Mercian Archaeological Services Community Archaeology in the East Midlands

Topographic Survey Training 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


Total Station Survey at King John's Palace in Sherwood Forest

In archaeology the ability to measure the location of a site, artefact, or earthwork is essential.

Nowadays many archaeological sites use either GPS or Total Station for site survey. Differential GPS can record points of circa 1cm accuracy levels in three dimensions, and can also allow real time ‘on the fly’ measurements to be taken allowing large areas of land to be surveyed. The total station is an electronic theodolite and Electronic Distance Measurer that records point locations by measuring distance and angles.

This course will teach the required skills that are used on excavations and other sites for locating features using GPS and total Station.

The course will also go further to enable participants to learn the complex skills of archaeological topographic survey, recording a site with a combination of both objective and subjective survey methods.

Topographic Survey Training day course aims to help participants learn about the theory, science, uses, methods, logistics, deployment, data collection, data processing, and reporting, behind archaeological topographic surveying.

The course will include a mixture of classroom and field based working. This is a field based training course consisting of hands-on experience backed up by some work in a classroom style environment. YOU will undertake the work in a group and collect real data in the field.

The course will include:


Students will meet at at King John’s Palace in Clipstone. The training will take place at the site of the Palace, and a survey will be undertaken in Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve. Full details of the site will be provided nearer the time, but will be within 2 miles of King John’s Palace (transport from the classroom sessions to the field will be provided if required).

The survey training will begin at King John’s Palace, former royal heart of Sherwood Forest, and then move to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve where earthworks from Medieval Holloways and ridge and furrow to Second World War Military dug-outs will be surveyed.

As well as being a training survey, this course will undertake real archaeological research, mapping and recording earthworks as part of a level two survey of archaeological features as part of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve Archaeological Survey.

Ancient track-way through the Forest

Learning to survey with Total Station at King John’s Palace

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

Archaeological Skill Passport

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

Topographic Survey Training Course 2024

Kings John’s Palace
and Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire.

Price £350 per person

The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest

The Major Oak legendary hideaway of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest

The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest

Thank you

Please note that Archaeology can be quite physically demanding, so please contact to discuss any limiting factors with regard to you undertaking fieldwork.

Please contact us if you have any issues.

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:

Please have a look at the Information page for more details to enable you to come along and join the course, and to get the most out of the experience.

The page contains information on getting to the site, ideas about where to stay, what to wear, what to bring, and more.

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

Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project pages:

King John’s Palace:


Experience Nottinghamshire Robin Hood Town Tours Nottingham Castle City of caves Nottingham Nottingham University Archaeology Museum Galleries of Justice Nottingham Creswell Crags Mansfield Museum

If 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…

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


Payment options

You can book your place for any of the weeks of the training course via a number of ways:



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

Click here to view full terms and conditions including our health and safety policy


Please choose your payment option below and click “Buy Now”


Places are limited so please book promptly to avoid disappointment.


Topographic Survey Course week: 7th - 11th October, 2024.

Topographic Survey Course 2024




Topographic Survey Course 2024 DEP




Topographic Survey Course 2024  Balance




Book your place by paying in FULL £350:


Pay £150 non-refundable DEPOSIT to reserve your place:


2024 Dates:

Week of

7th - 11th October

£350 per person

*Please note that while aspects of this course will be in-depth, attendance on the course will not qualify delegates to work as an archaeological surveyor; no matter how high the quality of tuition a week long course cannot substitute for the years of experience, training and knowledge required.

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