Over the next three years a new Heritage Lottery funded project, ‘Rose of the Shires’, is going to be working in 6 key areas of Northamptonshire, each of which has been selected for the importance of its historic landscape and villages. Whittlewood is the second area to be involved, covering the villages of Abthorpe, Alderton, Paulerspury, Silverstone, Syresham and Whittlebury.
The project is managed by Rockingham Forest Trust and will be delivered by a team of historians and landscape archaeologists who have specialised in Northamptonshire’s past. They will also be using new data that allows them to recreate how the area would have looked in previous centuries.
Over the coming months the project will be providing talks, guided walks and working with small groups to discover more about the local heritage. There will be opportunities to find out more about the social history of the villages, to learn about the features and architecture of buildings and churches, to explore the historic landscape for evidence of how the area has changed over the centuries and to discover what still survives.
The first event will be at Syresham Village Hall at 7:30pm on Wednesday April 21st. There will be an introduction to the project followed by an illustrated talk by Dr Peter Hill, a member of the project team. ‘On the Heritage Trail’ looks at how village life in Northamptonshire used to be, with a particular focus on the Whittlewood area. Pubs, schools, occupations, local characters and traditions will all be discussed during the talk, all of which will be looked at in more detail later on in the project. The event is free but places are limited and must be booked. To reserve your places please call Rockingham Forest Trust on (01933) 625527 or e-mail
A second evening of illustrated talks, ‘Discovering the Past’, will be held at Syresham Village Hall on Tuesday May 18th at 7:30pm; this will begin to reveal the secrets of the local Buildings, Churches and Historic Landscapes. Fieldwork, aerial photography, ancient maps and other documents can all provide us with individual fragments of history. This event pulls the evidence together and starts telling the story of 700 years of change in Whittlewood.
‘A Walk Through Time’ takes place on Saturday 19th June. An opportunity to accompany the project team on walks to uncover the evidence of the past – from the earthworks of earlier buildings, the ridge and furrow of medieval farming and the enclosure hedgerows that transformed the landscape to the social change and evolution that can be seen in the buildings around us.
All these events are free but places are limited and must be booked. If you would like to attend any of the above events please call Rockingham Forest Trust on 01933 625527 or email