Organisers of a special event celebrating the
making of Bedford have sent out a defiant message that the show
will go on despite a suspected arson attack.
The roundhouse, in Priory Country Park, was
completely destroyed by fire on Friday 1st July.
However, the special event celebrating the making of Bedford will
go ahead as planned later this month.
Children and adults from Bedford Borough
Council’s Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Bedford Museum’s Saturday
Archaeology Workshops, had since November 2010, been constructing
the replica ‘Iron Age’ roundhouse.
The completed roundhouse was due to form the
centrepiece of the living history contribution to ‘The Making of
Bedford’ event, to be held on Sunday 17th
July, involving cooking, spinning & weaving and a
range of other crafts. This event will still run,
despite recent circumstances.
Cllr Doug McMurdo, portfolio holder for
Leisure and Culture, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Everyone’s
passion and enthusiasm for this project is evident as the
participants are keen to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and carry on with
their planned iron age living history display. I am sure the
occasion will continue to be a popular one that generates just as
much interest, thanks to the spirit of all those involved.”
The project is part of the national ‘Festival
of British Archaeology’ and will host results of an excavation of
the burn site and provide a display of the roundhouse construction
process - visitors will even get the opportunity to have a go at
wattle and daub construction!
The object of the exercise has been for the
participants, including archaeologists, to learn through practical
experimentation, how people from the past might have constructed
their dwellings. All the materials, willow, clay soil, manure,
straw and reed have been freely donated from sustainable local
sources, in and around the borough and the Park hoped they could
make use of the completed roundhouse as shelter for their visiting
For further information about ‘Saturday
Archaeology Workshops’, contact Susannah Oliver, Learning &
Access Officer, at Bedford Borough Council, on 01234
Anyone with information that could assist the
Police with this enquiry should contact Bedfordshire Police on