Thatching in West Europe, from Asturias to Iceland
“This excellent book about thatching in Western Europe covers a subject which has so far received little attention on a larger scale. Thatched roofs and the techniques employed in making them are very vulnerable to the elements and tend to change over time, which makes the recording of them especially important. The jury were particularly impressed with the wide area covered in the study and the detailed discussion of techniques, materials and the social context of thatching.”
This in-depth study traces the ancient tradition of thatching, from Northwest Spain to the most strongly represented areas across Western Europe. The wide scope of the field work covers Iberia, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, France and the Italian Piedmont. The comparative methodology employed is the first of its kind and has filled a previous void in recorded knowledge of thatching throughout Western Europe.
The study, thoroughly illustrated with photos and line drawings of technical details, is a comprehensive source and educational reference about thatching practices and conservation policies in Europe, especially relevant with present-day demands for sustainable architecture. It will help communities to collaborate and learn from each other, where previously they only had knowledge of thatching in their own immediate vicinity. The research, set in a broad European context, gains an insight into underlying cultural links in distant areas, contrasting different thatching techniques and building types. Also included is a specific chapter on transhumance huts, sheltering those moving their grazing animals to new seasonal pastures.