Category Archives: Wincobank

Look here!

If you missed the Roots of Iron Heritage Skills Open Day on July 9th then have a look at this brilliant little video and catch up with some fabulous demonstrations with commentary from the archaeology students who braved the torrential rain to set up a bloomery forge in the chapel gardens.  From bronze and copper work to flint-napping and pottery the Iron Age way, it’s a joy to watch.  Watch out also for the excellent camera work and interviewing skills of the youngest member of our film crew.

Roots of Iron youtube Heritage Skills Open Day

And this wraps up a wonderful two year project funded by the National Lottery ( Heritage Lottery Young Roots ).  The project involved 777 young people aged 11 – 25 and many more besides. Many, many thanks to anyone who has ever bought a lottery ticket! We’re all winners.

But  – We will be Lighting Up the Hill again on Tuesday 15th November 2016, leaving the chapel at 5pm to walk through the woods and up the hill by lamplight.  Look out for details of additional community workshops and activities throughout October. And see you there   .


Deep in the Woods

If you go down in the woods today – have a look for our bench.2016-08-02 18.36.03The young people of the Roots of Iron project have burnt their names into the bench using the ancient symbols of the Celtic Language, Ogham.  If you came climbing – you just might find it…2016-08-02 18.35.26

The Survival Game – part 2

We were so impressed with the shelter Beck had made in February, that we began to wonder how people in those days made luxury  homes and what is might have been like to live in one so in the next holidays, at Easter, we made our own house – well part of one…

It was a bit draughty, rather dangerous with no door to lock, but felt quite friendly without fences and walls every where.  So we started thinking about life in a village and we thought we would make a little film to show primary children a slice of olden days life.

Dylan told us about the ancient law of Hue and Cry whereby a  criminal had to be driven out of the village or the whole village would be held responsible. There was no time to write a script so with a little direction the actors improvised while Thomas and Alex filmed the action.  Watch our mini movie here: Wincobank Hue and Cry on YouTube

The Survival Game – part 1

The winter months are bleak but beautiful high on Wincobank Hill.  It’s difficult to imagine how folks survived here thousands of years ago, when all there was was wood, wool and woad.

We spent a day in the woods  trying to imagine what it might have been like. We were cold and hungry – so we lit a fire, cooked pancakes and then set fire to the popcorn…  After some practice the lads lit the kelly kettles and brewed up. And then Beck built an amazing shelter from dead wood and leaves but we all agreed it would have been a chilly place to sleep.

Light Up the Hill

A Ghostly Night Out

There was quite a buzz in Wincobank in November 10th.  There were children in the chapel garden carrying the lanterns they had made at school, parents tagging along not wanting to be left out.

Up at the hillfort student archaeologists stoked their fiery furnace, the piper played her weird tune and the Ghosts of Wincobank, decked out in illuminated finery and a dab of blue face paint hid in the bushes, ready to frighten the life out of unsuspecting lantern bearers.

The Brigantes waited to re-enact once again the account set out by Tacitus of the fateful night when Caratacus came to rouse the locals to rebel against the Romans and once again Queen Cartimandua  struggled with the dilemma of what she was going to do.

A Roots of Iron film crew hovered to capture the excitement of the night and record the comments of the crowd. And here it is – filmed and edited by the young people of Wincobank – Light Up The Hill – click here.


Rekindling ancient footsteps – help us Light up the Hill!

luth poster pic 15

It’s getting to that time of year again when the people of Wincobank don sturdy shoes and grab a lantern to celebrate one of Sheffield’s great ancient monuments – Wincobank Iron Age Hillfort.

To be part of the fun, Roots of Iron will be running the following activities for young people:

  • Theatre Workshops. Work with light and sound and be part of making make the procession magical!

  • Blacksmithing WorkshopsTry your hand at smithing and make Wincobank ring with the sound of the anvil again! Make something to take home and be proud of.

  • Lantern workshops. Make your own lantern for the procession. it could be a lantern for someone little to carry or a huge sculpture: the choice is yours!

Most activities will happen at Half term and be based at Wincobank Chapel.

Details to follow in the next day or two – if you have any questions email, or ring 0114 2736199

Sparks in the Dark

Spring is nearly here! The birds are singing to each other, the daffs are nearly out, and everyone is finally over that cold they’ve had for the last 6 weeks.

But! Remember last November as the nights were drawing in? We had a great time chasing away the darkness with our lanterns and furnaces on Wincobank Hill as part of the Light up the Hill event.

Volunteer Film maker Martin Currie sent a group of young people off with cameras to record the event, and this is the result of their excellent camera work and Martin’s production skills.

Proof that without darkness there would be no light!

Wild Things – Three Days in Pictures

Half term in detail

Wilderness skills pic

What are we doing next week?


Using nature to light fire

Deer hide curing

Making cordage using drop spindles

Using a shave horse and making beads and buttons


Using a bow drill to light fire with friction

Make and bake bread on a fire

Using smoke to preserve and flavour food



Self directed activities using skills learnt on previous two days

There are a few of spaces available – click here for booking form Info and Booking form wilderness or contact Catherine Nuttgens on 0114 2736199 or email

Wildnerness Skills – Extra Day Added

We will now be running Wilderness Skills  from Monday 16th to Wednesday 18th February

Would you like to learn how to use a bow drill to light a fire? Or preserve a deer skin or make smoked fish? We are having fun with these and other ancient arts on Wincobank Hill this half term. Come and join us for Wilderness Skills!

Wilderness skills pic

If you would like to book on. ring Catherine Nuttgens on 0114 2736199, or you can download the booking form by clicking:

Info and Booking form wilderness

Send completed booking forms to