top of page


The Tudor Farming Interpretation Group was delighted to receive a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for an exciting heritage project, Digging Deeper – The Origins of Whitle, a community archaeology project based at Under Whitle farm, Sheen. Commenting on the award all the way back in 2019, Hilary Butler, a member of the Tudor Farming Interpretation Group said; “We are delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players for the chance to reveal the origins of Whitle and to record this special heritage for future generations. We are also grateful for funding from the Peak District National Park Communities Small Grant Scheme.”

The project focuses on excavating a potential medieval house platform previously investigated as part of Peeling Back the Layers archaeology project in 2016. This earlier excavation found evidence of a possible dwelling in the form of an ephemeral piece of daub, pottery dating to the 16th and possibly 15th century, and charcoal radiocarbon dating to 1350+/-30 years. With this project we are hoping to finally to ascertain the origins of Whitle by matching historical research to the archaeology revealed in these new excavations and perhaps reveal one of the earliest farmsteads in Whitle!

Because of Coronavirus the project was postponed and then extended to two years and the dig eventually took place between Aug 23rd and Sept 12th 2021, whilst the history research carried on throughout and is still underway. An open day during the dig enabled the general public to see what has been found so far and we were delighted to have over 80 visitors on the day!

‘Digging Deeper’ has provided a unique opportunity for local people, the wider community, including Mosaic groups (people from ethnic minorities) to get involved, working together to find out how this landscape was lived in in earlier times.

Experiencing the thrill of uncovering the past and joining in the history research to discover more about the people of Whitle and how they lived, has brought the past to life.

During the dig, volunteers had the opportunity to develop their skills as well as contributing towards the nationally recognised Archaeology Skills Passport.

We gave participants the chance to have a go at a range of archaeological techniques with the chance to ‘dig the dirt’, alongside professional archaeologists.

They also had the chance to learn about archaeobotanical sampling. Once the results are in, this archaeobotanical sampling will tell us of the historic flora and possibly of earlier farming practices. In the picture here our specialist Geoarchaeologist Dr Tudur Davies is laying out a grid to sample a newly discovered peat bog which we hope will prove to be of national importance in the information it gives us about the environment.

There will be a second open day in 2022 where we will be able to share all our results and offer guided walks to the public and school children on the newly updated archaeology trail bringing the story of Whitle to life. We will also share our findings through talks, reports and here on this website.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Further information

If you would like any further information at this time, please contact us.


bottom of page