In early 2016 we opened our Anglo-Saxon longhouse, a large rectangular structure based on excavations found in the nearby village of Chalton, Hampshire. The house is primarily made of English oak, sweet chestnut and hazel, all sourced from local coppiced woodlands. The roof is panelled with wattle hurdles, into which the thatch was laid using hazel spars to hold it in place. The timber beams were hand hewn rather than sawn by machine, and the posts are earth-fastened into the ground instead of using a seal plate. There were no nails or screws used except in the hinged har-hung doors, and the beams are fixed using dovetail joints secured with trunnels. The majority of the work was carried out by Darren Hammerton, a local treewright who uses traditional building methods and sustainably sourced wood.
Darren is now building a treewright’s workshop in Saxon style so that he can be based here and build more Saxon structures in future. Watch this space!