Allotment Pizza Party

Our Young People’s group based at our Benwell Allotment have been working their way through the history books to bring a new installation to the community!

As part of Life of the Wall project, the team explored what life was like at the time of the Romans when Hadrian’s Wall was built – which runs right along the Allotment site now! Our group visited Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend, and were joined by experts from Tyne & Wear Museums at our Graingerville location where they learned more about life as a Roman through artefacts and talks.



Visiting the Herb Garden at Segedunum, the group learnt how herbs were used for medicine and cooking, and that many still are today. They’ve now planted their own herb garden at the Allotment with the hope they’ll be able to use them in the future for their own cooking at home!

From the sessions at Great North Museum, our group found a lot of similarities between life in Roman times and nowadays – from architecture, drainage and even fast food! When tasked with designing and building an installation to mark the area, the group wanted to make something which made them think of home – of shared experiences, family, friends, different cultures and the food they shared. This inspired them to build a Pizza Oven in the Allotment which could be used by the wider community, with space for communal gathering nearby and Roman inspired decorations. Trying their hands at mosaic, the group have created designs which have been transferred to paving slabs to form the base, and worked with clay to build the outside of the oven.

This week, we fired up the Pizza Oven with some friends and special guests in a celebration of the group’s incredible work! Bringing out homemade pizza dough, fresh mozzarella and herbs grown in the allotment, the group made their own pizzas and cooked them on site – despite the typical North East summer rain it was a great afternoon and a fantastic way to round off the project! The group are now looking forward to more events and experimenting with what else they can cook in the oven – marshmallows are definitely on the list!

A special thanks to Tyne & Wear Museums, Historic England and local artist Marek Gabrysch for the support with this project.