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Author: Paul

Coppicing Starts ?>

Coppicing Starts

History@Work The History@Work weekend was productive as usual, providing another opportunity to use authentic processes to achieve some real results around the site. Jobs included painting, daubing, building a second lime kiln in preparation for making quicklime, opus walling in the Roman building, thatching the Mesolithic building, blacksmithing, and making bone and antler tool handles.   The usual workforce was complemented by a group of students led by Linda Hurcombe  from the University of Exeter, who provided valuable extra help….

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The End of the First Construction Week. ?>

The End of the First Construction Week.

Over the last four days our first volunteers have mastered many new skills and today was their chance to share their knowledge with a new crop of volunteers. Luke gave an introduction to the project and the thoughts behind it before the new volunteers were taken in groups to practice scraping bark, hewing timber, making pegs and making cordage. We will be needing lots of volunteer help at various times during the build and days like these are our chance to…

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Cordage. ?>


Today’s new skill to master is making cordage. We will be lashing various elements of the building together and so will be needing a considerable amount of cordage throughout the build. After a demonstration of the art of twisting fibres several of the volunteers quickly produced some very decent lengths of quality cordage. We started making our cordage from the inner bark of some of our logs that we have been stripping. This also sparked many discussions on the types…

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More stripping bark and making pegs!! ?>

More stripping bark and making pegs!!

A foggy morning greeted us all as the volunteers arrived on site. This is the third day of stripping the bark off of the posts and everyone is still keen! There are a few different techniques being employed to strip the bark now. We have the use of spuds or bark peelers to peel or scrape the bark off. We also have a two axe methods, the first involves several cut across the grain and then several cuts along the…

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Drawknives and Shavehorses. ?>

Drawknives and Shavehorses.

Today’s tasks were carrying on from where we left off yesterday. There was bark to strip, posts to cut to length and timber to sort. The next stage of training involves the use of draw knives and Shavehorses. We will be needing a large amount of pegs once the timber framing starts as they will be used to secure the joints on all the posts in the building.   The afternoon was spent using the drawknives to create mallets for…

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The Construction Starts Here….. ?>

The Construction Starts Here…..

The first day of construction began with an influx of eager volunteers. We started with cups of tea and talks from Luke regarding site safety and the background to the building. All the evidence for the building was explained and also some of the methods that we will to use in the construction. The tasks today were to cut the timbers to length with axes and, what I think will be everyones ‘favorite’ job, removing the bark.     After…

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Jersey Neolithic Longhouse Project Week 1: Setting up the site ?>

Jersey Neolithic Longhouse Project Week 1: Setting up the site

Our new project has begun!!! After an early start on Tuesday, we journeyed across the Channel to Jersey. Our project is to construct a Neolithic Longhouse for Jersey Heritage at La Hougue Bie – a site with a diverse history ranging from the Neolithic to WW2.   We have brought out with us all of the tools and equipment that we will need on this first phase of the project. Over the past few months some of our talented volunteers…

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A Change of Seasons. ?>

A Change of Seasons.

This week sees the last residential of the year for us. With the nights drawing in and the weather turning colder we finish offering residential stays in our Viking Longhouse. These will begin again next year after Easter and it is already looking like it will be busy with schools already booked. The half term holiday in a weeks time also signals a change to our education programme. We will no longer be offering our usual summer activities (blacksmithing, felt…

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History@Work and Quicklime!! ?>

History@Work and Quicklime!!

History@Work Last weekend saw another successful History@Work weekend allowing the public to get a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ at  authentic maintenance tasks and experimental archaeology projects. We had a diverse mix of tasks ranging from making handles for our Iron Age knives to clearing and sprucing up our Roman garden. We continued to build the Opus Craticium walls on the Roman Forge using lime that we have produced on site. While the blacksmiths were busy all weekend creating trowels for use…

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Catching Up After The Summer ?>

Catching Up After The Summer

Dark Ages Weekend 30th & 31st July Interest is always high for this weekend and the public turned out again to see Vikings invade Cranborne. With Anglo-Saxon and Viking living history along with combat demonstrations, Kiddie Vike, historical falconry and authentic food on offer, there was lots to see and do. Here are a few images of a great weekend.       Roman Weekend 10th & 11th September The Vicus and Legio II Augusta along with Simon Barnes Fine Art,…

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