Beeston's Bronze Age Hut

At Beeston, in Cheshire, is the site of a Bronze-age settlement, close by the more famous medieval castle’s ruins. Measuring the post-holes the archaeologists excavated, volunteers constructed one of the roundhouses, using tools and materials we know those ancient folk employed. With oaken pillars, ash beams and willow doors, I entered the kind of house my distant ancestors inhabited. I showed the pictures to my mother who succinctly said what I had been thinking: “I could live there!”. Indeed, with a hearth, benches and shelves it was all very pleasant. Yet in truth, we are far, far better off now. They had no chimney (not invented till late medieval times), nor glazed windows. In fact, we don’t know if they had windows at all. Their domestic life was dark and smokey. Central heating, double glazing, stone walls- these our ancestors would have much preferred, given the opportunity. People like me, who enjoy history, are in danger of envying the past; weak Christians envy the cucumbers of Egypt; fake Christians look back at Sodom- never to look away.

The original hut could have been constructed at the time of Isaiah, Elijah or Solomon. I should love to have seen these men, to have been a part of their times, to have wtinessed their ministries. Yet they would much prefer to have been part of ours, I think. We enjoy the fullness of the gospel; we know how the prophecies were fulfilled, we can see what the signs and portents were pointing to. Let us not look back, but enjoy the grace in which we live, and the future in Christ to which we are heading. 

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into. 1 Peter 1:10-12

The visitor centre's display board suggests the male inhabitants had a penchant for hair gel: