Enthusiastic volunteers helped to make Whitwick’s Big Dig a wonderful community event. Over the weekend of 25th and 26th July, over 150 local people gave their time, energy and their gardens to support the project.

The event was organised by Charnwood Roots guided by project manager, Julie Attard. It was a positive collaboration between her team from the University of Leicester, professional archaeologists and groups such as the Young Archaeologists, Whitwick Scouts, Whitwick & District U3A, homeowners and their families and Whitwick Historical Group. Members of the Historical Group had supported the project during the planning stage and participated in all aspects of the Big Dig from allowing use of their gardens to washing the finds.

A spokesperson from the Historical Group stated, “All the volunteers were given some training before work began. Over the weekend, they were digging test pits, sieving soil, recording finds, cleaning objects and, eventually, backfilling the holes. Everyone learnt new skills whilst enjoying doing something completely different and helping to make it all a great success.

Whitwick had been chosen for the Big Dig because it is an ancient parish with a fascinating history. The village is mentioned in Domesday as Witewic, meaning either The White Farm or Hwita’s Farm. Whitwick was one of four early manors of Charnwood Forest. It is hoped that the finds from the Big Dig will answer questions about the early history of the village.”

During the weekend, the village was visited by The High Sheriff of Leicestershire, Gordon Arthur, and his wife and The Squire De Lisle who saw some of the test pits for themselves.

After all the activity and buzz of the two days, a social event was held at The Hare and Hounds pub in Whitwick where all the volunteers, homeowners and the team from Charnwood Roots enjoyed a hearty BBQ and the opportunity to relax.

On behalf of Charnwood Roots, Julie Attard expressed her gratitude to all the local people who had helped in so many ways. She announced that there will be an event in Whitwick in the autumn when the results of the Big Dig will be shared with everyone.

Published On: 1 July 2015By

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