Focus on Techniques: Putting in the stakes

We thought it would be interesting to focus on some of the different building techniques we are using on site.

The first stage after determining where to put the house and setting out the shape of it, is to put in the stakes – which will form the uprights for the walls.

The walls when complete will be around 2 metres high and it would be very difficult to drive in a stake of that length. A shorter stake (around 70-80 cm)  is therefore trimmed to a point and driven into the ground.

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This then provides the support for a much taller stake (approx. 2 metres) which is tied to it using flexible willow ‘withies’ – a Neolithic version of the cable tie!   

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 The upright  stakes are then set approximately 70-80cm apart – to allow for the hazel to be woven in between them. The distance between the stakes is based on the archaeological evidence of stake holes found at the Durrington Walls houses  – which indicate that the builders of the original structures were using coppiced hazel of about 7 year growth.

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