Justin Aggett, Sandy Hammock and volunteers Daniel Singer, Edward Cronin, Mathew Burford, Ann-Marie Webb and Alex Duguid
A special event was held on Saturday to mark the end of a yearlong exploration of what remain of Rose Hill House situated behind Gore Court Cricket Club.
Working with young people with additional needs, this project researched the history of the house, its occupants, its architecture and used digital technology to capture and document the discoveries and responses from the archaeological dig. For the young people, their involvement brought opportunities to develop new skills, interests and encouraging new hopes, confidence and aspirations. Importantly also, they connected with their wider communities and allowed the young people to have fun.
The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund – Young Roots and partnered by Swale Community & Voluntary Services (SCVS), the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS) and Sheppey Matters.
The day saw a guided walk of the site, outlying the history of the house and the finds from the digs. This has also been transposed into a self-guided tour using leaflets available from the Heritage Hub. It also saw the unveiling of a permanent wall display of the timeline of the history of the site and people involved which will be a permanent fixture for all to see in the Gore Court Clubhouse.
The HRGS Sittingbourne Heritage Hub in the Forum Shopping Centre will host a permanent exhibit and archive of the research undertaken which will be freely accessible to the local community, both within the museum and online.
Justin Agget, Arts & Media Project Manager at Sheppey Matters
Justin Aggett Arts & Media Project Manager at Sheppey Matters said "The Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS) commenced the project in 2015 with a short dig for a few days, and I do a lot of work with children with additional needs and thought it would be good to get young people on site digging and it all spiralled from there."
"I meet up with Julia Walting from Swale CVS in December 2015 and by March 2016 we were funded. Heritage Lottery said we love the idea, additional needs, digital technology, heritage and digging a site that has some weight to it.”
Attending the event was HM Deputy Lieutenant Paul Auston Esq, the Mayor of Swale Colin Prescott and Stuart McLeod, Heritage Lottery Fund, Head of South East Region.
Stuart McLeod explained that projects funded under the Young Roots scheme required young people to have role in creating and delivering it. “For me, its seeing the Passion and skills that have developed by involvement in the project. I get a sense from the buzz around the place today that it was money well spent. Huge congratulations to all involved particularly the young people”.
Julia Watling, Volunteer Centre Manager, SCVS, said project brought together the partner’s expertise in volunteering, working with young people and local heritage
Richard Emmett, Chair of HRGS
Richard Emmett, Chair of HRGS, said they were delighted to deliver the archaeology aspects and to work alongside the young people. Archaeology was “the human impact on environment, what our forbearers have done and understanding the history” and felt that the involvement of the young people is “so important to knowing where society has been and help them understand where society is going - it’s an important life skill”
For more information on the project please go to the website www.rosehillhouse.org.uk