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Stones at Thynghowe, Hanger Hill, Sherwood Forest Thynghowe (geograph 3183365).jpg
Stones at Thynghowe, Hanger Hill, Sherwood Forest

Thynghowe was an important Viking Era open-air assembly place or thing , located at Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire, England. It was lost to history until its rediscovery in 2005 by the husband and wife team of Stuart Reddish and Lynda Mallett, local history enthusiasts. [1]


The assembly mound is at Hanger Hill, [lower-alpha 1] close to a parish boundary stone. [lower-alpha 2] As a result of continued research, Thynghowe is now included on the English Historic England Archive. [4] [5]



Thynghowe: (Thyng..howe)

The first element 'Thyng' is from Old Norse ' Þing ' - ("thing") ("assembly place"). [lower-alpha 4] [lower-alpha 5]

The next element ' howe ' is from Old Norse ' haugr ' ("mound" or "grave-mound" ). [lower-alpha 6]

Name history

The name changed and evolved over time :


The site lies amidst the old oaks of an area known as the Birklands in Sherwood Forest. [3] Experts believe it may also yield clues as to the boundary of the ancient Anglo Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. [lower-alpha 12]

It functioned as a place where people came to resolve disputes and settle issues.

The name Thynghowe is of Old Norse origin, although the site may be older than the Danelaw, perhaps even Bronze Age. [5] The word howe often indicates the presence of a prehistoric burial mound. [lower-alpha 13]

The thyng or thing was historically the governing assembly in Germanic peoples [lower-alpha 14] and was introduced into some Celtic societies as well. It was made up of the free people of the community and presided over by law-speakers. [13]


  1. The name changed and evolved over time: [1]
    • Þing-haugr - (Old Norse) c. 9th-10th cent.
    • Thing-haugr
    • Thynghowe
    • hynger howe
    • Hanger Hill - c. 17th cent.
    • Thynghowe - rediscovered 2005
  2. The boundary stone marks out where three parish boundaries meet:
    • Perlethorpe Cum Budby CP
    • Edwinstowe CP
    • Warsop CP
    Magic Map: Hanger Hill , Sherwood Forest:
    • Overview map of parish boundaries (1:50,000) [2]
    • Detail map of Hanger Hill (1:5,000) [3]
  3. Old Norse Þing-haugr: "The mound where the assembly meet" [6]
    • Old Norse Þing: "assembly"
    • Old Norse haugr: "mound"
  4. Old Norse Þing: "assembly place" [7]
  5. Old Norse Þing is pronounced "thing", see Thing, British Isles
  6. Old Norse haugr: "mound" [8] or "grave-mound" [9]
  7. The "mycel hæþen here" (Great Heathen Army) over wintered at Torksey (near Lincoln) AD 872-3 [10] [11] This was probably the first opportunity for the Danes to discover the Sherwood Forest area. The distance from Torksey to Edwinstowe is about 19 miles via A6075 ( Google ).
  8. Old Norse Þing is pronounced ” thing ” , see Thing, British Isles
  9. In 2011, English Heritage inspected the site, and confirmed it was known as "Thynghowe" in 1334 and 1609.
  10. People of Celtic origin found the ' Þ ' of the Old Norse language ( pronounced ” th ” ) difficult, hence words that began ' th ' were often shortened to begin with just ' t ' or ' h ' (e.g. Number three - "tree")
  11. It was lost to history until its rediscovery in 2005 by the husband and wife team Lynda Mallett and Stuart Reddish [1]
  12. In the year AD 942 the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reported that, following the military conquest of Danish Mercia by Eadmond, a new boundary existed between the lands of the Norse kings and of Eadmond . [12]
    ... on a very ancient line dividing the historical Mercia from Deira ...
    . . . the Eastern Peak District . . .
    . . . the Western fringe of Sherwood Forest . . .
    . . . the River Humber . . .
  13. Old Norse haugr: "mound" [8] or "grave-mound" [9]
  14. Tacitus portrayed the Germanic tribal assembly as both a legislative and decision-making body... [13]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Williams 2017, pp. 219–220.
  2. "MAGiC MaP : Hanger Hill , Sherwood Forest (1:50,000)". Natural England - Magic in the Cloud.
  3. 1 2 "MAGiC MaP : Hanger Hill, Sherwood Forest (1:5,000)". Natural England - Magic in the Cloud.
  4. "Thynghowe and the Forgotten Heritage of Sherwood".
  5. 1 2 Archaeologists to probe Sherwood Forest's Thing (BBC)
  6. Reaney 1969, p. 184.
  7. Arthur 2002, p. 8.
  8. 1 2 Arthur 2002, p. 96.
  9. 1 2 Arthur 2002, p. 65.
  10. Adams 2017, pp. 122 123.
  11. "MAGiC MaP: Torksey, Lincolnshire". Natural England - Magic in the Cloud.
  12. Adams 2017, pp. 409 410.
  13. 1 2 Higham & Ryan 2015, p. 102.




Coordinates: 53°12′31.71″N1°6′6.51″W / 53.2088083°N 1.1018083°W / 53.2088083; -1.1018083

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