Combine: Farming Heritage|East Midlands

Photo:Student with tutor Philip Buxton.

Student with tutor Philip Buxton.

photograph courtesy of Glassball

Photo:Documents from Nottinghamshire Archives

Documents from Nottinghamshire Archives

Courtesy of Glassball

Photo:Part of an ancient map of Laxton

Part of an ancient map of Laxton

Courtesy of Glassball

Photo:Young participants in Bassetlaw Museum

Young participants in Bassetlaw Museum

Courtesy of Glassball

Bottom Farm, Laxton. The beginning of the Nottinghamshire research.

Regional Farming Heritage Project

By Jane Wells

The East Midlands has a proud and distinct farming history. Combine is an exciting creative heritage project that aims to capture and promote the people, places and traditions that define the region’s rich agricultural past.

Combine has focused on six historic farms – one in each of the region’s six counties: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, LincolnshireNottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. It has brought together a unique mix of people to research, record and share these unique histories with local communities and the wider public.

Participants and partners include:

  • 6 museums and 6 historic archives from across the East Midlands region
  • 6 historic farms and farmers (one in each county)
  • 6 core groups of supported young people
  • 6 small groups of local people

Activities and outputs included:

  • Research workshop sessions in each county
  • A touring exhibition programme visiting both local and high profile venues across the region
  • Project website and online dissemination – media archive and online resource
  • Visitor/education resource pack (a farm history box for each farm/ community)
  • Series of project publications

The project took place over a two year period, beginning in early 2012 with the research phase.


The Nottinghamshire Connection

In Nottinghamshire the participants were students from The Dukeries College near Newark who worked with Stuart Rose of Bottom Farm in Laxton to research Nottinghamshire farming heritage. Stuart is a farmer, as his father was before him but he is also a very knowledgeable local historian with a wealth of information to share with the young people.

Laxton differs from other rural communities in that it still has in place an agricultural system that dates from medieval times. It has three Open Fields that come under the jurisdiction of the Court Leet and Jury, a legally constituted manorial court that ensures that the three year crop rotation continues and also oversees the maintenance of the strip boundaries.

The young people visited Bassetlaw Museum, Nottinghamshire Archives, Newark Livestock Market and tried the ancient sport of Falconry to build up a picture of how farming life was and has changed over the centuries. They then worked with artist Danny Callaghan to reflect on and interpret their findings creatively and made a beautiful new map of the Laxton area.

Now the research has been completed the exhibition is currently touring the region. It started at the Rutland County Museum and has been very well received by the general public.

Derbyshire based Junction Arts developed and led a strong partnership team to deliver this regionally significant heritage project that was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Natural England. 

For more information about the project and the exhibition timetable visit the website

This page was added by Jane Wells on 28/03/2014.
Comments about this page

You can see the Combine Exhibition at Ollerton Library between 4th & 28th April 2014. Go to the 'Diary of Events' section of this website for more information

By Website Administrator
On 28/03/2014

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