Fire destroys reconstructed Anglo-Saxon dwelling at Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve
Tuesday 11th April
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has today spoken of its shock at news that a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon dwelling, known as a Grubenhaus, has been destroyed by a fire at its Skylarks Nature Reserve.
The fire, which may have been started deliberately sometime between 5pm on Sunday afternoon (9th of April) and the morning of the 10th of April, has totally destroyed the structure which had been hand crafted by volunteers with the guidance and support of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Archaeology team. The Grubenhaus was the first to be reconstructed in the county and the 1st structure of its type to be built in the county for around 900 years.
The building was designed to match the archaeological remains of a wooden structure previously discovered during surveys prior to it being quarried for sand and gravel. A number of the structures are believed to remain in-situ underground. Over the past 18 months volunteers have hand-crafted a replica of the type of structure found, learning the ancient constructions techniques and passing them on during workshops events. Hundreds of hours have been spent on the project which forms part of a wider programme designed to interpret the site and to help visitors learn more about past human interaction with the site.
Speaking about the fire Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Communications Erin McDaid said: “At Skylarks we are trying to help people discover the history and heritage of the site. Much of the fascinating archaeology of the Trent Valley is hidden from view and at Skylarks we have the opportunity to re-create some of the interesting features previously found during archaeological surveys. The volunteers who’ve worked on the Grubenhauser have invested a huge amount of time and energy and its devastating for them and us to see their hard work destroyed. However, we are determined not to be beaten by this and are already making plans for the next phase of this exciting project”
The Wildlife Trust, a registered charity, is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Police by calling the non-emergency 101 number or by calling the Trust on 0115 958 8242.