Wednesday, November 12, 2014

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, England

The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village in Suffolk is an archeological site that recreates an early Anglo-Saxon Village, complete with villagers! The area was thoroughly surveyed and excavated, then wooden buildings were reconstructed following Anglo-Saxon methods. The reenactors we saw were living as their ancient ancestors did, even sleeping in the buildings on cold nights!

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village

Our first visit was to the pig sty, where pigs live in the style of the old days. They are not missing out on modern conveniences. I guess progress doesn't come for everyone.

The pigs

A pig skin!

Further on is the work area with some small huts that didn't have much activity.

Work area

One of the reenactors demonstrated the weapons used back then and even let L and I try out some of the equipment.

Saxon warrior

Getting the point

L tries on a helmet

L helmeted and I shielded

The children were inspired to try out sword fighting but the only weapons available were bits of hay. We parents were happy for that because there was no chance of anyone getting hurt!

Sticks and stone may break your bones but hay will never harm you

We went into the town's hall which had some displays and a lady making bread. She was working up some dough and tried to get L in on the action.

Encouraging them to go inside

Pots and things

Food display


Out back of one house is a small oven but the ancient villagers probably used the communal oven at the craft building. Back in the day, ladies would take turns using the big clay oven. Whoever got there first had first choice of where to put their dough inside. And of course they were done earlier if they started baking earlier, leaving time for other activities.

Small clay oven

Large village oven in use

Breadmaker shows L how to use the oven

A modern convenience just in case

The craft building includes a fire for smithy work, e.g. making spear points or knives.

View from the oven

A local working on a knife

A stone's throw away is the sunken house, a short building that was not in use by the reenactors.

Inside the sunken house

One family was using the farmer's house as their home. Cooking was done outside for safety reasons. The fellow making stew obligingly showed us his cooking equipment. The stew was not ready so we couldn't get a taste.

One room house

A crib?

Cooking with wood

Stove close-up

Posing with the family

Like all good English historical/touristical sites, West Stowe includes a playground area. J and L had a great time there.

West Stowe playground

L works the sand winch (haha!)

A tough climbing challenge

J ready to face the challenge

Ever popular spider climber

DIY primitive shelter

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