Archives For iron age

Once upon a time — about 2,500 years ago — people in what is now Britain switched from building rectangular houses to building round houses: in many instances, small circular structures with wooden walls made of wattle and daub, no windows, a conical roof, and a single entrance. And for more than 2,500 years, from the early Bronze Age to the late Iron Age, they stuck with this circular design, even while people in the rest of Europe — or what later became Europe — lived in rectangular structures.

It was with the Roman conquest that the British, too, began to adopt rectangular house designs. But evidence of the region’s history of round construction can still be found in archeological sites all over the UK, from Dartmoor, Devon, England, to Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

In recent years, a number of replica round houses have been built. Below is one in Burwardsley, Cheshire, which is open to school groups and other visitors -

celtic round house

The archaeological site at Jarlshof, in the Shetland Isles, includes remains of Iron Age round houses that date from between 200 BC and 800 AD -

In Alberta, Canada, the construction of an iron age round house -

The materials include spruce, willow and poplar trees; the tools include billhooks, kukris, axes and a cell phone.

All you need are posts, pegs, coppiced wood, daub, hazel, wheat straw, and a length of cord.