Neolithic Longhouse wins national heritage award

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A JERSEY Heritage site attraction has won a national award at the prestigious Association of Heritage Interpretation Awards.

Neolithic longhouse as it was nearing completion

The Neolithic Longhouse, which picked up the ‘Volunteer and Community Projects’ Award recognising excellence in cultural and natural heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland, was built by 140 volunteers who got a special mention on the night.

Julia Coutanche, Jersey Heritage’s volunteer co-ordinator, said: ‘Congratulations and a huge thank you to all our volunteers who spent nearly two years building the Neolithic Longhouse, and to those who continue to be involved in the project. Without their hard work, this wonderful building for learning, interpretation and experimental archaeology at La Hougue Bie would not be possible.

‘The Neolithic Longhouse is an incredible community project, which brought together a large number of volunteers, including a core team, who are still involved in maintaining and interpreting the site.’

The 20-metre-long replica Neolithic Longhouse was officially opened in March after two years of work by volunteers – supervised by UK ancient technology expert Luke Winter.

It was built using traditional tools and authentic Neolithic techniques, including mud daubing, thatching, bark-stripping and making cordage from stinging nettles and brambles.

Islanders who were there on the night to collect the award were Derek and Astra Denton, Luke Winter from Historic Concepts, who led the project, and Louise Downie, Jersey Heritage’s director of curation and experience.

The award was presented on the night by AHI patron Loyd Grossman in Bedford.

The Longhouse was up against two other volunteer and community projects; the ‘Future Thinking for Lochbroom’s Past – Ullapool Museum Redisplay Project’ in Scotland and ‘Some Alnwick Heritage Heroes’ in Northumberland.

The news comes in the week that Jersey Heritage, along with organisations across Britain, celebrate National Volunteers Week by focusing on the huge contribution made by volunteers.

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins

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