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Author Topic: Cob Cottage
Posts: 169
Post Cob Cottage
on: January 12, 2014, 21:02

Oxfordshire farmer Michael Buck spent £150 to construct a small [300sq ft] summer house in the garden of his house in Wolvercote.


The former art teacher drew up plans for the house on the back of an envelope. He didn’t need planning permissions since this was classified as a summer house. He spent two years gathering natural and reclaimed building materials then it took him an additional eight months to construct the house by hand. No power tools were used.

To make the cob walls, sand, clay, water, earth, straw and water were mixed to pruduce a stiff mix that is then laid into wooden shutters set on top of a simple stone foundation. Traditionally building workers and oxen trampled the mixture and this process was known as cobbing. The layers of cob are progressively built up and allowed to harden before the shutter is raised and the next lift of cob applied.

Michael Buck salvaged floorboards from a neighbor’s unused skip and he retrieved the windscreen of an old lorry which he converted into a glass window. The walls are painted with a mixture of chalk and plant resin. The roof is a simple wooden frame thatched with straw from nearby fields.

The use of cob is a traditional Oxfordshire building technique that John Steane explains in further detail in his book "Traditional Buildings in the Oxford Region c1300 - 1840" providing details of The Thatched Cottage at Harwell [pp24-27] which unfortunately has now been demolished following a roof collapse.


Posts: 3
Post Re: Cob Cottage
on: January 30, 2014, 19:38

Hi, chilterns , I've seen this and read a number of articles recently on this build, think its a great idea, and well with in the reach of even the most unnatural DIYer.

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