Welcome to Thatching Info.com


thatch chagford devonThe information available here, is the result of over three decades of practical experience, plus more than a dozen years of research; into the history and various working methods, employed in the craft of thatching. The research included an eighteen thousand mile trip around most of Britain. Thus this site covers thatching throughout the Island of Britain and the islands around it, from Shetland to Sark, with a few, often long excursions to other lands…

This is a big site, well over a 100 pages of information; so please take a while to explore it properly. It’s best to start at the beginning and treat it like a book. But you can just dip in; each page stands on its own and there is a large glossary to help you. Please use the search function, at the very top of the sidebar; if you are searching for a location etc.; as there will almost certainly be more than one entry…

devon thatchingBeing a locally based craft for many centuries, thatching has given rise to a multitude of names, for the tools and materials used to carry it out. Thatchers in differing areas even use the same name for completely separate items! I’ve mentioned quite a few of these names but not all.

Any attempt to cover the whole of Britain must also give more than a passing nod, to the Gaelic tongue and the language of Wales etc.; I hope I have done justice to these traditions. I have also had to invent more than a few names… Mainly for working methods and roof shapes. For example there was no name, to describe the basic method of thatching, used to cover the vast majority of thatched roofs found in Britain. (This is where one layer of thatch is placed over the previous layer; covering the fixing, that holds the lower layer in place.) For want of a word, I have called this the ‘Standard’ method.

Thatching is a craft and not a science; an inch either way means little when working on a roof. So any measurements, mentioned in the following pages, should be seen mostly as a guide. In fact most thatchers can happily cover a roof without recourse to any normal system of measurement at all.

The craft is a combination of working methods and materials, once found worldwide. It is the fifty thousand or so thatched roofs that make British thatching exceptional. As will be seen, any differences found in the craft are not based on modern political boundaries; both within these islands and without. Thus we share a good deal with our near neighbours, on every point of the compass…

zzzx1016a1As I no longer practice the craft, this site is free from any commercial interest. I am not trying to sell you anything; no product or person will be endorsed here…

Enter and enjoy…

The various pages contain…

  • Some basic diagrams of the timbers and various parts of a thatched roof.

  • A beginners guide to thatching. Showing the factors that determine the longevity and cost of a thatch.

  • A guide to the materials and tools used in the craft.

  • The technical stuff; thatching, ridging and finishing a thatch roof.

  • An idea of what maintenance is involved with a thatch roof.

  • The problems that can arise living under a legally protected ‘listed’ thatch.

  • A true idea of the risk of fires in thatch and the means to avoid them; along with a look at some other nuisances.

  • Some help on how to choose a suitable thatcher & understanding their quote

  • Some aspects of the history of the craft; over the last ten thousand years.

  • A photographic world trip, from around 1900; when thatching held sway over most of the globe

  • An introduction to the 5 thatching traditions found in Britain and its islands. Followed by a detailed look at these various styles and working methods.

  • A full glossary of terms used in the craft.