"Our Living Village"

A Seer Green & Jordans Society Project in Partnership with the Chiltern Society

The histories of the two villages of Seer Green and Jordans are very different, yet both histories are equally fascinating – as demonstrated by the current centenary celebrations in Jordans, the local history booklets that have periodically been produced for each villager, and the rich collection of memorabilia that the Seer Green & Jordans Society has collected over the years.

But with the passing of time and the fading of memories such information can easily be lost to future generations, so the question is how can we capture and retain our village histories in a form which is exciting, enduring and readily accessible? And how can such information be maintained and updated, since our history is not just what happened centuries ago – it’s what happened yesterday, is happening today, and will happen tomorrow.

That’s why we’re partnering with the Chiltern Society on an exciting new initiative – we’re launching a community project to pull together the diverse strands of our village histories into a comprehensive, computer-based history of the two villages. This project will allow us to combine our wonderful historical maps – such as the illustrated 1753 Godolphin map of Seer Green – with information on the patterns and growth of the village populations. We’ll then use these as a basis for illustrating the various rich themes of village life – from religion, education and employment to our local flora and fauna, from sport and leisure activities to music, drama, literature and the arts. And really just wherever our interests and our imaginations take us – from village families, to woodlands, to wartime, to geology, topography and archaeology.

We’re currently putting together a project team to computerise the village maps and population data, while at the same time inviting contributions from groups and individuals who can provide information on any of the many strands of village life mentioned above. So we’re looking to involve the schools, the churches, the clubs, the pubs, and everyone else who values and cherishes our wonderful two villages.

We’re also planning to incorporate information from other sources, such as the national geological maps and details of all the archaeological treasure found in this area. And right at the leading edge of technology, we’ve been invited to incorporate LiDAR data from the aerial survey that’s currently being carried out across the Chilterns. This data will provide us with remarkable new insights into our local landscape, even allowing us to see through woodlands to see every feature hidden within them.

At the end of this two-year project we’ll hand over this rich, deep history of our communities to the appropriate village organisations, to be maintained and developed as an enduring and living history of our two villages. So this project offers you a wonderful opportunity to participate in the creation of something totally unique and very special for current and future generations of Seer Green and Jordans.

We’ll be launching this project in Seer Green on 30 April at the Baptist Church and in Jordans on 1 May at the Jordans Village Hall – both meetings starting at 8.00pm. If you’d like to know more about the project and are interested in getting involved in any way, please do join us at one of these meetings – or if you really can’t wait, please feel free to contact Alan Kell, the project manager, at alan.kell@igsystems.co.uk. It would be great to have you involved!

Alan Kell
Seer Green & Jordans Society/Chiltern Society
28 March 2019


Our Living Village – A Short Project Update
After a brief lull over the summer the Seer Green & Jordans Our Living Village project is now making exciting progress. The technical team building the computer model has completed an intensive training course in Aylesbury with the GIS software provider, and a detailed systems implementation plan is currently being finalised.

Based upon expressions of interest from supporters in the two villages, five historical themes have been selected for initial development: Built Environment - historic homes and buildings; Natural Environment – landscape, woods & wildlife; Music, literature & art; Schools & Education; and Religion in the two Communities. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in researching these and other village themes - just get in touch if you’re interested.

Finally, there have been some really important initial observations from the Lidar data that we’re getting from the Chiltern Conservation Board’s aerial survey. So far we’ve identified what appears to be the remains of a large medieval manor house close to the centre of Seer Green, plus the totally unexpected route of a major Roman road passing through our local woodland. And that’s just the start of our discoveries! Watch this space for more, or better still why not get involved directly in this special local project.

Alan Kell, alan.kell@igsystems.co.uk