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CCH Projects

Supported by the University of Cambridge Public Engagement Team, the Cambridge Community Heritage project aims to bring university researchers and communities together to develop new ideas for projects investigating local heritage. The Cambridge Community Heritage project involves researchers from the University of Cambridge with a wide range of interests who have considerable experience of working with community groups.

Community groups applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for money to cover their costs from the 'All Our Stories' fund in July 2012. In November 2012, it was announced that nearly 90% of community groups who applied to the fund with Cambridge Community Hertage support were successful. See the PDF below for a copy of the official press release.

Below are a list of the community groups working with Cambridge Community Heritage on the delivery of their projects.

Ashwell Museum

This project offers us the exciting opportunity to involve our community in adding archaeological detail to our knowledge of the development of the settlement of Ashwell. Ashwell has an Iron Age Hillfort, a Roman Goddess, Senuna, and temple site, and a large Medieval Church with graffiti detailing the suffering of the villagers during an outbreak of plague. We wonder how these are linked? Where did the earliest settlers in Ashwell live? Where were the Anglo Saxons? We would like to involve the community in answering these questions and then broadcast the questions and answers as widely as possible.

Cambridge Archaeology Field Group

CAFG was formed in 1978 to carry out practical field archaeology in the Cambridge area and so contribute to the archaeological knowledge of the region. Our project is to establish the timeline and earlier settlement pattern in Wimpole parish where today few standing buildings, apart from Wimpole Hall and Farm, exist. Little documentary evidence is available to describe these earlier settlements or to explain their final abandonment. Our focus will be to use fieldwork to understand the landscape development from the earliest time and document it for the benefit of local people and visitors to the area.

Cambridge United Football Club

Cambridge Fans United has a unique collection representing the club’s 100 year history. In this, the club’s centenary year the supporters trust wish to collect memories from early players, managers and fans before they are lost forever and engage the local community in the club’s history. The outcome will be an opportunity for all to access the club’s unique view of history through a performance showing historical aspects of life for past players, managers and fans and a smartphone app which allows users to explore the history of the club, tour the grounds, access memorabilia, memories and the performance.


Our project will capture memories of Ely pits and meadows - memories of digging clay especially during 1947, army activities during WW2, the activities and wildlife records leading to Natural England's 2009 SSSI designation, recreational and agricultural use of the land and swimming in the Blue Lagoon. Memories will be available via website, pod cast, transcript and annotated guide. Our project will build oral history skills amongst the local population and involve cross generational dialogue. It will become a key part of a longer term history project to create a Heritage trail from the middle ages to the present day.

FenArch - Fenland Archaeological Society

The project will initially focus on fieldwalking, excavating and recording little known Roman settlements within Fenland. Once these elements are complete the project will be shared within Fenland by using digital media for talks at various museum societies and general public events and by creating educational resources (including digital media) to take the stories into the schools of the region. This will involve not only the artefacts but learning resources such as dig packs, clothing and information designed to widen the understanding of the local heritage. There will also be the opportunity for these groups to participate in the activities.

Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative

The project aims to: (1)To create and develop a local Heritage Centre,located within the parish church of Foxearth, to preserve and display local artefacts,photographs & memorabilia relating to Foxearth. (2) To interview & record digitally everyone living in the village (as was done in 1987), enabling young & old to compare how life has changed in our small rural community and to make their own record for posterity. (3) To enable residents to research the history of their own houses/buildings in Foxearth using reminiscence, archives and archaeology (test pit digging) and to compile a social history of the village.

Freudian Slips

Since the late 19th Century laundry work has been significant employment for Cambridge women. By interviewing past and present workers from the commercial laundries we will uncover stories about their working lives and some of the key events which have taken place particularly in the past fifty years. These stories will be launched at an exhibition, placed as pod-casts on our website and broadcast on community radio. The Freudian Slips will further develop the theme of the lives of generations of laundry women through creative writing and performance workshops, culminating in a multi-media performance piece.

Heritage Writtle with Writtle Archives

The intended project is the production of a local history book about life in Writtle, Essex, during periods of misfortune and war, from the Roman era to World War II. This will be achieved by using local archaeological artefacts, information from the village archives, personal memories, local knowledge and sources such as regional and national archives. The aim is to launch the book in August 2014 to coincide with the centenary of the start of World War I. This book will be an addition to several other books that have already been written about various aspects of life in Writtle.

Meldreth Local History Group

We will be exploring how our community developed and evolved. We will do this through the digging of 20-30 test pits in different locations in the village and will involve the wider community by inviting them to actively participate in the project. We will share our findings in a number of ways, but primarily through the village magazine, our website at and an exhibition. During the project we will build up our skills and experience so that we can continue to explore our heritage once the project has been completed.

One Voice 4 Travellers

The everyday experiences of Gypsy women in East Anglia, past and present, told to a new generation of young Gypsies who were trained to gather and record the anecdotal evidence of our history and make our stories accessible on our website. We will produce a CD of interviews of Gypsy women, sharing our stories with a wider audience, so that others may know how we and our families lived, loved and worked. Some of our stories are sad, some happy, but all are in our own words, and our own Voices.

Pirton Local History Group

The project will have two principal aims: First, to involve members of the local community to make a record (drawings, photographs, commentary) of a representative selection of the small domestic timber framed buildings in Pirton. Second, use the information to produce a web-based digital map so that users can 'click' on a building and see all the information that has been collected -including the description, recording of architectural details, photographs, plans showing its evolution, details of past inhabitants and owners, wills and inventories, land sales, previous uses, acreages and field names of attached land, archaeological information, and oral history.

Rattlesden Local History Group

Our project aims to involve the community in its history by make a village archive available for local residents to view and using it as a means of acquiring oral histories. This will be achieved by: (1) Purchasing storage media for the archive (2) Organising sessions when it can be viewed (3) Inviting older residents at the sessions to record their memories (4) Publishing the oral histories

Saffron Walden Museum

Road signs describe Saffron Walden as ‘market town since 1141’ but few people are aware of its early history when the de Mandevilles established a castle and market here. Historical records are scant, however archaeology offers a way of exploring the ‘Walden story’. Cambridge Community Heritage Project will supervise students from two local secondary schools in excavating a trench across the castle’s buried outer bailey ditch where it survives undamaged by development. Public interest will be engaged by the dig, digital media and an open day at Saffron Walden Museum on the castle site, with displays, presentation and film.

Sandringham Enterprise

Marham Voices aims to… (1) Research and write a book about aspects of the recent history of Marham in Norfolk, an ancient settled farming community, but also a transient base for defence activities the world over. This will be a social history, encompassing changes in society, economy and the landscape, focusing on the period since the military base has been present at Marham. (2) Use the book and its research as a framing tool for a community engagement exercise recording people’s memories of Marham over the last century, through interviews with past and present Marham residents.

Sharnbrook Local History Group

Sharnbrook has a circular moated earthwork in an area known as Castle Close. The Sharnbrook Local History Group, part of Sharnbrook Learning for Pleasure, wants to lead an investigation into its origin and purpose (Norman castle, Saxon ringwork, mediaeval manor house or something else?), and its relationship to the rest of the village. With the support of Cambridge University archaeologists we will use excavations, surveys and fieldwalking, and also research documentary evidence. The Photography, Art and Creative Writing Groups of Sharnbrook Learning for Pleasure will also contribute their skills to the presentation of the project and its findings.

Shillington History Society

We wish to find out more about the history of our village by enabling residents to excavate archaeological test pits in gardens and allotments. No previous excavations have been carried out and historic records are largely confined to the church and manor. The results will help us understand more about the past lives of ordinary people in Shillington, enable us to make comparisons with life today and discover which parts of the village were occupied in different historical periods. It will also inform us about areas of the village which merit further investigation in the future.

Shirley Primary School, Cambridge

Our school serves a diverse, muliticultural area of Cambridge. 50% of our pupils are from different minority ethnic backgrounds and their families have settled permanently in Chesterton, Cambridge although some of them are still travelling for cultural and work reasons. We want to map our community's journeys, find out the stories behind them and share them with others. What brought our families to Cambridge and why did they decide to settle here? What work did they do? What did they bring with them? What life-styles did they want and what did they leave behind? The completed project archive is now available at All Our Journeys.

Sturmer Local History Group

To create a recreational and informative trail, detailing the Sturmer village history and natural history through the use of interpretation boards and printed A4 leaflets. The trail would be approximately 4 miles long using disused railway line, which is already a well maintained, attractive and well-used track. The history of the community will be explained by interpretation boards in the children's park; at the village hall; the church and the mere, after which the village is named (bog on the River Stour - Stourmere). Digital and printed A4 leaflets would contain a map and history of the community.

Suffolk Horse Society

We will capture the stories/living memories of people whose lives revolved around the Suffolk Punch heavy horse, and those who still have a close relationship with this living, working animal. We'll gather, record and share these personal stories to inform, entertain and educate people who might live in East Anglia but have no knowledge of the former importance of this horse, its special qualities, or socio-economic context. We'll show the importance and interdependence of the relationship between man and horse in many contexts: peace and wartime, work and recreation, countryside and town, folklore, cures and magic.

Tilty Archaeology & Local History Group

Tilty is a rural Essex hamlet which, like so many other communities in the UK, was profoundly affected by the Second World War. Some went off to fight, whilst others stayed behind taking care of homes and families, and coping with the exigencies of war. Pillboxes were built, searchlights shone from the top of the hill – where memorably a Mosquito crashed – and, in 1941, residents and evacuees participated in a BBC radio Christmas broadcast. This project aims to commemorate and celebrate Tilty in wartime by recording and sharing the many and diverse memories, artefacts and documents provided by its residents.

Toft Historical Society

An investigation into the earliest settlement in Toft, with the aid of remote sensing small-scale archaeological excavation, and analysis of aerial photographs. The study is centred on the southern edge of the village, in an area thought to be the site of original development, but which has not heretofore been explored methodically for signs of early habitation. Indirect evidence from burials excavated during the 19th century and the village name suggest, minimally, occupation during the Roman and Viking periods, and it would be of interest to uncover artefacts and data that gave this earlier existence a tangible reality.

West Norfolk & King's Lynn Archaeological Society

The Gaywood Valley, West Norfolk, contains important archaeological sites of all periods, many found by local people. The Gaywood River runs from Massingham Heath to the Wash at King’s Lynn, including the historic Fleet (fishing community). The rural, suburban and urban communities linked by the river will explore, share and celebrate knowledge about the historic landscape and buildings where they live, joined for the first time as one community. Fieldwalking, test pitting and building surveys will happen over six activity weekends. The activities will be filmed and blogged, and celebrated with an exhibition to showcase the Gaywood Valley story.

West Wickham District Local History Group

Surprisingly little is known about how medieval villages developed. This project aims to involve as many community members as possible in excavating archaeological test pits to discover when and where medieval settlement took place in the parish of West Wickham, Cambridgeshire. By giving local people hands on archaeological experience we aim to inspire, stimulate and engage wider interest in the history of our village and its environs. These excavations will enable the community to come together and learn together through a fun and exciting project which will enhance social and educational well-being through active participation in archaeology.

Wormingford Community Education Centre

The aim is to explore and interpret a prehistoric site and its place in the landscape around the village of Wormingford. The aim of the project is to develop meaningful connections with the landscape (now and of the past) and the people who lived in it via a multi media response which can then be shared with a wider audience.