Summer School

Pre-History in the Yorkshire Wolds with The JORVIK Group

The JORVIK Group is proud to present an exclusive opportunity to explore the archaeology of the Yorkshire Wolds from the unique and historic setting of the Old Farmhouse at Octon.

Situated in the ancient hamlet of Octon, the Old Farmhouse is one of the best examples of a ‘cruck’ farmhouse in the country, with timbers felled in 1670. The ‘cruck’ building style features two pairs of curving oak beams that reach from the ground floor to the roof, creating an impressive structure that has been unaltered for over 350 years. An extensive restoration project took place in 2013, funded via Environmental Stewardship and supported by York Archaeological Trust and Natural England, to preserve this important building for future generations and to provide school visitors with base to discover the fascinating past of the site and the landscape around it as part of our new ‘Summer Schools’ programme of outreach and visits.

A  Bronze Age Fort reconstruction of Octon Paddock Hill

The Experience

The Yorkshire Wolds is one of the richest archaeological areas in Britain, and with the JORVIK Group’s Summer Schools’ programme, your pupils will be given the chance to explore archaeological discoveries such as Neolithic monuments and finds, Bronze and Iron Age burial mounds and houses, and evidence of manufacture, transport and settlement from the Roman period until today. Octon Old Farmhouse sits adjacent to the important archaeological site of Paddock Hill, an area of significant human activity since the Neolithic Era.

  • Learn how archaeologists plan excavations and interpret sites, and handle real artefacts from different periods to uncover their uses and purpose.
  • Imagine life as a Neolithic worshipper or Anglo-Saxon settler as you and your class explore how the landscape would have appeared in prehistoric times and how people would have lived.
  • Discover for yourself the mysteries of sites such as Willy Howe, a large Neolithic mound on the Great Wold Valley. Archaeologists have investigated it many times to uncover its purpose- was it intended as a burial site or a religious monument, a meeting place or a place of superstition and folklore? Your class can consider the evidence and decide!
  • Explore the Old Farmhouse at Octon and experience what live was like for the family that lived there. Find out which parts of the house were used for looking after animals, preparing meals and sleeping, and get the chance to see the remnants of an old box bed under the stairs!