Museums and Heritage

If you fancy taking a break from Robin Hood, why not visit some of the wonderful independent museums and heritage buildings that aren’t on the beaten track?

LAXTON VISITOR CENTRE

As the only place in England still practising open field farming, Laxton is quite a special place. The small visitor centre is run by the villagers and uses maps and aerial shots to explain how the open field system works and why it still remains today. For a small donation, visitors can watch a video which provides some more detailed background information and purchase the useful walking guides. The centre is open from dawn to dusk.

Location: adjacent to the Dovecote Inn in the centre of Laxton. The public car park is free of charge
Admission: free
Contact: Main Street, Laxton, NG22 0NX
Tel: 01777 871586 (c/o Dovecote Inn). Web: www.laxtonvisitorcentre.org.uk

BETH SHALOM HOLOCAUST CENTRE

As the first dedicated Holocaust memorial and education centre in Britain, Beth Shalom (place of peace) attracts thousands of visitors from the UK and overseas every year. It encourages people from all backgrounds to explore why the Holocaust happened and how future generations can prevent genocide.

The centre is set in two acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, which provide an opportunity for reflection. Over 800 visitors have planted roses in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and it has become a place of pilgrimage for Jewish people.

Location: the Holocaust Centre is a large farmhouse on the right as you travel towards Laxton Village from Ollerton, and is surrounded by pine trees. The gates may be closed; if so, please ring the bell for attention
Admission: charge applies, please check for latest prices
Contact: Beth Shalom, Laxton, NG22 0PA
Tel: 01623 836627. Web: www.holocaustcentre.com

TUXFORD LOCK UP

‘Lock ups’ were built in rural areas to detain local drunks, rogues and suspected criminals before they were brought to trial. Tuxford’s Lock Up (or Prison) stands on the village green in Newcastle Street and is one of only two remaining in Nottinghamshire. Built in 1823, it has two separate cells (one for men and women) with their own earth closets. Each cell is ventilated via circular holes, which have iron bars set into them. Any violent offenders were restrained by rings and chains embedded in the walls. In 1884 an extension to the back of the building housed Tuxford’s fire engine. Look for boards sited around the town that announce when Tuxford Lock Up is open.

Location: on the small village green on Newcastle Street in the centre of Tuxford
Admission: please check
Contact: staff at the Tuxford Mine of Information can give directions, please telephone: 01777 870040

DUKE’S WOOD OIL MUSEUM

In a tranquil spot in the small village of Eakring, you can find the most unlikely setting for an oil well. In the Second World War, concerns about the supply of offshore oil resulted in the arrival of American oilmen, or ‘roughnecks’ as they were called, who came to drill for Nottinghamshire’s ‘black gold’. It is an unusual and interesting experience to walk round a woodland nature trail that is punctuated by drilling apparatus, and this important aspect of Nottinghamshire’s industrial heritage is still not widely known about. The museum building, which contains artefacts from the time, as well as photographs and film material about the workers, is usually open on Sunday afternoons during the summer months, but can be opened by request.

Location: the entrance to Duke’s Wood is off the minor road to Eakring which leaves the A617 near Kirklington, where there is a small car park
Admission: please check. The outdoor exhibits are free to view
Contact: Tel: 01623 882446 or 01623 883332 or telephone Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust on:
0115 9588242

TUXFORD WALKS OF LIFE

Anyone with an interest in agriculture or a nostalgia for the past, will enjoy visiting the Walks of Life Centre. The owner, Dorothy Harrison, has spent her retirement collecting and restoring agricultural and trade handcarts from milk prams to undertakers’ biers, providing a snapshot of a period of time before vehicles were petrol-driven. The collection is displayed in and around the buildings of a working farm. Please contact the owner to find out when the attraction is open.

Location: off the A6075 on the outskirts of Tuxford
Admission: small charge applies, please check for current prices
Contact: 33 Lincoln Road, Tuxford, NG22 0HR
Tel: 01777 870427. Web: www.visit-nottinghamshire.org.uk/walks-of-life/