A traditional Welsh clom cottage with a wickerwork chimney


This is a clom cottage built in 1750 in the Aeron Valley, Wales. Clom (like cob) is a mixture of clay and fibre, in this case marsh grass. Horse hair and lambís wool were often mixed in too. The horse hair gives the walls of the cottage an unshaven appearance. The roof is thatched in wheat straw with a base coat of gorse and turf. The cottage has a crogloft (below right), a traditional sleeping platform. These were once common in West Wales, as were daubed wickerwork chimneys like the one below (left).


The walls are protected with a traditional limewash and the oak crucks and roof structure are all original and untouched since the eighteenth century. The large timbers were more than likely salvaged from a French ship wreck from the nearby coast. It was common then to use ship wreck timbers in coastal areas, like the eelgrass cottages of Læsø in Denmark. The clom cottage is included in the natural homes holiday collection in our Facebook natural building group.