The designated site for this project was at Portchester Castle on the south coast of the UK. A historic site that features a Norman keep and church enclosed within towering Roman walls that are still intact. The brief was to assess the territory, within and surrounding Portchester Castle, and come up with a programme that responds to one’s interpretation of the area.
I was particularly interested in the history beneath the ground, the archaeology, as there is a fascinating exhibition of artefacts on display within the keep. During the time I visited the site I found several painted rocks. After a bit of research, I found that these rocks are the result of a community founded in Portchester where local people paint and place rocks for other people to find and re-hide around the castle. A modern-day archaeology, if you like. During the late 60’s and early 70’s there were a series of archaeological digs, led by Sir Barry Cunliffe. He and his team of archaeologists uncovered an abundance of artefacts from the Roman era, through Saxon and the medieval periods.
I propose a series of workshops to be built in the corner of one of the quadrants whereby visitors could attend and craft replica artefacts. These include a silversmithing workshop to craft jewellery similar to pieces uncovered during the excavations at the castle. A pottery studio, where one can throw replica Roman pots, and finally a whittling workshop where visitors can carve pendants and spoons similar to those found on site.