Museum Activities






The Iron Age the end of prehistory

May 11 1pm to 2.30pm

The Iron Age lasted from 800 BC to the Roman invasion. The use of iron changed the life of folk with other advances like the

potter’s wheel, the lathe for woodworking, and the rotary quern for grinding grain. The population grew substantially till it exceeded one million, due to the introduction of improved varieties of barley

and wheat, and increased farming of peas, beans, flax, and other crops. Farming

improved because the iron tipped ploughshare made it possible to plough heavy clay soils. Meet some Iron Age

folk and discover what it was like to live in a roundhouse.

£5 per child. Contact: David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey,

KT17 1UF Tel 020 8394 1734. Email





Saturday 8  June

   1pm to 2.30pm

Midnight had not long struck when the British and American airborne armada began its mission in the moonlight on 6 June 1944. They landed at the edges of the five invasion areas on the Normandy coast to secure the western and eastern flanks of the beachheads and protect them from German attacks. Failure would have given Hitler the opportunity to initiate an eleventh-hour attempt to save Germany and launch his new V-weapons against British cities. Success meant the beginning of the end of WW2 and one of the most important days in recent history. We meet an army doctor who will describe what happened, the problems he faced as part of the invasion, and the medical equipment he had to treat the wounded.

Cost £6 per child. Contact: David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF.

Tel 020 8394 1734. Email




Prehistory Exhibition

Part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology

15 July to 31 December 2025

Visit Bourne Hall Museum’s exhibition on life in the area during prehistory. Items on display from the Stone Age to the Iron Age telling how folk came to its spring to hunt and drink and how during the Bronze Age the spring became a place where the gods lived, and gifts were thrown in as offerings. On display will be the bones of an aurochs, a now extinct ancestor of modern cattle. This one died some 3500 years ago and was buried on Epsom Downs. Aurochs survived well into modern times, the last known individual dying in 1627. The size of the aurochs bulls varied between 155 cm and 180 cm, depending on the local circumstances. The size of cows was between 135 cm and 155 cm. Bulls were significantly larger than cows. The body shape of an aurochs was different from many developed cattle breeds today.


Nonsuch Park and Palace Walk

Part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology

Wednesday 17 July 10.30 to 12.30pm

Tuesday 23 July 1.30pm to 3pm

Enjoy a guided walk around Nonsuch Park and explore the history of the beautiful landscape. See where the original palace once stood and how it dominated the local area. From the ruins of the banqueting hall, hear stories of luxurious palaces, ambitious royalty, lost churches, and lingering ghosts. Listen to tales of battles and discover how warfare has touched this ancient landscape. Discover which famous television presenter’s ancestors used to live here and how a Queen once came to tea.

Meet me on the lawn opposite the café in Nonsuch Mansion House SM3 8AP. Nearest car park entry is from Cheam Road, A232.

Walks cost £6 per person and are limited to 20 people per walk.

Places must be booked with David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum,

Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF.

Tel: 020 8394 1734 Email:



Ewell Grove Talk

Part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology

Thursday 18 July 7.30pm to 8.30pm

At Bourne Hall, £6 per person

Ewell Grove hides a long history from the Bronze Age through the Romans up to modern times.

Traces of the Iron Age and Roman settlement have been found there and it became the site of Ewell’s Saxon cemetery. Its secret tunnels and the traces of Nonsuch Palace in its boundary wall add to its mystery.


Living History Day

Part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology

Saturday 20 July 10am to 5pm


Meet the new Roman governor of Britain as he stops over in Ewell, protected by members of the Praetorian Guard, to make an offering to the sacred springs. The governor has arrived in Ewell coming up from the South Coast on the new road built as a route to London. His encampment contains many of his entourage; they will show visitors the Roman way of life, food, trades, and crafts. The governor will be looking to recruit men for the army, while gladiators will fight to the death to entertain him, hoping to win a chance to fight in the imperial city. Roman Ewell was a stopping-off point on this road where folk could rest, eat, and stay the night. They could also make an offering of a coin or brooch in the sacred spring or leave a larger offering in one of the sacred shafts dug deep in the chalk just outside the settlement. Each shaft was sealed with the bones of three dogs to protect them.


They will bring a tent and an encampment, with a range of items to show you the weapons, helmets, leather working and other crafts. Find out if they had horns on their helmets or not. You will be able to chat with them about these things and discover what life was like for them. They will have shields that the children can stand with to get photos taken and they have some boards with the Viking runes on so that children can learn to spell out their names.


Meet two folk who will travel from the deep time of the Stone Age to show you all you need to know to survive. To use the natural resources around you to be become successful hunter gatherers and how they settled down to become the first farmers.

Meet the Victorian Archaeologists

Join Discover History at the Dawn of Archaeology. For centuries the upper classes have collected curios and souvenirs taken from the Grand Tour… a section of Roman mosaic or a piece of Ancient Egyptian jewellery. However, behind the scenes, a few antiquarians and collectors were developing the science of what would become modern archaeology. Learn about the early techniques and the tools used, and help our team sort some real archaeology. Try your hand at ‘marking out’, will you succeed in matching the fragments of real archaeology with some replica pieces?

Find Out on our finds table.

Have you found that coin in your garden and wondered if it was Roman or something more modern – or if that that piece of flint may just be a prehistoric flint tool? That piece of pot is it Roman, Medieval, Tudor, or Victorian? And is that bit of metal old, perhaps part of a WW2 anti-aircraft shell. Bring what you have found along to our finds table, and we will do our best to identify it.

Handling Table

Have the chance to handle finds and pottery from Roman to Victorian times with the Museum’s handling collection.


Coin & Brass Rubbing

20 and 24 July to 27 July

In Bourne Hall Museum

Try your hand at coin rubbing and brass rubbing – a free event.


Bourne Hall Library will be hosting lots of archaeology craft making activities.


Cave painting

Part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology

Wednesday 24 July 11am to 12pm and 2pm to 3pm

In the deep time of prehistory early men crawled down into the darkest caves and used light from primitive candles to paint pictures of themselves and the animals they hunted.

They left behind a vivid record of their way of life and some clues of what they believed in. Discover how and why these paintings were created.

Then by flickering light try to create your own cave painting in our very own ‘caves’

Cost £6 per child. Two identical sessions will be run, please book to reserve your place; maximum 16 children.

Contact: David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF. Tel 020 8394 1734.



Bronze Age Metal Smelting

Part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology

Thursday 25 July 12pm and 2pm

By Dr James Dilly

The Bronze Age is a key time in the history of Ewell, when spring takes on new meaning as a place where the gods lived, sending bubbling water from their world into this. The gods had to be kept on side in those uncertain times and gifts were thrown into the spring, including bright bronze axes. The living history display is filled with replica and reconstructed objects from prehistory and James is on-hand (dressed in accurate Bronze Age clothing of course!) to explain the archaeology behind it all. This display will be especially valuable for children who are studying prehistory in school. James is an accomplished and charismatic television performer, combining down-to-earth language with academic rigour and formidable practical skills. He will be smelting bronze axes in front of you very eye just as they did in the Bronze Age.