From reed bed to roof: The people behind Norfolk thatch through the years
- Credit: Archant Library
You don't have to travel far in Norfolk before you spot a building crowned with golden thatch.
These distinctive roofs have a rustic charm whether they feature on cottages, barns or even more modern buildings.
Each piece of architecture has a story to tell with a talented support cast of Norfolk thatchers, reed cutters and workers behind them.
Some of these skilled tradespeople are captured in these old photos from the EDP archives. Perhaps you recognise some of the faces.
Did you know?
- The ridge of a thatched roof lasts roughly 15 years while the main reed part can last 60-70 years.
- An estimated 80% to 90% of the reed used in UK thatching comes from abroad.
- Historically, thatched roofs were popular because it was lighter than other options like slate or tiles - so walls did not have to be as thick or robust to bear its weight.