Project Update – June 2018

This is the first in a series of posts giving a sneak peek into what’s happening inside Calderstones Mansion House as we create The International Centre for Shared Reading. You’ll find a series of pictures below showcasing some of the work already completed.

The refurbishment began on site in March 2018 with contractors John Turners starting their 46 week programme – it has continued at pace since with the roof currently off, demolition of the old toilet block completed and most of the work to restore the original, internal lay- out as well as work in the basement well underway.

Can you help?

The refurbishment of Calderstones is a massive project and we need a lot of help! Do you have skills you can share? There’s lots of ways to get involved:

The story so far…

We’ve raised £5M+ to refurbish Calderstones Mansion House and bring it back to life with a vibrant programme of regular activities and stand-out annual events. We will create new opportunities for people from diverse walks of life to come together to read, learn, relax, work, play, eat and volunteer. With a whole range of community activities, we hope you’ll find something for you.

At Calderstones you will be able to :

  • Join a Shared Reading group
  • Visit the neolithic Calder Stones
  • Explore the history of the Mansion House
  • Enjoy the new, much-larger Reader Café
  • Spend a penny in our lovely new toilets
  • Hire the Garden Theatre for your event

Conservation work begins on the Neolithic Calder Stones

Last month we welcomed Orbis Conservation to Calderstones Park to begin their preliminary investigations ahead of the Neolithic stones moving off site for conservation later this year.

When the stones return to Calderstones Park, they are set to form the centre piece of a new heritage offer at The International Centre for Shared Reading. For more information on our plans for Calderstones visit our website.

Connor unearths a Calderstones mystery

Ahead of The Big Dig there’s been an exciting discovery made about the Calderstones themselves…and it’s all down to a local lad whose eagle eye spotted the mysterious marking.

Calderstones School pupil Connor Hannaway has made history by discovering a unique bird-shaped carving on the Neolithic monuments housed in the park, which can only be seen in certain lights and has so far escaped the notice of archaeologists and historians for hundreds of years.

The bird carving discovered by Connor on the Calderstones
The bird carving discovered by Connor on the Calderstones

Year 8 pupil Connor was on a school trip with some of his classmates visting the Calderstones when he made the discovery. Some of the marks on the stones were made as early as 5,000 years ago, and include patterns of spirals, arcs and ring marks. Connor alerted Richard MacDonald, Heritage Stories Maker at The Reader Organisation and the pupils’ tour guide, to his finding when he asked what a bird symbolised.

The exact date of the etching remains unknown, but it is possible that the bird belongs to the later period of markings from the medieval period. What’s so amazing is that the marking has never been recorded in any of the professional papers written about the Calderstones – as far as we know, Connor is the first person to have ever come across it in the 5,000 years since.

Some truly ground-breaking work is ahead – who knows what other discoveries may be found by the untrained eye during The Big Dig? We’re very excited to find out…

Congratulations to Connor on his historic discovery – keep your eyes peeled for some special appearances coming very soon…