PUPILS who are on a Time Team type mission to uncover the historic foundations of a medieval manor under their Sheffield school took a further step into the past to learn how to create the archives of the time.

Tinsley Meadow Primary School has been working with Wessex Archaeology to uncover the medieval Manor Lodge – which once stood on the site of their school playing fields.

During the Middle Ages the manorial system was a central feature of social and economic life. And it was during this time that detailed records – called the Court Rolls – started to be made about all the workings of such a society, including how petty crimes were dealt with.

And last Saturday the pupils and other young people from archaeologist clubs across the region, recreated these medieval documents – from Sheffield Archives Court Rolls of Tinsley – just like the Lords of Tinsley had done, hundreds of years before, writing with old style quill pens and wax sealing the documents they produced.

The Heritage Lottery funded project, Exploring Tinsley Manor was one of the highlights of this year’s South Yorkshire Archaeology Day, which saw over 200 archaeology enthusiasts come together to celebrate the latest projects and discoveries in the region.

This year’s event hosted a range of talks, exploring whether Wortley Tin Mill really used tin, to the origins of prehistoric activity on Sutton Common. Civic Mayors from all four South Yorkshire authorities attended, along with professional and volunteer archaeologists.

Councillor Talib Hussain, Lord Mayor of Sheffield said: “In Sheffield we’re really proud of our local heritage and this event was a fantastic way to showcase our recent discoveries and inspire future generations to explore our rich history for years to come.”

The Tinsley project was born after a teacher at Tinsley Meadow Primary school realised it was built on the site of the Old Manor House, which was demolished in the 1960s. In partnership with Wessex Archaeology, pupils from the school have spent the last two years uncovering the old foundations and exploring the rich history of Tinsley.

Assistant Head at the school, Laura Chambers said: “All our pupils have been really enthusiastic about the project. Being an archaeologist for the day has inspired them to learn about our important local heritage and is something the children will always remember.”

South Yorkshire Archaeology Day will be back in November next year – to secure your place, join the mailing list with the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service by emailing: syorks.archservice@sheffield.gov.uk.