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Dec 1, 2008

Living History of the Great Mere

Living history of the Great Mere from WWT Martin Mere  
Fascinating history of the Mere  

Living history of the Great Mere The Great Mere has existed since the Ice Age, occupying a vast post-glacial depression between Liverpool and the Ribble. The centre of the area is now the 550 acre WWT reserve and wildfowl collection of Martin Mere. (‘Martin’ is derived from ‘Mere Tun’, syn. ‘Lake Town’).

The Romans called it the Lake District, Anglo-Saxons came and settled, and the Vikings from east and west lived here. We have collated the strands of evidence and re-created a village of wattle and daub thatched round-houses based on what we know took place. The hunting and fishing were good and the soil was excellent for growing. Staff, volunteers and professional re-enactors come together to stage Living History events and school field trips. Visitors experience real people with real Celtic/Viking names, characters and back-stories communing with nature in forgotten ways.

The plants and animals of history are woven into the story of how we lived, while the trumpeting of the European crane is heard through the nearby trees. Moorhens, mallards and eels (we say) are part of our daily diet and visitors can try out our coracle and dug-out canoe, several of which were found when the reserve lakes were excavated a few years ago.

School children take part in preparing and cooking food, using plants for ornamental and medicinal purposes ( we grow our own woad and self-heal), weapons training sessions (no sword-play for safety reasons), wood cutting, felt-making, cord-weaving on lucets and, of course, marshalling the troops by blowing the ox-horn. 

Developed by:  WWT Martin Mere

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