I never expected thatched reed roofs in Holland and yet almost everywhere we went, especially in the countryside, we saw them. Some were all thatch, others half-thatch and half-tile. I think today they do it for tradition, but in the past it was the cheapest and most readily available roofing material. I’m guessing that the thatch roofing experts today make a lot more money than the ones in the past!
This is a beautiful thatched roof farmhouse in Holten in the province of Overijssel. The thatched roofs are very thick and neatly trimmed off around the edges. I would love to see one actually under construction. It must be a time-consuming process but looks wonderful when finished.
Most of the common homes had a combination thatch and tile roof with the thatch on the top half. The thatched part was always capped the same way, with a dark red tile mound that ran the length of the ridgeline.
Many homes had this “camelback” style design. When I asked about it the explanation was simply that the larger part of the home with the high roof used to be an attached barn for animals. Most of course have now been converted into part of the living quarters. Can you imagine bedding down in the same house with the cows and pigs?
View all Holland Travel Sketchbook Drawings by Roland Lee