Roundhouse construction

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Roundhouse construction

Postby gobae on Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:01 pm

Our group is quickly nearing readiness to start frame construction on our roundhouse (within the next month or less).

So far, I've been unable to locate decent images either of extant examples, archaeological drawings, or reconstructions regarding the joinery of the lintels to posts in the outer wall. I've got several ideas and options have been suggested, but I'd like to get good information on this.

Has anyone here built a roundhouse, have experience in this, or have image of extant lintel joinery?

Many thanks!
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Re: Roundhouse construction

Postby tri on Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:44 am

Hi Dan,

Sadly the long and the short of it is that we have little detailed information - either archaeological or historical - on how this was done. The best evidence comes from the site of Deer Park Farms, Co. Antrim, excavated by Chris Lynn. I have some references to articles on the results of the dig if you're interested, the final report in almost ready for publication so the rumours on the grapevine say.

The DPF houses seem perhaps to be a little unusual in that there is no direct distinction between walls/roof - they essentially resemble an upturned basket with the wicker work extending for over 1.5m if memory serves. However, given that they're among the only surviving walls from early medieval houses it's difficult to say how much they represent the unusual as opposed to how much the represent the opposite to how we *think* early medieval houses were built. The site also yielded the best evidence to date for early medieval doors and thresholds so well worth checking out.

There's also a few scattered references to house construction in contemporary historical texts but nothing concrete on the problem you're discussing. I'll have a trawl through the bibliography and see what I can find.

Best of luck with the reconstruction - keep us posted on how you go!
Triona
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Re: Roundhouse construction

Postby gobae on Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:55 am

Yes, I'd gratefully accept any information and leads you're willing to share!

Thanks!
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Re: Roundhouse construction

Postby tri on Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:02 pm

LYNN, C.J. 1987 Deer Park Farms, Glenarm, Co. Antrim. Archaeology Ireland vol. 1, no. 1(1987), 11-15

LYNN, C.J. 1987 Deer Park Farms. Current Archaeology 113(1987), ** (can't find page no - sorry!)

LYNN, C.J. 1988 A note on the excavation of an early Christian settlement in Deer Park Farms, Glenarm, 1984-1987. The Glynns (1988), 3-16

LYNN, C.J. 1989 Deer Park Farms: a visit to an early Christian settlement. Current Archaeology ** (as above!)

Críth Gablach (MacNeill 1923) describes houses as being 'of wickerwork to the lintel' and is a little vague as to what happens from there up stating, 'From this to the roof-tree, a 'dit' between every two weavings(?)'. MacNeill hiself seems pretty unsure of the exact meanings of the terms in the text.

There is another article (MURRAY, H. 1979 Documentary evidence for domestic buildings in Ireland, c.400-1200, in light of archaeology. Medieval Archaeology 23(1979), 81-97) dealing with these issues but many of the interpetations in the article are based on later (11th/12th) century evidence for rectangular buildings and so should be read with caution in relation to roundhouses.

Any more questions just let me know!
Tri
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Re: Roundhouse construction

Postby tri on Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:12 pm

Also check out http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 0730286972

and the website of the Butser Ancient Farm - not Irish material but some similarities between the two.
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