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Around the East Staffordshire Village of Tutbury there are three big linear earthworks which were created centuries ago by digging a large ditch and depositing all the spoil to one side of it. These ditches are referred to as a Park Pale. The features have been mapped for centuries without further explanation.

Tutbury Civic Society has worked for several years towards recovering these sites, two of which are Scheduled Ancient Monuments 238A and 238B.

These two would seem to be related - however, features of the third (yet to be scheduled) suggest that this third site could belong to another age.

The sites were out in the open countryside up until the late 1960’s. Subsequent housing development surrounded sites 238A and 238B. Neglect had allowed old hedgerow hawthorn, elder and scrub to overgrow and hide the earthwork’s true size and scale.

The idea to “recover” these sites was suggested by an English Heritage Inspector and pursued by Tutbury Civic Society.

Working with East Staffordshire Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, English Heritage and other supportive bodies Tutbury Civic Society drew up an application for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant that would enable clearance of the sites to a specification written by Staffordshire County Council’s Historic Environment Officer (Archaeology) and approved by English Heritage.

Only then could Birmingham Archaeology, part of Birmingham University carryout a sophisticated program of non-invasive archaeology and other research to try and determine the date of origin - and purpose of these earthworks.

The Tutbury Heritage Walk will be furnished with informative plaques and this web site will carry a downloadable (pdf) leaflet and map based on information from the Birmingham Archaeology report. Meanwhile progress will be reported on this web site.

The Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £36,000 received in August 2007 enabled an early start to the scheme . Steps and a style have already been constructed to connect Park Lane with a section of permissive footpath granted by The Duchy of Lancaster to connect with other rights of way and complete the circular tour.

Above left: Park Pale before clearance, right during clearance.

Surveyors from Birmingham Archaeology, left to right:
Emily Hamilton and Mark Kincey

Far left: New steps in Park Lane leading to Heritage Walk and permissive walkway. Left example of markers to denote route of walkway.

The Park Pale after clearance.

view photos of young archaeologists

Nov 07 Update