History of Thatch

  • Cox, J.  and Letts, J.B. (2000); Thatch: Thatching in England 1940-1994, English Heritage Research Transactions: Research and Case Studies in Architectural Conservation, 6; London: James & James
  • Fearns, J. (2004); Thatch and thatching (2nd edition); Princes Risborough: Shire Albums
  • Letts, J.B. (2000); Smoke Blackened Thatch: a unique source of late medieval plant remains from Southern England; London: English Heritage and The University of Reading
  • Moir, J. and Letts, J.B. (1999); Thatching in England 1790-1940, English Heritage Research Transactions 5; London: James & James

Regional Thatch

  • Billett, M. (2006); English thatched churches; London: Robert Hale
  • Cox, J. and Thorpe, J.L. (2001); Devon Thatch; Tiverton: Devon Books

County Guidance Documents

Methods & Materials

  • Angold Dr. R.R. & Sanders, M. (1998); Longevity of Thatch in elation to the Surface Properties of Straw; Final Report for the Partners in Technology Project. DoE reference CI 39/3/286
  • Henry, A. (2000); Fact or Fiction; in Context; 90, pp.12-15. Click here for pdf.
  • Letch, S. (2012); Ensuring supplies of suitable thatching straw; in Conservation Bulletin; 69, pp.28-29; also available at
  • Letts, J.B. (2007); Growing Straw for Thatching: a guide; The COHT (Conservation of Historic Thatch Committee)
    This booklet describes the characteristics of good quality thatching straw, and provides a concise guide on how to grow straw that will perform well on a roof and command a premium price from thatchers. ‘Growing Straw For Thatching’ is the first publication to bring together data and considered opinion from many sources in order to provide reliable information and guidance on all stages of the production process. Although aimed primarily at new and inexperienced growers, it will also be of interest to experienced growers as well as thatchers, home owners and conservation officers. £7.50 (inc P&P in UK Mainland Only. Overseas please email) Available from John Letts.
  • Quantrill, K. & Letts. J. (2010); ‘Thatching with Long Straw’, in Building Conservation Directory 2010; available from
  • Wood, C. (2002); ‘Taking sides in the thatching controversy’; in Context; 73, pp.xx-xx; also available from

Maintenance, Repair & Conservation


Legislation & Planning

Building Regulations

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