Highlights from the Chess Valley Heritage Day

Highlights from the Chess Valley Heritage Day

Did you know that copper needs to be heated to temperatures of about 11000C before it can be cast into a mould? This temperature can only be reached in a furnace using charcoal.

After cooling it can be filed and cold hammered to refine its shape and remove any rough edges. Copper smelting is just one of the things that people could learn about at the Chess Valley Heritage Day which took place on 18th March at Cholesbury Common.

Over 200 people donned wellies and umbrellas to learn about past traditions of the local area such as copper smelting, pigment making, flint knapping and medieval medicinal herbal remedies.

There was a working Bronze Age smelting furnace, iron age coinage, chalk sculptures, and people could try painting with pre-historic pigments and home made paint brushes.

The event organised by the Chilterns Heritage and Archaeology Partnership (CHAP) and the River Chess Smarter Water Catchment Project (RCSWC) with funding from Thames Water. RCSWC  uses a catchment-based, holistic approach to improving the invaluable River Chess Chalk Stream. The day aimed to share understanding of the heritage of the Chess river catchment, which has been shaped by human activity for thousands of years. Cholesbury is the site of the prehistoric hillfort, Cholesbury Camp, created during the iron age, protected and maintained by dedicated volunteers at the Chiltern Society.

Our thanks also the Hawridge and Cholesbury Cricket Club for opening their doors to provide much needed hot drinks and food and Christine Stott  and the Hawridge and Cholesbury Commons preservation society for allowing the event to take place.’

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