First layer of thatch on building 851

Today we were mainly concentrating on buildings 851 and 848.

Our first job was to set the horizontal spacing of the woven hazel on the eaves of building 851, so the thatch can be attached, we also completed the eave over the door. After this we added a roll of wheat straw to the bottom of the eaves, and then the first layer of thatch.

Janey and Harald fit the wheat straw roll.

Janey and Harald fit the wheat straw roll.

Fitting the first layer of thatch to building 851.

Fitting the first layer of thatch to building 851.

On building 848 we fitted the secondary rafters and wove hazel around the bottom to lock everything in place. Another weave of hazel was added half way up the rafters to which the shorter rafters were then attached.

All the rafters are in on building 848.

All the rafters are in on building 848.

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Using the crushed chalk

We have finished a section of daub on building 547 today.
Using some of the chalk that we had crushed mixed with some chopped straw and water. this was applied to the woven wall under the section of thatched roof that we finished last week. We think that it looks amazing!

The chalk daub on building 547.

The chalk daub on building 547.

We also added extensions to the bottom of the roof of building 851 to create an eave that will allow us to start on the thatching tomorrow. The eave creates a rain shadow to protect the daub from the weather.

The eave fitted to building 851.

The eave fitted to building 851.

We also took down the test structure for building 848. This is now being rebuilt over a marked out floor section with the main poles and ring beam being fitted.

Richard fits the top ring beam to building 848.

Richard fits the top ring beam to building 848.

One roof section is finished

We have finished the first section of one of our buildings today!

After an amazing effort our volunteers completed the thatch on one of the experimental sections on building 547. This will now allow us to start daubing the wall sections under this part of the roof.

A finished section of thatch on building 547.

A finished section of thatch on building 547.

Having also finished tidying up the ridge section on building 851 we have moved on to cutting off the top of the wall stakes that project above the roof line. This will allow the thatch to sit properly as it covers the eaves of the building.

Cutting off the wall stakes that are too long.

Cutting off the wall stakes that are too long.

The thatching starts

As we are now in April we were expecting the temperature to rise, but instead it seems to be getting colder. We had snow blowing across the site today on a strong north easterly wind, making us wonder when spring would be arriving!

We have started thatching building 547! We are testing the section of roof that we constructed yesterday, which has been very successful, with three layers of thatch completed by the end of our day.

Three layers of thatch completed on building 547.

Three layers of thatch completed on building 547.

We also completed another of the experimental roof sections on building 547 today, this is the third quarter that we are going to try. In this section we have woven the hazel into the rafters diagonally rather than horizontally, purposefully keeping the brash on just as we tried on the wall section on this building earlier in the project. We are hoping to see whether this type of roof structure is as strong as the others that we have tried, and also to see what thatching materials will work on it.

Richard, Lisa and John admiring their work.

Richard, Lisa and John admiring their work.

Reaching the top

Gareth and Guy enjoy the view from the top of building 851.

Gareth and Guy enjoy the view from the top of building 851.

Today we finished weaving the hazel rods to the top of building 851, we will spend the next few days tidying up the top ridge section before beginning the thatching next week.

The view from inside building 851.

The view from inside building 851.

We have also finished the roof structure on the second quarter of building 547. As can be seen the weaving has only been completed to half way up the roof, this is because we are testing different thatching methods on the whole building. As a result it will be very difficult to join the different methods together, so we are just going to thatch sections.

The experimental woven roof section on building 547.

The experimental woven roof section on building 547.

The sun makes an appearance

It was great to see everyone this morning looking raring to go after the Easter break, even the sun made an appearance!

We have finished the roof structure on one of the quarters of building 547, with all of the ring beams being beautifully lashed with willow. This will be one of the roof sections that we will be experimenting with thatching methods.

Completed experimental roof section on building 547.

Completed experimental roof section on building 547.

Another of the roof quarters on building 547 that we are going to experiment with was also started today. This section is being woven in a similar way to building 851, but the roof structure is different, there is no ridge section on this building. This roof also requires that we weave as carefully as we did on building 851, as all the rafters are fixed at the top.

Stuart, Claire, Denise and Trevor weave another roof section on building 547.

Stuart, Claire, Denise and Trevor weave another roof section on building 547.