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Kibworth Improvement Team - An Update


In 2009 Michael Wood and his production team arrived in Kibworth to film the BBC TV series ‘The Story of England’. The project started on a weekend in July 2009 with ‘The Big Dig’ organised by Michael Wood’s production company (Maya Vision International) and co-ordinated by Professor Carenza Lewis (famous from her time on Channel 4’s Time Team TV programme). Over 150 volunteers, assisted by local archaeologists, dug 55 one meter cubed pits all round the area, mainly in gardens. The dig was a great success, yielding evidence from prehistoric people, pottery from Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods right through to the Middle Ages as well as a Civil War cannon balls and debris from Georgian coaching inns, framework knitters’ workshops and navies’ camps.


The KiTCommittee Members (L to R)

Robin Hollick, Andrew Southerden, David Adams, Emma Tilley, Kevin Feltham



The publication of Michael Wood’s book and the showing of the TV series prompted the formation of the Kibworth Improvement Team (KiT). An application for a grant was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund to continue the legacy of the TV series and create the ‘Story of Kibworth’. Early in 2011 KiT was awarded £48,200 for their innovative heritage projects. These projects included:

  • Production of the Kibworth Guide Booklet outlining three heritage walks through Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt and Smeeton Westerby. A further guide ‘Betty’s Trails’, named after the late Betty Ward, was designed for users of wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and for people with limited mobility.

  • Three Blue Heritage plaques to commemorate the lives of Sir Harold Ridley, Philip Doddridge DD, and Anna Letitia Barbould/John Aikin.

  • 9 Interpretation Panels outlining the history of the area where they are sited.

  • School Study Materials where projects were undertaken with Kibworth Primary School and Robert Smyth Academy.

  • An Online Museum.


The first four projects have been completed with the Online Museum still a work in progress having recently gone live.This can be viewed on the Kibworth Village website,  along with printable versions of the Kibworth Guide Booklet and other information about the Kibworth Improvement Team. Copies of the Guide Booklet are also available from the Kibworth Library and from a KGB dispenser in Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt opposite Jubilee Green.


The online museum already has 32 articles ranging from the Beaker Burial Ground in Smeeton Westerby, Domesday Book entry where Chiborne = Kibworth, The day St Wilfrid’s Church Steeple fell down, to the life of Anna Letitia Barbauld. The aim is to compile a lasting and accessible history of Smeeton Westerby, Kibworth Beauchamp and Kibworth Harcourt.


To obtain as full a picture as possible we invite Chronicle readers to email us on  with photographs, articles or snippets of information relevant to the three villages for inclusion on the Online Museum.


David Adams

Kibworth Improvement Team

Issue 394

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