Neolithic - Durrington Ancillary 851


From the Durrington Walls site, in Wiltshire. This was the ancillary building to a larger house designated 851. Both buildings were slightly uphill from the main settlement , and separated from the rest of the settlement by a fence line.

Size is 3m x 2m, plus door shelter. The stake holes were around 20cm apart, and the building had rounded corners. Built with small stakes

The walls are constructed of hazel stakes, at around 2m in length. They are inserted into holes that have been punched into the ground.

A rod has been tied around the tops of the stakes to keep them in place, ready for the wattle to be woven into them.

With the stakes being 20cm apart, hazel wattle is used to weave the walls. (If the spacing had been tighter, hazel would not have worked).

With the size of the building being so small, the door porch was woven as part of the wall. This adds strength, and extra protection to the doorway.

The rafters are erected as two tripods, one each end, and joined by a ridge pole. The rest of the rafters are then spaced out around the roof.

As it can been seen, this creates a sheltered doorway (porch).

The purlins are tied onto the rafters, and as they build up, it strengthens and stiffens the whole structure.
The thatching is done with wheat straw, which results in a waterproof roof, and creates insulation to keep the interior warm.
Roof complete. Walls were daubed, and then chalk-washed. This has stood wear and tear for a number of years.
A small experiment on the side. The excavation report states there was a 'chalk spread outside the line of the wattle and daub wall'. A chalk platform has been created, and is monitored for deterioration, and life span.

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