I’ll start by introducing myself – I’m Dan, one half of the pair of interns from University College Dublin that’s working at Butser for a month as part of my degree. Last week’s entry was from my fellow intern, Martha. We’ll be taking it in turns to try to get our experience across as best as possible!
Writing this at the end of our second week feels crazy, since it feels like we’ve just arrived. A month originally sounded like plenty of time – but with the variety of activities, all the interesting people we’ve been meeting, and staying in such a great area, the time is flying. We’re officially halfway through, and this week felt we had found our feet a bit more.
We were lucky enough to accompany Butser farm to the rare breeds show at the Weald and Downland Museum last Sunday, where the resident English goats Branwen and Sorrel were being shown. This was a great way to spend the Sunday and, particularly for me, a great chance to see the open air museum and get to explore a bit of English history and culture while I’m staying here. Myself and Martha had a great time not just at the show, but also the many reconstructed old English dwellings and farmsteads.
As for our work on the farm, it involved less bread and more digging than our first week. We continued working on levelling one of the floors of an Iron Age Roundhouse here at the farm. All the mud, mattocks and trowelling made it feel very excavation-y, so we’re definitely getting well versed with the many aspects of work at the museum. It was quieter with fewer schools visiting this week, but no shortage of labour and work to be done.
On Thursday myself and Nathaniel, another intern here for a days this week from Reading University, got to attend a natural dyeing workshop hosted by Helen, one of the team here at Butser. I’ll pop a few pictures here of our end results, this was something we were really looking forward to! On the same day a crew from Channel 5 filmed a segment for a documentary on site. I missed most of this, but keep an eye on the Facebook and Instagram for the farm to catch it when it airs.
The week wrapped up today with a morning spent trying (unsuccessfully) to catch a sheep, getting to watch the installing of two roof trusses on the in-progress saxon hall, and otherwise sheltering from the rain. A nice quiet day to wrap up the busy week, Martha and myself are loving it here but feeling pretty worked out by the end of the week! We’ll be staying on site tonight in one of the round houses, so looking forward to a night indoors by a fire. A nice break from camping!
Till next week