Animation showing the different elements of the (re)construction of “Thirlings, Building A” in Gyrwe, in comparison with the excavation plan. Image of the plan: O’Brien & Miket 1991, 63, fig. 3.

The information, research questions and challenges that the (re)construction of “Thirlings, Building A” provides are significant for the investigation of sixth/seventh century CE timber architecture in Britain and on the continent.

The building has been used for events and re-enactments since the late 1990s and is still in optimal conditions. Apart from limewash painting and thatch adjustments, no major restorations have been necessary so far. We can hypothesise with some degree of certainty, given the different orientation, that the lighting system of Building A at Thirlings was different and took advantage of sunlight entering from one of the long sides of the structure. Wattle-cored walls – found on the continent, or at Yeavering and Cowdery’s Down – are not directly documented in Thirlings. Archaeologists only report evidence of planks between the perimeter timbers and daub fragments from Buildings B, C, and N. Clay floors are well documented in contemporary timber structures on the continent or in Britain (e.g. at Yeavering) and their presence must not surprise: aesthetics is not objective, and styles and taste change across different times, contexts and areas. Yet, in Thirlings the floor level is lost, and we also do not know whether the space was partitioned and where a hearth was possibly located. The internal and external pits suggest that a pitched roof is the most likely option. Apart from that, we know nothing about the height and appearance of the elevation. Contemporary furniture from the continent suggests skilled woodwork decorations.