Performing the past

Take part in events and activities showing Hengistbury Head as a scene of settlement and ceremony for more than twelve thousand years. 

Performing the Past

Performing the Past is a three-year project that brings the archaeology of Hengistbury Head to life. It is supported by a grant of £44,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim is to bring about a step change in visitor awareness, to help protect the physical archaeological remains of this internationally important site. We are doing this through collective engagement in practical activities and experimental archaeology in partnership with archaeologists from Bournemouth University.  

Get involved!

Our Research and Curatorial Assistant, Hayden Scott-Pratt gives a talk to our volunteers via Zoom. Here is a recording of it, in which he explains all about the project and how volunteers can get involved.

It's about 40 minutes long, so sit comfortably, grab a cuppa and watch this special insight into Hengistbury Head's fascinating past...

Watch the video


Our events page has the latest listings, but here are a few of examples of what to expect:

Burning the earth 


Involves making and firing our own replica prehistoric pots using traditional methods. We also experiment with local clay!

Pigments and paints


Encourages us to explore colours and textures from natural materials available to our ancestors at Hengistbury Head. We draw inspiration from the evidence found here as well as contemporaneous artwork from other sites.

Time for a quick knap

Teaches us the basics of flintworking technology. We make tools inspired by those used by hunter-gatherers.

Sword from stone

Involves us replicating Bronze Age casting and Iron Age smelting techniques.

Smoke on the water 

Is the reconstruction of a Bronze Age funeral pyre and replication of associated rituals.

Digital digging 

Allows us to improve access to our collection by capturing digital images of our 10,000 objects and documentary archive, ultimately making them available online.

Living in the round

305x205_Living in the round

Is the research into the design and possible construction of a round house. This is based on findings from excavations at Hengistbury Head in the 1980s. It would also provide much needed shelter for group visits.

Project objective

The desired outcome is a team of voluntary assistant curators and learning guides to raise awareness of the archaeology of Hengistbury Head. Would you like to join our volunteer team and share our prehistoric journey? We’d love to hear from you.

Keep an eye on our events page and our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for updates of how to get involved.  

Contact Us


  • Name
Official 2021 Partnership Badgelottery-funded rspb  hengistbury-outdoor BCP Council_RGB_New  canford-environmental bournemouth-university