Around 50 people attended  The Church of St John the Baptist in Whittington for a fascinating presentation and discussion led by Whittington Castle Preservation Trust and SharedPast.

SharedPast is an organisation created by Professor Stewart Ainsworth and colleagues to work with communities on archaeological investigations.

The two organisations shared plans for a proposed community project to investigate the archaeology of the medieval parish of Whittington as well as bringing to life many of the characters associated with the village before, during and after the building of the Castle.  This will be subject to funding being awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  A bid will be submitted in November.

Professor Ainsworth described how, by using a combination of online, workshop-based and outdoors activities including research, training in understanding the landscape, community volunteers can learn to discover the past. He was keen to point out that that there’s a lot more to discovering archaeology than just excavation although the project will include some digging at some stage!

The audience was shown stunning interpretations of the landscape using LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging). Professor Ainsworth talked about the recent visit of the University of Chester’s Digital on Tour, now captured on a delightful film of the day.

Davina Fairweather, a member of the WCPT Board explained how the project fits with their overall plans to develop the Castle for the community and visitors.

Professor Ainsworth went on to speak about how fascinated he was by the ‘lumps and bumps’ he discovered while researching our area prior to his first meeting with the Trust.  ‘There is so much to explore, new discoveries to make and probably some history to rewrite!’

After the presentations everyone was invited to discuss the project and to put forward their views.  There was a consensus that we need to put the community back into Whittington and that the project is a great way to achieve our goal.

For more information please contact Davina Fairweather