The Viking Longhouse at the Ancient Technology Centre (ATC) in Cranborne, Dorset, has taken another step nearer to completion, as the roof is covered with shingles and its walls daubed and decorated.
Construction of the residential Longhouse is continuing into the hot summer months, with a large portion of the shingle roof already completed, and many of the walls built by adults and children alike.
As the main sponsor of the Longhouse project, ICM visited the site to get an update with tutor and general all round super handy-man Anthony Brown.
Looking at the remarkably intricate roof – with more than half of the 25,000 shingles in place, he said: “This is what the roof will look like at the end of the process, really, really beautiful and organic.
“We’re also daubing the walls at the moment, and we have some wonderful murals on the walls – people have been leaving their mark on various places. The walls are daubed with a mixture of horse dung, clay, glass and sand, and we’ve been putting it on with the children – they love getting stuck in and getting muddy.”
Anthony was very excited about some of the extra resources they’ve created at the ATC which will allow schoolchildren and other visitors to get a real glimpse into the realities of daily life in ancient times.
“The hope is that when the kids are here staying in the Viking Longhouse, they’ll be doing lots of daily life sort of things. We’ve actually built a hen house, and we’ve built a Coney Garth – which for those of you who don’t know is a rabbit house – a rabbit warren of sorts. We’re going to get a breeding pair of rabbits in there, and the idea is that we can use those rabbits to eat and the chickens will provide eggs and meat as well – and the kids will look after those animals when they come to stay.”
Visitors to the Centre have been watching the development of the Viking Longhouse with great interest, but it is only now that they can begin to imagine what it will actually be like.
Anthony confessed: “The response has been fantastic because finally they’re getting to really see what the structure was; before it was very skeletal, but now it’s starting to take shape and they come in and they’re like ‘wow’!”
Keep visiting the ICM website for more updates, videos and photos of this exciting project.