Sunken house at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village reveals some of its secrets

Breaks Fest at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village

Pictured: People who have been involved in a Young Roots project, a presentation of West Stow Sunken House secrets ANL-160329-121116009
Breaks Fest at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village Pictured: People who have been involved in a Young Roots project, a presentation of West Stow Sunken House secrets ANL-160329-121116009

The not so distant past and young archeologists of the future have been on a journey of discovery at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village.

A group of young people aged 11 to 18, the Young Roots, have excavated and dismantled the sunken house at the village to determine whether its construction in 1974 was based on accurate interpretations of building methods in Anglo Saxon times.

One of the young people excavating the Sunken House at West Stow  as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project

One of the young people excavating the Sunken House at West Stow as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project

They presented their findings on Monday, at the Brecks Fest along with a short film about the project, which was carried out over a six month period.

Dr Richard Hoggett, senior archeologist at Suffolk County Council and advisor to West Stow, said it is now thought likely that the building would have had a timber floor with the hollow used for storage. Initially it was thought the hollow could have been used for living space.

He said: “This has been an important piece of work and the completion of the 40 year experiment of this building.”

Last year the West Stow team built another sunken house next to the original and will monitor it going forward.

Breaks Fest at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village

Pictured: Janet Parnell churning butter ANL-160329-121238009

Breaks Fest at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village Pictured: Janet Parnell churning butter ANL-160329-121238009

This is the first deliberate demolition of one of the West Stow buildings constructed 40 years ago on the site of the original Anglo Saxon settlement.

The Brecks Fest showcased some of the ancient skills used by the Anglo Saxons.

Breaks Fest at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village

Pictured: Bridget Steenkamp with some freshly made bread ANL-160329-121138009

Breaks Fest at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village Pictured: Bridget Steenkamp with some freshly made bread ANL-160329-121138009