Developer hires traditional craftsman to finish two properties off with reed ...

Two new-build homes that will set buyers back up to £473,500 have been topped with eco-friendly thatched rooves.

Property developer, Bovis Homes, have topped two newly built homes in Wells, Somerset, with the traditional craft for the first time. 

They hired a master thatcher Nigel Bunce, 49, to top the properties using reeds, showing that the historic feature is still very much in demand.   

Thatching, the craft of building a roof with materials such as straw and reeds, has been used on homes for hundreds of years.

Buyers will have to fork out either £473,500 or £460,000 if they want to live in one of the two thatched homes.    

Property developer, Bovis Homes, have topped two newly build homes in Wells, Somerset, with the traditional craft for the first time

Property developer, Bovis Homes, have topped two newly build homes in Wells, Somerset, with the traditional craft for the first time

They hired a master thatcher Nigel Bunce, 49, (pictured) to top the properties using reeds, showing that the historic feature is still very much in demand

They hired a master thatcher Nigel Bunce, 49, (pictured) to top the properties using reeds, showing that the historic feature is still very much in demand

Thatching, the craft of building a roof with materials such as straw and reeds, has been used on homes for hundreds of years

Thatching, the craft of building a roof with materials such as straw and reeds, has been used on homes for hundreds of years

Thatching is a century old tradition, and the rooves became typical of traditional rural scenes across the UK. But its use gradually declined from the end of the 1800s - eventually being thought of as a sign of poverty.

A renewed interest in thatching then began around three decades ago and it is now seen as a symbol of wealth, with many homes in affluent areas like the Cotswolds now seen sporting the eco-rooves. 

Thatched rooves are also said to be popular among people interested in preserving historic buildings and using more sustainable building materials.

The eco-friendly building method has been used widely over the course of the last three centuries in Britain.

Nigel, who thatched the Bovis Homes properties, is one of roughly 1,000 master thatchers in Britain and began learning the craft 31 years ago

Nigel, who thatched the Bovis Homes properties, is one of roughly 1,000 master thatchers in Britain and began learning the craft 31 years ago

Buyers will have to fork out either £473,500 or £460,000 if they want to live in one of the two thatched homes

Buyers will have to fork out either £473,500 or £460,000 if they want to live in one of the two thatched homes

The eco-friendly building method has been used widely over the course of the last three centuries in Britain and acts as good insulation

The eco-friendly building method has been used widely over the course of the last three centuries in Britain and acts as good insulation

Mick Arnold, construction director at Bovis Homes, said how this is the first development where Bovis has used thatch to roof a property and praised the work done by master craftsmen Nigel

Mick Arnold, construction director at Bovis Homes, said how this is the first development where Bovis has used thatch to roof a property and praised the work done by master craftsmen Nigel

The tradition of thatching and how it is done

Pictured: A taditional thatched cottage

Pictured: A taditional thatched cottage 

Thatching is a centuries old tradition in Britain, with picturesque thatched cottages often associated with rural English scenes. 

The process involved harvesting, drying and layering vegetation such as straw and water reed to create a thick waterproof roof. 

Thatching is employed around the world, and thatchers tend to use locally available materials. 

In Fiji for example, they use palm leaves to thatch structures. 

While in England, thachers use materials such as straw, water reed, rushes and heather - packing it together in densley packed layers.

These layers trap air inside,

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