Hezlett House gets a new thatched roof

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Traditional skills are being kept alive with the re-thatching of Hezlett House in Castlerock.

The roof of the historic National Trust cottage was in poor condition and thanks to buildings grant support from NIEA and a legacy gift the charity have been able to bring in a Master Thatcher to carry out essential repairs.

Toby Edwards National Trust Manager for Hezlett House told The Coleraine Times: “Our routine inspection and survey of this Grade A listed building revealed that the straw thatch was in poor condition. Thanks to funding from NIEA Built Heritage and a legacy gift, Eddie Black from Countrywide Thatching has been appointed to carry out the essential repairs.

“We’re currently stripping away the old thatch and replacing with new Turkish water reeds.

“The external appearance of water reeds is similar to straw but should last around 7-8 years longer.

“Maintenance of the thatch is essential to ensure that the house is protected and maintained for the enjoyment of future generations. Thatch was once the roofing material of choice, today, few remain.”

Hezlett House (also known as Liffock House) is significant for its style of construction ( cruck-truss and thatch) and is a rare survival of its kind.

Dating to the 1690s it is one of the oldest vernacular houses in Northern Ireland.

Visit Hezlett House while the work is taking place and see conservation in action throughout August. You can also follow the progress on the charity’s facebook page www.facebook.com/DownhillNationalTrust