Launch of the project

This week we launched our term project, looking at the history and the development of the Breary Bank site in Nidderdale via the creation of an audio-visual guide.


The early morning journey-some would say too early-into Kings Manor marked the start of our heritage summer project. The group met the teaching staff that would be supporting us during this module before discussing about the concept of Heritage.

We spent the rest of the day in our warm office researching the history and the archaeology of Breary Banks. One student in our group is a WW1 ‘anorak’ and he became our fountain of knowledge–even correcting one of the factual issues in existing heritage material.


In a spectacular turn of events, our first experience at Breary Banks was on a nice peaceful sunny day. We were then given a shovel and told to de-turf a trench. Having never done much excavating before, it felt as if we were using the shovel as a pogo stick.

As you can see, we all caught the excavating bug and thoroughly enjoyed our short time excavating-though this might have been influenced by the weather.

We then made use of last year’s heritage app which allowed us to take in the size and the feel of the site.


Group Tour. Photo by Ashley

It wasn’t all work. Some of us of even got a sun tan- and we even recruited our youngest archaeologist, the child of one of the site’s lead excavators. We can still make a heritage practitioner out of her/them yet!


On Wednesday we took a well earned break; taking in the sun and enjoying student life.


Enjoying a quick nap on the minibus (we set off at 8:15), we arrived at Armley Mills with a sense of anticipation of what the day would entail.

Becoming museum curators was an amazing experience. Handling artefacts and creating label cards was a challenge, but one that we relished. It was much more challenging than we had anticipated.

Lucy, Leeds Museums’ first world war curator, collaborated and shared information she had about the Leeds PALS whose basic training occurred at Breary Banks. It got many ideas flowing and we returned to York in the afternoon feeling very encouraged.

The pictures above were the fruit of our work with Matt and Wayne, from the e-learning development team at the University of York,  during our photo/editing workshop. As we were just starting off, many of our pictures were overexposed, blurry and some of them were exceptional. Hopefully, by the end of the project we will all have amazing photography skills.


Today we were joined by IT savy Tom Smith (from IT services, University of York) who encouraged our tentative steps in the drafting of our initial concept and then lent us his skills setting up our blog.

Here you can see the initial mood board and the start of the context of the audio guide.

Keep following the work of the group as we make our steps to fully fledged heritage practitioner, taking on the journey through the history of Breary Banks.

Written by Steve, Emmeline and Eliza


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