As part of the visitor centre at Stonehenge, English Heritage commissioned Dorset Archaeologists from Dorset County Council’s Ancient Technology Centre (ATC) in Cranborne, to build authentic Neolithic houses and help discover how people may have lived in the late Stone Age.
The work was carried out by over 60 English Heritage volunteers using a range of Neolithic tools, materials and construction methods to produce buildings based on 4600 year old evidence from the excavated site of Durrington Walls, a henge monument just over a mile to the north-east of Stonehenge, as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project. These buildings date from around the same time as the stones were being put up at Stonehenge, abour 2500 BC.
ATC staff designed and built three prototype Neolithic houses at Old Sarum (now dismantled) to understand which materials and methods would work best. The Ancient Technology Centre also carried out a small project last autumn to build a similar house at Larkhill Primary School, as part of the Layers of Larkhill project. East Sussex Archaeology and Museums Partnership built a house based on one of those excavated at Durrington back in 2010-11, at Moulsecoomb Primary School in Brighton.