Roundhouse wins the Lottery

The roundhouse near Monreith is uncovered
The roundhouse near Monreith is uncovered

The Whithorn Trust has received £87,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an innovative and ambitious project to rebuild an Iron Age roundhouse.

The Whithorn Roundhouse – Iron Age Grand Design team aim to construct a full-scale Iron Age house in Whithorn.

The project follows on last year’s thrilling discoveries at the Black Loch of Myrton, when an Iron Age house dating to about the mid 400’s BC, was uncovered by archaeologists and volunteers, complete with evidence of a hearth, flooring and structural timbers. This evidence will be used by craftsmen and volunteers to build a complete replica, to be used as a prehistoric education resource, arts venue and to provide a unique visitor experience. Work will commence in spring 2016, for completion by the end of the year. Craftsmen, alongside a design team of archaeologists and architects, will work with the public to look at different ways ancient tools were used and how prehistoric builders worked out solutions to problems.

The Whithorn Trust is the custodian of this internationally important archaeological site.

Development Manager Julia Muir Watt said: “We are truly excited by this project, which provides real opportunities for local people to get involved and develop their skills and knowledge, as well as all sorts of possibilities for the roundhouse as a venue for education, crafts, events and film once built. This is a complex site, because we have to protect the archaeology beneath, by constructing a supporting raft on which the roundhouse will sit; this is why we called it our “Iron Age Grand Design”. This was somehow fitting in the Year of Architecture, 2016. The digital interpretation for smartphones and devices which we shall install on site as part of the project will be a new step for the Trust and filming our new guided tours will provide some more opportunities for young actors and filmmakers to interpret their own heritage.

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Uncovering where, and how, our ancestors lived helps communities to understand their own history and identity. Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to support projects such as ‘Whithorn Roundhouse – Iron Age Grand Design’.

Galloway MP Richard Arkless said: “Congratulations to the Whithorn Roundhouse: Iron Age Grand Design project’s Heritage Lottery Fund grant award of £87,000.

“I hope this funding goes along way to helping with the recreation of an iron Age roundhouse in the Glebe field for experimental reconstruction and investigation.

“I wish the project great success.”