to the landscape, in terms of it was viewed and imagined, changed over time as well.

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

‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ Course 2024

at King’s Clipstone, and around Sherwood Forest

Price £375 per person

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


For those wishing to develop their skills, for students and post-graduates seeking to fulfil the experience requirements of their courses… for those wishing to pursue a career in archaeology, or improve their knowledge to give them the edge at work… for those looking to acquire cross-transferable skills… for volunteer wishing to raise their game, impress their friends, and increase their enjoyment of archaeology and heritage through a greater skill set and knowledge base…. through to people simply wishing to learn for the love of learning…

Everyone is welcome… no previous knowledge or experience is required…

Archaeological Skill Passport

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the ‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ course is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements in the Archaeological Skills Passport.

Indoor training will take place at the Tin Tabernacle, King John’s Palace. Kings Clipstone. The outdoor elements will take place around the landscape of Sherwood Forest including the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.

The course introduces the history of landscape archaeology as a discipline and the evolution of the philosophies of landscape archaeology including those of processual and post-processual archaeology.

It also presents many of the methods available for examining, recording and viewing the landscape, and for reconstructing historic landscapes, including:

The physical landscape is explored including:

The human landscape is then studied in relation to this underlying physical landscape, including the evolution of landscapes over time from prehistoric to present day.  

The course then looks at different layers of cultural, and imagined landscapes:

The course then looks at some of the ways archaeologists attempt to understand the subjective human experience of landscapes in the past including:

The course is located at King John's Palace in Sherwood Forest, and includes site visits around the Sherwood Forest landscape.

The course includes entry to, and a guided tour of the Palaeolithic Rock art at the site of Creswell Crags, as well as many other sites in the world famous Sherwood Forest landscape.

2024 Dates:

Week of

Week A: 13th - 17th May


Week B: 20th - 24th May

Your course tutor will be :

Andy Gaunt, MA, BSc (Hons), CertHE, FGS.

Company Director and Archaeologist
Landscape Archaeology, GIS, Survey and Geomatics

Andy’s main specialism is Landscape Archaeology.

As a Landscape Archaeologist Andy combines knowledge from a wide spectrum of disciplines including philosophy, art, music, literature, geology, historical and cultural geography, skyscape archaeology, archaeoastronomy, anthropology, toponomics, and more, to study the human experience of landscapes over time, and the impact of these elements on landscapes and the way they developed.

He is particularly interested in how human thought and the major movements in human culture have shaped landscapes over time- from the medieval desires of kings, through the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Romantic eras, into modern times, and the impacts of industry, modern forestry and wars.

He is recognised for his knowledge of Sherwood Forest, its landscape, people and medieval administration and has research interests in medieval archaeology, the medieval landscape; settlement, elite and designed landscapes, medieval forests, parkland and hunting landscapes, medieval hunting, medieval romance literature and chivalry, and the medieval legends of Robin Hood. He has spent many years investigating the settlement and landscape of Clipstone and Sherwood Forest in the Medieval period. Notably, he identified medieval Clipstone as a designed hunting and Arthurian romance landscape, and is also undertaking research into the development of the Sherwood Forest landscape as a whole from prehistory to modern times.

About King John’s Palace and Sherwood Forest

The classroom elements of the course are based at King John’s Palace in Kings Clipstone, Sherwood Forest- and teaching will include a study of the royal 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.

Recent archaeological work by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC has helped to reveal the size and importance of the site, and has also interpreted the surrounding lordship as a ‘designed’ medieval romantic hunting landscape.

The palace was sat at the heart of medieval Sherwood Forest and provided amenities for hunting, royal retreat, and the entertaining of foreign royalty and important members of society.

The landscape of Clipstone was identified by the course tutor as a designed romance landscape from the medieval period.

King John's Palace, Sherwood Forest Students at the Archaeology Field School Sherwood Forest The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest

Ancient track way through the Forest

The Major Oak legendary hideaway of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest

The Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve

The Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve is the legendary home of Robin Hood, and his secret hideaway the 1000 year old major Oak.

It is also home to over 900 ancient oak trees, beautiful wildlife and extensive lowland heath.

This ancient landscape of wood-pasture will be explored though field trips and classroom learning.

The development of that landscape over the centuries will be teased out from historic mapping and documents, and will be combined with seeing the results of archaeological investigations undertaken over many year by Mercian.

Delegates will wander the ancient woods and visit archeological earthworks, and then working with mapping and other techniques will explore how this landscape was formed.

This will then form the back drop to understanding how people have used the landscape and how they have imagined this landscape over the years.

The course is designed to demonstrate how much there is to see hear think of, and learn in a landscape, and what tools are available for understanding landscapes in the past and present.

The course aims to change how delegates think of landscapes in the future.

As part of the course attendees will 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 more about life in Medieval Sherwood Forest…

All included as part of the course.

In the meantime have a look at the following websites for more information:

Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project pages:




King John’s Palace:







Important information:

Thank you

Please note we do not provide accommodation. We can provide a list of local accommodation from camping to hotels- but it is the responsibility of the individual booking on to the field school to organise their own accommodation.

Any list provided should not be seen as a recommendation by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

To pay by cheque or bank transfer, please contact us below stating which week you wish to attend and how you wish to pay.

or If you require more information before booking please contact us via our email:



Payment options

You can book your place for the ‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ course via a number of ways:



By booking a place on the field school you are agreeing to abide by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC’s TERMS and CONDITIONS and by our CODE of CONDUCT.  

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Landscape Course booking form- choose your week, and your payment option below and click “Buy Now”


Places are limited so please book promptly to avoid disappointment.

‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ Week A: 13th - 17th May 2024

Book your place by paying in FULL £375:


Pay £200 non-refundable DEPOSIT to reserve your place:











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email: info@mercian-as.co.uk

As a landscape archaeologist he is responsible for Mercian’s geophysical survey, topographic survey, fieldwork and training, and geographic information systems (GIS), LiDAR analysis, research and training.

Alongside his archaeology qualifications and Masters Degree in Landscape Archaeology, GIS and Virtual Environments, he has an Honours Degree in Geology and Geography (BSc), and is an elected Fellow of the Geological Society of London (FGS).

He regularly talks and presents on archaeology to local groups and at conferences, and is passionate about teaching and education.

He has made a number of TV appearances as an expert including on Channel Four, Channel Five, ARTE (France & Germany), BBC Breakfast, BBC East Midlands Today, and NottsTV.

He recently appeared in the Channel 5 series “Digging up Britain’s Past”, where he was interviewed about the archaeology of King John’s Palace, and the history and landscape of Sherwood Forest. He has also acted as a consultant to Channel Four’s ‘Walking Through History’ offering expert advise and location knowledge, as well as being interviewed by Tony Robinson at King John’s Palace and the Parliament Oak.

He has acted as an independent site consultant to Channel Four’s Time Team at King John’s Palace, in Sherwood Forest.3

He has also been interviewed a number of times on BBC Radio 4 including the ‘Making History’, and ‘You and Yours” shows, and provided consultancy for BBC Radio 3.

He has been interviewed by the national and international press including the Guardian newspaper, and the New York Observer, and the archaeological press including Current Archaeology, Heritage Daily, and Archaeology Magazine (USA).

He has also provided expert comment and interview on local radio including: Radio Nottingham, Radio Leicester, and local press including The Nottingham Post, Mansfield Chad Newspaper, and the Sherwood Life Magazine.

‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ Week B: 20th - 24th May 2024

Book your place by paying in FULL £375:


Pay £200 non-refundable DEPOSIT to reserve your place:











Exploring Landscape Archaeology Course 2024 FULL 2

If you are coming to our Landscape Archaeology course and you are new to Sherwood Forest why not stay a while and have a look at some of the other things there are to do in this landscape of legends…

Experience Nottinghamshire Robin Hood Town Tours Nottingham Castle City of caves Nottingham Nottingham University Archaeology Museum Galleries of Justice Nottingham Creswell Crags Mansfield Museum THynghowe Trail Vicar Water County Park Clumber Park Sherwood Pines The Jolly Bodgers of Sherwood Forest Newstead Abbey Wollaton hall and Deer Park Thoresby Courtyard Welbeck Estate

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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.

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