“Sedge (Cladium Mariscus) for Ridges on Thatched Roofs.”

P1040048Recently I collected some bundles of sedge from Somerton in Norfolk.  This will be used to form the top saddle which will seal the top of the ridge.  Sedge is cut from about April through to September after the water reed harvest is finished.  The plant is very tough and has to be handled with respect because it can give the unsuspecting person a nasty cut.  Many Thatchers especially in East Anglia will use sedge to form all of the ridge whereas we prefer to use straw for the edges of the ridge and sedge only at the apex.  Cutting sedge is hard physical work and after a sufficient quantity has been gathered it is often transported on small flat bottomed boats to a Staithe (a cargo loading area usually on a riverbank) ready for the Thatcher to collect.  Some of the sedge collected here went on a roof in Shropshire the following day.