Nell Bank aiming to build Iron Age-style roundhouse

An artist’s impression of how the Iron Age-style roundhouse would look in the grounds of Nell Bank outdoor education centre

An artist’s impression of how the Iron Age-style roundhouse would look in the grounds of Nell Bank outdoor education centre

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Ilkley/Otley Reporter

An Iron Age-style roundhouse is planned at Ilkley’s Nell Bank outdoor education centre, giving visiting children the chance to learn about life in ancient times.

Youngsters visiting the Denton Road centre will be able to use the roundhouse as their base for the day, and ‘find’ Roman coins and other artefacts, if plans for the building go ahead.

The Nell Bank Trust is seeking planning permission from Bradford Council to construct the 5.9 metre high building, on the lowest, southern part of the centre’s land.

The £10,000 project is being funded entirely by Ilkley and District Round Table.

The planned building will be a stone and timber structure with a conical water reed or heather roof. Designers say the roof pitch will be at 45 degrees to match historical precedents, and landscaping around the building will include species appropriate to the period, such as hazel.

The roundhouse has also been designed for easy access for people with physical or sensory disabilities.

Nell Bank is widely recognised for its work catering for additional needs, including visitors with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The roundhouse is intended to fit into an ‘early peoples’ education programme at the centre.

Gary Worton, of Beam Architects, says in a design and access statement: “Children and young people will be able to use the roundhouse as their base for a day whilst participating in archaeological digs.

“They will ‘find’ Roman coins and artefacts from various eras.

“This should inspire their interest in history, including the rich heritage of Ilkley in terms of early people and the legacies of Roman and Victorian times.”

Bruce Fowler, Nell Bank manager, said: “Ilkley Round Table are both funding and supplying much of the hard labour involved. They have given amazing support to Nell Bank at crucial times in its development towards Britain’s most inclusive and busiest education centre.”

Richard Bradley, Ilkley Round Table chairman, added: “We are thrilled to have supported Nell Bank from the very early days recognising its value to Ilkley and surrounding areas. We look forward to digging the foundations and giving so many children another learning and fun activity at Nell Bank!”

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