New £200,000 centre to be built at farm

START Cllr John West breaking the first sod with building designer Richard Weavis
START Cllr John West breaking the first sod with building designer Richard Weavis

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WORK is under way to create a £200,000 visitor centre for an ancient farm.

At the moment the thousands of visitors who flock to the beautiful Iron Age and Roman buildings at Butser Ancient Farm are greeted by run-down sheds at the entrance.

But contractors have begun installing 7ft long solid-oak piles that will be the foundations of the building at Butser Ancient Farm, at Chalton, near Horndean.

Once this has set, work will start on the building’s structure. It is expected to be complete by September.

The project will create a fitting gateway to the site, named after Janus, the Roman god of gateways.

Farm director Maureen Page said: ‘Janus will be the building through which visitors of all ages and abilities will be transported from the 21st century into Iron Age Britain.

‘Its features will improve the visitor experience on so many levels – for instance until now people have had to wash their hands in cold water.’

Funding has been raised from local authorities, the South Downs National Park Authority, Sainsbury’s and The Veolia Trust.