Skeletons could be clues to ancient battle site near Warsop

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A group of archaeologists are a step nearer discovering 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 18 months 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.

Paul Jameson, BIOHIS spokesman, said the group was close to getting a final decision to allow them permission to scan and then excavate the site near the church they believe the skeletons were re-interred.

He said: “No artefacts were found to help date the skeletons, but they were said to be the bodies of young men with perfect sets of teeth.

“A choirboy of that period remembers “pick type” damage to the 30 or so skulls he saw.”

They believe the bodies could be casualties from the 632 AD Saxon Battle of Hatfield, where King Edwin was slain.

The word, “Hatfield” has long been associated with the area and so far the society have traced it back to the Domesday book (1086), where it is referred to as, “Cukeney upon Hattefeild”. Additionally, Edwinstowe (meaning Edwin’s Holy or resting place) is only about three miles to the east.

BIOHIS has obtained written permission for work on the land surrounding St. Mary’s, from the Welbeck Estates Company Ltd. and The Diocese of Southwell will make a final decision on permission for church yard work shortly.

The group is currently applying for 10,000 to fund the work.

BIOHIS is holding a public meeting on 12th December at Cuckney Village Hall, at 7.30pm.