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The Field Detectives is a group of historians that seek opportunities to survey fields that can tell us more about how our historic landscapes evolved. By sharing the findings from our field surveys, we help to inform and re-engage people with their local heritage. One of our favourite sayings is “Every field tells a story”.



The Field Detectives shared their progress on the search for Stathern Hall, the home of Colonel Francis Hacker, to over eighty people at St Guthlac’s Church. This was an opportunity for people to learn, engage and get involved with the challenge of finding and commemorating the place where the Death Warrant of Charles I was kept for eleven years from 1649 until its return to London in 1660.


Philip Yorke, the author of the best-selling Hacker Chronicles books gave an insight into the life and times of Colonel Francis Hacker, family historian and author, Catherine Pincott-Allen provided an overview of the Hacker family tree, geologist Geoff Kimbell introduced the audience to the Lidar landscape findings, and Aileen and Peter Ball shone light on the geophysics surveys and explained their interpretations of the readings and the accompanying images.

The day was a wonderful success, it was a fabulous turnout and many people expressed their interest regarding future involvement with the investigation. Artefacts found near the village were brought along, and suggestions, theories and discussions were branching out across the pews long after the presentation was over. To top it all, a lady stepped forward to announce that she had some ancient documents in her loft that might be of some interest to everyone. What follows in the form of a physical historic landscape investigation is in the hands of the landowners, so we shall have to wait and see what emerges on that particular front. On the continuing off the field research front, we can be more optimistic.


We envisage a Search for Stathern Hall update presentation at St Guthlac’s for spring 2024. Perhaps this time, we can create an opportunity for the event to incorporate a themed option. 17th-century attire for those brave enough to get involved, and of course, cakes...

A copy of the 'Search for Stathern Hall' Report can be downloaded here

Field Detectives Calendar

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