Volunteer Voices: Angela Knisely-Marpole

Posted on 2 June 2020


This article was kindly composed by one of our wonderful and energetic volunteers, Angela Knisely-Marpole, and gives us a perspective of why folks enjoy volunteering with the South West Peak and how she is dealing with remaining at home during this period.


Having met Catherine Parker Heath a year or so before on a community archaeology dig, she told us about a new scheme that was being set up by the South West Peak Landscape Partnership - the Barns, Buildings and Small Monument Survey. Any excuse for a walk, a nose around and something to help record the remains in the South West Peak, so we signed up for the Pilot Study. What could be better than 2 weeks walking round Warslow looking at things, and plenty of biscuits and cake? Well, the weather could have been - week 1 was cold, wet, foggy, windy (typical Peak district) and week 2 was hot and sunny! Numerous alterations to the original forms followed as we tweaked them with use. Since then we have walked our grid squares, filled in forms and spreadsheets, taken photographs of anything we thought was worth recording. How many gate posts did you want Catherine? This has led to doing more training into Level 2 building surveys, where we get to poke around even more in old buildings, measuring everything exactly, then drawing them up at 1:20 scale, helped with a scale rule! We have also undertaken the Waxcap training and helped with the surveying - great fun if you like kneeling in the damp looking at fungi. SWP put on an excellent “Thank You” afternoon at Swythamly last year, and this has led us to help a local history group with a survey and an excavation. Would we do it again - definitely! We have met some lovely people from such a wide variety of backgrounds - teachers, MSc students, geographers, housewives, etc. Thank you SWP!

What are we doing at the moment - not a lot outside is the quick reply. I am stuck inside as I have just had 6 days in hospital with pneumonia (not the virus) and have now got time to sit down and do some computer work ( alongside crafting as I weave, make cards, do wet felting etc). However we are using the enforced isolation researching the Warslow Barns Walk and - as Catherine does not want me to be bored - researching a barn which is going to be repaired! This will involve looking at old maps - my passion  - looking for old photographs, in fact anything to do with the named barn trying to date things. I don’t think I’m going to have time to be bored!

- Angela Knisely-Marpole

To learn more about the Barns & Buildings and Small Heritage Adoption projects click below:

Barns & Buildings
Small Heritage Adoption

Angela Surveying