Sunday 28 July 2019

Welcome to the Iron Age! - by Ruth Downie

Comfortable, convenient and ready to move in - welcome to your new home in the Iron Age!

A well-built house will stand up to whatever the weather gods throw at you.*

The central fireplace will keep the family warm all year round.*

The neatly-finished conical roof has no pesky ventilation holes to let in the rain or cause dangerous updraughts, and the smoke rising from the hearth will repel bothersome insects as it finds it way out through the thatch.

Your new home is designed with the traditional east-facing doorway so all the family can enjoy light and warming sunshine first thing in the morning.
Handy fuel store within easy reach!*
You will find secure on-site grain storage to see you through the winter months.
Further storage pits can be added as you need them.*

There's no escaping the daily grind if we want to enjoy our daily bread!
Where better to turn wheat into flour than by the comfort of your own hearth?*

Your plot includes fine farming land, so with a little planning, honest toil and the goodwill of the gods, everything you need to feed the family will be just outside your door.
A promising litter of piglets*

Milk, meat, skins...*

Wheat and barley grow well in the British climate, so if the water from the nearby wells and springs is not to your taste, why not take up home brewing?

New clothes for all the family? Here’s where you start!

Top-quality fleece in the making.*

Colour your clothing with the natural dyes available on-site.

Woad is easy to grow!

Weaving: a creative and useful pastime*

Although we are thrilled to welcome you to the Iron Age, where visiting smiths will happily supply you with iron tools and weapons if necessary...

Hopefully for display purposes only***

... you can be confident that all the old familiar metals are still available.

Bronze (plus enamel!) for chariot fittings***

Gold for wearing on those special occasions***

Rest assured also that when the exciting sounds and smells of modern metalworking fade away, your home will be just as quiet and peaceful as you would expect, leaving you to enjoy the songs of the birds, the chirrup of grasshoppers, and the bleating of your happy sheep in the meadow.

And finally... at the end of the day, sleep in peace, knowing that you and your neighbours are surrounded by a secure boundary. 

It may look a little bare now..

...but this is how it will look before long.*

We think you’ll agree that the privacy, safety and comfort that you and your family deserve has never been so beautiful!


Be the envy of your friends with an individually-refurbished seaside residence!

Adventurous home-makers will thrill to the exciting potential of Chysauster, a highly original development of exclusive courtyard dwellings in the far West. Enjoy an alternative to the Roman style that is becoming popular elsewhere in these islands.

Glimpse the sea from your front door!**

Chysauster offers stunning coastal and countryside views and its very own underground shared storage facility.

Ample underground storage: a luxury known locally as a "fogou".**
Each unit is made up of a central courtyard surrounded by private rooms.**
 These properties are ripe for modernization, so don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a truly bespoke rural hideaway!


For full details of the splendid properties and facilities marked with *, please visit Butser Ancient Farm, either online or better still, in person. You will be welcome to stroll through the impressive range of show houses on display from several eras, all carefully based on archaeological evidence.

The delightful site of Chysauster (marked **) is near Penzance, and the houses are open to visitors - find out more here.

All the items labelled ***, and very much more, can be seen in Norwich Castle Museum.

Ruth Downie writes a series of murder mysteries set mostly in Roman Britain, featuring a Roman military medic called Ruso and his British partner, Tilla. The latest book in the series is a novella, PRIMA FACIE.


Carolyn Hughes said...

Lovely photos, Ruth, thank you! Butser and Chysauster are great places to visit (Norwich Museum too, I’m sure, but I’ve not been there!). Butser is our local Iron Age “settlement”, and our daughter spent very many happy volunteering days there as a teenager before deciding that an archaeology degree was definitely for her. After university, she joined the museum sector, which she loves, and I think Butser played a good part in helping her find where her interests lay. Love the style of your article too!

Ruth Downie said...

Great to hear that Butser continues to inspire the next generation of archaeologists - thank you Carolyn!

Sue Purkiss said...

Love this!

Ruth Downie said...

Thank you Sue! :)