Researching the forgotten past

Memento from fallen German Airship at Cuffley

Sometimes a seemingly insignificant object can shed light on a huge story. This was the case in 2014, when a small metal disc provided the key to Ickworth's links to the Great War. An enthusiastic team of research volunteers and staff began a journey back to the past. The result was a collection of poignant and uplifting stories from this momentous period in history.

Investigating history

In 2014 an intriguing item was rediscovered in the Ickworth collection. It was a small metal disc with the inscription “Part of Zeppelin L 21 destroyed at Cuffley Sept 2 1916”. This was a memento from the first recorded destruction of a German airship over Britain. This disc was enough to get a group of staff and volunteers from the Ickworth Research Group to look further at the role Ickworth, and its people, played in the Great War.

Over the course of the year the team set about researching the subject across the wider community- working with the local church, schools and other community groups, as well as delving into numerous archives.

As the result of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have been able to undertake further research and to create a walking trail through our park and exhibition to display our findings.

Research volunteers, Caroline and Iris with one of our Parkland Panels
Research volunteers standing proudly with a finished information board
Research volunteers, Caroline and Iris with one of our Parkland Panels

Follow in their footsteps

From 1 July 2016 a walking trail will provide a route to information boards giving you more information on Ickworth and the Great War. There will also be the chance to see some of the items in the Ickworth collection from the War and find out the stories behind them. A booklet has also been produced providing more detail. We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for providing the funding for the trail and booklet.The pamphlet produced by the Research Group is also available here.

If you have stories or more information you would like to share with us about Ickworth and the Great War, please email