Reconstruct or Construct - The Pimperne House

Author(s): Peter J. Reynolds

Year: 1989


If ever there was a building boom it has to be in the business of reconstructing the past. In the last decade throughout Britain and Europe more prehistoric houses have been built than at any time since they were built with the serious intent of domestic occupation. It is, of course, a critical element in the process of interpreting the past, in making sense of patterns of post-holes or the waterlogged stumps of posts and stakes. However, the reasons for building all these structures rarely include a specific investigation. In fact, the vast majority are built as demonstrations in museum contexts or for educational purposes or even for entertainment. In this last category it is 'interesting to observe how frequently reconstructions of historic buildings are to be found in theme parks, the directors of which feel a spurious need to offset the pleasure machine experience with a little serious education. On a recent visit to such a park in Southern England on an extremely pleasant day, when the average queuing time for each three minute experience was over an hour, the only feature without a queue or indeed, an attendant, was the educational centre. After all, who wants to mix pleasure with education, especially if its called that and lacks the 'buzz-invitation' of an experience?

Cite this Record

Reconstruct or Construct - The Pimperne House. Peter J. Reynolds. British Archaeology Magazine. January/February (11): 34-37. 1989 ( tDAR id: 414478) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8414478

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 727


Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.

Rights & Attribution: Christine Shaw contributed a copy of this document to the collection. EXARC thanks her for her dedication to preserving the Butser Ancient Farm Archive.

General Note: More information about the Butser Ancient Farm Archive and this document can be found at

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