Make a Celtic Mirror

This weeks project is inspired by this beautiful Celtic mirror that is now in the British Museum. It was found in Northamptonshire in England and was made in the Iron Age, between 50BC and 50AD. Several mirrors like this have been found in Iron Age burials in Britain. They are made from iron or bronze and one side is highly polished to act like a mirror. The other side is usually engraved with a beautiful celtic design.

Romano-Celtic_mirror_(Desborough)

How to Make a Celtic Mirror

You will need:

  • cardboard
  • one piece of shiny metallic card
  • glue
  • scissors
  • gold or bronze paint
  • PVA glue
  • string

Start by cutting out your shape – you can download our celtic mirror template. We used two layers of cardboard to make the mirror a bit stronger and then glued them together.

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Next you can add your Celtic pattern. Have a look at the mirror above for inspiration. The patterns are made with lines flowing in curves and swirls. They are symmetrical so that both sides of the pattern are mirror images. We made a simple pattern using some string coated in a some watered down glue.

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Once you are happy with your pattern you can leave the glue to dry. Once dry paint the whole mirror gold or bronze. Then we marked out some areas with a pencil and coloured them in to look like some of the cross hatched areas in the original mirror.

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Stick the metallic card or foil on the other side to be the mirror. We also stuck a tiny piece of red paper to decorate the handle as some mirrors have been found with small areas of red enamel.

mirror1

Your mirror is now finished! You can use it to get yourself  dressed for the next festival, or just show it off to your friends!

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Make some Iron Age Bannocks

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I have been experimenting a bit recently with some recipes from different ages. Most of them have not gone down too well with the other members of the household. I think that we have got too used to the sweet and processed modern foods that recipes from the past can seem a bit bland or just downright weird (don’t mention the rose flavoured milk pudding.)

This one however actually got eaten. I had been looking for some Iron Age recipes. The evidence for what was eaten in the Iron Age in Britain is a bit sketchy and there are no actual recipes. Bread was a staple made with wheat or barley. It was eaten with soups or stews or cheese. Porridge was also a staple. Things were cooked in pots or stones directly in the fire, although there were also some ovens to cook bread.

A bannock is a round flat bread made of wheat or oats and made on a griddle. They were certainly part of the Scottish diet in the middle ages and could well have been made in the Iron Age too.

Oat Bannocks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • small pinch of salt
  • large pinch of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of hot / warm water
  • 1 tbsp of oil (or you could use meat fat which would be more traditional)

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Add the water and oil to the dry ingredients and then knead it all together into a stiff dough.

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Roll it out flat. Cut out a circle and score it into 8 pieces.

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Heat up a frying pan on the hob (get a grown up to help.) When it is hot place the bannock in the middle.

When it starts to turn brown, turn it over to cook the other side.

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When it is done you can break it into pieces, but let it cool a little first.

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Eat them with a soup or some cheese for a wholesome and healthy lunch.

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They were also pretty yummy with honey and some raspberries from the garden.