The Ancient Technology Centre

Damerham Road, Cranborne, BH21 5RP. Phone: 01725 517618

Email: atc@dorsetcc.gov.uk

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Saxon Workshop Rebuild

We have been working for the last year on reconstructing our Saxon Workshop. The previous building was coming to the end of its life and so a replacement was in order. The new building follows the same basic construction but we have moved it by ninety degrees so that it now faces across the site. Our aim is to create a higher status building with axed posts and plank walls, creating a comfortable living space and see if we can improve the traditional view of these “pit houses” as rudimentary structures.  The finished building will become a focus for green woodworking, tanning and dyeing activities.

This building is based on evidence for Sunken Feature Buildings (SFB) dated to the Saxon period.  The evidence for this type of building is for a pit, dug often into sandy soils to a depth of between 30cm and a metre.  The explanation for this pit is still a matter for debate.  It is unclear if the building’s floor would have been placed on the base of the pit – or suspended over it.  Many reconstructions of this building type have been built with a view to testing the relative merits of the pit as a cellar or as a low level floor, the jury is still out!