The historic landscape is all around us. In recognition of that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested in a project known as Layers of History which uses heritage to connect with, empower and improve communities.
Layers of History is a three-and-a-half-year long project (now in its third year) that is designed to engage members of the public with their local historic landscape. Across eight study sites, the Layers of History team have provided volunteers with the skills, knowledge and tools to interpret and record landscape features.
Three of these sites have been, Aslackby, Harlaxton and Southrey Woods.
At Aslackby we spent three days (which just happened to be some of the hottest days of the Summer) working with the Geophysical survey team from Archaeological Project Services. We carried out a resistivity survey at Temple Farm and potentially discovered the circular church of the Knight’s Templar preceptory. The other two days we completed magnetometry surveying in Castle Field, but unfortunately didn’t locate any significant evident of a structure from the past.
Work at Harlaxton included a field walk at Lower Lodge Farm, where we were able to walk over the site of several pre-historic features which had primarily been identified on aerial photographs in the 1970’s. It has been suggested by archaeologists that one feature could represent a Neolithic cursus, similar in form to the stone structure found at Carnac in Brittany, France. However, the Harlaxton example would have been built of wooden posts rather than stone ones. Several ‘worked flint tools’ were discovered on the day and await further analysis to tell us more; watch this space.
A recent part of this project has been our work at Southrey Woods where we spent the last week of September and first week of October working with a diverse group of individuals. For this part of the project we were working in collaboration with the People’s Partnership. The People’s Partnership specialise in enabling ‘access and amplifying the voice of hidden and hard to reach people of Lincolnshire.’ We set up ‘camp’ in the woods, bringing all the facilities we needed to support our 150 visitors. It provided an amazing opportunity to share our Layers of History story with a diverse range of individuals who may otherwise not have had access to the project. The woodland setting was particularly magical, providing us with a peaceful location which was enjoyed by all, especially when clouds of damselflies visited our workshops.
By playing the National Lottery, you will have helped pay for this project which has:
Delivered 90 workshops and training days covering diverse subjects such as geophysical surveys to historic cookery.
Recruited 230 volunteers who have extended our understanding of Lincolnshire’s landscape.
Provided unique learning experiences for 6 schools and over 180 pupils.
Provided local historic landscape information to over 1000 members of the public.
Created 18 sets of loan equipment including surveying equipment, digital cameras and digital oral recording equipment.
The information gathered will go on to be use to form an interactive map of the county that includes digital reconstructions of four of the sites, as well as adding to the archives and Historic Environment Record for Lincolnshire.
Thank you for supporting such an important project which will lay the foundations for a better understanding of our landscape.