A LIVING history centre in North Dorset has won planning permission to build a Viking Longhouse.

Architects have studied evidence from Danish royal garrisons to come up with a design for the building, which will be constructed from green oak using authentic methods and materials at the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne.

The 24m longhouse will be roofed with oak shingles and includes composting toilets and a small galley kitchen for those who do not wish to cook their supper in cauldrons suspended above a three-metre fire trench.

The boat-shaped building, which includes sleeping platforms, will give groups of schoolchildren the opportunity to eat, sleep and work as Vikings.

The site's manager Luke Winter, said: "It's going to be like the Jorvik Viking Museum in York, but without the electronic trolleys, artificial smells and dummies."

A generous member of the public Doctor Alistair Somerville-Ford has made an initial loan to the project, on the condition that the centre raises as much cash as possible to cover the construction costs.

The centre has received many donations already and has also come up with a sponsorship scheme where individuals can sponsor parts of the building and have their names engraved on the wood for posterity in Nordic runes.

You can sponsor a roof shingle for £2, a floorboard for £5, a rafter for £20 and even a door for £75.

Mr Winter added: "The idea is to involve as many schoolchildren and volunteers in the construction of this fantastic building as possible as well as appealing for donations from the public in order to create this unique and exciting building.

"This will, in turn, ensure the future financial security of the Ancient Technology Centre and provide an invaluable learning experience for generations to come."

  • If you are interested in involving your school group with this project or in volunteering your time to help in any way please telephone 01725 517618. If you are interested in sponsoring the project then call the centre on 01305 224517.