Wattle & Daub: Craft, Conservation & Wiltshire Case Study
3.6 Daub
4.1 Soils
4.1.3 Strength
4.2 Dung
4.2.2 Lignin
4.2.3 Urine
4.3 Fibre
5.4.2 Renewal

Title Page Previous Next | Wattle and Daub in Wiltshire >Documentary Evidence

6.1 Documentary Evidence

Information on the history of building in Wiltshire is increasingly comprehensive, with new material frequently published. A primary source remains the Victoria County History of Wiltshire. Surveys, such as by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) and books focussing on specific towns or villages are also available. Other sources investigated were the records of the archaeology department and museum objects of Wiltshire County Council Library and Museum Services, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (together with their journal Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine) and private archaeological businesses in the county. Unfortunately, these all stop short of providing documentary evidence of any detailed construction methods and so give little insight into the use of wattle and daub beyond stating where it was used as infill.
However, the county is fortunate in having the Wiltshire Building Record (WBR), an archive invaluably organised by location, accompanied by three books by Pamela Slocombe published in association with The Record. These books provide an invaluable insight into the development and regional variation of Wiltshire’s buildings. Unfortunately, they do not provide specifics on wattle and daub, other than stating that during the 17th century a few buildings appear to have used decorative brick nogging as the original infill, often in a herringbone pattern.[125]
A review of the WBR records were found to be limited with respect to wattle and daub in that only a cursory mention is provided, if any. However, the record was useful in identifying buildings that represented likely candidates for the retention of the material and so formed a basis for organising the fieldwork.

Figure 44. The geology of Wiltshire. From Geddes (2000).
Figure 45. Predominant building materials of Wiltshire. From Slocombe (1989).
Figure 46. Woodland density shown by circles at 10 times map scale, with Wiltshire and the west mapped by a 10km grid and south eastern districts by county. Amesbury (marked ‘A’) was unique in owning woodland in other parts of the county. From Rackham (1976).
Figure 47. Density of coppice woodland, showing Wiltshire rich in underwood. From Rackham (1976).

[125] Slocombe (1988), p.9.