Visitor centre at Butser Ancient Farm opens

CEREMONY Topping out
CEREMONY Topping out

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AN ANCIENT ritual was performed to celebrate the completion of a new £200,000 visitor centre at a beauty spot.

A topping-out ceremony took place at Butser Ancient Farm, in Chalton, near Clanfield, to bless the new building.

The ceremony can be traced back to the Vikings, who placed a tree on top of a new building to appease tree-dwelling spirits.

The custom travelled to England more than 1,000 years ago with Viking settlers.

The main structure is complete and work will start to decorate its interior.

The centre is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

The project, paid for by a number of grants, will create a new gateway to the site named after Janus, the Roman god of gateways.

Maureen Page, director of Butser Ancient Farm, said: ‘This is a much-needed resource which will make such a difference.’