By Anonymous Writer

Exploring The Heritage of Helpston

It is likely that early people were hunting mammoths and bison in Helpston and neighbouring parishes 40, 000 years ago but it was not until the Neolithic period, about 4000 BC, that they started farming and living in permanent settlements. By the start of the Roman occupation in AD43 there was a landscape of buildings, fields and trackways.

There is abundant local evidence of Roman occupation which lasted for 400 years, notably the road which we now call King Street, the villa just south of Helpston village, excavated in 1828. Small fragments of Roman pottery are often found, brought up to the surface of fields by ploughing.  

Place name evidence dates Helpston and neighbouring villages to the Anglo- Saxon period and elaborate stone carvings can be seen at many local churches, for example Barnack and Castor.

One of the aims of the Langdyke Trust History and Archaeology  Group (HAG) is to trace the evolution of Helpston village from its origins to the present day and that was why we applied for Heritage Lottery funding in 2016.  We envisaged a community project, all the research being undertaken by volunteers, and funding for just one year was granted in May 2016.  This has been extended until July 31st to allow us time to complete it.

 We started by involving the children at John Clare Primary School and they pioneered the concept of the timeline Five Thousand Years and Counting.  The whole school walked round the village and identified and dated the old buildings.

The archaeologists have concentrated on digging test pits, 1 metre square holes, and recording pottery remains in 10 cm layers or contexts.  They have concentrated on the centre of the village and almost all pits provide evidence of continuous settlement.  Following the exciting discovery of Roman pottery behind the Exeter Arms last year they spent four days digging there in May 2017.  At a depth of 30cm they found the top of a length of wall, 5 courses down and 60cm across.  Could this be part of the Roman farmstead they were looking for?

The House Detectives Project launched in September 2016 has to be our  highlight.  It captured everyones  imagination and has been a huge success.  It was a challenge for them to find out the previous occupants and a surprise discovery in nearly every case was that the owners were not the occupiers.  There are also some amazing records of the restoration of old cottages.

It was decided in February that we would write a book as part of our legacy because it would be easily accessible for residents and visitors.  It is beautifully illustrated with over 30 old photographs, kindly loaned by residents, and a similar  number of recent photographs.  It is hoped that readers will walk round the village and it is set out street by street for this reason.  All the research will go on to the Langdyke website. (Langdyke.org.uk)

On Saturday July 8th starting at 2pm at Helpston Village Hall we are holding our End of Project Celebration and Book Launch to which everyone is invited.  There will be opportunities to see what we have achieved so far and what we might do next.  We shall have a huge resource on the website, notably census records starting from 1840 , house and family records and the nucleus of a team of local historians and archaeologists, keen to carry forward the Helpston Heritage Project.  We are charging £6 for a copy of the book,(to contribute to the cost of reprints!)  We shall end the event with tea and cakes, for which there will be no charge.  Please come if you can.

Comments (0)


Related Posts

Helpston Gardens 2016

  • 2016-07-06 08:52:00
Read More

Maxey Fayre fun for all

  • 2015-09-23 14:23:00
Read More

Educating Helpston

  • 2015-09-23 12:48:00
Read More

Here to entertain you!

  • 2015-11-11 19:49:00
Read More

Tribune - next deadline

  • 2015-11-16 09:03:00
Read More

Armed Forces Day

  • 2016-07-06 09:28:00
Read More

Glinton Litter Pick

  • 2017-04-07 10:59:00
Read More

Scotsman flys past

  • 2016-02-28 09:20:00
Read More

HELPSTON HELCATS

  • 2017-12-19 10:43:00
Read More

Fundraising made easy

  • 2017-03-24 10:36:00
Read More

Maxey Drive-by shooting

  • 2016-07-25 16:55:00
Read More

New WI for Tribland

  • 2015-09-23 14:06:00
Read More

Plastic Soup?

  • 2017-10-06 16:06:00
Read More

Helpston Gala is back!!

  • 2015-12-14 13:42:00
Read More

Help in your village

  • 2017-03-09 13:18:00
Read More

ETTON NEWS

  • 2017-12-19 09:48:00
Read More

Maxey Christmas Fayre

  • 2015-12-14 11:15:00
Read More

Have you seen Bella?

  • 2015-11-15 07:21:00
Read More

Tractor Road Run

  • 2015-09-23 12:58:00
Read More

Glinton switch-on

  • 2015-10-27 17:34:00
Read More

Village litter pick

  • 2016-03-14 08:10:00
Read More

Glinton Roadworks

  • 2016-08-11 16:17:00
Read More

Lolham 'death trap'

  • 2015-12-14 11:20:00
Read More

Glinton Brownies

  • 2017-06-30 09:02:00
Read More

John Clare Festival

  • 2015-09-24 11:17:00
Read More

Langdyke Open Day

  • 2016-07-07 13:44:00
Read More

Royce Wood 'dismay'

  • 2016-05-05 19:27:00
Read More

Annual Winter Supper

  • 2017-03-24 10:53:00
Read More

Here to Entertain You

  • 2016-02-01 07:04:00
Read More

VJ Day Commemorations

  • 2015-09-24 11:03:00
Read More

Peakirk canine capers

  • 2015-09-23 14:18:00
Read More

Maxey Classic Car Show

  • 2015-09-24 11:53:00
Read More

Local Roadworks

  • 2016-07-26 15:52:00
Read More

Team Glinton clean-up

  • 2015-09-24 12:21:00
Read More

Barnack Housing protest

  • 2015-12-21 16:00:00
Read More

Glinton Friendship Club

  • 2017-04-07 10:24:00
Read More

Team George cash boost

  • 2016-03-06 12:51:00
Read More

Read the latest issue

If you would like to receive the Village Tribune magazine but are out of the distribution area, you can still signup for a 12 month (6 issue) subscription.

Advertisement

Latest BBC News

News from BBC News

Weather Near You

Latest Traffic Updates

  • S on N/A

    We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our traffic information services.

    Please check the Traffic England BETA map for the latest traffic information at http://ntis.trafficengland.com/

    Please accept our apologies. Our traffic services will be reinstated as soon as possible.

    Thank you for your patience.

    • Thu, 19 Sep 2013 00:26:10 BST
  • Currently there are no traffic reports to show.
Updates from Highways Agency

Local Jobs

Jobs from Indeed