September 24th, 2016

Rescuing borough’s hidden history

Updated: 10:15 am, May 07, 2015

A PROJECT is underway to help rescue part of the borough’s hidden history.

English Heritage believe the Feckenham Manorial Moated site to be at significant risk and time is running out to unlock any secrets which may be lying beneath the ground because of activity on the site.

The land is currently home to the village recreational ground and children’s play area, while a moated area which was visible has become overgrown and people walking on some of the remaining earthworks are causing damage. Housing development has also been allowed to take place near to the land.

Now English Heritage, with the support of Worcestershire County Council, has enlisted the help of about 30 villagers to embark on a community project to carry out a geophysical survey of the site to see what exactly may remain underneath the ground.

They hope to use the information to map out the layout of the former hunting lodge, destroyed in 1356, and will also be carrying out more detailed historical research with the aim of putting up information boards to raise awareness of its significance. Redditch Borough Council has also agreed to support the project by increasing maintenance around the moated area.

The project will cost about £20,000 which it is hoped will be obtained through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Judy Underwood, secretary of the Feckenham Community Archaeology Project, said it was possible there would be nothing to find.

“We really don’t know what’s there, it’s a complete mystery and that’s part of the excitement to me to find out what is under there,” she said.

“Once we have had the geophysical survey results interpreted and done more research it will enable us to raise awareness so people know it’s there because at the moment a lot of people don’t know or aren’t sure what it is.”

She added the survey would be carried out without causing any damage to the land or disrupting any of the activities the site is currently used for.

The group is currently working on putting together a proposal which will allow it to bid for funding with the aim of carrying out the survey at some point next year.