Restoration Village - The amazing victory of 2006 and the events leading up to it

When the Parish Council purchased Chedham’s Yard from Bill Chedham in February 2002 there was no time to do a feasibility study or consider the long-term challenges and costs of restoring this very special historic building with its architectural treasures hidden in the heart of Wellesbourne. They only knew that if they did not purchase it, a precious and unique window on part of the roots of our village would be lost for ever.

The next four years saw slow but steady progress in consulting various bodies and coming to decisions about the future of the yard. A major step forward was taken when Elaine Hughes was appointed Project Officer by the Parish Council in 2005 and PLB were appointed as consultants shortly after.

But the real excitement started and the pace got quicker when it was decided to enter the BBC Restoration Village competition in 2006. For the full story use the timeline below.

Restoration Village competion entered and Chedham's Yard chosen for Midlands heat. Artefacts moved to storage.
OXford Archaeology carried out an archaelogical investigation
Robin Hill, Worcestershire Museums Officer, raised the national importance of the yard
Final Restoration Village
Second Open Day
First filming takes place
First Open day August 6th
Griff Rhys Jones visits the yard

1. Establishing the importance of the yard

In 2003 Robin Hill, the Museums Officer from Worcestershire, a specialist in old wheelwrights and blacksmiths projects, wrote to Jonathan Parkhouse, the County Archaeologist for the Warwickshire County Council, stating the importance of the Yard in national terms.

During the following two years there was much correspondence and discussion about recording work to take place, particularly with Maggie Wood, the Keeper of Social History, suggesting that COBRA (Conservation Based Research and Analysis) take place. In 2004 English Heritage wrote a “Statement of Significance” regarding Chedham’s Yard which raised awareness further among enthusiasts of the importance of the site. Elaine Hughes was appointed as the Project Officer and in March 2005, the consulting firm PLB produced a major report and options appraisal on the viability of Chedham’s Yard as a working museum and educational attraction for the future.

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