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The challenge ….

An original 17th Century thatched cottage in Coate, Swindon enjoys a busy life as part of a museum set up to commemorate Victorian nature writer, Richard Jefferies, who was born there in 1848.

The quintessential chocolate-box country cottage has had its thatched roof repaired and renewed numerous times over the centuries, but recently the Richard Jefferies Museum Trust realised the thatch on the roof of the listed building was once again in a sorry state, and in dire need of attention.

The specialised job was put out to tender by Swindon Borough Council, who – on the recommendation of the National Society of Master Thatchers – invited Steven Hewlett Thatchers to apply. Steve and his long-established firm of traditional Wiltshire master thatchers was the obvious successful candidate, and before long he was hard at work restoring the cottage roof.

The solution ….

This time-lapse video shows the re-thatching process, from removing the tired, degraded and soiled thatch and repairing the underlying timbers, to re-thatching “like for like” with straw and hazel spirework. In real time the work took around two months.

The roof ridge was finished in traditional Wiltshire flush style, because, as Steve explains, “we like to keep things in character, particularly on a listed building”. A special touch, in honour of Richard Jefferies himself, was the addition of a thatched finial figure of a pheasant on the roof, dubbed “Dickie”.

The beautifully restored roof of the Jefferies cottage also features another traditional thatch feature – the catslide. This is a section of roof extended down to cover a side wing, sweeping down from the ridge almost to the ground.

No doubt Richard Jefferies, a great conservationist, would be delighted with the result!

Affordable re-thatching

You can rely on us for:

  • Full re-thatching
  • New build projects
  • New ridges
  • Thatching repairs
  • Roof extensions
From maintenance to repairs, we offer a complete service to cater to all your thatched roofing needs.

Steven Hewlett Thatchers Limited offer quality thatched roof maintenance and repairs across Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Dorset. Contact our experienced roof thatchers in Salisbury today.

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