Using ancient monuments to help teach about pre-Roman times in Britain

Primary History article

By Tim Lomas, published 25th March 2022

Using ancient monuments to help teach about pre-Roman times in Britain

It is inconceivable that anyone teaching ancient Britain has not used some of the famous sites such as Stonehenge, Avebury, Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar or Stones of Stenness. They are vital sources of information for this period of history and the teaching usually introduces the element of mystery – Why were they built? How were they constructed? These ancient monuments can be found all over the world. Some are so important that they have been designated World Heritage Sites such as Stonehenge or ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’.

They can of course leave children unimpressed without an interesting context and enquiry. After all, in comparison to later structures a heap of stones can appear extremely uninspiring. It is tempting to cover some of the most famous and indeed the teaching will be of less value if there is not some inclusion of those with a world-class reputation such as Stonehenge. A case study of Cornwall is used to illustrate that no area of Britain is far from prehistoric remains. Examples exist throughout the British Isles. This article will consider ways that they can be used as part of the teaching and learning of this period of history...

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