We present Stone Age to Viking buildings and crafts, and our activities are linked to KS1 and KS2 of the National Curriculum for History.
All our learning is hands on using tools and techniques from the past.
Just as people before us, we vary our activities to each season: this could be fence building with our freshly coppiced hazel or blacksmithing in our Roman forge.
Visitors to our site work together to experience what life would have been like to farm, build and live in the past.
Plus several casual tutors and many wonderful ATC volunteers.
The concept of the ATC was the inspiration of Jake Keen, a teacher working at Cranborne Middle School who, over 30 years ago, designed and led the building of an Iron Age roundhouse based on archaeological evidence. The construction was undertaken by school children who harvested local materials from nearby woodlands and reed beds. This founding principle of allowing participants to get 'hands on' has guided the ethos of the centre to this day.
Luke Winter took over from Jake in 2002 and further expanded the site with the creation of our magnificent Viking Longhouse. Following a visit to Denmark to research longhouses, Luke used that information to design a building specifically for school residential visits.
With the combined effort of staff and the help of many enthusiastic volunteers, the building took four years to complete.
Over the years further buildings were constructed – always with the focus on experimental archaeology and hands on learning for the visitors.
In 2012 the Ancient Technology Centre was commissioned by English Heritage to carry out an experimental archaeology programme to reconstruct Neolithic houses.
Our largest reconstruction on site to date has been the Viking Longhouse. Construction started in 2007 and was completed in 2010. Schools use this building throughout the summer for their 'Viking Residential' experience.
Copyright © 2017 Ancient Technology Centre - All Rights Reserved. Photographs courtesy of AWD Photography and Volunteer Clive Perrin