Courses at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Copper Smelting & Bronze Axe Casting Weekend

The Course

The course begins with a short introductory talk and handling session of replica tools and materials used in the Bronze Age. Students will prepare crucibles, crush copper ore and charcoal before working the bellows to produce a lump of pure copper. On the second day students will prepare moulds and begin working the furnace to melt copper and tin. They will then cast their own replica early Bronze Age axe head, and they can then begin cleaning and decorating their axe.

The Tutor

James Dilley is a PhD student at the University of Southampton, a craftsman and re-enactor who specialises in all prehistoric technologies, he has been practicing prehistoric crafts for over 15 years. He has worked with museums, heritage centres and media. Examples of his work can be found on display at the British Museum and Stonehenge, he also appears frequently on TV, radio and in books. James regularly teaches workshops on prehistoric technologies.

Participant Information

Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and shoes as this course takes place outside.

Fee & Refreshments

£180 per person, to include tuition, teas and coffees. Please let the Museum know in advance if you have any dietary requirements. The Museum cafe will be open or you may bring a packed lunch.


Thu–Fri 24–25 September 2020






Historic Trades & Crafts