Oxford

House of Wessex Anglo-Saxon building opens

Countess of Wessex at House of Wessex Image copyright The Royal Family
Image caption The Countess of Wessex formally opened the replica 7th Century building in Long Wittenham

An Anglo-Saxon building that was reconstructed near its original site has been officially opened by the Countess of Wessex.

The Sylva Foundation rebuilt the House of Wessex in Long Wittenham, Oxfordshire, over a period of two years.

The replica 7th Century building was constructed with traditional materials and cost £120,000 to build.

An archaeological dig in 2016 revealed the remains of the original building.

Sophie formally opened the restored house, which received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of nearly £100,000, on Wednesday.

Image copyright Coptercaptures
Image caption The House of Wessex received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of nearly £100,000
Image copyright Sylva Foundation
Image caption It was constructed with traditional materials and cost £120,000 to build

It is one metre removed from the original site to preserve any remaining archaeology.

Archaeologists believe it once formed part of a settlement associated with a leading family of the West Saxons.

Timber from more than 80 trees from the Blenheim Estate was used to construct the new version, and the walls were plastered with daub made out of clay, straw, and cow dung.

It will become the home of The Wulfheodenas, an Anglo-Saxon living history society that runs educational courses for schoolchildren.

Dr Gabriel Hemery, chief executive of the Sylva Foundation, said: "This reconstruction celebrates the birth of the kingdom of Wessex 1,300 years ago on this very spot.

"Not only is the Countess of Wessex able to lend her title to the occasion, but knowing of her interest in the countryside, it's been a privilege to introduce her to the charity's work today."

Image copyright Sylva Foundation
Image caption An archaeological dig in 2016 revealed the remains of the original building

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