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Published on Wednesday 08 December 2021

Staff and volunteers at Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre have been working hard to bring to life a new visitor experience that will demonstrate how our ancestors lived on the headland up to 12,000 years ago.

As part of its three-year Performing the Past project, volunteers with assistance from Bournemouth University’s Archaeology Department, have been researching designs for an Iron Age roundhouse to be constructed adjacent to Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre.

Subject to future funding and planning approval, the roundhouse will become a focal point for adults and children of all ages and abilities to explore and discover first-hand what it was really like to be living at Hengistbury Head thousands of years ago.

Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place commented:

"Visitors and schools have told us that they would love to learn more about the archaeology of the area in an interactive way. If approved re-enactors will use the roundhouse to showcase ancient pottery and flint tool making, and how our ancestors fashioned bronze and iron. There will also be displays of prehistoric cooking, working with natural pigments and paints and the creation of authentic clothing.’’

Mark Holloway, BCP Council’s Performing the Past project lead, said:

"We are hoping to raise £15,000 to make this a reality for the people of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. The National Lottery Heritage Fund will be approached for a grant and together with support from other local donors and businesses we hope to achieve our target and then bring the community together to help build the Roundhouse.’’

Performing the Past aims to bring to life the fascinating archaeology of Hengistbury Head and re-enact life in the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. It is made up of volunteers from the local community and was launched in 2019 with a £44,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mark Holloway, continues:

"If you would like to join our project to train as an archaeological volunteer or support it in another way please get in contact."

Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre opened in 2013. It is owned and operated by BCP Council and features intriguing archaeology exhibitions and stories from prehistoric times. These latest plans will help to further enhance the local culture, leisure and entertainment offer, ensuring the region remains one of the best coastal places in the world in which to live, work, invest and play.

To volunteer, please visit:

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