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Historic interpretation panel installed in Church Street at the Pinfold

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A new interpretation panel details how a small area close to the centre of Tarvin would have looked 150 years ago 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 to complement similar panels around Chester and, in particular, on the Walls, it is the first panel of its kind to be 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 has been 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 and were used to house animals straying from their owner's land. The animals would be kept until a fine had been paid.

Tarvin Parish Council discovered it owned a piece of land with some history, when it decided to tidy up a small piece of derelict land, on which stood an old shed, near to the village centre.

The Parish Council funded the clearance and renovation and is grateful to several volunteers who put in many hours over three years to finish the project.

Cheshire West and Chester Council's Tarvin and Kelsall Councillor Hugo Deynem approved a grant from his Member Budget which covered the cost of the interpretation panel. He 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."

Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy at Cheshire West and Chester Council, added: "I am delighted that 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, also commented: "I am pleased that 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."

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(From l to r)
Mark Wyatt — Tarvin Civic Trust, Roger Hones — Tarvin Parish Councillor, Tony Bland — Tarvin Local History Group, Councillor Hugo Deynem — Cheshire West and Chester Council, Councillor Stuart Parker — Cheshire West and Chester Council,
Phil Miles — Tarvin Parish Councillor, Jane Hebblewhite — Cheshire West and Chester Council's Senior Archaeologist and Pete Maiden — Tarvin resident.