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Invite to tour Fleggburgh mud house. Is this the future?

PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 June 2012

Charlotte Eve & Kate Edwards outside their cob house made from
mud and straw.
Picture: James Bass

Charlotte Eve & Kate Edwards outside their cob house made from mud and straw. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

At the end of a bumpy track, sandwiched between a peaceful common and a picturesque broad, it is as remote a Broadland location as you can imagine.

But thanks to the power of the internet, the home of Kate Edwards and Charlotte Eve has become the base for a business attracting worldwide attention - cob building.

Using nothing more than a mix of sandy subsoil and clay dug from their garden in Fleggburgh, near Great Yarmouth, the couple have - using their own hands - built an extension doubling the size and value of their home.

And after finishing the work over a five-year period, squeezing it in between their increasingly hectic schedule of courses teaching the ancient building skill, they are preparing for an opening evening tomorrow to show off their passion for eco-friendly building.

Visitors are invited to tour White Cottage and learn about mud building from 6.30pm as part of a Love Architecture Festival organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Ms Edwards, 43, who gave up her job as an arts psychotherapist to become a cob builder and teacher, said: “It is astonishing how it has taken off since I started doing courses seven years ago.

“We are doing 30 courses this year, ranging from one-day courses on building a pizza oven, to four-day courses enabling people to build a garden studio or their own home.”

They have entertained students from Canada and Japan and on Saturday a family is arriving from Saudi Arabia.

She said: “The self-build market is growing massively; historically most people built their own homes but the skills were forgotten over time. Using cob is much simpler than conventional building and you are using free material. A big virtue is you don’t need central heating as the walls absorb the sun’s heat so well.”

To book a tour ring 01493-369952. Visit www.edwardscobbuilding.com

More pictures at edp24.co.uk.

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