Sidford cottage thatch transformation

PUBLISHED: 16:56 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:59 18 June 2010

A SIDFORD cottage is being transformed, with its partially-slated roof being returned to thatch.

A SIDFORD cottage is being transformed, with its partially-slated roof being returned to thatch.

Sidmouth thatcher Mark Smith, 42, whose biggest job to date was thatching the new Blue Ball pub in Sidford, has nearly completed a five week project to re-thatch Crossways Cottage, School Street.

He has also re-thatched the adjoining cottage.

Mark said: "The terraced cottages along there are hundreds of years old. I always thought it looked incomplete with the front of the roof slated."

He said many cottages had the front thatch removed and slates put in when it was deemed more desirable to have slate roofs.

"Now the tables have turned full circle and it is more posh to have thatch," said Mark, who used water reed on the cottages, which will last for around 30 years.

He knows Crossways Cottage once had a fully thatched roof because he found traces of thatch when removing the slate.

"This is my twelfth thatching job in Sidford," said Mark, who has been thatching for 27 years.

"Next I will be doing Sidmouth Cricket Club, which is as big a job as the Blue Ball, and Fairlynch Museum, Budleigh Salterton in the autumn."

He added: "I am kept busy all the time, thatching has really taken off since buildings were listed because it stops people changing their roofs.


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