Grand Saxon Designs
We already have one Saxon house at Butser Ancient Farm based on local archaeological evidence. It was built by treewright Darren Hammerton in 2016. Now he’s working on a second house from the same site, built with different techniques.
Treewrighting is the ancient process of taking timber from source through to manufactured wooden item. It pre-dates modern power tools by thousands of years, and treewrighting involves the use of familiar tools, such as chisels and axes, as well as less familiar wood-working equipment like adzes and specialist axes.
This summer Darren is running a series of workshops to teach aspiring treewrights some of the ancient techniques and crafts needed to build Saxon houses.These workshops will run at the same time as the second Saxon hall house reconstruction, so participants can get close to and, in some cases, involved in an exciting archaeological reconstruction programme.
We’ll start with making Saxon bulwark walls, which are horizonal timber slats set into recessed grooves in timber uprights. Darren will also teach the treewrighting techniques to build a Saxon roof truss and a Saxon har-hung door, a door hinged without metalwork. There will also be a wattle hurdle workshop which are used for a bed for the roof thatch.
If you want to prepare for your own Saxon grand design, this summer is your chance to learn the treewrighting techniques you’ll need.
You can book the workshops on the website at: http://www.butserancientfarm.co.uk/treewrighting-workshops/