The Site Viking Longhouse The Earthouse Neolithic Log Cabin Iron Age Roundhouse Roman Forge Saxon Workshop Roman Water Lifting Machine Click on a building to ‘visit’ it. The Ancient Technology Centre, Damerham Road, Cranborne, BH21 5RP. Phone: 01725 517618 Email: atc@dorsetcc.gov.uk Get Involved Research Opening Times Ancient Technology Centre The
The Earthouse Gayle Ross in Earthouse Earthouse Interior Earthouse exterior showing main door

The original evidence indicated a central hearth and peripheral hearths along the walls as well as dumps of sheep dung, indicating that domesticated animals were living inside these buildings at times. The evidence also demonstrated a reversed stratigraphy with Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology overlying Iron Age occupation debris – suggesting that earth was suspended over the Iron Age house – containing earlier archaeology and eventually collapsing.   

The Earthouse has an immensely heavy roof of earth and this is supported by 21 oak trees, ash purlins and dozens of pole rafters.

The bedrock chalk has been terraced inside to give tiered seating for 250 people.  The building is used everyday for teaching purposes and hosts our evening storytelling events. It remains an awe inspiring building and is unique.

The Earthouse reconstruction was conceived as a space for public events such as storytelling and musical performance and, as such, does not seek to recreate a realistic interior of these buildings. The architecture is monumental and takes inspiration as much from henge monuments as it does from roundhouses

The archaeological evidence for this building comes from three excavations on the Isle of Man in the 1960’s. These buildings are unusually large for the Iron Age and reflect perhaps the communal living of several families in one space.