Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Wattle & Daub Day

On Wednesday 21st May adults from the local community where invited to take part in a bit of history by assisting with the construction and restoration of new and existing Wattle & Daub panels within the building. 

Wattle and daub - is a composite building material  in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay (from just outside Ledbury) sand, animal dung (although this was omitted on the 2014 version!) and straw. Wattle and daub has been used for at least 6000 years and is still an important construction material in many parts of the world (1)


The children from Year 4 at Ledbury Primary School who had recently been studying the Tudors where also invited to tour the building to see what a building from that era really looks like and get dirty by helping to mix the Daub in the traditional methods by hand & foot knowing that they were helping to build something that hopefully would be there in another 500 years time. They then produced clay models which were dried in the sun and returned to the children at school.

The 'finished' article

File:Tacuinum Sanitatis-cabbage harvest.jpgMany historic buildings include wattle and daub construction, and the technique is becoming popular again in more developed areas as a low-impact sustainable building technique. Indeed the reconstructed panels at the Masters House made excellent use of those panels to badly degraded to mended by simply wetting and mixing them back up again to reuse the materials - 528 years after they were first installed! Recycling at its very best!

Thanks to Gary Butler and the rest of the team from Butler Hegarty Architects for their infectious enthusiam that made this an extremely enjoyable day and hopefully one that will stick in the memories of thoese involved for a very long time.


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