Mar 09

Feb 08

Nov 07

Dec 07

It was announced in early August 2007 that Tutbury Civic Society had succeeded in obtaining a grant of £36,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a detailed archaeological survey to determine the date of origin and purpose of the earthworks around Tutbury known as the Park Pale.

The project involved a non-invasive survey by Birmingham Archaeology (a part of Birmingham University) for which clearance of vegetation from two earthworks was necessary. BA will produce a survey report in due course. Four information panels using information from BA’s report will be erected at strategic points on a Heritage Walk around Tutbury.

The walk required a section of Permissive Footpath to complete the circuit and this permission was granted by the Duchy of Lancaster. Details of the project and the report’s findings will be the subject of a downloadable leaflet and map of the walk that will be available later this year.

The two Scheduled Ancient Monuments, 238A which crosses Chatsworth Drive and 238B that runs alongside the Park Pale Playing Field needed to be cleared of dense vegetation, old hawthorns and scrub in order that they could be surveyed. This necessary clearance, after centuries of neglect, was also important to reveal the considerable size and significance of these earthworks in their landscape setting. The clearance was done according to a specification drawn up by Staffordshire County Council Archaeologist and approved by English Heritage. The ongoing work of repair and re-seeding with grass should help these massive earthworks to take their proper place in Tutbury’s history.

At the same time a splendid set of steps up to a stile was built in Park Lane, Tutbury.

1: Park Lane steps under construction

2: Park Lane steps after completion

The steps give access to the new Permissive Footpath which leads around another section of massive earthwork to the already existing public footpath system.

Birmingham Archaeology came on site in mid November and carried out various types of surveying work that added to work previously carried out at, and around, the Castle. Members of the Civic Society helped with the donkey work of moving apparatus etc.

It was a feature of Tutbury Civic Society’s grant application that school children should be much involved in this work with the belief that this would help perpetuate an understanding of and respect for Tutbury’s history.

Birmingham Archaeology prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the Richard Wakefield School to make to a whole school assembly that was intended to coincide with the pupils field work with BA on the part of the earthwork that actually runs into the school grounds. The children all had a go with the instruments and seemed captivated by the explanations of what was going on.

3: Pupils walking to site

4: Pupils using surveying equipment

5: Pupils on field trip

6: Pupils with Birmingham Archaeology


Feb 08 Update

Well, what is going on? At the present moment the collected field data will have been downloaded for the desk research where features of it will be compared with known data from other sites and information already collected about Tutbury’s history and eventually the report will be published to Tutbury Civic Society in late March early April this year.

On receipt of the report the Society will start preparing the data and illustrations required for the information panels and the downloadable leaflet. When the panels are made and erected we shall be inviting the HLF to come to an unveiling ceremony.

Throughout this whole exercise filming has been taking place and will conclude with the unveiling ceremony. The filming looks at every aspect and will clearly demonstrate the before, after and in-between effect. A finally edited DVD will be published as a record of the project and we also expect to make this available for purchase.

Tutbury Civic Society is indebted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, Staffordshire County Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, Duchy of Lancaster, Alfred McAlpine plc and others for inspiration, advice, understanding and help in this major exercise

J F Hicklin
4 February 2008