More sporting success for Staffordshire

Some more great sporting news for Staffordshire with Burton Albion FC clinching their promotion to the Football League Championship this weekend. This is the club’s second successive promotion which is a great achievement and now means their home Pirelli Stadium will be hosting matches against Aston Villa and Birmingham City.  The Club have had a phenomenal climb over the past few seasons and this is a huge boost for the town and for Staffordshire. Congratulations to the Brewers chairman Ben Robinson, the players and managers and last, but certainly not least, the supporters.  We look forward to the start of the next season to cheer them on.

Anyone who has visited Cannock Chase, I’m sure will appreciate the breath taking scenery and countryside but lesser known is that it also has one of the best preserved Great War training landscapes in the country.  Well, now a new project to uncover the hidden history of the area is underway.

The ‘Chase through Time’ project will help archaeologists to find possible lost treasures beneath the vegetation, including prehistoric burial mounds, remnants of a medieval hunting forest and many missing Great War model and practise trenches, like the Messines model trench that was excavated a few years ago to much international interest.

Now, using state-of-the-art technology, we hope we will find all of this without disturbing an inch of the Chase’s landscape. LIDAR – light-detection-and-ranging – technology attached to an aircraft has been used to survey the area, using a barrage of lasers to detect the layout of the land underneath the bracken and trees. The team will then examine the images to identify areas of interest. As the project continues, old photos of the Chase will become increasingly important to help us piece together the story, so please get in touch with the team if you think you can help.

This isn’t the only project delving into Staffordshire’s history. Tithe maps of the 1840s are often the earliest detailed maps of parishes and provide a snapshot of life in the county at that time. They show houses, roads, footpaths, fields, woods, churches and the basis of the parishes and towns of Staffordshire as we know them today.  The maps will also come with records showing the names of the owner and occupier in each plot, which can be valuable knowledge to someone researching their family history.

The project to digitise the maps is being led by Friends of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archives whose volunteers have been working on the project for over seven years now.  They hope to have the maps available digitally from Record Offices and libraries very soon.

This, and the Chase through Time project, are all great steps towards preserving the county’s history and we should be very proud of our heritage.

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