Bedford Borough Council


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 study groups.


For further information about ‘Saturday Archaeology Workshops’, contact Susannah Oliver, Learning & Access Officer, at Bedford Borough Council, on 01234 276351.


Anyone with information that could assist the Police with this enquiry should contact Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212.

Don't Miss

This website provides information on the services delivered by Bedford Borough Council.