New community archaeology project, the Woodchurch Big Dig, launches this October

September 30, 2016
Joanne Kirton

Big Heritage are set to descend upon Wirral’s oldest primary school this autumn to explore previously undiscovered archaeology hidden under Woodchurch Estate.

The project will see a month long community excavation take place around Woodchurch CofE Primary School, which opened its doors as a school 350 years ago this year.

Whilst the vast majority of the Woodchuch Estate was constructed in the 1950s, it still retains a medieval village core. The earliest reference to Woodchurch is found in the Domesday Book of 1087, almost 1000 years ago, and the oldest building, Holy Cross Church, has stood since the 12th century.

Big Heritage will be running the excavation and the volunteer training sessions and are keen for members of the local community to pick up a trowel and take part. We are partnering with Woodchurch CofE, Wirral Globe Primary School of the year, who will be helping organise the community involvement.

On the surface, Woodchurch seems like a normal post-war council estate, but in fact, there has been an important settlement in the area since at least the Norman Conquest. We are excited to be working with the community to explore and celebrate the heritage of this amazing place, and hope lots of local people come along and volunteer. We have a range of different activities that will run throughout the project. You don’t have to get your hands dirty to get involved!”

woodchurch-dig-kids

Alongside excavation, the project has already unearthed a ‘treasure trove’ of records in the school archives stretching back hundreds of years, which record attendance and important events taking place in the village, such as WW2 bombing raids. Part of the project will work with volunteers to record and help preserve these invaluable records.

Assistant Head Teacher, Laura Jones said “We are so excited to be learning more about the history of our area, and the children have been inspired by the idea of learning about life as a Woodchurch pupil in the past.”

The project will run for 6 months and has been supported by funding from Heritage Lottery Fund.

If you would like to learn more about the project or sign up to volunteer please visit http://bigheritage.co.uk/woodchurch-big-dig/ or call us on 01244 515568.

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