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For centuries, the construction method of wattle and daub has been used to construct buildings.For Shakespeare’s lifetime, the Tudor style of house became famous for this form of construction because Tudor homes featured exposed beams held together in the wattle and daub style. For the uninitiated, however, you may not know what constitutes a wattle or a daub, or how this method of construction was accomplished.

Here today to answer these questions and share with us not only how the process was completed for Shakespeare’s lifetime, but what methods modern preservationist use when recreating this method on conservation projects that try to save old buildings from ruin is our guest, and expert in wattle and daub, DrTony Graham

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Dr. Tony Graham holds a Master of Science in the Conservation of Historic Buildings from the university of Bath, writing his thesis on historic preservation with wattle and daub. Tony and his wife founded Tony Graham & Co., a business specialising in the analysis and repair of historic buildings.

More about Dr. Tony Graham

I’ll be asking Tony Graham about:

  • Are there any surviving records of named people who were known to have been good at this craft during Shakespeare’s lifetime? 
  • Was wattle and daub construction well insulating for a house or would there also need to be interior insul​t​ation added to a home?
  • Were all buildings constructed this way in the 16-17th century, or were there other options?
  • …and more!

Books and Resources Tony Graham recommends:

Ronald Brunskill, Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture

Paula Sunshine, Wattle and Daub

Materials and Skills for Historic Building Conservation by Michael Forsyth, chapter by Tony Graham on Wattle & Daub 📚

Wattle and Daub, Craft, Conservation, and Wiltshire Case Study by Tony Graham (free to read online)

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Tony Graham & Co

There’s more details inside. Here’s what’s available for this episode:

  • Diagram of Wattle and Daub
  • Example of Staves
  • Tony’s house (wattle and daub)
  • Illustrated diagram of staves and withies
  • 15thC illustration of a man “lopping and topping”
  • 15thC illustration of a man plastering a building
  • Video of wattle and daub being done
  • Diagram of panels used in construction of wattle and daub
  • Illustrated example of how curves and archways were accomplished using wattle and daub
  • Wattle method being used as a fence
  • Quote from Shakespeare’s plays that reference wattle and daub
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That’s it for this week! Thank you for listening! I’m Cassidy Cash and I hope you learn something new about the bard.

I’ll see you next time!