THE traditional art of thatching is being used to carry out repair work at Cosmeston Medieval Village.

The village, one of the Vale's leading tourist attractions, is a living history attraction with costumed guides, living history events and re-enactments.

Councillor Gwyn John, who came to see how the thatching work was progressing, said: “I am very proud that the project is going from strength to strength. It’s great to see these buildings are being maintained for future visitors and that traditional crafts like thatching still survive today, as it is essential that skills like this should never be lost as its part of our cultural heritage.”

Thatch roofing is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as wheat, straw or water reed, layering the materials to protect the inner roof from water damage.

Cosmeston's master thatcher James Davies said: “The use of thatch for roofing began in the Bronze Age. Thatched cottages and farm buildings became common throughout rural Britain for many hundreds of years after.

"Thatched roofs were practical as they were warm in winter and cool in summer and the materials were easily sourced locally. This meant materials as varied as sedge, flax, water reed, grass and straw were commonly used. Many of the thatching techniques used in the medieval period are still used today.”

Cosmeston is the biggest reconstruction of a village in Britain and is set in the year 1350, with the reconstructed buildings on the actual foundations of the original structures. It is one of the few places you can visit to learn how the ordinary people in the countryside lived in medieval times.

Steve Latham, country parks and commons manager, said: “We have been very fortunate to generate income from various external sources to help secure the maintenance and longevity of these buildings and thanks to staff and volunteers the site is looking great.

"If people are in the area it is well worth a visit to discover more about our Welsh life during the medieval period.”