Earl of Essex Regiment of Foot

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Cruck House

The Cruck House at Holdenby House, near Northampton is a representation of a 17th Century peasant dwelling using the materials of the time where possible. It was constructed by a group of local enthusiasts and members of the Sealed Knot Living History Group, and is currently being maintained by The Earl of Essex Regiment of Foot, a Roundhead Association Regiment within the English Civil War Society .

Members Nicole le Strange and Kevin Hassall are maintaining and improving the garden and are often on hand at the weekend to talk to visitors to Holdenby Hall about food and herbs and their uses. They took charge of re-creating the garden in July 1009, and 'inherited' an area overgrown and full of dock and nettles! Despite attacks of pigeons and rabbits, plus the snow they and the Regiment have done a good job so far!

The plan is to grow varieties as close to those of the 17th century as possible, and they are collaborating with various seed guardians and the Garden Museum in London. Already there are yellow pear tomatoes, carlin peas and martock beans.

There are regular working weekends to maintain the building and the grounds so that it can continue to be used as part of the Holdenby House educational programme, and we have installed a bread oven in order to show visitors baking techniques from the period.

A 'Cruck House' owes its stability to the timber 'A' frame or 'Cruck', joints are simple 'Half Lapp' pinned with wooden pins called 'treenails'. The roof is wood shingle, the walls 'wattle and daub' and the floor bare earth, providing a cheap solid dwelling for humble folk

'Daub' is a mixture of clay, straw and cow manure, 'Wattle' is a framework of woven sticks or staves providing good insulation if kept dry. Materials for the building were gathered locally and prove resilient for little cost.

The pictures below are from the various times when we have been involved in getting the property back into a presentable and viable state

Keep up to date with developments here Cruck House Flickr Page

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