Ancient farm site meets 21st century website
THE historic treasures of Northamptonshire’s Chester Farm can now be discovered online with the launch of a new website.
The online site has been set up by Northamptonshire County Council to tell the stories of the £12.7m Chester Farm project, part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Chester Farm – near Wellingborough – has more than 10,000 years of Northamptonshire’s heritage surviving in the landscape, under the ground and in the buildings – not just a Roman walled town but also evidence of settlement from the Mesolithic, Iron Age and Medieval periods together with a complex of 16th to 20th century buildings.
The restoration will take at least two years and Team Chester Farm want to share all the behind-the-scenes stories as they happen.
Cllr Heather Smith, county council deputy leader, said: “We want to share the stories of this fascinating heritage site and tell people about the journey we are on to open it up for everyone’s benefit and enjoyment.
“Chester Farm is a very rich historical monument and what’s exciting about this particular site is the many layers of history that we have in just one place.
“This is a very important stage of the project and the launch of the website is perfect timing as we uncover more and more detail from the past.”
The launch of the website coincides with the discussion of a report on the future of Chester Farm at a meeting of the county council’s cabinet.
While work is taking place, a quarterly newsletter will be issued, with the first edition scheduled for today, Friday. The website: chesterfarm.co.uk will feature a developing series of Chester Farm stories which will criss-cross the centuries.
Areas covered include the Roman history, 18th century gardens, results of the research into the historic orchard, aerial photography showing the Roman walled town, geophysical maps, field names from 1756 and the restoration of a wildflower meadow. The website will also include team profiles as well as project and archaeological updates.
Chester Farm (pictured) is a site of just 84 acres, overlooking the Nene Valley.
The restoration will take at least two years and will see the traditional Northamptonshire buildings restored from their present crumbling state to provide a conference and training facility, café, a county-wide archaeological resource centre and an education facility.