Round Timber Framing in the UK

Outdoor classroom at Sustainability Centre in South Downs National Park, U.KOn 5/13/10, I got this email:

Dear Lloyd,

My name is Jack I’m 28 and a carpenter, I live in a town called Bridport in the south west coast of England. I’ve been a fan of your building books ever since a friend showed me a copy of Shelter in Spain when I was helping him build a cob house. I had never seen or heard of such structures before I went to help in 2003, He was using your book as a guide to build his house (which has been extremely successful); since then your other books have been and still are a true inspiration to my love of natural earth born structures. I have been working for a conservation building company for the last 5 years and want a change, something that will lead me to constructing unique and innovative buildings.

Left: interior of outdoor classroom at Sustainability Centre in South Downs National Park, U.K.

I have been lucky enough to be accepted into a roundwood timber framing course taught by Ben Law ( Ben is developing new techniques of jointing roundwood poles and seems to be the only person in the UK to be doing such a thing, so I thought you might be interested in seeing the plans. I am on the course which is being held at the Sustainability Centre ( for the next 5 weeks so will be able to send you photos/updates if you are interested.

Keep up the good work.

Jack Draper


This week, Jack sent a link to his website (, with a slideshow showing construction of this outdoor classroom at the Sustainability Centre in the South Downs National Park, U.K. The poles used in framing are all Port Orford Cedar, from within a few 100 yards of the building site.

PS Coincidentally, last month I wrote the forward to Ben Law’s forthcoming book,  Roundwood Timber Framing.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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