The walls of roundhouses were either dry stone
filled in with clay and straw, or a ring of support poles weaved with wattling
and plastered in daub, or a mixture of both stone and wattling as
being built here (left).
Wattle and daub is one of the oldest building
techniques dating back to the Bronze Age and beyond. Wattling is
a way to build walls by weaving long flexible sticks in and out of upright
posts. Hazel, which is pliable and grows naturally long, is a good
species to use for wattle. It is also the preferred wood used by
straw bale builders to pin bales together.
Daubing is the method used to weather proof the wattle
with a mixture of clay, earth (sand), straw and manure.
The upright poles are usually around 4-6 inches thick, straight
with their ends charred in a fire (see bottom left) and buried about 8-12 inches
deep. Charing the wood that will be buried below the ground
protects the wood from rotting.