Cannock Chase Messines Model on Countryfile


The now famous Cannock Chase Messines model before abandonment. Image from Staffordshire Archives.

A few weeks ago, I featured an article about a remarkable archeological project then taking place at Brocton Field on Cannock Chase. The first world war model of Messines, it’s history and recent archeological dig have been the talk of Staffordshire for a while, and tonight formed the basis for a great article on the BBC program Countryfile.

The model has now been covered back up, but you can learn about it, and some of the First World War history of Cannock Chase by watching the piece below, which I recorded from the program.

The article on the Messines model and Brocton was great, but I will admit to being very disappointed by the rest of the ‘Cannock Chase Special’ of country file; a few minutes coverage of the mountain bike trail (noticeably near to the car park), with hardly any mention of the wonderful voluntary work of Chase Trails. There was nothing about the rare wildlife up there, like the nightjars. Nothing of the forest, deer population or heathland habitats, the Second World War history or the management of a unique national asset.

Instead, we got articles about Shugborough, a clock and Staffordshire’s admittedly wonderful Tenant Farmer Scheme (but little of the threat to it, and how it was nearly closed a few short years ago).

I’ve seen more coverage of Cannock Chase in episodes broadcast focussing on other areas…


Brocton Field is wonderful, cinematic countryside. Sadly, you wouldn’t know it from Countryfile…

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6 Responses to Cannock Chase Messines Model on Countryfile

  1. Neil says:

    So I’m guessing it was on par with their coverage of wastewater a couple of years ago? What a surprise!

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  5. Pedro says:

    Stephen Dean, Principal Archaeologist, Staffordshire County Council, gave at talk at Brewood Library on Armistice Day 2014, concerning the Messines Model, and the Great War Camps on Cannock Chase.

    For anyone interested in the Model, and the Great War Camps on Cannock Chase it would be well worth a visit if the talk is repeated locally

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