Video shows the reconstruction of an Early Medieval Turf House

This time-lapse video shows the reconstruction of an early medieval turf house in the northern Dutch town of Firdgum.

The turf house project was coordinated by the University of Groningen and is part of the PhD research carried out by Daniël Postma on building traditions in coastal areas of the Northern Netherlands.

Postma also published his book, Het zodenhuis van Firdgum – Middeleeuwse boerderijbouw in het Friese kustgebied tussen 400 en 1300, which details the design and construction process of the turf house and presents an entirely original perspective on the architectural development of the Northern Netherlands farmhouse.

The reconstructed turf farm replaces the farmhouse that partially collapsed in 2013 following a roof leak. Thanks to the renewed efforts of many volunteers, the reconstruction of the turf house began in 2014. The last roofing work was completed in October. The stable, which is nearly 17 metres long, is characterized by a 1 metre-thick carrier wall made of layered turf, as was customary throughout the region from the fifth to the early eighth century. It is also the first archaeological reconstruction with an arch-shaped roof construction, which clearly distinguishes it from the rectangular trusses of existing historic farmhouses.

Photo by Frans de Vries / University of Groningen
Photo by Frans de Vries / University of Groningen

The turf house forms part of the archaeological support centre of the Yeb Hettinga Museum in Firdgum and can be visited during the Museum’s opening hours. Click here to visit the museum website.

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