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Round Houses

 

The Celtic tribes lived in scattered villages. They lived in round houses with thatched roofs of straw or heather.The walls of their houses were made from local material. Houses in the south tended to be made from wattle (woven wood) and daub (straw and mud) as there was an ample supply of wood from the forests.

Round house

The houses had no windows.

Round House

The roof was made from straw with mud placed on top to keep the warmth in.

The houses in the north were made with large stones held together with clay. The photograph below shows both types of houses.

Round House

The Celts would light a fire in the middle of the roundhouse for cooking and heating. It must have been very smoky inside.

Fir in th middle of the house

The smoke from the fire escaped through a hole in the roof.

small hole in roof

Animals were often kept inside the house at night.


A wattle wall confined the animals to one area.

Farmers

Most Celts lived in scattered farming communities surrounded by a bank with wooden fencing and a ditch to keep out intruders and wild animals.

Farmers grew wheat and barley, and reared sheep, goats, pigs and cattle.

Hill Forts

Sometimes groups of houses were built on the top of hills. These are called hill-forts. The largest and most complex Iron Age hill fort in Britain today is Maiden Castle in Dorset.

The vast multiple ramparts enclose an area the size of 50 football pitches!

As well as small communities, there were also large settlements and heavily defended forts. Colchester was one such large Celtic settlement.

BBC animation - How to build a Round house

Make you own Celtic Round house

Visit the BBC Celtic online activity

 
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