Nottingham Castle Sent Back the Middle Ages for a Weekend of Medieval Merriment!

Archaeology Live! at Nottingham Castle

Issued 08/06/2015

Visitors to the grounds of the fortification are in for a time-travelling treat this July when Nottingham’s medieval history is explored with a series of themed events and a special archaeological dig.

Jointly organised by Nottingham City Council and York-based The JORVIK Group, operators of the world famous JORVIK Viking Centre, the ‘Medieval Merriment’ event promises to catapult visitors back to the middle ages. With opportunity to take part in ‘Have-A-Go Archery’ pot making and even the chance to meet a Barber Surgeon and discover the more grisly side to medieval medicine.

“The Middle Ages are a fascinating time in England’s history, with so many colourful characters and hilarious stories to tell, so we are very excited to bring our ‘Medieval Merriment’ event to Nottingham.”

Comments Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust (YAT), the owners of The JORVIK Group.

“We will be sending our team of medieval hosts, who will be on hand to help visitors re-discover the Middle Ages. Special focus will be given to the importance of archery, a vital skill that all English boys had to learn, especially in this, the 600th anniversary of Agincourt.”

However, it’s not all fun and games as alongside the jesting colleagues from Trent & Peak Archaeology, the Nottingham- based division of YAT, will be undertaking a community archaeological dig in partnership with Nottingham City Council and Historic England. Called ‘Archaeology Live!’ and taking place during the national Festival of Archaeology, the excavation will be located within the castle grounds to add to the exploration of the medieval period in Nottingham.

“Nottingham Castle has always been central to the history of the city; from the Norman Conquest and the Civil Wars, through to civil disturbances in the 19th century, this site has seen a lot of action over the years. For an Archaeologist this means that there is the potential to discover some very interesting evidence that will help us better understand the heritage of the area.”

Said Dr Paul Johnson from Trent & Peak Archaeology.

“With this up-coming dig the people of Nottingham will be able to explore the methods we use to uncover history, as they will have a ringside seat to all the action taking place during the dig. There will also be a chance to ask our team of experts’ questions on archaeology and any finds we discover.”

Archaeology Live! with Medieval Merriment takes place in the grounds of Nottingham Castle on Saturday 18th July, 11am to 4pm. Event is included in Castle admission fee and there will be a small charge for some activities. For more information visit


Notes to Editors



The JORVIK Group:

The JORVIK Group is owned by York Archaeological Trust and comprises:

JORVIK Viking Centre, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014


Barley Hall

Richard III Experience at Monk Bar

Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar

The JORVIK Group also organises York’s annual JORVIK Viking Festival in February and the Yorkshire Medieval Festival in August.

York Archaeological Trust

York Archaeological Trust (YAT) is an independent charity which investigates the past for the benefit of present communities and future generations. With over 40 years of expansion and experience in linking professional skills and expertise in the practise of archaeology across the U.K., it carries out carefully targeted and cost effective archaeological recording, excavation and research for a broad range of clients and partners.

Since its inception YAT has grown to be one of the UK’s biggest archaeological organisations, taking part in over 350 excavations and 1400 watching briefs, growing from its head office in York, to extend to three further offices in Glasgow, Sheffield and Nottingham.

YAT has an ongoing commitment to community involvement, education and training in archaeology, and the presentation of archaeological discoveries to the public through a number of innovative and dynamic ways including visitor attractions, lectures, publications and events.

More information can be found at

Festival of Archaeology

More information on the Festival of Archaeology can be found at:

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