thatched roof history in the United Kingdom

Thatched roof cottages and thatched roof farm buildings have been a visually appealing part of what is now the United Kingdom for at least a millennium. Builders in bygone Britain used lightweight materials that were readily available in nature. Thatched roofs in what is now the United Kingdom were often installed on the homes of poor people. Eventually though, installing thatch roofing became a craft appreciated by the wealthy too.

Norman castle at Pevensey (Sussex) once bought six acres to roof their chambers and halls. In the United Kingdom, people used everything available like broom, sallow, sedge, straw, wheat, Norfolk reed, flax, and grass. By the late 18th century, master painters began featuring picturesque thatched roof cottages.


Thatched roofing for the common family declined after the invention of the combine, a machine used in agriculture, made straw unsuitable for use on roofs. Consequently, Norfolk reed became an even more prized commodity.

Somerset: Endureed’s Synthetic Thatch Replicating Traditional Roof Found In The United Kingdom

These days, more people and businesses in the United Kingdom are search for synthetic thatched roofs in order to get the historic ambiance. Natural thatched roofing, when combined with maintenance, complying with building codes, and battling pests, has become costly. Endureed’s synthetic thatch roofing material can replicate the look and feel of this ancient roofing without all of the hassles. Plus, after just about five years, Endureed’s synthetic thatch usually costs less than natural thatching.


If you love the look of old thatched roofs in the United Kingdom, but you don’t want the hassle, check out our Somerset roofing material, part of our Regions Series.


Author: Endureed