RJ Matravers – Thatching Services

New & Re-Thatching

The process of thatching and rethatching is a complex process. The roof is viewed by us as a jigsaw puzzle. To minimise work and mess careful consideration has to be given as to where to start and when re-thatching how much to strip before the new thatch is put in to replace the old.

Ridging & Patching

To maintain a thatched roof it is advised that it will need a new ridge and patching every 10-12 years and when this work is carried out the roof will also be generally tidied up, small repairs done, moss removed and the edges of the roof straightened. If the roof has wire netting, this will be removed and on completion of the work, new netting will be fitted.

Timber Roofing, Chimney Rebuilds & Lead Work

During re-thatching work we are able to offer and carry out repair work as required. We are also able to fit fire felt or boards and insulation, the chimneys re-pointed or repaired and any lead work that is required.

RJ-Matravers Ridge in progress
RJ-Matravers Thatch Ridge

Advice & Free Quotation

With many years of experience we are able to offer professional advice on the installation of fire barriers, fire retardant spray and insulation products. We are also pleased to offer a free no obligation quote.

£5 Million Public Liability Insurance Cover With The NFU

Harvesting

We have been harvesting wheat reed for 8 years, every October we drill the fields then tend to our crops until late July.

We still use old fashioned machinery and traditional methods. We cut the reed using a reaper binder which then ties the reed into sheaves. This is then placed into stooks (by hand!) After a few weeks the sheaves are dry enough to be stored in the barn ready for combing.

We have owned our own comber for the last 5 years. Originally, Mr Hurford from Honiton would comb our reed however due to the distance of travelling with such a large machine he was unable to do this anymore. Therefore, we decided the time had come for us to buy our own machine and continue this traditional method. We managed to find one from a Mr M Dray from Devon. The machine took my Dad (who owns an engineering works) about 300 hours to restore to good working order (thanks Dad!) along with the expertise of John Reed.

Mr George Wakely (InThatch) came to see our machine running and we have since become his contractor for combing straw.

We are now in a position to travel around Somerset combing other farmers / Thatcher’s crops. The machine is run by myself and Robert Pike who has many years experience in the trade.

Combed Wheat Reed
Reuben grows his own wheat to insure the most highest quality Combed Wheat Reed as well as supplying other thatchers. The wheat is put through a reed comber fitted to the old threshing machine and once all the seeds are removed the stalks are placed into reed bundles.

RJ Matravers Harvest of Combed Wheat Reed

Water Reed
Water Reed gives a neat finish to a roof and is always said to be the longest lasting material. To ensure we provide the best possible finish we source this material from European countries such as Austria and Hungry.