Visitors to Anglesey in North Wales may be surprised to discover two iron-age roundhouses Located next to a 17th century windmill. In fact, they are all part of the Llynnon Mill living museum site and the result of a hands-on experimental archaeology project that was completed in 2007.
The design and construction is the result of decades of research and archaeologists are confident that the reconstructed roundhouses are representative of those that would have existed at the start of the iron-age … roughly 800 BC.
The houses are built from local materials. Timber is first used to create a frame which was then enclosed using wattle and daub. The eaves of the roof extend well beyond the walls and almost to the ground to provide the maximum protection from rain which would have eroded the mud coatings of the walls. The roof was thatched using water reeds completing the structure which was around ten metres in diameter but only 14ft tall at the highest point. This was done deliberately to minimise exposure to the wind and conserve building materials. The building methods used by ancient Britons at Llynnon had probably already been in use for millennia.
The floor of the huts would have been compacted earth covered with rushes or straw. Recent observations made by Ruth Goodman and Tom Ginn at the experimental archaeology site at Guédelon Castle in France has suggested that not only did these rushes provide a remarkably comfortable mattress-like floor, they seemed to contain act as a natural insect deterrent. Later iron-age floors would have used lime powder on the compacted earth to create an early form of cement floor.
The interior of the first roundhouse has been furnished to demonstrate how an extended iron-age family could have lived. This includes a display of tools, cooking utensils and fireplace. The second round house has been converted into a schoolroom and is used for informative talks and practical demonstrations. In 2009 Prince Charles visited the Llynnon Mill Iron Age Roundhouses and helped to make bread following only iron-age recipes and cooking techniques.
During the open season it is common to see actors playing the part of iron-age villagers and demonstrating how the Celtic people of Anglesey would have lived nearly 3000 years ago.
The settlement comprises two roundhouses, timber-frame vegetable beds and nearby animal enclosures. The site is enclosed by a naturally constructed wicker fence.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Tyddyn Sianel, Llanystumdwy, Criccieth
Gwynedd, Wales, LL52 0LS
+44 (0)1766 522 855
- Address: Llynnon Mill, Llanddeusant, Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom, LL65 4AB
- GPS: 53.33786389999999,-4.493875600000024
- Phone: 0044 (0)1407 730 407
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: LL65 4AB
- Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
- Disabled Access: Good (some gravel)
- Visibility from Road: Good
- Image Credits: Gail Johnson