Before building the roundhouse at Lime Tree Farm some research into construction methods had been carried out. The building, however, was never intended to be a re-construction of a traditional iron-age roundhouse. It was decided to build a dwelling place that would be in keeping with the landscape and the ethos of Lime Tree Farm.
The construction of the roundhouse began with posts being driven into the ground to define the ground plan. The posts were approximately a metre and a half in height and a metre or so apart. From here five main roof trusses were put into place. These trusses (trees!) were sourced from nearby woodland and dragged to the site by Drummer, Lime Tree Farm’s sturdy horse!
Willow, collected from Whitby, was used for the wattling of the walls, and some re-cycled reed was collected from the roof of a thatched pub, The Crab and Lobster in Asenby. The reed was 40 years old and very brittle. The ends of the reed that had been exposed to the elements was rotten for about 10cm so this had to be removed, a process that took the best part of a year by a dedicated team coming together every six or seven weeks. Dom, a master thatcher from Norfolk, taught people the rudiments of thatching and he himself completed the complicated apex of the entrance.
Once the roof was thatched a real sense of space had been defined. Next came the messy task of daubing the walls. For this we used clay from the fields mixed with straw and horsehair. Towards the end of daubing we incorporated hair taken from the roundhouse builders themselves. Just outside the roundhouse a dragon gateway has been carved. The dragon stands at an impressive five metres and looks to the east. This is an earth dragon that guards the true treasure, the land itself. Recently a wattle fence has been built around the roundhouse and it is planned that woad and weld and a range of herbs will be grown experimentally in this area.
The roofing thatch from the pub being unloaded from the lorry.
The Roundhouse and Dragon shortly after completion. The tee-pee can be seen in the distance.
The Roundhouse and Dragon are situated in a large field with beautiful views in all directions.
A close-up of the newly-carved Dragon. The years of sunlight have weathered it well.
A more recent view from the rear of the Roundhouse, showing the Hazel hedgerow that has been grown and laid around it.
Click on any of the images for a larger view, or have a look round the interior of the roundhouse with this 360 degree image. This doesn't work on all platforms. You may need to maximise the image.