A Neolithic Longhouse for La Hougue Bie - News - Jersey Heritage

Over the next three years, Jersey Heritage in partnership with The Ancient Technology Centre aim to construct a full scale replica of a Neolithic Longhouse at La Hougue Bie

Over the next three years, Jersey Heritage in partnership with The Ancient Technology Centre aim to construct a full scale replica of a Neolithic Longhouse at La Hougue Bie www.ancienttechnologycentre.co.uk/.  Volunteers will be a key part of this exciting and fascinating project. They will be engaged in every aspect of the construction and eventual use of what will be a unique educational resource for the Island.


The construction process will involve the use of modern and traditional hand tools, be predominantly based outside, draw heavily on “green woodworking” techniques and seek to form a team of enthusiastic, knowledgeable and skilful volunteers who will be willing to perform day to day maintenance tasks after the construction phase is complete.


As a volunteer on this project you will be trained and guided through each stage of the construction process by staff from The Ancient Technology Centre.  The Ancient Technology Centre has 30 years of experience in the experimental construction of buildings based on archaeological evidence, and was recently responsible for the creation of five Neolithic houses at the Stonehenge Visitors Centre.  As part of this project, you will be encouraged to develop your own specific skills and knowledge in order for you to genuinely contribute to the construction and life of the building. 


We are looking to recruit a core of volunteers who are interested in seeing the project through from beginning to end.  This volunteer “core” will work alongside many other volunteers and form the heart of this experimental project.


The project will require people with...


  • An ability to work in all weather conditions
  • The ability to work as part of a small team
  • A reasonable level of fitness
  • An interest in Island heritage
  • The ability to offer regular blocks of time to the project


No previous experience of working with timber construction is required (although we welcome those of you who have!) as all training will be given during the course of the project.


Using volunteers allows enthusiastic people to really immerse themselves in all aspects of re-creating a full sized building from the past.  The experience has proved itself to be rewarding time and time again and develops high levels of skill, knowledge and camaraderie in each volunteer.


Once complete the Neolithic Longhouse will be used as a visitor and schools education centre for teaching about Late Stone Age people in Jersey.  


The building is made of several large upright wooden posts, which are then covered in wattle and daub. The roof is thatched. Once the vertical posts are erected, woven walls of willow – wattle – will be constructed and then covered in daub (clay with straw/cow dung/horse hair). The thatched roof will make the building water and weatherproof. 


Training for core volunteers will take place in September, followed by some trial builds so that the volunteers can practise their skills on a smaller scale. Jersey Heritage’s Property manager, Chris O’Connor will oversee the practical aspects and of course Health & Safety laws will be strictly adhered to.  


To learn more about the project and to meet Luke Winter and his team, come to La Hougue Bie on Monday 5th September at either 2.30pm or 7.30pm for an information session. The sessions will last about two hours. Let the reception staff know you have come for this session so they don’t charge you to come in.