Blackdowns Metal Makers

Blackdowns Metal Makers is a new project which aims to increase understanding of how the rich iron working past of The Blackdown Hills was rooted in the area’s geology and how the iron working industry in turn left its mark on the landscape. The project is a partnership between The Carousel Project, The Blackdown Hills AONB partnership and Somerset County Council and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Blackdown Hills AONB partnership.

Following on from an excavation, targeted in an area of known iron working activity, this ambitious project aims to work closely with preschoolers, schoolchildren, students, families, the general public and academics to produce materials as diverse as iron working play packs, dramatised historical filming with schoolchildren, an iron working walks leaflet and a new iron working website complete with academic information as well as a children’s area.

The Carousel Project is thrilled to receive the funding and we have some exciting things planned for young children during this project. After working on Heritage Lottery Funded project Local Stories last year we got a real thirst to explore how heritage themes could be communicated to the youngest members of our society. During Blackdowns Metal Makers Carousel will develop new, innovative learning materials for children aged c.3-6 years and help run special events on an iron working theme to local families. Songs and storytelling have been used for centuries as a way to communicate information, excite and inspire listeners, stir up curiosity and to be passed on through generations and we want to explore this method of learning more by working with Hemyock preschool and primary school children on developing inspirational new learning materials.

Our Iron Working Storytelling Tour launch at Tiverton Museum on March 28th 2015 was a huge success with a whole host of iron working themed arts, archaeology and play activities which drew in over 300 people. We then headed off to Chard, Axminster and Wellington Libraries and Honiton Museum. More info here. Read our launch press release here and our press release about findings during the excavation at Churchinford here. You can also read our project evaluation: Evaluation Report_ Blackdowns Metal Makers.

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