The project

Starting from the earliest pre-historic settlements and coming right up to present day, Charnwood Roots will use a variety of research techniques to discover more about the history of this fascinating area. We will also provide opportunities and training on a large scale. This includes digging test-pits to understand more about the age and development of settlements around the forest, and carrying out building and landscape surveys, using clues in the physical environment combined with documentary evidence to unravel some of the secrets of Charnwood’s past.

The project runs from August 2013 to July 2017.

Herrick Stained Glass Window, All Saints Church


Charnwood Roots is based around four interlocking themes:

  • working lives
  • building communities
  • crime and conflict
  • landscapes of leisure


The project will involve more than 400 volunteers in the Charnwood Forest and Loughborough area. The goal is to build enthusiasm for Charnwood’s heritage and increase our knowledge of the area’s history. Charnwood Roots aims to reach a diverse range of audiences, including groups who do not normally participate in historical research or visit heritage attractions. The project will start with a series of events that include archaeological fieldwork, oral history projects, and documentary research and will culminate with a Heritage Festival, open to all.

Victoria County History Trust

Charnwood Roots is a Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust initiative, part of a national research project to research and write a reference history of every town, village and hamlet in England. Leicestershire is one of the counties where this history is incomplete, with over 300 locations yet to be researched. The Charnwood Roots project is a very important part of completing this work for Leicestershire.

Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust is a registered charity (1128575) and a registered company (6683052).


The Charnwood Roots project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional financial and in-kind support from the University of Leicester and a range of other local organisations.

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Forthcoming events

Our second free Oral History Training Day will be held in Rothley on 25 January 2014. Find out more.

Get involved

We are currently looking for Oral History Interviewers and Fieldwalkers. Find out more.


Dr Julie Attard
Project Manager
(Charnwood Roots)

0116 252 5946

Marc Fitch Historical Institute
University of Leicester
5 Salisbury Road

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