for the beginner
|Impress your friends with a unique
ancient craft of thatching has a wealth of terminology that almost
forms a language.
Brush up your thatch-speak here.
Apron: Single sided section of ridge to protect thatch under chimney
Arris: Rail - see 'Tilt'
Baby: (Long Straw) - see 'Roller'
Back Filling: Laid above battens and under main thatch, used to adjust
the tilt of reed or straw
Band / Bond: Twist of straw, reed withy or bramble used to tie a
bundle of thatch to roof
Barge: See 'Gable'
Barge Board: Solid board used as an alternative to turned gable
Batting / Bolting: Bundle of tied, threshed straw
Biddle: Working platform hooked into thatch
Binder: See 'Rod' and 'Sway'
Binder: Reaper for cutting standing corn
Bolder Reed: Norfolk Reed bundle containing mostly bulrush
Bottle: Tied yelm of straw for setting eave of gable
Box Gutter: Leaded gutter formed behind chimney
Brotch / Broach: See 'Spar'
Brow: The course after the eaves course
Bunch: Bundle of water reed 2' circumference, 1' above butt, usually
at the tie
Butt: Thicker end of a bundle of reed or straw
Butting: Arranging the ends of the reed by dropping bundles or nitches
Cheek: Side of window
Chimney Block: See 'Apron'
Coat: Layer of entire thatch
Cock Up / Cockscomb: Topmost bundle of straw turned to shed water
back onto the ridge
Continental Bundle: Imported bundle of water reed 1m around circumference
or butt, usually tied twice
Compty: Substandard materials or thatch
Combed Wheat Reed: Straw which has had the corn leaf and weed removed
- varieties include Aquilla, Marris Wiggen and Marris Huntsman
Course: Layer of reed or straw laid across the roof
Crook: See 'Iron'
Dolly: See 'Roller' and 'Bottle'
Dressing: Pushing reed into final position
Drift: See 'Legget'
Dutchman: Type of Legget originating from the Netherlands
Eave: First course of thatch
Fathom: Six bundles of water reed
Flue: See 'Gable'
Fargle: A goodly handful of steel sways
Feather: Seed head on water reed
Flag: Leaf on straw
Fleaking: A weave of water reed laid over the rafters instead of
Gable End: The overhang of thatch at a gable of the roof
Gadd: Cut length of hazel between 1" and 3" in diameter
Gaddule: Bundle of gadds
Hazel: Corylus Aveliana (L) - used for spars, sways and rods - said
to be hardier than withy
Iron: Thatching nail used to fix sway to rafter, trapping thatch
Knuckle: Handful of straw, bent double
Ladder: types Pole. Push-up and Hanger
Legget: Tool that grips the ends of the reeds and pushes them into
Ligger: See 'Rod'
Long Straw: Straw thrashed but not combed. Varieties of wheat : Little
Josh, Red Standard, Square Headed Master
Net: A ¾" galvanised wire or ¾" polythene
used to protect thatch from bird damage
Needle: Used to stich on the thatch
Nitch: Bundle of combed reed of weight 28lb or 14lb
Northampton Roll: Rolled and rodded gable end
Peg: See 'Spar'
Pinacle: Topmost bundle of ridging material used to shed water back
onto the ridge
Pricker: Length of gadd about a yard long, used to fix sways on rick
Ridge: Covering of supple straw or sedge grass, laid along apex of
roof to bind and protect the main thatch. Types include wrap-over, butt
up, flush, straight cut and patterned. Patterns include dragons' teeth,
diamond, scalloped, clubbed, herring-bone and crossed.
Reeding Pin: See 'Spragger'
Roller: Continuous parallel bundle of thatch used to build up ridge
Rod: Hazel or withy, used to hold down thatch on the surface. Types
include split, unsplit, apex, kettle and muff.
Rutland Cap: Peaked end at gable
Rye: Type of soft straw used for thatching
Sedge: Marsh Grass (Cladius Mariscus) used for ridging
Server: Skilled labourer
Set: See 'Tilt'
Sheaf: Bundle of unthrashed straw - 8 sheaves make a stook, 16 make
Slapping: First course of ridge
Skirt: See 'Slapping'
Spar: A split length of hazel or withy, pointed and twisted to form
Spit: See 'Spar'
Spot Board: Board for 'butting up' of reed bundles
Spragger: Pointed length of steel used to temporarily hold materials
Springing: See ' Tilt'
Stalch: A strip of thatch worked from eave to ridge
Standing Crop: The thatching materials whilst growing
Stool: Clump of Hazel
Straw: All types of straw which may be used to thatch - wheat straw
is considered most suitable
Sway: Steel or hazel rod used with irons to secure thatch
Thrashing: Method of removing grain from straw
Tilt: The angle formed by tightening the sway between the top and
the butt of the reed
Tilting Fillet: A 'V' section of timber fixed to the rafter to set
Twisle: A crank for twisting straw for grass bonds
Verge: See 'Barge'
Wadd: See 'Bottle'
Wand: Length of unsplit willow or hazel, less than 1" diam
Water Reed: Phragmites Communis obtained traditionally from East
Anglia now additionally from European countries
Wimble: See 'Twisle'
Withy: Willow used for rods and sways - it is said to be less prone
to woodworm - varieties include Black bar, Dicky Medoes, Swallow tail and
Yelm: Drawn and wet straw ready for laying
Return to the thatch story
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