Sunday, 14 December 2008


In the gloom of a winter's afternoon, I checked out a thatcher's work in a nearby village. The roof had been replaced completely about 15 years ago, and it is time for a few repairs including the replacement of the ridge. This roof is of straw, of a variety that is especially grown for thatching, as it needs longer stalks than the commercial corn straw. Bundles are pegged in with staves.
It can't have been pleasant working on the roof, with frost and winds to contend with.
The week's strong winds provided some activity on the sea, with divers and grebes showing on and above the waves.

Numbers of garden birds have increased, and it's worth checking for continental races of Blackbirds (with dull bills, above) and Coal Tits (with slate-grey backs, below) among the British birds.


Mary said...

Can't imagine what it must be like to have a thatch roof! Surely they get full of bugs and mice and such? It's a fascinating art, however and it would be interesting to watch a thacher working. Great photos!

me ann my camera said...

The thatching close ups are fascinating! Like Mary I would wonder about some little creatures or so getting into it. I assume it is only on older buildings where thatching is continued? Is it used only for maintaining older rooves?

Kingsdowner said...

Houses with a thatched roof an usually cosy (very good insulation) but you do have to accept the occasional visitors - starlings, sparrows and mice are usual.
There is a barrier of plaster to keep them and bugs out of the house, though.
Many older houses have moved from thatch to tile, but a few are still being built from new.

ramblingwoods said...

I was in England as a child, but I remember clearly the thatched roofs and high tea...funny what a kid remembers..