The Fun Of An Iron Age Roundhouse

The Fun Of An Iron Age Roundhouse image 0 All

We all give a few thoughts to our boiler now and again but it is important that it’s checked and doing its job.  Imagine what things would be like if you didn’t have one. This was the case of the Iron Age people who lived in the natural home of the roundhouse. Whilst they may not have needed a Gloucester Boiler Servicing firm like the one at the fact that they did not have hot water, unless they went to the well or river brought it back and boiled it, or that their  central heating was an open fire in the middle of the house you’d be fine. How did they build this structure?

The Fun Of An Iron Age Roundhouse image 1

Image credit

We have a very good idea of how the Roundhouse was made from archaeological evidence. We have even been able to make very accurate models and examples to illustrate them. A very good example of the Roundhouse village can be seen at the Museum of Welsh Life in St Fagans or Butser Ancient Farm in the South Downs. They have built full-size replicas to try and recreate an idea of what life was like for the Iron Age/Celtic people that lived there. The first part of the village is the large central hall which would act as the meeting and marketplace for the village and as a communal spot to learn news and discuss marriages and settle disputes. Around the main hall would be the roundhouses.

The Fun Of An Iron Age Roundhouse image 2

The first thing that a roundhouse need is wood, and lots of it. A series of post holes are dug into the ground ready for the prepared wooden logs. Once the incomplete circlet is done, you need to leave space for the door after all; the posts are sunk deep into the post holes. They had no knowledge of cement in those days so the base was not always stable but once all of the posts were wedged together and bound tightly they did provide a very solid wall. There was a problem of the wood rotting but our ancestors found that if you char the ends it will delay this process. Around the posts, a tight mesh of hazel was woven. Hazel is very bendy and even more so if it is soaked for some time beforehand.

Image credit

The Fun Of An Iron Age Roundhouse image 3

The next stage is a bit icky and also smelly. It is a vital component and it is daub. You might well ask what daub is, it’s a delightful mix of wet earth, clay, straw and cow poo. Yes, it does smell a bit but once it’s dry it forms a hardy crust. You then add the thatched roof, which only needs changing every 4 or 5 years. Leave a smallish opening at the top to allow the smoke to vent out from the fire and you are ready to start life as an Iron Age person. Now all you need to do is work in the fields for 14 hours a day.

Rate author