SPUD Youth UnVEIL Exciting projects at Buckland Rings
An exciting new interpretation project is coming to fruition at Buckland Rings Iron Age Hillfort on the outskirts of Lymington.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Buckland Rings is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and historically important as it is rare to find such a well preserved hillfort so close to the coast in the South. It's a very popular place for local dog walkers and for sledging on the rare occasions Lymington gets a snowfall. It's also used for grazing cattle and ponies in the summer months, but little else happens. Until now there has been only a basic sign announcing the site and most people know very little about it.
Local arts charity, SPUD Youth, identified Buckland Rings as a great opportunity for young people to learn more about this important site, work with a range of professionals including historians, landscape professionals, ecologists and articts. Over the past year, the young people have taken the lead on the ideas and have worked closely with a range of people to develop them.
SPUD Youth secured a Heritage Lottery Grant which has now helped to commission artists to work with young adults to make ideas become reality. Now the interpretation projects are being installed on site. There will be a grand public opening of the project on Saturday 22nd April from 12noon to 3pm.
BRINGING BUCKLAND RINGS TO LIFE
Buckland Rings is a multivallate hill fort dating from the Iron Age period, probably 4th century BC to 1st century AD. It has well preserved triple banks and double ditches but it may have started out with a single bank and ditch system. This type of site is rare in lowland areas and as such is the best preserved and most important in the Hampshire/Dorset basin. Find out more about the history of Buckland Rings...
The objective of the SPUD Youth project has been to develop ideas and designs for new gateways, seating and most importantly interpretation to bring this site's Iron Age past to life.
After months of planning, research and development, the project settled on three ideas, which have now been installed on site:
The Guardians of the Gate
Forming the eye-catching centrepiece of the project, the Guardians are a trio of sculptures located by the main pedestrian entrance to the site alongside the A337 Lyndhurst Road. Based on the Iron Age horned-god 'Green Man' myth, these are instead a 'Green Family' with a horned mum, dad and child. Made out of rusted steel with plasma cut leaf details, beaten copper hearts and cast metal antlers, these statues blend in beautifully with the site and are the first pieces of permanent public art to appear in Lymington - meaning that they are a little piece of history in the making.
Atop a grassy knoll overlooking the hillfort are two new carved wooden benches. Their sweeping curved design reflects the outline of the hillfort ramparts, and the back rests are shaped like the heads of the tools and weapons that would have been used by the people who created Buckland Rings.
Two waymarked walks are being set up: 'The Ramparts Walk' and 'The Meadows Walk', with waymarking discs and interpretation panels along the routes to help highlight the historic and natural features of this special site.
For more information on the whole project, please visit www.spudyouth.org/buckland-rings
SPUD Youth is a an award winning workshop programme being run for young people aged 12 and upwards who are interested in architecture, urban design and public art. It is a weekly free programme run in term-time in Lymington.