Butser Ancient Farm, located near Petersfield in Hampshire, southern England, is an archaeological open-air museum and experimental archaeology site. It offers a unique experience for visitors to explore experimental reconstructions of prehistoric, Romano-British, and Anglo-Saxon buildings. The farm features examples of Neolithic dwellings, Iron Age roundhouses, a Romano-British villa, and an early Saxon house, which are all on display.
The full-scale construction of a Roman Villa, was based on the excavations at Sparsholt Roman Villa.
The site serves as both a tourist attraction and a site for undertaking experimental archaeology, providing archaeologists with valuable insights into the agricultural and domestic economy in Britain during the Late British Iron Age and Romano-British periods, which lasted from circa 400 BCE to 400 CE.
Founded in 1970 by the Council for British Archaeology, Butser Ancient Farm was run by experimental archaeologist Peter J. Reynolds, who was recruited in 1972 to serve as the project director. The farm was initially located on the site of a Bronze and Iron Age farmstead on Butser Hill, but in 1989 it relocated to Hillscombe Down, and in 1991 to Bascombe Copse on the slopes of Windmill Hill.
Open to the public, Butser Ancient Farm offers various events throughout the year. Its significance in the field of archaeology is noteworthy, as archaeologist Mick Aston once commented that virtually all the reconstruction drawings of Iron Age settlements now to be seen in books, are based on the work done at Butser Ancient Farm, which “revolutionized the way in which the pre-Roman Iron Age economy was perceived”.
Visiting Butser Ancient Farm
Visiting Butser Ancient Farm Weekends: Every weekend from 1st April to 31st October, 10am – 4pm
Visiting Butser Ancient Farm Weekdays: Every day in school holidays (excluding Christmas holidays), 10am – 4pm.
Dates and times may be subject to change and may vary for special events. Please check the Butser Website before visiting.
Adult: £11.50 online, £12.50 on the gate
Child: £7.50 online, £8.50 on the gate
Sites near Butser Ancient Farm
- Stroud Villa (7 km)
Temple Or Shrine and Villa
- Hayling Island Temple (13 km)
Temple Or Shrine
- Portchester (Portus Adurni) Roman Fort (15 km)
Saxon Shore Fort
- Bosham Harbour (Magnus Portus) (15 km)
- Iping Settlement (16 km)
- Fishbourne Roman Palace (Villa Regis Cogidubni) (17 km)
Supply Depot and Villa
- Chichester (Noviomagus Reginorum) (18 km)
British Capital and Port
- Neatham (Vindomis) Roman Settlement (25 km)
Antonine Posting Station and Minor Settlement
- Bignor Roman Villa (27 km)
- Winchester (Venta Belgarum) (27 km)