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23 January 2004
A holiday to the Iron Age

Holidaymakers will be able to spend a week living in the Iron Age at a new tourist attraction being planned in the Forest of Dean (England). Tourists will give up their clothes and modern items and dress in costume and spend time living in the village of Cinderbury. They will sleep in primitive huts and will have to cook for themselves, mine ore, make tools and weapons and look after the village's animals. Mobile phones and watches will be confiscated and the project website says that "make-up, jewellery, hair products and perfumes are strongly discouraged and will possibly be mocked".
     The living history project is being created near Clearwell. Although corporate funds are still needed it is hoped the village will be open by May. Project boss Jasper Blake said: "The village came about in a weird kind of way. I have now been doing archaeology in the area for 10 years with different groups and I love working in this area but I wanted to earn a living doing it.I visited other places which are commercial operations and I thought I could do it with this place. We now have our plot of land and have made a deal with the landowner and we are pretty well ready to put in a planning application. This is going to be a high profile, media friendly project and there is nothing much like it anywhere else in the country so we expect interest to be high."
     Mr Blake added: "If we get corporate interest there is no reason why we can't be open by May. There is no way that we could get the whole thing built ready for then, but part of the experience will be to get people to get involved with building some of the roundhouses and help build it up as a living community."
     Mr Blake explained that although there were no remains of Iron Age huts in the Forest they would be using a template of what is known about roundhouses and use local materials to build them.
     For more information see the Cinderbury website

Source: This is Gloucestershire (21 January 2004)

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