Anglo Saxon exhibit building takes shape

Schoolchildren work on creating their castles
Schoolchildren work on creating their castles

A NEW Anglo Saxon exhibit building is going up at a Singleton museum.

The sound of axes shaping timber has been ringing out across the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum over the past few weeks, as an Anglo Saxon hall house has started to take shape.

Craftsmen have been constructing the timber frame of the building, which will be a new exhibit at the museum.

Under the supervision of the museum’s carpenter in residence, Joe Thompson, the construction team, which is comprised of skilled volunteers, have been working to get this exciting new project off the ground.

The team have had to get to grips with using completely different building techniques, particularly those around splitting and shaping wood as no saws were used at this time in history.

Progress on the building has been taking place over the past few weeks, and the timber frame is now assembled.

Richard Pailthorpe, museum director, said: “The Saxon hall house will add an important new dimension to the museum’s exhibit building collection and will enable school parties in particular to study an 
earlier period of building and social history.”

Museum curator Julian Bell has been preparing timbers for the construction team’s use since late 2014.

Over the coming weeks, the walls will be wattle 
and daubed and the roof thatched, using wheat straw grown at the museum.

The Saxon house project has been researched by a museum team with input from external experts, and is based on archaeological evidence from a site in Steyning.

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