So what is a Village Atlas you may be sat there asking? Well ….. we’d like you to help us research and write the history of your community, everyone loves a good story and what better stories are there than ones that happened to real people in the places we call home. Some of the information might end up in a book, some might help us create an online museum of the area.
The Brightwater area has a varied and fascinating past, from Romans, Saxons, Prince Bishops, The birth of the Railways, the story of the Aycliffe Angles during WW2, to the development of Newton Aycliffe as a post-war New Town, more recently it’s even been home to a Prime Minister. We think the area is so interesting it deserves a closer look, which is where you could come in and help us reveal and celebrate the area.
Interested members of each community will be supported by our experts (such as archaeologists, historians, botanists, wildlife experts) to research the heritage of their locality and the contribution that this has made to our landscape and culture.
The focus of activities will be guided by you and will vary from Atlas to Atlas, depending on what you are interested in and what is unique about where you live. Examples of work could include natural heritage surveys, guided walks, work looking at historical documents such as maps and estate records, oral history sessions to collect the knowledge and experience of the local community or sessions that provide training on the use of new technologies, such as lidar, to reveal local archaeology.
The atlas’ will be run alongside other projects such as archaeological digs so if research isn’t for you but you like getting your hands dirty then there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved. We’ll also be refreshing some existing heritage trails and with your help, we’d like to create some new ones too.
We are planning to run Altas projects over the next few years with the following communities, Sedgefield, Fishburn, Bishop Middleham, Sadberge, The Gypsy, Roma and Traveler community in Darlington, Houghton Le Skerne, Heighington and Aycliffe Village. Unfortunately due to the current situation with Covid 19, the start of these projects will be delayed slightly but we hope to get started as soon as it’s safe to do so.
If you are interested in taking part please let us know by signing up for our mailing list so we can make sure you get the information as soon as it’s available.