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COTTAGE MADE OF COB

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The National Trust has completed a summerhouse in Devon made from cob, a mixture of mud, straw, water and wood on stone foundations. The £11,000 one-storey building sits in the grounds of the 550-year old Marker's cottage in Broadclyst and is just 4m across.

'The building is more expensive than you might expect because it is a very labour-intensive process and is affected by the weather, ' said NT historic buildings expert, Hugh Meller. 'The principle behind it was to demonstrate that cob is a building technique that did not go out with the ox plough. You can build up to three storeys high.'

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