The Foxearth Mini Heritage Centre

The official opening of the Foxearth Mini Heritage Centre took place in the Parish Church  on Saturday 22nd March. This was the culmination of a year of local community research organised by Parochial Church Council Secretary Corinne Cox as part of the Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative and made possible by a grant of £4,000 from the National Heritage Lottery “All Our Stories” fund. The day also saw the publication of Corinne’s book, “Foxearth Treasures” which is a social history of the village and incorporates a guide to the Parish Church of  Ss. Peter and Paul.

The proceedings were opened by the Team Rector, Rev. Margaret King who recalled the misgivings she had about the future of the church when she arrived in the area 7 years ago. She congratulated Corinne on her achievement which has demonstrated that new life is being breathed into the function of the church by this innovative idea.

Ashley Cooper, local historian, author and President of the District Local History Society commended Corinne’s enterprise in the way she had organised the archaeological work in the village and her scholarship in writing the book; this was clearly an important piece of  social history. No stranger to finding centuries-old relics himself, Ashley voiced his pride that an axe head thought to be over 200,000 years old had been found by a young villager, Tom Graham (9 years old) in a nearby field.

Mrs Cox thanked all in the village who had helped by providing information about their old houses and who had allowed test pits to be dug in their gardens. These excavations had uncovered a great variety of fragments – all of which were on show in the heritage showcases – and had generated an enthusiasm among participants which she hoped would be carried on into the next phase. Corinne said that her work with the test pits had shown great potential for further research and that more Foxearth Treasures books would follow. All proceeds from sales of her book (£5) would  go towards a fund for the repair of the Church’s North Aisle roof . Her new book, “Foxearth Pals”about local folk in the First World War, will also be published in the near future. Corinne expressed her indebtedness to Dr Carenza Lewis ( Cambridge University and Channel Four’s Time Team) and her colleagues for valuable advice and support during the project.

Dr Lewis performed the traditional tape-cutting ceremony and spoke of her admiration for Corinne’s efforts. She conveyed something of her own passion for hands-on archaeology as she anticpated the massive amount of historical evidence waiting to be unearthed (literally!). Community involvement was a rich resource which brought many rewards.

The launch was well attended by folk from the village and beyond who enjoyed a buffet lunch and drinks as they mingled and viewed the many exhibits on show.

Kenneth Nice, Orchard Cottage, Foxearth Tel: 01787 375688

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