To take a tour of The Roundhouse. Find your way inside
The archaeological evidence for this building comes from an excavation in North Wales
called Moel y Gaer. This building represents a “typical” Iron Age dwelling dated
to around 200 AD. The evidence for any structure like this is at best limited to
post hole and stake hole evidence, burned hearth remains, collapsed oven remains
and perhaps a scatter of pottery shards. The reconstruction of these buildings relies
heavily on common sense and knowledge of timber.
The roundhouse is the oldest building at the ATC and has now stood for over 25 years.
It has a wattle wall woven around earthbound stakes. The pole rafters are lashed
to the tops of these stakes and are supported midway by purlins supported on an inner
ring of earthbound posts. The porch faces south east to catch the early morning
light and the roof is thatched with water reed.
In 2005, staff and friends of the ATC undertook a simple experiment in the roundhouse
to augment our teaching. We lived in the building for a week and undertook the daily
tasks of an Iron Age family. Our experiences have informed our teaching and add
personal experience to our answers.