Building a Thatch Roof House with Hand Tools: Bushcraft Saxon Shelter (PART 12)

We’re in the woods building a bushcraft saxon house using hand tools. In part 12 we use an auger and hand drill to build the door, we then use long straw or combed straw to cap the ridge on the top of the thatch roof of the saxon shelter. The combed straw is called “triticale” and is a mix of wheat and rye. The reason we used it to build the top of the roof is because it is much more pliable and easy to bend then water reed. It also has the disease resistance of wheat and the hardiness of rye, which makes it last longer on the roof. To finish off the roof, I used a barrel eye scotch auger and some hand carved wood pegs to fix some cross supports to the top of the thatch roof. This will help pin down the ash liggers (battens) and keep the thatch pinned down during heavy rain and wind. We finish the clay walls inside, using the wattle and daub technique. The Saxon House is now pretty much finished. We have tried to keep it as historically correct as we could. But for things such as the door, we used recycled pallet wood and iron hinges. The reason we did this is because we wanted the door to last and not rot away. It has been an incredible experience building with hand tools. Working with nature to create an ancient home of our ancestors. The Anglo Saxons were very resourceful and would have used whatever natural materials they could find to build their bushcraft shelters and wood houses.

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