The ‘Southern’ Tradition of British Thatching


The Southern Tradition… As noted, in the introduction to the various British thatching traditions; this tradition was perhaps the original one, found over much of Britain.

A large overhang, to both gables and eaves; along with a curved shape, to any coatwork, are common features, mainly in the south of this area. The rounded shape is less evident, in other parts, mainly north of the River Thames. But also in parts of East Kent and the Isle of Wight. In parts of Wales, a historic lack of materials, meant that some ‘Northern’ methods were used. But roofs have much in common, over the whole area.

Liggers, along the edges of many thatches, recall the former dominance of long straw. The historical use of this material, sets this area apart; from the ‘South Western’ tradition. Combed cereal thatch and water reed have now displaced long straw, in many parts of this area. Multi layered thatch is often seen, enhancing the rounded shapes. This type of roof is often finished with rolled gables…

thatch wiltshire england

Southern Thatch… South and North. The uppe,r long straw thatch, at Oare in Wiltshire, has a curved shape, found in thatching from this village eastwards, all the way to eastern Kent, where roofs are a little more angular. The lower building, at Stanton, in Gloucestershire, has a squarer appearance. Perhaps having a little influence from the Northern tradition. Yet neighbouring Worcestershire, has very rounded thatch. Again this roof is of long straw. Today, thatchers mainly follow these traditional shapes, in other materials…

thatch gloucestershire england

thatching wales

The number plate on the little van, places this image in Cardiganshire, as does the type of thatching. A long straw roof, with straw rope, instead of wooden liggers; fixing things down, on the outside…

 

Below are some images, of the areas covered in the 11 following sub pages…

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