Since moving to the consultancy side of thatching, Keith has been involved with a mixture of interesting projects. These can be categorised as training, publications and specifications, and project consulting.

 

Training

Over the last 4 years Keith has run Thatch Awareness seminars at Knuston Hall supported by the craft-training department of the Countryside Agency. These courses were aimed at improving the understanding, appreciation and conservation of thatch by professionals such as Conservation Officers, Surveyors and Architects.

He is currently a Tutor for thatch awareness Courses run by the Planning and Conservation Department, Essex County Council and has tutored on day courses run by Margo Teasdale, Senior Conservation Officer for Hampshire County Council.



Publications and Specifications

Keith has co-authored an article with John Letts (Botanical Archaeologist, Reading University) entitled `Thatching with Long Straw’ and published in the Building Conservation Directory 2003

Keith wrote the specification and criteria sections for a Thatching and Material Quality document for the Aylesbury Vale District Council, which now forms part of their Supplementary Planning Guide (SPG).



Project Consultancy

The Manor House, Alford, Lincolnshire.

 

This was a £1.5 million restoration project, with the thatching work starting in May 2005 and successfully completed in October of that year.

 

 The original Long Straw thatch was removed in the late 1960's and the roof repaired and re-thatched with Water Reed. The aim of the project was to repair a building that had become dangerously unstable over the years and re-establish the original roof covering of Tradition Long Straw. The Alford Civic Trust intends to run the refurbished building as a Museum, Education Centre, Conference and Function faculty.




The Old Clergy House, Alfriston, East Sussex.

 

The Clergy House was the first building acquired by the National Trust in 1896 and the roof was later thatched in water reed by the Trust. In October 2005, work commenced to restore its original covering of traditional Long Straw.

The old water reed coat of thatch remains as a base for the new covering of Long Straw and as an important record of the on-going history of the building. The water reed thatch also contains colonies of the rare Leptodontium gemmascens a British Red Data Book Vulnerable species of moss.

The National Trust, in partnership with English Nature, has put in place an action plan to protect and preserve the moss and encourage it to re-colonise the new thatch.

Project participants were:

         National Trust

         English Nature

         Richard Glover (Charted Surveyor)

         K J Quantrill (Independent Thatching Consultant)

         John B Letts (ArchaeoBotanist)




Berg Cottage, Barkway, Hertfordshire


 

Berg cottage is a National Trust property being re-thatched in Tradition Long Straw. The project was managed for the Trust by K J Quantrill and Oxley Conservation.




Chiltern Open Air Museum - Arbofield Cruck Barn

 

Keith is a consultant and historic interpreter for the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Buckinghamshire and Celtic Harmony, Celtic Iron Age Education Centre in Hertfordshire.

The thatching of the c1500 Arbofield Cruck Barn at the Museum was a unique project as it involved the use of materials and thatching methods, which would have been used during the period of its original construction. Some of these materials and methods have not been used for over a hundred years.