Butser Ancient Farm offers activities relevant to the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, located among our reconstructed ancient buildings, so you can truly feel like you’re stepping back in time.
We take pride in tailoring our activities to suit the individual needs of each group that visits us. We are able to accommodate and target our activities to cover stages of the National Curriculum from KS1 - KS4 and tie in with various subject areas including history, art, design and technology, science and maths.
Butser Ancient Farm is an archaeological research site, specialist education venue and working farm. We feature an internationally regarded collection of archaeologically reconstructed buildings, including our Saxon farmhouse. Faithfully recreated based on evidence from the nearby Chalton excavations, our Saxon house in the midst of Alfred the Great's Wessex is the perfect base for your educational experience.
From the moment you arrive the experienced Butser Ancient Farm education team organise the smooth running of the day for all school visitors. All trips begin with an introductory talk and discussion around a real fire in one of the ancient houses. Our school visitors then move through their planned activities, all conducted in one of our buildings or in a superb open-air setting. The Butser education team provide hands-on instruction for each activity as well as a discussion of archaeological evidence, historical detail and fascinating anecdotes to reinforce learning... and fun! There is ample time for discussion with students and staff and each activity stimulates a lively, fun discourse in which everybody is encouraged to participate.
At the end of a Butser day our visiting schools leave a little dirtier, highly stimulated, much more knowledgeable about and engaged with their subject, and on time.
In early 2016 we opened our Anglo-Saxon longhouse, a large rectangular structure based on excavations found in the nearby village of Chalton, Hampshire. The house is primarily made of English oak, sweet chestnut and hazel, all sourced from local coppiced woodlands. The roof is panelled with wattle hurdles, into which the thatch was laid using hazel spars to hold it in place. The timber beams were hand hewn rather than sawn by machine, and the posts are earth-fastened into the ground instead of using a seal plate. There were no nails or screws used except in the hinged har-hung doors, and the beams are fixed using dovetail joints secured with trunnels.
From Saxon Britain, Butser Ancient Farm offers a choice of activities to teach children about life in the past. Our reconstructed Saxon house gives children an authentic experience of life in the past, with a traditionally-built oak-framed building, a treasure hide, and smoked meats hanging under the thatch.
Butser Ancient Farm offers a choice of activities to teach children about life in Viking Britain. You can choose from activities that include learning about Viking runes, spinning wool, making jewellery and excavating Viking archaeology.
Students visiting the farm for a whole day will take part in at least 4 hands-on activities chosen in advance from an extensive list. Activities are led by experienced Butser education staff and are designed to be specially relevant to the period studies. Our activities include Pottery, Wattle Fence Making, Jewellery, Clunching, Spinning, Cordage, Flint Wall Building, Anglo-Saxon or Viking Rune Carving or Sewing, Chalk Carving and Archaeology.
Minimum price for 20 children, smaller groups are welcome at this price. We can accommodate very large groups. Please contact us with your trip requirements
Our houses are our classrooms and visitors will have a chance to sit around a real fire and learn about life in Britain while they experience these authentic buildings.
Overnight stay in an Iron Age roundhouse from December to February.
For an unforgettable learning experience, bring your class for an overnight winter stay at Butser Ancient Farm and sleep in an Iron Age Roundhouse. To really experience life in the past with no electricity, screens, phones (you’ll turn them off, won’t you?), no fast food, or even a bed. Instead you’ll walk under the stars, spend an evening around a fire, hear the wind in the thatch, and know what it feels like to live in the Iron Age.
We offer a range of hands-on activites, a storyteller for an evening around the fire, and an overnight stay in an Iron Age roundhouse.
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