Heritage in our hands

Volunteers cataloguing the tools

Volunteers cataloguing the tools

In early 2006 the Countryside Agency, on behalf of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, provided a grant for a Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) project in the Essex town of Coggeshall.


This was to fund a project aimed at raising awareness among the local community of the importance of Coggeshall Grange Barn, an adjacent building of some significance. Linking this with other aspects of Coggeshall’s history was also part of the brief.


The importance of Bryan Saunders and his tools collection was recognised and some funds were set aside to enable the collection to be fully identified, photographed and catalogued.


After this important procedure, the aim was to exhibit the collection in an appropriate setting at Grange Barn, thus making it available to the public in the best possible context.


A team of four volunteers was assembled for the task and included skilled carpenters and joiners, well able to identify the tools, plus someone to organise the entry of all of the details on to the National Trust’s database.


Work started in mid-2007 and the catalogue was completed a year later in 2008. 


The collection was displayed in part inside the barn in an area set aside for it, and was opened by Janet Saunders who so generously donated the collection, in May 2009.