Hope Castleton Medieval People

Hope and Castleton Historical Societies have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to learn about the ordinary medieval people of the two villages in Derbyshire.

inHeritage will be working with the societies to facilitate the project. We will help manage the project, provide skills in landscape archaeology, historical and interpretive writing, booklet production and graphic design.
The press release is below:

Hope and Castleton Historical Societies win Heritage Lottery Fund support
Today, Hope and Castleton Historical Societies have received £26,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Digging Hope and Castleton’s Medieval History, in Castleton and Hope. Led by volunteers from the local community, the project aims to discover where the common people lived during the medieval period. The two societies are working together between now and March 2013 – and they need your help.
The project will try to find out about the ‘hidden history’ of Castleton and Hope villages between the Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Civil War in 1642. While history can often tell us about kings, lords and landowners, it is more difficult to track down the ordinary people who lived and worked in the Peak District’s villages. This is because they don’t appear in as many historical documents, most of which are about property, and their history can remain hidden.
Di Curtis of Hope Historical Society says “We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund who have awarded the Society a grant to look into the medieval history of Hope and Castleton. This means we can undertake documentary research, dig archaeological test pits and survey the old routes between the two villages.”
Angela Darlington of Castleton Historical Society says “The test pits will be dug in people’s gardens in both villages during the first two weeks in July. We are looking for finds such as old pots that can show where people lived during the medieval period. Each test pit will be a metre square. We hope to dig each one in a day.”
Finds from the test pits will be shown at an open day then some will be put on display in Castleton Museum. Pupils and students from Castleton and Hope primary schools and Hope Valley College will also join in a range of activities to learn about their medieval ancestors.
If you live in Castleton and Hope and would like to find out more about the project there is a talk at Castleton Village Hall on Monday 30th January at 7:30pm. The Societies are looking for volunteers to help with the test pits, surveying the old routeways and doing research in the record offices. If you would like to get involved in the archaeology or documentary research, or are happy to have a test pit dug on your garden please get in touch with Di Curtis, 01433 620724, or Angela Darlington, 01433 620281,
The project is managed by the two societies with the help of Bill Bevan, and the archaeological assistance of the University of Sheffield.
Explaining the importance of the HLF support, HLF Grants Officer in the East Midlands, Greg Pickup, said: “We were delighted to support this exciting volunteer-led project. It will provide opportunities for the whole community to gain new skills whilst exploring a hidden part of the Hope Valley’s fascinating heritage. The project will uncover stories that have been buried for centuries, allowing people to discover how the lives of common people shaped the history of Hope and Castleton in Medieval times.”

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