Community archaeology project goes back to the future

An artist's impression of the completed RoundhouseAn exciting new project to build an Iron Age Roundhouse has begun at charitable retreat in the Derbyshire Peak district, led by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology.

The Roundhouse, a very early form of housing in Britain, will become a place where the community can come together and enjoy learning all about Iron Age life. It will be built in The Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow. Originally founded as a convalescent home for WWI injured servicemen, The Nightingale Centre is now a not-for-profit charity holiday centre which runs retreats for under-privileged children.

To mark the start of the project local groups, schools and villagers will be placing time capsules in the foundations of the Iron Age roundhouse.

As well as placing the time capsules, there will be a number of other Iron Age activities taking place including Iron Age pot making and bronze casting and even opportunities to help build the house itself.

Dr Roger Doonan, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, said: “It might seem odd that we are marking the start of project by burying things in the ground, but it seems this is exactly what some people did in the Iron Age. By placing objects in the foundations, a real tangible attachment is made to the building – it is what makes a house into a home.

“We want this to be a community space used by many groups and it seems fitting to involve everyone, not just in its use, but also in its making. I hope many will want to place a little special something in the time capsule pit. Making a foundation deposit creates a nice connection with Iron Age communities. I only hope that nobody comes along intending to bury deceased family members under the house as they did in the Iron Age—that might take some explaining when the capsules are recovered!”

Stella Burney, Centre Director, said: “It’s great to see the Roundhouse starting. It has already attracted a large amount of interest. It will form a really important addition to the centre and provide a peaceful space for individuals and groups to enjoy.”

The event is free and will take place at 2pm on Sunday 25 November 2012 at the Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 8RH.

Additional information

The Nightingale Centre
The commitment to social responsibility and the needs of children is an intrinsic part of the Nightingale Centre's work, with weeks set aside every summer to provide children in need with a week's holiday at the Centre arranged by the 'Send a Child to Hucklow' organisation. For more information see:
The Nightingale Centre

The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK´s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen´s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom´s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.

The University´s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.


For further details contact Stella Burney at The Nightingale Centre on 01298 871 218, or:
Amy Stone

Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046