We’re delighted to announce that Wessex Archaeology has joined together with Butser Ancient Farm to help design, build and fundraise for a new Stone Age house on the site.
The project runs over winter, with the first stage a demolition of the old house which has become unsuitable for hosting visitors, including the large school groups that the site accommodates each week. This was based on evidence of a Neolithic longhouse from Llandygai, North Wales.
The new structure will be designed around archaeological evidence from one of Wessex Archaeology’s high-profile projects at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton, Berkshire, located close to Heathrow Airport. The excavations were undertaken on behalf of CEMEX UK who were extracting sand and gravel from the site. Investigations over a period of 11 years revealed a complex archaeological landscape which has been utilised and occupied for over 12,000 years.
During the excavations a total of four early Neolithic houses were found leading to Wessex Archaeology investigating some of the most significant evidence for occupation during this period making the site one of the most important Neolithic sites in the country.
One of the houses, referred to as Horton 2, was excavated in 2013 and represents the largest of those found (measuring 15m by 7.5m). The structure had foundation trenches which would have supported wooden posts and possibly upright planks. It is this structure that is being reconstructed at Butser Ancient Farm.
Throughout the build, Butser staff and volunteers (including some of Wessex Archaeology’s own staff) will be testing new theories, construction techniques and designs to try and gain a greater understanding of some of the challenges and solutions facing Stone Age builders.
The build is expected to be finished by February Half Term, in time to welcome visitors to help apply the finishing touches to the new house.
We’ll be offering insights and updates about the project as it progresses on our website and social media.
To donate towards the project, simply visit the Butser fundraising page here.