Master Thatcher, SomersetSteven Hewlett Thatchers Limited are your Somerset experts in roof thatching.
Call Steve today on 01980 611 880 or 07790 020 917
Member of the National Society of Master Thatchers
Traditional roof thatching services in Somerset
Although it can’t compete with neighbouring Devon when it comes to the number of thatched roofs in its villages, the historic county of Somerset – particularly in the south – provides plenty of work for a local Master Thatcher.
The most commonly used thatching material in Somerset is combed wheat reed, although very occasionally you come across a water reed thatch in Somerset. Steven Hewlett Thatchers Ltd. – a band of brothers with a long and proud family history of thatching – are experts at all sorts of thatching, and have a specialised knowledge of local Somerset thatching styles and methods.
Sustainable Somerset thatching
The first written mention of thatching in Somerset that has been traced was in a guide to ‘husbandry’ published in 1534, with a description of combed wheat reed thatching in Ilchester and Martock. Sustainable, durable thatch had been the preferred covering for roofs in Somerset for centuries before that though, and will no doubt stay popular for many more to come.
It is said that the lifespan of a thatch is largely down to the skill of the thatcher. As Master Thatchers covering the county, Steven Hewlett (who has been thatching in Somerset for 40 years) and his team have a reputation for being passionate and precise crafters as well as friendly, obliging and reliable. They are committed to the preservation and care of Somerset’s thatched heritage properties, many of which are listed buildings, and always excited at the prospect of thatching a new build to carry on the thatch tradition in Somerset.
Historically many of the cottages and smaller houses in Somerset were built of rubble stone or cob, usually topped with a hipped or half hipped thatched roof with a characteristic rounded appearance, often inset with thatched dormer windows. More expensive properties were built of stone, which enabled the construction of gables, with the thatch forming a flat coating between the copings.
Many of these buildings still survive, especially in Somerset’s conservation areas, and their thatch is enthusiastically tended and maintained by Steven Hewlett Thatchers.
Somerset thatched roof maintenance
When it comes to maintenance of thatched roofs in Somerset, Steven recommends an annual inspection so that any wear or damage can be identified and fixed before it creates a problem. When thatched roofs age it may become necessary to add a new layer of thatch, but complete re-thatching is not often necessary.
Ridge repairs are the most common requirement for older thatched roofs in Somerset, because this is the part of the roof most exposed to the elements. There are different methods of forming a ridge, but in Somerset the most favoured is a flush butt-up ridge where the edges of the ridge lie flush with the surface rather than a thick block ridge which stands out from the main thatched covering.
Steven Hewlett Thatchers also protect Somerset’s thatches by offering services such as covering with wire netting, to prevent damage from birds or the invasion of vermin, and introducing fire retardant measures.
Professional cleaning of thatch in Somerset can improve its life expectancy by staving off decay brought on by a build up of leaf debris, moss and dust carried by the wind. Steven advises the owners of thatched properties not to climb on the thatch and attempt maintenance tasks themselves because it is easy for a novice to cause severe compression damage by sitting, standing or walking on the thatch, or even leaning a ladder on the surface.
If you are fortunate enough to own a thatched building in Somerset, or are planning a new build with a thatched roof, call Steven Hewlett on 01980 611880 or 07790 020 917 to put your roof in expert hands.
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.