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 Contact Us Ancient Technology Centre The
Reconstructed Viking Longhouse exterior view Viking Longhouse Interior view of Viking Longhouse Viking Longhouse in Cranborne Viking Longhouse

Our largest reconstruction to date has been the Viking Longhouse. The evidence for this building comes from the Royal garrison forts of Denmark where theses houses formed quadrangles within circular ramparts and seem to have housed a ship of men each.

After looking at original excavation reports and post hole plans we opted to reconstruct a 26 metre – bow sided hall to act as a residential facility for the centre.

This building style is the product of centuries of experimentation and longhouse building by Scandinavian peoples. It is notable for its absence of interior roof supporting posts and relies to a degree, on the curving shape of the timbers and internal tie beams that span the main hall to make it stand. The roof has over 22,000 hand made shingles covering larch boards which overlay the rafters and the sweet chestnut frame. The walls are hazel and sweet chestnut wattle, daubed and whitewashed, while the main hall floor is a mixture of local chalk and earth mixed with un-pasteurised milk to form a flexible yet hard wearing surface.

As with our other buildings, the majority of work was undertaken by visiting school children, older students from Learning Centres and our incredible team of volunteers.

The building houses some disguised modern elements such as toilets and a kitchen to support our public open days.  But we have been careful to not “pollute” what is an incredible structure and authentic main hall with these modern elements.