A NEW information panel has been created to show visitors to a village just what it would have looked like a 150 years ago.
The interpretation panel details how a small area close to the centre of Tarvin near Chester would have been like including an area for stray animals, a water feature and also a small prison built to house criminals overnight.
Commissioned in conjunction with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) to complement similar panels around Chester and, in particular, on the Walls, it is the first of its kind installed in the rural area.
The project involved Tarvin Parish Council, local groups, residents and local Cheshire West and Chester councillor Hugo Deynem.
Located in the village on Church Street, the pinfold was archaeologically investigated and sympathetically restored by Tarvin Parish Council, Tarvin Civic Trust and Tarvin Local History Group. Through an artist’s impression, the panel depicts how the scene may have looked 150 years ago when there was also a well and roundhouse – a small stone built prison used to house criminals overnight, and explains the history of the Pinfold site.
Pinfolds date from the Medieval period and by the 16th century would have been found in most villages.
They were used to house animals straying from their owner's land. They would be kept until a fine was paid.
Tarvin Parish Council found it owned a site with some history when it tidied up a small piece of derelict land, on which stood an old shed, near the village centre. The parish council funded the clearance and renovation. It is grateful to volunteers who worked for three years to finish the project.
Cllr Deynem, who approved a grant from his member budget which covered the cost of the interpretation panel, said: “The interpretation panel at Tarvin Pinfold has already proved popular with residents and visitors alike and I am pleased to have helped the Tarvin community display a snapshot of their rich local history.”
Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and economy, said: “I am delighted Tarvin Parish Council and our senior archaeology officer, Jane Hebblewhite, have teamed up to produce a very high standard panel which will educate and inform visitors and residents for years to come.”
Tarvin parish councillor Roger Hones, who led the project, said: “I am pleased the parish council had the confidence to see this restoration through. The pinfold with its interpretation is now a new and permanent feature in the village and is a great talking point.”