Saxons and Vikings
School Trips @ Butser Ancient Farm
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 recently completed Saxon farmhouse. Faithfully recreated based on evidence from the nearby Chalton excavations, our Saxon house n the midst of Alfred the Great's Wessex is the perfect base for your educational experience.
Visiting schools and institutions choose in advance from an extensive list of Anglo-Saxon and Viking specific activities. Our education programme is carefully tailored to key into the National Curriculum to maximise the educational benefits of a trip to Butser.
From the moment of your arrival the experienced Butser Ancient Farm education team organise the smooth running of the day for all visitors. All trips begin with an introductory talk and discussion around a real fire in the Saxon House or another period-relevant venue. Our 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 Saxons and Vikings, and on time.
Why are Butser Ancient Farm great for School Trips and Educational Visits?
If you have watched Time Team, Timewatch, Digging for Britain or any one of a plethora of archaeology or history television programmes, then you have probably seen Butser Ancient Farm. Our experimental archaeological pedigree is world renowned, with key research on prehistoric and Roman building and farming practices having emanated from Butser over its 40 plus year existence.
Set in a beautiful slice of the South Downs National Park, with views across the rolling downs of King Alfred's Wessex, Butser provides an immersive learning environment for all its visitors.
Experience life in an Anglo-Saxon longhouse. 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.
What activities are available during group visits?
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.
What size groups do you cater for?
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
Do you offer on-site classroom facilities?
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.
Is there first aid on site?
Do you offer access for visitors with disabilities?
Do you cater for visitors with Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
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Need more inspiration?
We are bursting with ideas on places that deliver first class teaching both outside the classroom and as in-school workshops. Here are a few similar suggestions, or head to our tailor-made trip form and let us know how we can help you!