Common REED provides the most durable of all materials. It may be the most expensive, but it is said that it has a life of up to a hundred years, provided the roof pitch is forty-five degrees or steeper (Jenkins. 1976). For centuries the reed thatcher (medieval Latin arundinator) has been a different profession from the straw thatcher (coopertor). This reed is usually known to thatchers as Norfolk Reed. Around Abbotsbury, in Dorset, where the thatching tradition was strongest, it is known as Spear (Nash & Nash). When reeds were in short supply in Cornwall, the leaves of YELLOW FLAG were used as a substitute (Barton. 1972).

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