Welcome to the House of Wessex newsletter

The House of Wessex project has taken giant steps over the past few weeks.  We have a beautiful timber frame building erected on its original site. We are continuing its construction by fixing hurdles and wattling, and then the fun will begin with daubing the walls.  Read on to hear about progress to date, and more opportunities to get involved as we begin the last exciting phase of the reconstruction over the summer months.


Lesley Best
Project Manager

Watch our amazing timelapse film compressing 10 days in to 2 minutes 30 seconds.
Some Amazing Facts & Figures
  • 80 trees felled of ash, silver birch, oak, and sweet chestnut
  • 70 posts, beams, rafters shaped by hand by 80 volunteers
  • 200 hand-shaped tree nails made for the frame
  • 40 hazel wattle hurdles made for the roof
  • 4 tonnes of clay for daubing
  • 5.5 tonnes of red standard heritage straw for thatching the roof
  • welcomed many hundreds of people during our public open days
  • hands-on learning by nearly 200 schoolchildren
Next Steps
The next phase will be adding to the timber frame to complete the building of the House of Wessex. 

Wattling of the walls starts this week. We will be using hazel to weave between the timber frame on the gable ends and walls. 

The wattle walls will then be daubed with a mixture of clay and straw. We will be running public sessions from Monday 19th - Friday 23rd August when you can come and give us a hand or two!  It will be a great week, bring all the family to mix clay, horse hair, and straw and put on the building.  Please book your slot(s) by signing up on this form:
Book Your Daubing Session!
Become a Patron
The faithful reconstruction of the House of Wessex, working with many dozens of volunteers with its programme of learning, is part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Sylva Foundation is seeking help in raising funds to realise the project’s full potential, and to establish a legacy fund.

We offer different levels of support, from Bronze, to Silver, to Gold, with some great perks for the donor.
Find Out More
An Unusual Blessing
We celebrated the raising of the timber frame with the ‘blessing of the foundations’ led by the living history society, the Wulfheodenas (above). We placed replica Anglo-Saxon treasures at the foot of some of the timbers and led a blessing, Anglo-Saxon style!  Another celebration was the ‘topping off’ ceremony led by the carpenters marking the last timber being fixed.
While the daubing gets underway, master thatcher Alan Jones will also get to work. Alan has been on site with coppice worker Simon Farndon fixing hazel hurdles to the roof in readiness for August.

We still have a few places available on our one-day thatching courses with Alan on August 10, 12, 13 and 14. Find out more by clicking the button below.
One-day Thatching Courses
Have you visited the House of Wessex webpages? They are being updated frequently with new content including films, photos and information about the build, Kingdom of Wessex trail, and more on the history. Visit www.sylva.org.uk/wessex
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House of Wesex webpages
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