1200 - Thatched House
Houses were built of earth and straw long before Domesday Book, and the same basic technique continued in use for centuries after. One of the commonest forms was cob - a mix of wet earth, lime, straw, sand and gravel. Cob walls can easily be three feet thick, built up in layers on a plinth made of stone or brick. Building could take up to two years, because each layer had to dry before the next was added and in bad weather work came to a standstill. The thatched roof was laid working upwards from the eaves to the ridge, in overlapping bundles bound on to laths. The roof protects the clay walls from rain and, with the plinth, makes 'a good hat and boots' for the house. Though much modified - the windows here are a later addition - many such houses are still standing. Traditional thatchers can be seen at work today, for a thatch normally needs replacing every 40 years or so.
|AD650 – Anglo Saxon House|