Children use Spears and Shields to scare off the Romans!

This week we are celebrating the fantastic heritage of Stanwick Lakes by inviting hundreds of children to step back in time and become Celts for the day.

Yesterday the sun was shining, the birds were singing and 90 children from Higham Ferrers Junior School came to Stanwick Lakes. They spent the day at our Roundhouse learning about the lives of the Iron Age people who lived in the valley 2000 years ago. Their guides for the day were Tagus and Rian from Timezone, historical re-enactors who work in schools all over the country. Rian showed the children how Iron Age people spun, dyed and weaved wool to make clothes and each child made a woollen bracelet to take home. Tagus demonstrated how resourceful Iron Age people were, using local sedge to make rope and wicks and animal bones to make seats and ironing boards. They were particularly interested in the fishing line made of sheep intestines and the fact that wee was used to stop the colour running in dyed wool!

“We are having a fantastic day, an experience that lets the children really get involved in their history and helps them understand more about where they live.” Teacher, Mr Brown,

The highlight of the children’s visit was in the afternoon, when they took part in a drama playing the roles of two opposing tribes of Celts. The tribes met together to decide whether to join with the coming Romans, or fight them. They decided to fight, so Rian trained them in Iron Age military techniques – mostly involving chanting to the Gods, banging their shields and looking scary – they even managed to scare off an approaching Roman!

Tagus said “we saw these children turn into Celts today, and it is particularly special at Stanwick Lakes with its Roundhouse and history of both Iron Age and Roman settlements – a meeting of tribes could really have happened here 2000 years ago!”

We are looking forward to welcoming four more schools over the next couple of days and on Saturday 19th May you are invited to join in the fun! Tagus and Rian will be at the Roundhouse for our “Life Swap” heritage event. Come down between 11am and 4pm and you can make a bracelet or an Iron Age clay pot, help us weave a mini Roundhouse and learn how to be an Iron Age warrior. The Life Swap event is FREE to the public, just as it is for the schools this week, thanks to our funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. And if you want to find out more about the history of Stanwick Lakes visit our website www.stanwicklakes.org.uk/heritage or pick up our new Heritage Trail leaflet which is available from the Visitor Centre now.

We will leave the last word to 8 year old Rhys: “That was the best day ever. I did enjoy it.”