Monday, 20 June 2011

News- Appeal to Solve Lost Village Mystery (Little Stapleford

Readers are being called on to help solve the mystery of a lost village.

Miss Anne Coyne, of Farndon Archaeological Research and Investigations, at Newark Library with the exhibition about the lost village of Little Stapleford. (080611MW12-4)

Little Stapleford is mentioned in historical documents as early as the 13th Century, but no trace of it can be found today.

Amateur archaeologists who have researched the village think it was located somewhere to the north-west of Brant Broughton.

The village may have been on the other side of the River Witham to the existing village of Stapleford, which in medieval times was known as Stapleford Magna to distinguish it from its smaller neighbour.

It had a chapel but this may have been demolished in the 14th Century with the wood and stones possibly used in the building of St Helen’s Church, Brant Broughton.

Farndon Archaeological Research and Investigations (FARI) has produced a display about the lost village at Newark Library, which runs to June 25.

It includes maps, historical documents and aerial photographs used in the research.

The group’s events co-ordinator, Miss Anne Coyne, and assistant secretary, Mrs Rae Elliott, have been researching the village.

Miss Coyne said they had exhausted every form of research possible, but its precise location remained shrouded in mystery.

She said: “We are seeking help from the people of Newark and the surrounding district in solving the mystery.”

In particular, they are looking for the contact details of Mr David Merchant, who wrote an article about the existing Stapleford village for the North Kesteven community website.

“Mr Merchant used notes from a Miss Elsie Pask who was a local historian from Stapleford and the notes may help pinpoint the location,” said Miss Coyne.

She is also keen to hear from any descendants of the late Mrs Martha Mee (nee Savage).

A Stapleford WI scrapbook from 1965 records her death and says she was born in the hamlet known as Little Stapleford in 1877.

Miss Coyne said they would also like to hear from anyone who had old maps of Brant Broughton in a private collection.

She can be contacted on 01636 611640 or at

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