How To… Build Your Own Roundhouse


We want one of these for our new shed.

We’ve got a bit of a thing for hillforts at the moment. Maybe it’s because we’re about to go dig one near Bristol. Maybe it’s because we just got back from Coast of the Hillforts (Costa dos Castros) – a region of northwest Spain that gets its name from, you’ve guessed it, the totally spectacular hillforts that line its shores. In fact, it’s so densely packed with these massive Iron Age constructions that the people who live there asked us to help them crowdfund work to investigate, conserve and promote the incredible archaeology on their land.

While we were there, we fell in love with a series of roundhouses they’d uncovered inside one of the hillforts, and even more so with a reconstructed one they’d built together over the summer. We wanted one so badly we copied down their instructions on how to build one… So if you fancy having a roundhouse for a shed, here they are, and they’re based on REAL archaeological evidence!

1. Mark out a circle, and the location of the posts

CdC Build a Roundhouse 1

2. Get some posts and drive them into the ground

CdC Build a Roundhouse 3

3. Reinforce the foundations with stones and use sand to make a floor


4. Use long, thin branches to weave some walls


5. Make a conical frame for the roof

CdC Build a Roundhouse 2

6. Fetch some broom and tie into fan-shaped bundles

CdC Build a Roundhouse 3

7. Use the bundles as tiles to cover the roof


8. Now it’s time to plaster the walls

CdC Build a Roundhouse 5

9. But first you need to fill in the gaps with straw


10. Now get your clay ready!


11. Round up the kids… they will LOVE applying the clay


12. Now let the walls dry… and hey presto, your roundhouse is ready to go!


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Written by Maiya Pina-Dacier

Head of Community at DigVentures, Maiya digs with a trowel in one hand, and a Twitter feed in the other. She reports on all our discoveries live from the trenches, and keeps our Site Hut full of the latest archaeology news. Got a story? Just drop her a line...

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