Thatching the Great Barn
The Great Barn in the farmyard at Wimpole was fully re-thatched in 1980 and has been subsequently re-ridged since then, so it has lasted very well, but has been in need of a little renovation.
A family run, traditional master thatchers, Dodson Brothers, from Cambridgeshire, have been stripping out and replacing the ridge of the barn roof as well as removing and replacing localised areas of slumped or decayed thatching on the main roof.
The thatchers have used the tougher water reed on the main thatch and a mixture of reed and flexible sedge along the ridges. The Great barn has a decorative block cut ridge, the other thatched buildings around the farmyard have flush ridges (no pattern).
All the materials have been installed using traditional methods and tools, a very labour intensive and physical job, but once complete the barn can once again take centre stage in the traditional farmyard.
Our plan is to undertake similar work on the cart shed and hatchery thatch over the next 2-3 years.