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How to build a roundhouse - Castell Henllys Iron Age Village

The roundhouses at Castell Henllys were built using a vast range of materials including timber of many types and sizes, reed, clay, dung (daub), twine and rope.

Roundhouses

These materials, combined with practical skills, were used to produce roundhouses of great strength and comfort. It was very important to us to build the roundhouses as authentically as we could using the same materials and methods as the Iron Age people.

Archaeologists at Castell Henllys
1. The original foundations of the prehistoric structures are revealed by archaeologists.

Posts are sunk into the ground at intervals to establish the walls.
2. Posts are sunk into the ground at intervals to establish the walls.

The ring of posts is complete.
3. The ring of posts is complete.

Hazel wattle is then woven between the posts to create the walls.
4. Hazel wattle is then woven between the posts to create the walls.

With the help of scaffolding, the roof poles are added.
5. With the help of scaffolding, the roof poles are added.

Thatching is applied to the roof. There is no chimney - smoke will naturally disperse through the thatch.
6. Thatching is applied to the roof. There is no chimney - smoke will naturally disperse through the thatch.

Daubing at Castell Henllys

7. Once the roof is in place the wattle walls are covered in daub.

Finished Roundhouse - Castell Henllys
8. The roundhouse is now finished.

To see an animated version of the building of a roundhouse, check out the BBC's History Site.

Now you’ve seen how they were built, make sure you come and see the roundhouses for yourselves!

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