Anglo-Saxon Longhouse

Wooden houses with straw thatched roofs were a familiar part of the Anglo-Saxon landscape more than a thousand years ago. The houses provided a social space and cooking area for families as well as their animals! Build your own house or make a village as a class project.

Anglo-Saxon Longhouse

Skill Level


Time to Make

2 hours + drying time for glue

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. To make a base for the house, measure a 15cm x 13cm rectangle onto black card using a white or pale pencil then cut it out. Rule a 3cm wide strip along each 13cm side of the rectangle, score along the lines with a ballpoint pen. Fold both strips up into the sides on the house.
  2. Measure 3 strips x 3cm x 10cm onto a bark square. If the surface of the bark is too rough to draw on, measure out the pieces on the reverse side.
    Cut the strips with strong scissors. Glue 2 pieces onto the folded sides on the base, facing outwards. Trim the remaining bark strip into smaller sections to fill in the ends on the card. Leave to dry.
  3. Cut 2 bark strips 1xm x 9cm. Glue them flat onto the card base at each end. These pieces will help hold the shape and make it easier for gluing the end sections.
  4. To make the end sections for the house, mark the half way (5cm) point along one edge on a bark square then mark 2 points, 3cm above the bottom corners. Draw diagonal lines, joining the points into a house shape.
    Repeat to make another matching house shape.
  5. Draw a door 3cm x 5cm onto one bark house shape then carefully cut it out. Cut thin bark strips to fit around the door, glue them in place then leave to dry.
  6. To assemble the house, fold up the side strips on the base section then glue the bark house pieces onto each end. Press the pieces together until the glue has stuck. Wrap a large elastic band around the model to help the pieces stay in place as the glue dries. Leave to dry. Alternatively, use a glue gun as a quick method for assembling the house pieces.
  7. To make the roof, measure a black card rectangle 20cm x 16cm, fold it in half horizontally so each side measures 10cm x 16cm. Brush glue along the top of the bark along the end sections and along the sides of the base then place the roof on top so it sits evenly folded on top. Leave to dry.
  8. To add extra shape to the overhanging roof, cut out a 6cm diameter semi circle, cut it in half, curl the ends then glue both semi-circles over the middle fold of the rooftop. Leave to dry.
  9. Before you cover the roof, loosely pull apart some small bunches raffia so it’s easier to handle. Brush glue over the card roof then press raffia on top until it looks fully covered. Trim off any raffia overhanging the edges to neaten the roof shape.
Anglo-Saxon Longhouse Anglo-Saxon Longhouse Anglo-Saxon Longhouse

Top Tip

Select smoother, flatter bark squares for making the house. If the surface of the bark is too rough to draw on, measure out the pieces on the reverse side.

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