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Digging Deeper

A Community Archaeology Project based at Under Whitle, Sheen 
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The Origins of Whitle

The Tudor Farming Interpretation Group was delighted when it received a National Lottery Heritage Fund (NHLF) grant for their exciting heritage project, Digging Deeper – The Origins of Whitle, a community archaeology project based at Under Whitle farm, Sheen. 

Commenting on the NHLF award, Hilary Butler, a member of the Tudor Farming Interpretation Group said; “We are delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players for the chance to reveal the origins of Whitle and to record this special heritage for future generations. We are also grateful for funding from the Peak District National Park Communities Small Grant Scheme.” 

However, because of the Covid19, the project had to be extended to two years and the dig was postponed until August and September this year, although the historical research carried on throughout.  

The project focuses on the excavation of a potential medieval house platform previously investigated as part of Peeling Back the Layers archaeology project in 2016. Although the digging part has now finished, we are busy analysing the findings and hope finally to ascertain the origins of Whitle by matching historical research to the archaeology revealed in these new excavations. 

Archaeobotanical sampling on-site during the dig will tell us of the historic flora and possibly of earlier farming practices.  

An open day during the ‘dig’ enabled the general public to see what had been found and a further open day in 2022 will offer guided walks to the public and school children on the newly updated archaeology trail bringing the story of Whitle to life. The trail will continue to be open to the public in the future. We will share our findings through talks, reports and a new website. 

The excavation for ‘Digging Deeper’ provided a unique opportunity for local people, the wider community including Mosaic groups (people from black and minority ethnic groups) to get involved, working together to find out how this landscape was lived in earlier times. We offered training in archaeological techniques with the chance to ‘dig the dirt’ alongside professional archaeologists and to learn of new techniques in archaeobotanical sampling. Volunteers have had the opportunity to develop their skills as well as contribute towards the nationally recognised Archaeology Skills Passport. 

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Further information

If you would like any further information at this time, please contact Dr Ian Parker Heath (Project Manager).

Project Website:

Telephone: 01298 384191

Mobile: 07956 987 930


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