Neolithic - Durrington 851

This building is from the Durrington Walls excavation

This is an artists impression of the house 851 from the Durrington Walls excavation. The evidence shows a chalk paste floor, surrounded by wooden furniture. The size and layout is almost identical to the neolithic houses at Skara Brae, Orkney.
The house was almost 5m square, whith rounded corners. The wall stakes were very close together, with a curved line of stakes protecting the doorway.
Due to the spacing of the stakes, the wall is woven with willow. The curved corners help strengthen the walls, as they are quite flexible.
A wall plate of split ash poles is used to stiffen the top of the wall. These are placed on all four walls, and locked together. This creates a strong structure for the roof to be mounted on the wall.
The rafters are erected to creat the roof. The gable ends are woven with willow.
With the purlins lashed on, the thatching is underway.
The thatch complete. The gable end woven, and ready to be daubed.
House finished. Unlike the long house, where an extended family, 25-30 people, lived under one roof, these late neolithic houses were occupied by one family unit, providing decent living conditions.
Over the course of a couple of years, the gable end designe proved unstable, and it was prone to movement in windy conditions. It was decided to remodel the roof into one with hipped ends.This was done without stripping the roof off, by starting to build inside the existing structure.
Cutting the existing roof back to the hip line worked well. Once thatched it was far more secure and stable.
Hip complete. This was repeated on the other end of the roof.
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