Our October session focussed on the Bronze and Iron Ages in Scotland. The Bronze Age is thought to have lasted from around 2300BC-800BC and the Iron Age from around 800BC-43BC. In most places there will be overlap and it is often very difficult to define exact dates for these periods.
Our YAs took part in a number of activities which explored these prehistoric periods. We measured out the footprint of the Iron Age roundhouses that used to be on Castle Hill, marking them out with pin flags. These houses were located under what is now the grassy area at the front of the castle, within the barmkin wall.
After marking out the locations of the houses, we investigated how they might have made their walls or floors. We learned to make hurdle panels using different types of branches. This was a great activity which all of our YAs thoroughly enjoyed. After practising our hurdling skills, we then made some prehistoric string from flax and nettles. These would have been common materials used in the process of making clothing and other fabrics. We finished off by learning all about plant dyes & weaving fabric with looms.
At lot of the time, Dundonald Castle’s prehistoric past is often forgotten about and it was great to be able to explore it with our YAs. We are hoping to introduce these types of activities to our visitors and enhance their experience too. It is often easy to forget about things we cannot see under our feet and focus on the fascinating upstanding castle instead.