Old Hut, Ranworth
Photographer: Payne Jennings, John (1843-1926)
Medium: Photographic print
“Old Hut (Ranworth). – This is a relic of the ‘Daub and Wattle’ period of our forefathers, when the commoner cottages were made simply and economically of brushwood and clay. Many such cottages (invariably of one storey) are still to be seen, among other places, at East Ruston and Dilham. The corner posts, roof tree and main timbers were of rough unhewn timber (guileless of saw or chisel) fastened together with wooden tre-nails. The intervening spaces were then filled in with branches or saplings as thick as a man’s wrist, which were in turn interwoven with twigs or ‘wattles.’ Clay was then carefully kneaded and ‘daubed’ on so as to bring the walls to a foot or eighteen inches in thickness, and these walls were, when dried by the sun, so impervious to wind and wet that they would sometimes last for more than a century. A thatch of brakes, straw, or reed would complete the roof, and a door and one window being added, the cot would be ready for occupation, as the clay floor was frequently an after consideration.”
Letterpress description by Ernest R. Suffling accompanying Plate XIII from ‘Sun Pictures of the Norfolk Broads’.