With a third of the roof shingles crafted and the rafters laid in place, the exciting Viking Longhouse project is taking real shape.
All hands are on deck at the Ancient Technology Centre as winter is fast-approaching, working hard to create the incredible 25,000 shingles needed for the roof.
We dropped by to see how the construction was going and to chat to Centre Manager Luke Winter about the latest developments.
“We’ve reached the stage of putting the rafters onto the roof so that the ridge is finished – the lovely curve of the building. In Viking times, they were called hogback buildings because it’s like the spine of a wild boar”, he said.
“We’re now putting on pairs of rafters, straight timbers which are laid on, marked in a very careful way, and then we cut three – what are called ‘bird’s mouth joints – open joints which seat onto the purlin and the ridge and the wall plate.
“Then the longest process really is pegging them, so that each rafter is pegged three times into the beams they touch, and blind-pegged so they actually support and hang properly without moving around.”
With a proposed completion date of Easter 2009, we wondered how the shingle-making was going.
“We’re hoping to have all of the rafters on by the end of October, and then the next stage is to plank with larch boards in a herringbone pattern to strengthen the roof, and then the shingles go on top of that. We’ve done around 7,000 so far – we’ve still got lots of them to make to reach 25,000!”
Keep visiting the ICM website to find out the latest news.
By Heidi Lees-Bell