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Perranporth School roundhouse built just as the Celts did

By West Briton  |  Posted: March 31, 2013

  • Perranporth school children putting in the wooden supports for their authentic Celtic round house - bar the pink twining!

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PUPILS at Perranporth School have used ancient skills, thatching and building walls out of cow dung to create their own Celtic roundhouse.

Project leader Ellie Smitheram said the children experienced first-hand the materials Celts would have worked with and the problems they might have faced.

They cleared brambles, levelled the site and then dug a circle of holes for the supporting posts. They then used sledgehammers to smash stones to secure the poles in place.

"They cut down willow so that they could weave it in and out of the poles to form the basis of the wattle and daub walls," she said.

"Glynn Roberts showed the children how the Celts would have drilled the holes – that took ages, so we resorted to using a cordless drill."

During the project they ran out of willow but, following a radio appeal, a Penzance resident offered to cut down some of her own willow trees so they could finish off the walls: "Then came the daub. We mixed up cow dung and earth in an old bath and pressed the mixture into the willow walls, which are now rock-hard."

The warden at Marazion Marsh cut down 60 bundles of high-quality reed so the pupils could add a roof with the help of thatcher Nick Hewlett.

"It's been a brilliant project," said Miss Smitheram. "The children enjoyed getting stuck in and have realised the work involved."

For more images of the roundhouse visit www.perranporth.j2webby.com

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