Scotlands History

Roundhouses and wheelhouses

Iron Age Celts across Scotland lived in villages and homesteads of roundhouses and wheelhouses.

In the south of Scotland the two circular walls of a timber roundhouse were usually made of wattle reeds, daubed with clay and insulated with grass or heather. Upright wooden posts held the roof timbers in place, and the conical roof was covered in skins or thatch. A gabled porch sheltered the entrance.

Further north wheelhouses had stone walls, but used a similar circular design. Within the wheelhouse there was a central hearth, with partitions dividing the space into living areas and store rooms. The houses were encircled by walls or palisades.

Iron Age people also lived in crannogs and broch villages.


  • A photograph of a reconstructed Iron Age round houses in a village setting

Click on the image to view a larger version.