Fen-tastic news for her­itage site

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By KIRSTEN BEACOCK kirsten.beacock@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

THE city’s Flag Fen her­itage site - which came close to per­ma­nent clo­sure - has re­ceived a boost af­ter be­ing cho­sen to fea­ture in a new TV se­ries.

Sup­port­ers of the Bronze Age at­trac­tion, at The Drove­way, off Northey Road, Fen­gate, say it be­ing show­cased on na­tional TV high­lights its huge im­por­tance.

There were fears Flag Fen would not re­open af­ter its clo­sure for the win­ter sea­son last Septem­ber, fol­low­ing a fund­ing cri­sis.

It was only thanks to the hard work of vol­un­teers that it re­opened in spring - though only on week­ends and spe­cial school vis­its. More cash is still needed to se­cure its long-term fu­ture and de­velop the site.

Pro­fes­sor Frances Pryor - an ar­chae­ol­o­gist who fea­tures on TV show Time Team - dis­cov­ered Flag Fen.

He was on site on Wed­nes­day to ad­vise pro­duc­ers dur­ing the film­ing of new four-part BBC2 se­ries His­tory of An­cient Bri­tain.

Prof Pryor said that be­ing in this new se­ries would show the unique­ness of Flag Fen not just in this coun­try, but in the world.

He said: “It re­ally shows what a jewel we have here in Peter­bor­ough.

“The fact it is in this se­ries un­der­lines the need for fund­ing and pro­mot­ing it as part of the city’s her­itage.

“It is great that an an­cient site like this in Peter­bor­ough can play a ma­jor part in it.”

He said he hoped the pro­gramme would gen­er­ate in­ter­est in se­cur­ing Flag Fen’s fu­ture, not just from city res­i­dents but peo­ple coun­try-wide.

He added: “Los­ing this site would be a dis­as­ter, not just for Peter­bor­ough but for the world and I hope the in­ter­est shown will fur­ther ig­nite in­ter­est and at­tract peo­ple from across the coun­try.”

Pro­duc­ers of His­tory of An­cient Bri­tain hope Flag Fen - one of Europe’s most im­por­tant Bronze Age sites - can help them find out more about the lives and loves of city folk more than 1,200 years ago.

The se­ries will look at the very be­gin­ning of Bri­tain’s story, from the re­treat of the glaciers 12,000 years ago, un­til the de­par­ture of the Ro­man Em­pire in the Fifth Cen­tury.

The show is fronted by TV his­to­rian and ar­chae­ol­o­gist Neil Oliver, who pre­sented hit TV se­ries Coast.

He will ex­am­ine ev­ery­thing from what peo­ple ate, to how they traded com­mer­cially, how they lived as a fam­ily and what their re­li­gious be­liefs were.

Mr Oliver said do­ing this se­ries took him back to his un­der­grad­u­ate roots as a his­tory and arche­ol­ogy stu­dent and said it was the first time he had vis­ited Flag Fen.

He said: “It feels like a bus­man’s hol­i­day, as I stud­ied Scot­tish pre-his­tory and I love this stuff.

“These sites are ripe for the imag­i­na­tion be­cause, de­spite us know­ing a lot about these sites, they can al­ways sur­prise us.

“I am al­ways telling young peo­ple to re­mem­ber these peo­ple are the same as us, they are just liv­ing in dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances.

“I know from my own chil­dren that the ex­pe­ri­ence of his­tory in schools is not great and pre-his­tory is not even on the cur­ricu­lum, so for chil­dren to come here and learn, ex­pe­ri­ence and imag­ine what life was like in those times is great.”

UN­EARTHING THE PAST: Neil Oliver - pre­sen­ter of His­tory of An­cient Bri­tain - speaks to

di­rec­tor of ex­ca­va­tions Francis Pryor at Flag Fen dur­ing film­ing of the BBC2 se­ries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.