The Mellor Heritage Project

Little did Ann and John Hearle realise what they were starting when they first noticed the crop marks in and around their garden back in 1995. Since then they have gradually unravelled 10,000 years of previously unsuspected and undiscovered archaeology at their beautiful home on the Western edge of the Peak District.

Every year since 1998 the Trust has uncovered a little more of the story, supported and funded by the Friends of the Trust, the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Read the full story of the early days of the excavation.

The excavations in the grounds of the Old Vicarage and adjoining fields since 1998 have shown that this is one of the most important archaeological sites being investigated in the North West.�The first major discovery was of�an Iron Age Hill Top settlement surrounded by a deep defensive ditch and what is now seen to be an outer enclosure ditch covering many hectares of the hilltop.�The history of occupation covers 10,000 years, starting with Mesolithic Flints, followed by�Bronze Age�and Neolithic finds, Iron Age pottery, Roman Pottery and Brooches, and then a Medieval Hall and the buildings now on the site.

From�2006 to 2009, thanks to John Hearles very hard work and dedication to the research at Mellor we were awarded a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This grant, which follows two previous HLF grants, enabled the Trust to extend its activities from the archaeological excavations near Mellor Church to a wider area and over a longer period of time.�

The Mellor Heritage Project included the�Whole Parish of Mellor, which lies between the Goyt and the Etherow and includes Marple Bridge,�comprising the ancient townships of Mellor and Ludworth.�Historical studies covered the scattered farms of Norman and later times, the coming of the textile mills at the end of the 18th century and their decline and closure in the 19th century, followed by the growth of a tourist attraction and a commuter community.

Teams of volunteers carried out desktop research using�historic documents and maps of the area, fiedwalking, doing geophysical investigation,�studying and recording old buildings and of course planned seasons of excavation, where permission was gained, to follow up archaeological investigation. The collected information will be made available to the community by publishing books, information leaflets, a new DVD and also�information boards and trails around the area, as well as being recorded here on our website.

Check our Dates for your Diary to see what is happening at the moment