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Peeling Back The Layers

A Community Archaeology Project based at Under Whitle, Sheen

Peeling Back The Layers

Peeling Back the Layers was a hands-on educational project, run by the Tudor Farming Interpretation Group (TFIG).  A wide range of people investigated the history and archaeology of Whitle, Sheen and the surrounding landscape. 


Groups and individuals joined together with primary and secondary schools, young archaeologists, local history enthusiasts, and mental health groups in a fascinating exploration of our local heritage. 


​In 2004, an archaeological survey undertaken by Jim Rylatt of the Peak District National Park (Rylatt, J., 2005) identified a number of possible medieval or post-medieval features at Under Whitle. Research by the TFIG uncovered documents establishing the existence of farms and families in the Tudor period. 


​This project extended the historical research and peeled back the layers, to reveal the archaeological features and treasures beneath the ground! 


We have interpreted everything we discovered, creating a comic aimed at 7 to 11-year-olds, which was given out to all the schools involved, held public events, created a self-guided trail around the site, complete with interpretation panels at key places, and took a travelling exhibition and programme of talks around the surrounding towns and villages.  We even appeared at Derbyshire Archaeology Day in Chesterfield and the CBA West Midlands: News From the Past Day in Birmingham. 


We have also published one book, dedicated to the Sheen Graveyard survey, Resting in Peace, St Luke’s Sheen, and have started on a second, which will be about the Peeling Back the Layers project and the new Digging Deeper project, the things we found, and the experiences we had.  


This project has now ended but you can still visit the site and explore the history and archaeology discoveries on the self-guided trail. 

Further information

If you would like any further information, have a look at or contact us using our Get in Touch page.

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Project Gallery

We love working with communities on local history projects. We can provide help & advice in a variety of ways from funding applications to project management. 

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