AN ANGLO-SAXON house was brought back to life with a royal visit and the opportunity for a look inside a seventh century living history site.

The Countess of Wessex formally opened the replica of the House of Wessex during her visit to Oxfordshire last week - 1,300 years after the first royal visit to the house.

The Countess, the Queen's daughter-in-law - who is married to Prince Edward - had a chance to see inside the new structure with a display of traditional Anglo-Saxon cooking and weaving was demonstrated by a living history society, Wulfheodens.

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The seventh century-styled house was painstakingly built over a period of two years with the help of experts and hundreds of volunteer days.

The House of Wessex has been reconstructed on a site in Long Wittenham which lays in the heartland of the early Kingdom of the Gewisse, which later became known as the West Saxons.

The local area has produced evidence of a wide range of early medieval activity and, within a few hundred metres of the House of Wessex, two early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries have been discovered containing richly-furnished weapons, burials, and a complex of large, high-status buildings.

In 2016, before planting a new woodland, the environmental charity the Sylva Foundation worked with archaeologists to reveal the remains of an important Anglo-Saxon building on its land in South Oxfordshire.

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Archaeologists believe the remains would have formed part of a settlement associated with a leading family of the West Saxons in the seventh century.

Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Sylva Foundation was able to gather experts and volunteers to design and reconstruct the Anglo-Saxon house.

After months of planning and a donation of over 80 trees from the Blenheim Estate and then 500 labour days, the house was complete using simple hand tools, a thatched roof and walls plastered with clay, straw and cow dung.

Dr Gabriel Hemery, Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation, said: "On behalf of the Sylva Foundation, and all our incredible supporters, I am delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex, to formally open the House of Wessex."

He continued: "This reconstruction celebrates the birth of the kingdom of Wessex thirteen hundred years ago on this very spot. Not only is the Countess of Wessex able to lend her title to the occasion, but knowing of her interest in the countryside, it’s been a privilege to introduce her to the charity’s work today."

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During the reconstruction the Sylva Foundation held a number of public open days with a living history society, the Wulfheodenas, who impressed the public with cooking, weapon making and their weaving skills.

Now the house will be used as an education facility to teach the public about the Anglo-Saxons of South Oxfordshire.