Halangy Down Village is a late-Iron Age to Roman settlement that lies below Bant’s Carn at the south-west edge of Halangy Down. The village was consistently occupied from this period in the Iron Age through the Roman settlement of Britain. Iron Age and Romano-British inhabitants of the settlement here probably lived in much the same way as their Bronze Age predecessors. Excavation in the 1950s revealed a complex of 11 inter-connecting stone-built houses, most of them simple oval structures. Excavations of post holes reveal that each house would have had a conical thatched roof. There also seem to be marks of comfortable domesticity like stone-lined drains and cupboards constructed from the thickness of the wall. However, there is one house among the eleven that is significantly larger than the others – referred to as the “Village Mansion” in the Kids’ guide. This house is 27 meters long by 14.5 meters wide, showing demarcations for three rooms and a long, dramatic, curved entrance passage. This elaborate home could be a mark of social prestige or hierarchy, a prehistoric example of social structure. Another social demarcation of the site is the appearance of individual burials in a cemetery-like form. This contrasts sharply with the collective tomb of Bant’s Carn. Despite the discovery of glazed red pottery imported from southern Gaul, archaeologists do not believe that the people of Halangy Down would have persisted in holding contact with the outside world. The houses of the village showed signs of repair and alteration, suggesting that the settlement had a long and vigorous life and even sustained a functioning economy. Excavations of the site revealed many artifacts that gave life to this mixed economy in the form of farming cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses.
In the Kids’ Guide, Aelfric and Edwina talk about Halangy Down Village in terms of their “Iron Age” life there. Prompt questions about the layout and qualities of the village (of which you know from the material above), to assist the students in drawing what they think Halangy would have looked like. For the purposes of this guide, the narrative focuses in on the Iron Age and a little on the Bronze Age. In tying in the Roman element, this may be easiest and most effective on site where the students are able to see the true age and use of the village.
settlement: a permanent place of living (like a village or town) that would be derived from “settling” in one place, unlike many of the nomadic tendencies of pre-history
archaeological remains: the evidence of ancient that remains today, same as artifacts
Take home challenge:
Ask the students to create a short narrative about Aelfric and Edwina in their village.