Examining an Anglo-Saxon building
Autopsy of the Sunken House at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village
A reconstructed Anglo-Saxon sunken house which was built 40 years ago at West Stow in Suffolk is being dismantled in this unusual and exciting project. The house was built using techniques which archaeologists believed would have been used during the Anglo-Saxon period. It was actually built on the site of a major archaeological excavation where these types of houses were found!
The house has now reached the end of its life and will have to be dismantled for the sake of health and safety in the next year. All current archaeological knowledge suggests that when Anglo-Saxon buildings reached this level of natural decay, they were dismantled and such materials that could be recycled were applied to other buildings.
A team of professional archaeologists are going to recreate this process of painstakingly un-building (!) the house... and they need your help! If you are aged between 11 and 25, then you could be part of the team!!
West Stow has been given funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund's Young Roots scheme to work with young people (aged 11-25) and professional archaeologists to systematically dismantle the house and excavate the pit that remains.
Throughout this process, the building and project will be recorded using photographs, measured drawings and film, so that a leaflet and short film can be created to interpret the project for visitors to West Stow. The leaflet will be launched at a special event, created by project participants, during the Easter holidays in 2016. The photographs and drawings will also form part of the archaeological archive.
The following activities are planned for October and November 2015. There will be 10 places available each day. You need to be aged between 11 and 25 in order to take part:
26th–30th October 2015, 10am to 5pm – During this week the house will be carefully and systematically dismantled, with detailed records made at each stage.
14th and 15th November 2015, 10am to 4pm – Over this weekend we will work with professional archaeologists to excavate the pit left by the demolition of the house.
After Christmas, there will be additional meetings to prepare for the launch event at Easter and we will work with a PR specialist as well as a film maker.
An optional ‘Skills Passport’ which logs training activities and skills learnt can be completed by the young people working on the project.
To get involved...
Please contact Pippa Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to book a place on any of the dates above.
Even if you can't get along to take part, you can still find out more about this incredible project, and follow the team's progress on the project blog