The Celtic Village
Winter in the Celtic Village
Celebrating Moel y Gaer
A big thanks to the pupils of Ysgol Rhos Helyg, Rhosesmor, Flintshire and Ysgol y Berllan Deg, Cardiff for celebrating the opening of the new Moel y Gaer with us yesterday. We were all inspired by Dewi Pws Morris, Children's Poet Laureate. He worked with us in creating a performance and a poem. I'm going to carve the words of the poem on a wooden slab over the next weeks and it will be on display next to Moel y Gaer for all to see. You can read the poem which talks about home, memory, invention and a sense of continuity between past and present
Ti yw cartref y Celtiaid
Yn llawn o atgofion henfyd
Pobol cryf a dyfeisgar ein gorffennol
A ni? Dani yma o hyd
Learning new skills
Over the past weeks I've been busy learning new skills. Paul Atkin spent a few days at the Village and showed me how to create my own wooden bowls. He also built a lathe. With the help of our blacksmith and leather worker we hope to start making our own bowls! Helen Campbell has also been over to teach me basket weaving skills. Come and join me over the next months as we prepare for winter.
A new life for the roundhouse
Who is smiling on the newest roundhouse in Wales, today? Dafydd and his construction team step back after months of work to celebrate at our mini and informal opening of the latest Moel y Gaer roundhouse. They are congratulated. I've formulated a ritual for the opening. Thanks for joining us at our special event, we all hope you enjoyed following the history of the roundhouse.
Official Opening of the Roundhouse
We've almost finished the roundhouse. Dafydd and the team have thatched the roof and as you can see we've experimented with the design by creating a small vent for the smoke. I hope this will work but time will tell when we light our first fire! I need to limewash the interiors and then we're all done. We will be celebrating all the hard work this Saturday. If you are around join us at 3pm for the official opening in the 'Celtic Village'. Thanks to everyone for their support and interest in this project over the last four months and to the volunteers, Dylan Hammond and Lauren Parfitt, who have helped us.
Building a roundhouse - the roof
Over the last fortnight we've been working on the roof and it's almost finished. We've used seven bails of reed to thatch the roof, each bail contains between 80-100 bundles of reed. As you can see we've gone through quite a lot!
Take a look at photographs. You can see the bundles being placed in between the hazel rod purlins before Dafydd uses a wooden paddle to beat the roof into shape.
Building a roundhouse the work continues
We've been working on the purling which will hold the thatch. I'm really interested in how we build the roof. Dafydd, Tim and Andy have even allowed me to help out! I'll be in the Village between Monday and Thursday next week. If you are around call in.
Building a roudhouse - the roof
The house is taking shape now it's all quite exciting. You can see how it will eventually look when Dafydd and the team have finished their work.
Dafydd's had plenty to think about though. The first six rafters went up easily but then he had to decide where to place the ring-beam - inside or outside the rafters? As you can see from the pictures he place them outside the rafters. You can find out why in Dafydd's diary.
Once the ring beam was placed the next set of rafters went up quickly. They were notched, allowing them to hook onto the ring-beam and then lashed with tarred string. A second ring-beam was then placed lower down. Before long we will be thatching.
Link to Dafydd's diary http://www.theroundhouse.org/dafsdiary.htm
Building a roundhouse - continued
We started on the rafters yesterday. There will be 36 ash rafters in all. We will be creating ring beams and using a load of hazel rods for the purlins and sways. Come over to see the work develop this week.
Thanks to everyone who called in over the bank holiday weekend - it was great fun!
Building a roundhouse
Over the past weeks we've been building a new roundhouse here. Join us over the next few weeks to see the building develop. Dafydd Wiliam is busy constructing the roundhouse and I'll be around to explain the process to you. You can follow the daily developments on
This Saturday and Monday (1st and 3rd of May) you can join me to experience fire lighting and cooking techniques. I wonder how similar these techniques actually are to those used by people during the Iron Age?