SCHOOLCHILDREN were given a taste of life in medieval times as they explored the past of their village.

Children from Ludworth Primary School, dressed in medieval costume, tried their hand at dances from the Middle Ages and ancient skills such as willow weaving.

The school is taking part in a project organised by Ludworth Community Association and financed by the Local Heritage Initiative.

Teacher Sharon Crawford said: "The project has covered two periods of history, allowing the pupils to experience Saxon activities, investigate other local history and really allow them to create living history.

"This day is a culmination of all the hard work they have done. Being able to actually experience the way things used to be has really enriched the pupils learning and helped make history real to them.

"Rather than just reading about these events and activities, the pupils have had the chance to experience them, which has enabled them to empathise with things more and will hopefully help them retain their knowledge better."

Although known as a mining community, Ludworth dates back to medieval times and, on the outskirts of the village, are the remains of Ludworth Tower, one of County Durham's few pele towers.

The school's project is to produce a history of the village, using records and villagers' memories. The community association is publishing a booklet, which will be available at the tower.

The project is supported by Durham City Council, through the Single Regeneration Budget programme.

Community development officer Marie Tyler said: "We hope from this project the young people will go on to take an interest in preserving and protecting the village heritage."