Poddit Hole Holidays
- The project will be a sustainable development, working with specialist natural builder Jeffery Stuart Hart. The house will be a showpiece of modern, low-impact environmental building techniques and materials whilst employing the latest technology in low carbon power generation to supply under floor heating and domestic hot water.
- The goal is to build a halfling house for use as a holiday destination. This is to supplement existing holiday accommodation offered in the natural setting of West Stow Pods, in Suffolk, England.
- We will create a holiday destination for people who want to engage with activities which will involve an overnight stay in the Poddit Hole but could also include a guided tour of the nearby Anglo-Saxon Village and other activities to form part of your very own exciting adventure.
- The location of the Poddit Hole halfling house is ideal as it also offers a holiday destination full of wonderful walks and heritage interests in the surrounding area which includes the adjacent Kings Forest, Lark Valley and nearby ( 5 miles distance ) historic Bury St Edmunds.
A Natural Building
Hartwyn Natural Building carries a simple ethos at its core – to design and build beautiful, sustainable and achievable natural homes and work places. We add value by creating a beautiful building and by sharing our skills with our workforce, beginning a cascade effect of trained and experienced natural builders who can help other people achieve similar goals. We are low cost in terms of the environmental impact, as well as the financial – we don't charge for the training which means we have a highly motivated workforce that saves money on the labour.
We use natural materials often sourced on site or as close as we can manage, and we use traditional artisan building methods and technologies to put our structures together – all built to extremely high environmental standards. This means we can provide distinct and unique buildings that use very little energy in both their construction and their use.
Hartwyn Natural Building are Jeffrey Hart and Joe Duirwyn, between us we have an integrated and diverse skills palette that covers many natural building techniques (rammed earth, cob, straw bale, roundwood timber framing, earthen plasters) alongside a proven track record at the environmental end of mainstream building (green roofing, rainwater harvesting, renewables, project management).
We are excited to be bringing our skills to this unique project. This 'Poddit Hole' project will bring together various elements to create a beautiful and welcoming holiday home. The heart of the building is its roundwood reciprocally beamed frame, encased in the embrace of a straw bale wall coated in a local earthen plaster. A wandering green roof carpeted in pioneer forest meadow will cap it all off and provide habitat and insulation.
As authentic as we can make it
Alan Baxter, a Heritage Consultant (and formerly Manager of West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village for nearly 30 years), is responsible for keeping the project as authentic as possible. He specialises in the Anglo-Saxon period when pit houses, like those at the Anglo-Saxon Village, were a common feature of the landscape, 1500 years ago.
A special adventure
At West Stow pods you will soon be able to stay in an underground dwelling inspired by our Anglo-Saxon ancestors – the Poddit Hole halfling house. This house will be a simple but very comfortable place; one where exciting adventures are likely to start. Podditon is the name given to this group of holiday homes because the ‘pods’ form a small village or homestead (-ton in Old English), hence Podditon.
The halfling house is set in the natural environment of woodland for you to enjoy.Then you can visit West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village where you can walk on the ground that was the ‘real’ land of the Anglo-Saxons. At West Stow there are several different types of sunken featured buildings reconstructed on their original sites.
Your adventure could continue with a guided tour with a costumed character, or with an archery experience, or with a viewing of a short film which brings to dramatic life a story in West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village.
All of this makes West Stow the perfect place to start your very special adventure.
Risks and challenges
We aim to construct an authentic and habitable Poddit Hole pit house which by its very nature of construction type will be a partially sub-terranean dwelling.
A pit-house (pithouse) is "a dwelling partially dug into the ground and roofed over." Besides providing shelter from extremes of weather, these structures may also be used to store food and for cultural activities like the telling of stories, dancing, singing and celebrations.
Pit-house - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This will require specialist design considerations to ensure the structure is structurally sound and particular attention paid to prevent the build up of dampness and to ensure adequate ventilation and heating is provided without compromising the authenticity and aesthetic considerations which you would expect within this type of dwelling. All these factors make the construction of such a dwelling quite costly.
To ensure that we can build this unique project we need additional financial assistance to make this happen and to make it affordable as holiday let destination. We therefore have decided to go down the route of crowd funding to request pledges from supporters to raise the necessary additional finance to make this project a reality.
- (35 days)