FAMILIES took a break from shopping to find out more about Stonehenge at a BBC history roadshow at the Swindon Designer Outlet yesterday, Wednesday.

The BBC Hands on History Roadshow allowed children to touch artefacts found at the world heritage site and also to attempt to transport a life-sized model megalith using prehistoric methods.

The centrepiece of the roadshow was a lifesized inflatable model of part of Stonehenge, standing at more than four metres tall.

The one-day event, organised by BBC Learning, is linked to the BBC Two series, A History of Ancient Britain, which will finish on Wednesday, March 2.

Holly Greenland, project manager, said: “Hands on History is part of a wider BBC focus on history and it’s particularly important to get families hands on.

“We have had an amazing response in Swindon. We have had lots of families coming through, handling the artefacts, taking away all sorts of information.

“Swindon is such a good place for us to come because there’s so much for people to do in the area which relates to the ancient world and it’s nice to share that with families who might not have visited them before.”

Experimental archaeologists, Tracy Russell and Andrew Hodges, who were dressed in neolithic costumes, led a workshop in which children tried to transport one of the boulders using just logs and rope.

Tracy said: “The children have been very enthusiastic because it has been very hands on with pushing the stone around, trying to work out how long it would have taken to arrive at Salisbury Plain from either Wales or North Wiltshire.

“And we’ve been discussing how we might put the lintel stone on top of the upright.”

The roadshow also featured artefacts, on loan from the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes, including antler picks used to dig out the ditches and pits at Stonehenge.

Linking to the roadshow, the museum is running an ancient Britons family day on Sunday, February 27 from 11am to 4pm.

Director David Dawson said: “The roadshow is absolutely fantastic. It’s one of those things where the BBC is bringing the story of Stonehenge to a brand new audience and to be able to take part in this is fantastic.”

Terry Davis, of Freshbrook, came with his grandsons Jamie, 12, and Frazer, seven.

Jamie said: “I think it’s informative and inspires people to get into history. I am going to Wales later in the year and in Wiltshire I might ask my mum if I can go and see Stonehenge at some time. From what I have heard it’s quite a spectacle.”

Becky Harris, of Westlea, who attended with her sons Joshua, nine, and Oliver, five, said: “It’s really good. I think it’s really informative actually.”

For more information, visit www.bbc.co.uk/history/handsonhistory