The Celtic tribes lived in scattered villages. They lived in round houses with thatched roofs of straw or heather.The walls of their houses were made from local material. Houses in the south tended to be made from wattle (woven wood) and daub (straw and mud) as there was an ample supply of wood from the forests.
The houses had no windows.
The roof was made from straw with mud placed on top to keep the warmth in.
The houses in the north were made with large stones held together with clay. The photograph below shows both types of houses.
The Celts would light a fire in the middle of the roundhouse for cooking and heating. It must have been very smoky inside.
The smoke from the fire escaped through a hole in the roof.
Animals were often kept inside the house at night.
A wattle wall confined the animals to one area.
Most Celts lived in scattered farming communities surrounded by a bank with wooden fencing and a ditch to keep out intruders and wild animals.
grew wheat and barley, and reared sheep, goats, pigs and cattle.
Celtic Hill Forts
Sometimes groups of houses were built on the top of hills. These are called hill-forts. The largest and most complex Iron Age hill fort in Britain today is Maiden Castle in Dorset.
The vast multiple ramparts enclose an area the size of 50 football pitches!
As well as small communities, there were also large settlements and heavily defended forts. Colchester was one such large Celtic settlement.
BBC animation - How to build a Round house
Make you own Celtic Round house
Visit the BBC Celtic online activity