PLANS are underway to carry out a survey of the ground underneath and around Crediton Parish Church to try and trace the town's original Saxon cathedral.

The survey is being planned as part of a Festival of Crediton in 2009 to mark the 1,100th the anniversary of the founding of the cathedral, which will be held in May and June.

It was suggested that they could use ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to look beneath the ground of the church, the churchyard and the surrounding area to try and find the Saxon Cathedral.

They are hoping to carry out the survey this year, with a display of the results being displayed during the festival.

The group, which is now a sub-committee of the parochial church council, are now looking into funding for the project.

Keith Barker, chairman, said: "Early discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund identified 'Your Heritage' grants, which exist to support projects which 'encourage communities to identify, look after and celebrate their heritage' as being the best potential source of funding.

"We know that our project will encourage Crediton to do all three.

"Crediton has an incredibly rich heritage dating back at least 1,300 years - and possibly a lot further.

"It is one of which the townspeople can justly be proud.

"We cannot know what the proposed surveys might uncover but we are sure that through them this pride will be enhanced."

As part of the project, members of the Crediton Photography Club have agreed to make a photographic record of the surveys and all the activities surrounding them.

Among many other events, Exeter Museum will be involved and will run a "finds" day, when anyone can bring items found in back-gardens and elsewhere for identification by archaeologists.

The sub-committee is looking into other activities, exhibitions and talks to take place before, during and after the surveys (between March 2007 and March 2009).

Any suggestions for the celebration should be sent to Keith Barker at 5 Penton Close, Crediton EX17 1BQ, or by calling 01363-773940.