Previous Index Next
Page 22
(previous) (Page 000022) (next)
 
8 PRIMITIVE FORMS OF BUILDING [CIL

huts are the most primitive of the space-enclosing and covering
buildings. Conical huts of branches fixed in the ground and
tied together at their upper ends were used fifty years ago by
agricultural labourers during harvest, and also by shepherds and
goatherds: if required to be more than merely temporary, they
were covered with earth, boughs, or strawl.

At the present time, the best-known of these buildings are the
Wigwam-shaped huts of charcoal burners, which are in widespread
use in Europe. The kind of hut in use in the neighbourhood
of Sheffield has been described by Mr Thomas Winder as follows :
‘ They are built of a number of thin poles laid together in the
form of a cone; the feet are placed about 9 in. apart, and they
are interlaced with brushwood. A doorway is formed by laying
a lintel from fork to fork, and the whole is covered with sods laid
with the grass towards the inside, so that the soil may not fall
from them into the hut. A “lair” of grass and brushwood is
formed upon one side and a fire, often of charcoal, is lighted upon
the hearth in the threshold2.’

In a handbook to T he Historical and Et/mograp/zical Depart-
ment of Skansezz, the author, Mr Axel Nilsson, after describing
rectangular huts, states that Mr Winder’s ‘description almost
exactly tallies with what we know of the cone-shaped charcoal-
burners’ huts used in other parts of Sweden.’

In South Yorkshire the writer has found a charcoal-burners’
hut of a somewhat less primitive type than that described by
Mr Winder. Three poles, erected in the form of a tripod, formed
the principal framework: they were not tied or fastened together
in any way at their summits, but held by the notches of their
twigs, and their lower ends rested on the bare ground. On these
three poles, acting as a frame, other poles were laid, close together,
overlapping somewhat at their apices, and forming a cone of poles
of a diameter of 9 ft. on the ground at the base. The height inside
was 6 ft., which was just high enough for a man to stand upright in
the centre of the hut: the measurement on the slope outside is
9ft., so that the elevation of the hut is, roughly, that of an equi-
lateral triangle. A covering of sods was laid on the poles, with
the grass downwards and the whole pressed together, so that no
rain could get through. The conical kitchen-huts (kok-skalen), of

1 Dictionary of the Architectural Publication Society, 5.72. Hut.
2 Builders' journal, III (1896), p. 25.

Previous Index Next