Both are about the same age, circa 1600 or thereabouts, and both have new thatched roofs. In both cases, this was a total strip off and replace, not an overlay. One house has a straw thatch and the other a water reed. The reed is imported from Turkey, and not a native Norfolk reed. One roof is now 4 years old, the other is 10 years old. Imported reeds, especially from Asia, are becoming increasingly common but I’ve seen examples of them not having the anticipated lifespan that would be expected.

It is often said that water reed is much better than straw. Time will tell how long these two thatches last before repairs are required, especially to the ridges, and ultimately before the next re-thatch. I wonder whether the native straw will outlast the imported reed..?