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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thatched Roof Cottages

From the bottom of our hearts, the entire family thanks you for kindness, love and support.

While I take time with my family please enjoy this post from the DTA March 2008 archives.

Thatching is a process of covering a roof with dried vegetation such as heather and straw. It is perhaps the oldest form of roofing material.

Thatching in Ireland has gone on for over 9,000 years. Originally it was used by those with less financial means. Thatching today is quite expensive due to its labor intensity and that the skilled craftsmanship required is now dwindling.

The thatch is fastened together in bundles about two feet wide. The bundles are then laid on the roof with the butt end facing out. After they are secured to the roof beams they are then pegged in place with wooden rods. The thatcher adds the layers on top of each other. The top layer is placed on the ridge line (top point) of the roof.

A thatched roof is waterproof, provides good acoustic insulation, is cool in the summer, warm in winter, and is great at covering irregular roof structures. The roof can last 45-50 years if done by an expert thatcher.


Thatching can also be considered as a "green" alternative as it uses natural materials which can be renewed regularly and the old thatch can be recycled into excellent fertilizer.

The biggest disadvantage is flammability. While thatched roofs do not catch fire any more frequently than roofs covered with 'hard' materials, thatch fires are difficult to extinguish once they take hold.

Many of the thatched roofs have intricate designs. Here is a close up of a ridge line that features a thatched dog in addition to a scalloped design. If the legs on the dog were a wee bit shorter, I might think it was Rudi, our dachshund. Screening is used to keep birds from gathering the thatch for nesting material.

Thatched roofs are most prevalent in the United Kingdom, but can also be found in Africa, Hawaii and Japan.

The most famous thatched roof cottage is the Anne Hathaway cottage in the village of Shottery, in Warkwickshire, England. This is not the Anne Hathaway of "Princess Diaries" fame, but Shakespeare's wife.

It is a 12 room cottage done in a Tudor style of architecture with visible timber framing. The cottage is also well known for its beautiful gardens.

The largest thatched roof in the world can be found on the House of the Five Senses at the Efteling theme park in the Netherlands.

It is now quite popular to stay as a tourist in any number of thatched roofed bed and breakfast inn's. They are fairly reasonable and extremely quaint accommodations.

For my home schoolers, here is a link with instructions on how to make your own miniature cottage.

Reminder: This is the last day to enter the Kirkland’s $50 gift card giveaway.

Be blessed ye dear lads and lassies,



kate said...

what a great post!! thanks so much for the trip down memory lane, when i used to travel to the uk every year staying in cornwall for a month and taking in all the to you

Auntie Em said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely post. Someday I hope to actually be able to travel to see them for myself but for now I have lovely pictures and tea pots plus other items of these lovely thatched beauties. Something about them always catches my heart.
Thinking you of you and your family. {{hugs}}

Magdalen Aithne Arkright said...

That post is the reason I found this blog! I loved thatched roofs!

Karena said...

Laura I love the first home with the yellow trim and the scalloped ridge line, very unique!

Art by Karena

French said...

I have always dreamed of living in a thatch cottage...until I read the part about flammability. Good point, guess not in SoCal!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

This is a wonderful post Laura!! I loveeeeeeee the homes you featured and that's sad that more people have picked up this trade, it will be sad if it ever dies...

Praying for you and your family....

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh how interesting. I love the detail of these roofs and the top is so pretty with the special detail they add to it. Fabulous pictures and cottages. Take care, you are always in my prayers. Hugs, marty

Kristen said...

What a beautiful post. Those houses look so inviting!

The French Hutch said...

Laura, I am so sorry for your loss. It's a heart breaking time in ones life, I know, I've been there! Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
I love this post, I actually have a thatched roof home in my post today. The first one I've seen and I instantly fell in love. Beautiful photographs.

The French Hutch

Danielle said...

These homes are so adorable. I love the thatched roofs. My dream cottage is the one from The Holiday which looks a lot like some of the some of the pictures you've posted. We can't see the inside to these but I imagine them being warm and cozy. Love them : )


The Tablescaper said...

I love the look. So neat to learn more about them.

- The Tablescaper

Craftymoose Crafts said...

These are works of art and heart!

Jill Elaine said...

I love the look of some of the decorative thatching. So cute!
Prayers for you and your family.

Monica said...

Oh Laura,
I want a thatched cottage soooo bad!
Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures.
Sending hugs.

Mary Ellen said...

You always have such interesting posts Laura! Really enjoyed this one on the thatched roof- I have always loved this style of roof -

Praying everything is settling down for your family. Continue to pray as Jesus brings you to mind!

bee blessed

Jen said...

The thatched roof is one of my favorite. I love the British homes with the look. So cozy and just beautiful! I love the pictures you picked to share. Makes me want to travel! =)

I know the days are tough right now, but I do hope you all are finding some comfort.

Much love to you and your family,

Kelley said...

My favorite movie on earth is "The Quiet Man" starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, so of course I loved these images!

Debbie said...

And now this post has come up on my blogger homepage when it wasn't there earlier this morning when I first saw the post about your Dotty.

I love the thatched roof cottages, and again, I'm so sorry for all you are going through.

Luciane at said...

Wow.... This post really made me dream!

Thank you for preparing such a wonderful post for us.

Have a blessed weekend!


Luciane at

Penelope Dingee said...

Those are gorgeous samples of thatched roof, Laura! They are like vintage houses, which convey a quaint charm. They are often built for tropical beaches particularly in Hawaii and Kenya. But these days, they are also used for roofing construction. Because thatched roofs are made from natural materials, they are prone to fire. In this regard, you can use fire-retardant sprays that prevent the spread of flames throughout the roof.

Penelope Dingee