Ancient Technology Centre The The Ancient Technology Centre, Damerham Road, Cranborne, BH21 5RP. Phone: 01725 517618 Email: atc@dorsetcc.gov.uk Get Involved Research Contact Us
Residentials Collecting firewood Preparing vegetables for a meal Collecting firewood for the Longhouse The interior accomodation Grinding wheat on a rotary quern Crushing chalk to make paint

A residential visit to the ATC will be a truly memorable experience for your children.

The Longhouse took over three years to complete, and from the outset we have striven to create a unique facility where visitors can immerse themselves in the past. The finished building combines a traditionally built hall with well disguised modern elements such as toilets and a kitchen to ensure safe levels of hygiene for our visiting groups.

The residential hall is designed to sleep up to 35 children on sleeping platforms with accommodation in separate bunk rooms for up to eight accompanying adults.

On arrival, your children stow away their modern clothing and bags in chests and transform themselves into ancient farmers by dressing in simple tunics, dresses, hats, head scarves and belts. The days work now begins...

Each residential group is split into two groups, the “House” team embarks on the jobs required to produce an ancient style meal for the whole class. They prepare locally grown and seasonal vegetables, butcher joints of meat, make butter, cheese and grind wheat to produce bread. The meal is cooked over the open fire in the hall and served on tables suspended from the roof.

Each child has a wooden bowl, handmade wooden spoon, horn or wooden cup and a wooden trencher to eat from. The food is simple, delicious and nutritious and the hard work involved in making it ensures empty bowls!

The “Farm” team take part in a range of jobs outside and are responsible for the seasonal tasks which will keep the farmstead running during your visit. The work is real and varied – ranging from fence building, harvesting, mucking out and feeding the pigs and chickens, collecting eggs, making rope, and many many other jobs.

Both groups rotate after lunch to ensure a full experience of an ancient day.

Supper is served and the chores are done, it’s time for ancient games! – the children are shown a range of indoor and outdoor games that challenge mind and body. Riddles, chess, nine mens morris, tablet, sword play, kubb can be played and enjoyed.

Bedtime is a memorable experience, unrolling two sheepskins each, closing the leather windows, locking the doors and building up the fire for the last time and then a chance to lie and gaze up at the magnificent roof carved with 3000 runes flickering in the amber light of the fire...