Welcome to Butser Ancient Farm! We’re a unique experimental archaeological site and a fascinating day out, nestled into the rolling South Downs National Park. The farm displays ongoing constructions of ancient buildings based on real sites, dating from the Stone Age through the Iron Age and Roman Britain, and finishing with the Anglo-Saxons. We also grow crops from prehistory and keep rare breeds of animals, including pigs, goats and sheep.
Here you can travel back to Ancient Britain and experience it with all your senses: touching, seeing and hearing, smelling wood smoke and perhaps even tasting bread cooked over a crackling fire. You will gain a real sense of the past, from the Stone Age through to the Iron Age and Romans, and finishing with the Anglo-Saxons. Discover what they ate, how they survived and where they slept. Was life a constant struggle or was there time to have fun too?
The story of Butser Ancient Farm began with a decision in 1970 by the Council for British Archaeology to establish a working ‘ancient farm’ where archaeologists could experiment to test their theories on how people lived in Iron Age times. The farm is now a world-renowned hub for archaeological research, carrying out pioneering experiments to understand how the people of ancient Britain lived. The site is also visited by 30,000 schoolchildren a year who come for a fun and unique day out to learn about traditional skills, archaeology and Britain’s prehistory. With an increase in visitors year after year, the farm is developing into one of the top attractions in the country for lovers of history, wildlife, archaeology, animals, architecture and rural life.
We have a full programme of special events including fantastic Celtic festivals and workshops, such as metallurgy, Iron Age cooking, bushcraft skills or felting. It’s a truly memorable family day out on the Hampshire/West Sussex border.