Haddenham Wychert Cottage
The cottage was originally built in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, in the 1840s. The cottage was at risk of demolition in the 1970s because it didn’t comply with modern building regulations. It was saved and brought to the Museum, but was in store for many years as we didn’t have sufficient funding to put it back up. Rebuilding started thirty years later in 2007.
The walls are made of a special type of local earth called wychert. Wychert is only found around Haddenham in Buckinghamshire and owes it’s composition to limestone, when mixed with straw and water is creates a concrete like material. The earth walls are built on top of a plinth of limestone blocks called grumplings, these prevent rising damp and allow rain to soak away freely.
The cottage’s reconstruction was carried out by volunteers led by the Museum’s Buildings Manager and with the help of some specialist consultants. The reconstruction was a community project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The building was completed in 2015 and it cost a total of £59,000 to reconstruct. The cottage was a bit of a learning curve because a whole wychert house hadn’t been built since about 1939.
The interior of the building is interpreted to show three different time periods in the buildings history; the 1840s, 1910 and 1977. The ground floor consists of a living room, parlour and kitchen and upstairs there are three bedrooms. The parlour has been left unfinished to show the structure and the different stages of the construction of the building. The toilet was outside in a shed like building.
Haddenham garden was planted in 2020. There is a vegetable and herb garden on one side and on the other side flowers and shrubs that would have typically been grown in a garden like this have been planted.
A Video Tour of Haddenham Cottage
Find out a little bit more about our Haddenham cottage by watching this video – make sure that you’ve got the sound turned on.
Haddenham Heritage Fusion Project
Haddenham Heritage Fusion was a very special project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Your Heritage programme from 2013-2014. The grant enabled us to fund a Community Learning Officer to get the local community involved with Haddenham Croft Cottage.
During the project
- 70 volunteers learnt historic building techniques and our 2014 visitors helped build a traditional wychert wall.
- 7 community groups from all nationalities joined in the project, sharing their own skills in return.
- 2 historically inspired handcrafted quilts were made involving no less than 13 quilting groups!
- 2 celebrations with over 120 community members including the original cottage owners.
- 2 Bay City roller posters, 1 historic smelling washing line, 1 historic settle, 2 antique pillow cases were just a few of the artefacts donated and acquired by the local community.
Haddenham Cottage Image Gallery