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Congleton
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Time travel back to how life was in charter year

The people of Congleton can go on a journey back through time to see what life was like in their town in 1272.

To celebrate the 750th charter year the town council is holding a free medieval living history exhibition in the town hall, on Saturday between 10am and 2pm.
Primary school pupils have been visiting this week for a sneak preview.

Local historian Jenny Unsworth created a diorama of her depiction of how Congleton would have looked seven centuries ago and hoped children could learn from it.

Speaking to the Chronicle at a preview of the exhibition on Monday, she said: “The whole thing was about how you can explain the charter to eight-year-olds.

“The charter is a piece of paper and that’s not going to excite children so I decided to make a visual representation of how the town would have looked.

“It’s quite exciting to see it all come together and I’m relieved more than anything because I’ve been working on it for two years!”

The diorama is a three-dimensional miniature representation of Congleton in 1272. It features more than 30 handmade buildings and houses accompanied by tradespeople.

Mrs Unsworth will be speaking about the importance of the charter and life in Congleton in the year it was formed, with Dr David Roffe, on Friday (7-8.30pm) in the town hall.

Congleton town mayor Coun Margaret Gartside said: “I would urge everyone young and old to attend this immersive exhibition to discover the history of Congleton in an entertaining and captivating way.

“There really will be something for everyone, from thatched roofs and wattle to sending people to the stocks! Visitors are sure to be wowed by the amazing diorama of an imagined Congleton in medieval times.”

In addition to the two public events, local schoolchildren have been given a taste of medieval Congleton. They have participated in interactive workshops throughout the week featuring costumed characters talking about crime, punishment, and work in 1272.

Also at the preview was Rachel McCarthy, the town council’s town centre and events officer, who dressed as a Congleton woman from in 1272.

She said: “Mrs Unsworth is unbelievable. She’s really fantastic. It’s incredible the way that she’s brought this together.

“I think it’s important because you can talk about it to children but for them to actually see it helps them understand it more because they need to see, feel and do at that age.”

Tickets for the living history talk tomorrow evening (Friday) are available at the town hall priced £5 for adults and £2 for children aged under 16, and will include a complimentary drink on arrival.

For more information, visit the town hall or call the town council on 01260 270 350.

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