A PROJECT to reconstruct an authentic Celtic roundhouse at Castell Henllys Iron Age Village concluded with the official opening of the new Cook House.

Antiquarian, author and musician Rhys Mwyn cut the ribbon with a suitably Iron Age implement, in the presence of the tribe of staff and volunteers who had helped build the roundhouse, which replaces the original that was built in 1981.

Castell Henllys. just off the main A487 coast road between Cardigan and Newport, is the only Iron Age Village in Britain to have been reconstructed on the exact site where an Iron Age fort stood 2,000 years ago.

National Park Authority community archaeologist Delun Gibby said: “It’s great to finally open the new roundhouse after what has been a real labour of love for all involved.

“Although I’m sure our Iron Age ancestors had more knowledge and experience and would have built such a structure more easily, this 21st century project was underpinned by the same community spirit and togetherness that the original inhabitants of Castell Henllys would have possessed.

“During the rebuilding process we were met with countless challenges, including wind, rain, snow and what seemed like an endless amount of mud.

“But all that was no match for the determination and enthusiasm displayed by the team of staff, volunteers and experts.

“We will take the skills and expertise gained throughout this process forward as we prepare to start work to reconstruct the neighbouring Earthwatch roundhouse later this year.”

Work to dismantle the original Cook House began in 2016 when it had reached the end of its effective working life.

A team of archaeologists then studied the remains of the roundhouse, before building work started in August 2017, with National Park Authority Wardens installing the internal supports, internal ring beam and outer wall uprights for the new structure.

The task of wattle and daubing the walls began in February and was completed by volunteers from Coleg Plas Dwbl, Clynfyw Care Farm, Pembrokeshire College, the National Park Authority’s Pathways project, National Park voluntary wardens and local people.

The roof was then completed by thatcher Jonathan Botterell, which left the final task of decorating the interior.

The project was funded by the National Park Authority.

Work to dismantle the Earthwatch roundhouse has now begun but the site is open as usual.

Castell Henllys Iron Age Village is open 10am-5pm every day throughout the summer. For more information including events and ticket prices visit www.castellhenllys.com.