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THE NEOLITHIC LONGHOUSE

WHERE DO WE START?

Is it the most unusual planning application Jersey has ever seen? Probably. At La Hougue Bie volunteers are constructing a Neolithic Longhouse.  There is a basic initial plan but the design may have to be changed as the project progresses. Which is probably what happened five thousand years ago…

“We’re building a Neolithic Longhouse - which is right at the end of the Stone Age.” 
- Luke Winter

Have you been watching the progress of Jersey’s Neolithic Longhouse? On land at La Hougue Bie a team of volunteers, led by Luke Winter, is putting up timber posts to create the frame as well as learning ancient building skills. Follow their adventure…

At the Neolithic Longhouse, volunteers are working on the roof. How do you hold roof beams together without using modern materials? 

After the roof comes the thatching. For Luke Winter, project leader, this is one of the most satisfying parts of the build…

After the roof, the walls. Volunteers are using wattle and daub in a labour-intensive process but morale is high because the end of this ambitious project is in sight…

On Opening Day, Jersey Heritage CEO Jon Carter (right) and Deputy Montfort Tadier watch as the first schoolchildren enter the Neolithic Longhouse. Project Director Luke Winter has moved on but the volunteers are still here. This is what they did next...

 

How and why did the builders of the passage grave at La Hougue Bie orientate their remarkable structure to capture the sun at the equinox? We will never know. But, thanks to them, and if the skies are clear, the phenomenon still amazes those who witness it in spring and autumn…