Heritage is alive and kicking in Ashfield

NMAC11-0715-6''Teversal Manor
NMAC11-0715-6''Teversal Manor

Heritage in Ashfield has become quite a talking point over recent years with a great deal of interest being shown by both Ashfield District Council and the community.

The past decade has seen many exciting projects, which has researched and highlighted our local heritage. A recent Heritage Fair enabled us and about 18 community groups to display the many projects that have been carried out over the past 10 years.

Each project had its own excitement and differs greatly to others, including such things as restoration, archaeology, historic research and recording memories.

These have resulted in a wide variety of things for the public to enjoy such as DVDs, bus tours, books, leaflets, web sites, heritage trails, interpretation boards, cultural activities and restored sites to visit.

Following are some project examples:

The romantic and peaceful ruins of Annesley Old Church that nestles in a grade II listed park have not only been preserved with Heritage Lottery funds for generations to come, but a wide variety of activities are underway that revolve around the church, including the discovery of fascinating historical facts that reach around the world and several heritage walks, talks and tours.

Two community archaeological digs have taken place at Kirkby Hardwick, with a third one planned for the future. Here three large manor houses have been identified dating back to the 13th century. Members of the public are always invited to join the digs and so far two DVDs have been produced.

The Portland Path Project, which also included a community archaeological dig, has created a heritage trail along the route of a former horse drawn tramway.

They uncovered fascinating facts about the development of early British railways, which are available in a book produced by the group. The project shows how heavy industry thrived in what now appears to be tranquil countryside around Jacksdale.

The Selstonia Living Memory project researched the history of Selston from living memories and photographs. A wide variety of performance and craft activities took place over a period of three years, including radio broadcasts, plays, exhibitions, painting, creative writing, needlework, cooking, photography and I.T. Several books, DVDs and mosaics were created by people of all ages and especially working with local schools.

The Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group provided several years’ worth of free bus tours along with heritage walk and drive leaflets to help promote and interpret their local heritage.

The next exciting project to be undertaken is turning the shell of a 190 year old windmill, in the middle of Sutton, into a heritage centre that will outline the history of mills within the town. The whole project will take about two years and will involve people of all ages, so if you would like to be involved please contact me at the council offices on 01623 457426 or email d.g.hill@ashfield-dc.gov.uk.

Other projects included churches, heritage groups, miners, schools, conservation and work on two war memorials.

Many of the groups involved have produced items for sale, which proceeds enable the groups to further their interest in heritage.

Heritage in Ashfield is alive and exciting.