Neolithic - Llandygai Longhouse

A Neolithic Long House from North Wales.

The excavation showed that although the building measures 13m x 6m, the post holes were very small for the size of the building. In this construct, careful engineering, and the use of geometry, allowed a lightweight frame to be built. This will limit the life span to around 10 years.

Purpose of the build. To experimentally construct a neolithic long house. To act as an educational resource in line with the UK National Curriculum.

Laying out the house, and creating the post holes as is shown in the excavation. There are two rows of posts down the middle of the inside of the house, and outer row each side of the house in the position of the walls.

Horizontal timbers lashed in place to create the geometry neccessary to construct the roof supports, at the correct angle.

Additional stakes inserted in the line of the wall, between the posts shown in the archaeology.

Hazel rods are woven into the upright stakes, to create a wattle wall. This is done around all of the wall, except for the doorway. The wall hieght is 2m. This allows the same 2m interior head clearance under the cross members.
This view down the length of the wall shows the wall plate setting the hieght of the wall, and the cross members lashed to the same plate.
With a combination of the wall plate, and the timbers on the top of the inner posts, this creates the geometry to mount the rafters. As there is no center line of posts, the projection of the rafters will have to meet in mid air, in the correct place, to make the ridge of the house.

This shows the mid air meeting of the rafters at the ridge line. The aplication of the purlins create a ladder to climb the roof, and allow access to the ridge for lashing. By starting the roof construct at one end, the work can be on going with all stages runing simultaniously. This takes the pressure off material availablity.As can be seen, the thatching is underway, long before the completion of the roof frame.

A long view down the house showing the phases of the roof build.

Construction of the porch roof. This will help shelter the doorway from the worst of the weather. It sits within the projection of the roof off the front of the house.
A long view of the house. The walls are yet to be daubed, and the ridge is yet to be completed.
The roof is near completion, and shows the protection is gives to the porch.
One of the longest jobs underway. The daubing. The inside is done first, which allows it to dry quickly.
The frames of the door are in place, ready for a covering of leather.

House almost complete. Turf has been laid over the roof ridge, as the reed cannot be bent over the top.

The sloping posts on the front of the house stabilise and eliminate any lateral movements of the house.

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