Archaeologists put in new £10,000 bid for Cuckney battle skeletons dig

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A group of archaeologists have made their final bid for a £10,000 investigation to discover whether 200 buried skeletons will prove an ancient battle took place near Warsop.

The Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society (BIOHIS) hopes to rewrite the history of the Battle of Hatfield and relocate the site of the death of Edwin - England’s first Christian king - from Doncaster to Cuckney.

The group has spent two years trying to resolve the mystery of the skeletons discovered in mass burial pits by subsidence contractors at St. Mary’s Church, Cuckney in 1950/51.

To kickstart the work they have submitted a bid for £10,000 Heritage Lottery Funding this week for a wide-ranging study involving the whole community.

Paul Jameson, BIOHIS spokesman, said: “Our first Heritage Lottery Fund (“HLF”) bid was submitted last August and declined in October.

“We’ve given this our very best shot as we’ve submitted a project to do an umbrella of six subjects about the local villages of Cuckney, Norton and Holbeck plus the Welbeck Estate of which trying to solve the mystery of the Battle of Hatfield is just the final one.

“For example, we have incorporated bringing an exciting photo collection taken from 1880 to 1940 to wider attention.

“We will also investigate the origins of Cuckney Castle which is part of Cuckney Church graveyard.

“A lot of thinking went into this bid and it is radically different.

“This is much more of a Community focussed bid and 159 local people have signed up to get involved, including about 70 children from two local schools.”

BIOHIS has been given permission to scan and then excavate the site near the church they believe the skeletons were re-interred.

The group will know by mid June if they have have secured HLF funding and will go ahead with the excavation soon after.