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It was claimed this method extended the life, of any thatching material, by many years.
The rain was said to wash the clay into the thatch, not off.
This was spread on each course, down to the line of fixings; the succeeding course bedding down into the wet material. This method lingered on in North East Scotland, until at least the 1930’s. Firstly, it provides a very quick covering, in the Highlands and many of the islands of Britain; where fine windless days are at a premium.
Secondly, it is used to repair standard thatched roofs.
So that around 6 to 8 inches (150 to 200mm) of the thatch remains visible.
This practice dated from at least the late eighteenth century.
These handfuls of material are always bent over at the top.