As part of their investigation, English Heritage asked the Tree-ring Dating Laboratory at Nottingham to visit to the Bede House in October 2009 to assess its potential for a programme of dendrochronology so that the guidebook could be updated with more specific dating.
Whilst here, Robert Howard of the Tree-ring Dating Laboratory was struck by the number of old, listed buildings in the village; some of which had already been surveyed and drawn up by Nick Hill, a vernacular architecture enthusiast. He wanted to know if there were any heritage, history or survey projects, etc, being conducted locally or any keen locals who might be interested in setting one up.
I knew that deciphering them and collating the information they contained would be a very big task but, together with tree-ring dating, they offered a rare and exciting prospect of reconstructing the history of almost all the properties in the village.
The ancient Manor of Lyddington with Caldecott had included the villages of Snelston (which has disappeared), Stoke Dry and Thorpe by Water.All should be included; Caldecott already has its own History Society, but their members would be very welcome to join us, whilst still carrying on with their own activities.I intended it to be a local initiative, with local benefits and eventually, an opportunity for us to share the benefits of a lottery grant.It could be fun, worthwhile, and could get us all working together.to set up the society and discuss more detailed ideas for a project.
Forty-four people indicated that they would be interested in joining the society and a committee was formed.We would need people to help, with IT, photography, cataloguing, drawing, documentary research, etc.The list of activities a project like this might create was almost endless and everyone would be encouraged to become involved as soon as possible.There are innumerable cases of buildings with date plaques, where tree-ring dating has shown the timber used in them has been felled at most two years earlier than the inscribed date.The dating of reused material may indicate the date of an earlier building, possibly though not necessarily on the same site.The meeting on 25th November attracted a good turnout and was very successful.