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News: Viking Longhouse a Step Closer to Completion

ICM is the main sponsor of an exciting Viking Longhouse project at the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne Chase, Dorset. Involvement in this project demonstrates the Institute’s commitment to the promotion of social, economic and community development. The Institute is pleased to support the Centre which is dedicated to inspiring and stimulating an interest in history and which, through its projects and activities, helps to develop new knowledge and skills amongst young people in the county.

Viking Longhouse a step closer to completion
Thursday, 17 April 2008

Six months since work first began to build a Viking Longhouse at the Ancient Technology Centre (ATC), the project is progressing well, with all four top tie beams now in place on the centre trusses.

The gable end truss has also been built and placed by hand and the second gable end is expected to be put it by the end of next week. The trusses will support the curving purlins of the building which will bear the weight of the rafters and the roof.

Now that the Longhouse’s main frame has been constructed, work has commenced to craft 25,000 shingles which will comprise the roof of the Longhouse.

Each and every sweet chestnut shingle is being created by ATC’s dedicated staff and volunteers. The process is expected to take six months as once the timber has been chain sawn, each shingle is then crafted by hand using traditional tools.

Centre Manager, Luke Winter, explained the process: “We start with a round of tree which is chain sawn into 16-inch lengths. From that point on, we use traditional tools – we use a froe which is a straight iron edge which you put on top of the timber and hit very hard to split the log in half. Then you quarter it, and eighth it, and sixteenth it, and thirty second it, and sixty fourth it, and then each one of those thin edges can be trimmed with an axe to become a shingle.”

Luke hopes to have the roof fully in place by the end of September 2008 so that the interior can be fitted out in time for Christmas.

By Natasha Piscitelli

Source: ICM Social & Economic Development Projects - Make sure to check out the link, there's a streaming video embedded in the site page.