Roundhouse nears finish after arson

Lending a hand: Children volunteers do some of the re-painting of the inside of the Roundhouse at Heeley City Farm. ''''           PICTURE: GLENN ASHLEY
Lending a hand: Children volunteers do some of the re-painting of the inside of the Roundhouse at Heeley City Farm. '''' PICTURE: GLENN ASHLEY
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AN ARSON-hit archaeology experiment to create an Iron Age-style structure is nearing completion after a Sheffield community chipped in.

Residents and youngsters helped to paint the walls of Heeley City Farm’s reconstructed Roundhouse - which had its roof burned deliberately in a blaze in 2010 - over the weekend.

It takes the experiment a step closer to being finished, with only the roof now left to work on.

But weeks of downpours have been a setback in the scheme’s progress this year.

Sally Rodgers, community heritage officer at the farm, said it had taken longer than planned to reach this point.

She added: “It was upsetting when the fire happened but then these are the kinds of problems people would have faced in the Iron Age!

“We’ve worked really hard to repair the damage and, considering it is in an open space, there hasn’t been much damage, only the fire.

“Over the weekend the walls were painted using different natural techniques like coloured clays and ground wood.

“It still needs some work on the roof but we are hoping it will be completed this year.”

But the aim of the roundhouse, which started in 2009, is not really about it being used as a complete structure.

The farm and Sheffield University began the scheme to help learn about how things were done by Iron Age man, how people worked and what it was like to live.

On Saturday and Sunday volunteers got messy with paint, even creating Celtic designs with their brushes on the roundhouse walls.

Museum Sheffield plus Sheffield Young Archaeologists offered support and artists also showed their skills in metalworking and basket weaving demonstrations.

Sally added: “We’ve had masses of help from lots of community groups who volunteered their time to help to get the walls repaired and to get the roof structure stable again.”