The Dove Valley Centre

Make the most of the Peak District National Park


Peeling Back The Layers is a new community archaeology project based at Under Whitle farm run by the Tudor Farming Interpretation Group - volunteers have been visiting Matlock, Lichfield and Stafford record offices with Simon, a professional historian, to unearth the stories of the people who lived here.  Children, volunteers and archeologists have dusted off their trowels to unearth the secrets under the ground. peeling back the  layers of turf and soil to find evidence of  barn and 17c house still with its ash pit filled with ashes.


We are eagerly awaiting the archaeologists reports as well as the pottery finds expert.


  Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Mick Aston Trust & the Peak District National Park.



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Inspired by the history of Whitle that we uncovered relating to the Tudor period, our local Peak District National Park Rangers and other volunteers decided to plan a series of educational days for local primary children that would help them understand how people might have lived here around the 1530’s.  We based the types of activities including cooking pottage, butter making, weaving, and dyeing wool to making a dead hedge and ploughing with oxen on original documents of the period such as the will of William Horobin and a land dispute here in 1538.  Children become Tudors’ for the day and compare the experiences to their own lives today, reflecting on whose lifestyle was the more sustainable. 
This is the fifth year that we have run days for schools and we have added to these by holding  successful public events in July with over  people coming to see what life was like here at Whitle in Tudor times. To add to the range of activities we were also lucky enough to have two archaeologists dig a small test pit on a flattened area of the site.  No major finds -but a 17century(probably) clay pipe.
In 2014 the  Tudor farming Project won  the national Bayer/FACE award for innovative learning.  Amazingly the ceremony was in the great hall at Lincoln Inn, London- the very same place that the Horrobyn land dispute was settled in William Horrobyn's favour! 
Our group has developed a great sense of comradeship researching and developing the project and a great delight at seeing what young people gain from the experience.



 Thanks to all who have given so much to make this project fun!