Longhouse team get by on tea

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VOLUNTEERS building a replica of a neolithic longhouse at La Hougue Bie survived the winter by refuelling on tea, coffee and biscuits, according to Jersey Heritage.

Derek Denton takes some measurements

The charity’s volunteer co-ordinator, Julia Coutanche, said that the dedicated team, led by ancient technology expert Luke Winter, were all in great spirits, despite the conditions.

‘There’s an average of ten people on the site each morning and morale is good – they have really bonded,’ she said.

‘It’s a good mix of people. The youngest is 20 and the oldest is mid-70s.

‘They are all volunteers and have various skills, while Luke’s been very good at teaching people new techniques.

‘I’ve made sure they have good supplies of coffee and biscuits and they are not deterred by the weather. When it’s raining or windy too, it doesn’t stop them at all.’

The timber longhouse is being constructed using only ancient methods and tools that date back 6,000 years, such as wooden pegs, cordage made from stinging nettles and flint axes.

The 36-month project started in 2016 and is expected to be finished by the end of this year.

Mrs Coutanche said that the volunteers were making good progress.

‘They are starting to work on the roof supports now so it’s really starting to take shape and we are starting to see what it will look like when it’s finished,’ she said.

‘The walls are not solid but it definitely looks like a house.’

Ramsay Cudlipp

By Ramsay Cudlipp


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