New outreach programme helps local school children enjoy a unique taste of history

Posted 21st November 2023

The learning team at Chester House Estate has launched a new outreach programme, working with Northamptonshire schools and teachers to take the estate’s unique history into classrooms.

Chester House Estate is a nationally significant heritage site and one of the few places in the country that can demonstrate over 10,000 years of human activity.

Its new outreach programme has been carefully designed to align with the national curriculum and to support schools by providing a host of workshops for all ages – from Early Year through to secondary school age.

Cllr Helen Howell, North Northamptonshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “”We’re really proud of the new Chester House Estate outreach programme which has been designed to complement and enhance the history already being taught in our schools. We are able to bring real objects from both our Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC) and our handling collection, some of which are not typically accessible to the public, into classrooms and the team will be sharing first-hand knowledge of the Estate’s unique and rich history.

“Since the pandemic, learning has changed, and we’ve found that schools can be reluctant to travel to us, so this service is in high demand and schools are already reaching out to us to book. It is budget friendly, means there are no travel expenses for schools and the quality and depth of learning is excellent.”

Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council, added: “Chester House Estate was a real, living Roman town 2,000 years ago, and its history applies to all the local towns and villages, such as Stanwick and Raunds. Outreach is an opportunity for children to discover what life was like up to 10,000 years ago and relate to where they live now. The team are flexible, and support existing history lessons rather than disrupting the school day timetable by adding in lessons.”

Literally every step visitors take at Chester House Estate is packed with history, much of it still buried. More than 4,000 schoolchildren have taken part in the estate’s learning and engagement programme since the opened two years ago.

The Chester House Estate outreach programme, taking workshops directly into schools, includes primary school workshops on ‘The Nene Valley Romans’ and ‘Pre-history in the Nene Valley’ and secondary school workshops on ‘The Artefacts of Archaeology’ and ‘How do we know about the past?’.

Find out more about the Chester House Estate outreach programme here:

Chat to the Learning and Education team by emailing

Chester House Estate is overseen by North Northamptonshire Council and opened to the public in October 2021, following an extensive £17m Nationally Lottery Heritage Funded restoration project.