English Heritage, the charity which looks after Beeston Castle and Woodland, has announced the completion of a 4000 year old replica Bronze Age roundhouse built by volunteers and school children in the Quarry section of the property.
Using authentic tools and evidence from past archaeological digs the structure took almost a year to build and a team of 60 volunteers including a former dentist, a farmer and a nuclear physicist.
Visitors to this spectacular property will now have a greater appreciation for the lives of those who inhabited the site around 4,000 years ago. It will also provide an immersive learning experience for education groups from Cheshire, Manchester, Liverpool and across the North West of England. The house will be of particular appeal to primary schools as prehistory was added to the National Curriculum in 2014 -- prior to that it had never formally been taught at primary level.
Liz Page, Historic Properties Director (West) at English Heritage said: "A heartfelt thank you goes out to our dedicated volunteer team who gave so many hours of their own time to building this unique facility. We are pleased that we're now able to open this up for everyone to enjoy."
With a focus on bringing history to life, the inside of the roundhouse has been dressed appropriately for the era with various implements such as arrow heads, stone axes, pots of varying sizes and faux animal hides -- encouraging visitors to get hands on and immerse themselves in all things Bronze Age.
People had lived on the Cheshire rocky crag long before the existing medieval castle was built and the site -- a short drive from modern-day Liverpool and Manchester -- was a particularly important defended settlement and metalworking centre from the late Bronze Age.
Although little visible evidence remains of this early hive of activity, in the 1970s and 80s, archaeologists discovered traces of post-holes for what was called House Six, a thatched Bronze Age roundhouse with walls of wattle-and-daub -- a mixture of twigs, earth and clay. Bronze Age objects such as axes and knives were also uncovered.