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Heritage Friends of Fairy Dell win Heritage Lottery Fund support

One of Middlesbrough’s most popular open spaces has won important Lottery funding to help develop an exciting footpath initiative.

The Friends of Fairy Dell was awarded £38,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the ‘Pathways to the Past’ project, with a further donation of £500 from the Jack Brunton Charitable Trust. Match funding in the form of equipment was added from Middlesbrough Council.

Led by the Friends of Fairy Dell and including volunteers from the local community, the project has investigated and will celebrate the medieval and Victorian heritage of Fairy Dell which lies between Marton and Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough.

The project came about following the discovery of a ‘sunken footpath’ which runs between Fairy Dell Park and the Dell.

A seven-day archaeological dig of the sunken path led by Tees Archaeology will take place in May 2014, and will be open to all, including local schools and colleges.

The project will also feature the start of restoration work to the Victorian rockery from the old Gunnergate Hall, built in the 1850s. Horticulture students from Askham Bryan College will be involved in this.

A series of 20 free workshops will be held on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the autumn and spring, with skilled local historical crafts people teaching medieval crafts and skills to people from the local community, including blacksmithing, wood turning, jewellery, glass work, spinning and weaving.

Medieval Themed Glasses

From the outset the Friends wanted to bring to life the Medieval past of the area around Fairy Dell Park. It has been a joy to see our guests learning the skills our ancestors would have used. It is so easy to pop to the local super-store and buy a wooded spoon - but so much more rewarding to create your own from wood that was growing in the park less the 48 hours earlier. Guest and the Friends themselves learned a huge range of skills from how to unfold the table cloth at a medieval meal to the meaning of beads in a necklace! Learning the correct way to dress and the skills to research our past have all been drawn together during the life of the Pathways to the Past season.

“I can not believe it has been so hard but I’d do it again if there is more”

Fused Glass

Hedge laying

Felt Making

a traditional skill which is used to maintain and rejuvenate hedges to provide a stock proof barrier.

kiln fusing techniques used to make glass tiles inspired by the 'Medieval' theme

The traditional techniques to turn a fleece in to a useable item