Equipped with a basic kit, year 6 pupils had to construct a cruck cottage complete with a thatched roof, and then supply it with appropriate extras. It was difficult for some to appreciate how basic things were in these days, but once they had been disabused of the notion that they could build beds with brightly coloured duvets; and that toilets were at best a basic bucket, they started to make progress.
By using card to represent the stone hearth a fire pit was created and some then managed to build a tripod from which they could hang their cooking pot. Others created a winter scene where the animals could share the house with the peasants, whilst others made a basic straw mattress, which was laid onto a platform to act as a bed.
Some concentrated as much attention on the outside – again it was difficult initially for some to move away from the idea of a neatly manicured lawn, but soon basic vegetable gardens, chicken coops and log piles were added to the effect. Fences were built using whatever timber was available as were wattle screens.
Mr Baker set up a small group to make a wattle and daub screen. They had to weave the wattle hurdles initially and then mixed clay, animal dung, straw and water to make the daub, which the un-willing volunteers then pushed into place with their hands; 'It’s okay, it wasn’t really dung, we used sawdust and some plaster to represent the daub. A small group were working on the Tithe Barn – all villagers had to pay a tenth of their income to the church and this was stored in the Tithe Barn – again some excellent attention to detail was in evidence here.
A great deal of learning was evident throughout the morning – well done Year 6 and thanks to Mr Baker for leading such an interesting session.