Round Houses for Birds and Bees!

Terracotta roundhouses for birds and bees by CAER Studio. Photo © Dylan Sutton 2018

Artist Dylan Sutton has developed this fantastic concept for CAER Studio: roundhouses for birds and bees! Based on the design of the Iron Age roundhouse, these terracotta ceramics will provide homes for solitary bees and unique nest boxes for birds.

Roundhouses were the standard form of housing built in Britain from the Bronze Age throughout the Iron Age, and in some areas well into the Sub Roman period. They used walls made either of stone or of wooden posts joined by wattle-and-daub panels and a conical thatched roof and ranged in size from less than 5m in diameter to over 15m. Most of what is assumed about these structures is derived from the layout of the postholes, although a few timbers have been found preserved in bogs. The rest has been postulated by experimental archaeology, which has shown the most likely form and function of the buildings. For example, experiments have shown that a conical roof with a pitch of about 45 degrees would have been the strongest and most efficient design. A reconstruction of the Bryn Eryr Iron Age Farmstead at St Fagans is based on a groundplan of two roundhouses connected to form a figure-of-eight.

Our terracotta roundhouses have been individually created at Our Place Dusty Forge by regular members of the Community Garden group and the Thursday retreat.

A selection of roundhouses will be available to purchase from our website in coming weeks. All proceeds from sales will be donated to help support the work of ACE.

Following the success of the award-winning Caer Heritage Project, CAER Studio is a one year AHRC funded project that will lead to the development of a series of creatively co-produced art objects and craft items inspired by the history and heritage of the community of Caerau and Ely in South West Cardiff. Local people will have the chance to get involved in a range of artistic activities, inspired by the knowledge and artefacts gained from archaeological excavations at Caerau Hillfort. The CAER Collective, a cohort of local artists, will hold workshops and events over 2018 at which residents can come along and get creative, while developing new skills and learning more about the history of their community.

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