The (re)construction of Building A from Thirlings in Gyrwe’s farm at Jarrow was built between 1994 and 1997.
The project aimed at providing the local museum with an illustration of the rural scenario of Northumbria at the time of Bede by means of a scientifically-informed experimental building strictly adhering to the available archaeological data. As for virtually any scholarly reconstructions, the procedure of reconstructing itself provided an exceptional range of information and research questions, ranging from the amount of material needed for the construction of the building to its structural problems and the labour force and time that were necessary to complete it.
Trenches of the same size as the ones defining the perimeter of Building A at Thirlings were excavated by hand in Gyrwe to test the most likely early medieval layout methods. 31 upright oak timbers were positioned in the trenches according to the excavation plan, and 5 were added to them in the gaps where the archaeological record was thought to be missing. The elevation was constructed with walls made of a core of wattle covered by daub and limewash, and two small windows were opened on one of the short sides of the building. The structure was covered with a pitched thatched roof with 66 ash poles resting upon longitudinal rafters, in turn supported by 7 internal upright timbers. The floor of the building consists of pressed clay, and an hearth is placed in the area where the windows are opened.