Historic

There are thousands of earth building sites across the world. Some of the historic earth building sites I have visited are described on the following pages

Europe

UK

The south west and part of the north west of England are home to many earth buildings, constructed mainly from Cob.

Cob barn. Cumbria, UK

Spain

Convento de San Juan. Ambel, Spain

Convento de San Juan. Ambel, Spain

I conducted much of my PhD work in Spain, in northern Spain around Zaragoza, and in southern Spain around Granada.

In October 2004 and November 2006 I visited northern Spain. In the area around Zaragoza, there are a range of historic rammed earth buildings, dating from the Muslim period of Spanish history and later monumental Christian buildings.

In January 2006 I toured the historic rammed earth buildings of southern Spain. Here the famous monumental architecture such as the Alhambra is surrounded by thousands of vernacular rammed earth sites. The constant warring between Muslim and Christian forces in the early Medieval period led to the construction of hundreds of rammed earth fortifications, leaving a rich history of sites to study.

Portugal

In 2010 I attended a conference in Coimbra, Portugal. There is a rich history of earth building in Portugal, from historic Moorish castles to 19th century private houses.

Germany

Haus Rath. The tallest rammed earth building in Germany

Haus Rath. The tallest rammed earth building in Germany

In October 2008 I attended the Lehm 2008 conference in Koblenz, Germany. This was a fantastic conference and we got to see many interesting rammed earth buildings in Western Germany.

Africa

Morocco

Kasbah Caid Ali, Asslim, Morocco

Kasbah Caid Ali, Asslim, Morocco

In March 2008 I visited Morocco, to learn earth building and plastering skills from Manfred Fahnert of Lehm Express. Each year Manfred takes professionals and students from around the world to Kasbah Caid Ali to restore parts of the Kasbah and to learn more about earth building.

Asia

Ladakh

Rammed earth crack repair in northern India

Basgo Fort. Ladakh, India

A short field trip to Ladakh in northern India was undertaken prior to a conference in the region in late October and early November 2006.

 

Nepal

A new rammed earth hotel under construction in Kagbeni, Nepal

A new rammed earth hotel under construction in Kagbeni, Nepal

During May 2008 I travelled to Mustang and the Annapurna region of Nepal. Here, rammed earth is a traditional technique, found in many historic monastaries. I met rammed earth builders.

Bhutan

In 2010 I was invited to Bhutan, as part of a World Bank organised conference looking to mitigate dangers caused by natural disasters in Bhutan. Bhutan has a high proportion of rammed earth buildings and it was very interesting to learn Bhutanese rammed earth building techniques.

Bangalore