The author guides the reader through the development of thatching, the materials used including imported ones and the artistic work that creates the charm and beauty of a thatched roof. There are extensive chapters giving a host of practical tips for those living in thatched houses, including the advantages and disadvantages, maintenance, fire precautions, costs, insurance, etc. A glossary reveals the many unusual terms used by the thatcher and there is a list of useful addresses for further advice. The Complete Guide to Living with Thatch contains a wealth of practical information and advice for all those who live in or who are contemplating buying a thatched house, old or new. It also provides a unique reference guide and record of the hundreds of attractive thatched villages and curiosities - many of them illustrated - to visit in the British Isles. A summary of thatching worldwide is also given. This book will delight all lovers of the countryside and those interested in our rural heritage.
The author was born in Dorchester, in the heart of Thomas Hardy country and the great novelist and poet himself painted a portrait of the author's mother when he lived at Max Gate. Michael Billett has lived with his Australian wife and two daughters in many parts of Dorset including a restored eighteenth-century thatched cottage. His interests include architecture, antiques, wine and most sports, especially equestrian ones. A doctor of philosophy, he has written several books on countryside matters, including Thatching and Thatched Buildings, Thatched Buildings of Dorset, A History of English Country Sports, Highwaymen and Outlaws and Farmhouses and Cottages.