Outdoor classroom at Christchurch Park in Ipswich took five weeks to build - and one hour to burn down

Fire crews put out flames in Christchurch Park. Picture: JOHN RICHARDSON

Fire crews put out flames in Christchurch Park. Picture: JOHN RICHARDSON - Credit: Archant

The craftsman who created the thatched outdoor classroom at Christchurch which was destroyed in a fire on Monday says it was ‘gutting’ to see his work up in flames.

Firefighters were called to the scene in the park’s David Mapus-Smith orchard at around 8.15pm on Monday, July 24.

They discovered the outdoor classroom, which was built two years ago, in flames.

The handcrafted structure took craftsman Richard King and his team five weeks to create but was burned to the ground in less than an hour.

Mr King, who runs the Magic Garden Shed Company, said: “It is gutting. “It was a particular favourite, I really loved the shape and structure of it.


“To see if gone after just two years of service is very sad indeed.

“Every thatch is at risk from fire so we knew there was a risk of that.

“But hats off to the people who took the risk and put something so beautiful in the park.”

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At the time the classroom was built, Mr King shot a time-lapse video documenting its construction.

“I like putting up buildings like this because they are the type of structures that kept the human race in shelter through the vast majority of our of history,” he said.

“For tens of thousands of years, that is how we lived.”

Crews can be seen tackling the flames in the video above taken by eyewitness John Richardson.