Log building history

Log Building

Where did it all begin?

Log building as a construction method and art-form has been around for centuries. It’s origins were in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. As a trade it has a long established history…

  “By stacking tree trunks one on top of another and overlapping the logs at the corners, people   made the “log cabin”. They developed interlocking corners by notching the logs at the ends, resulting in strong structures that were easier to make weather-tight by inserting moss or other soft material into the joints. As the original coniferous forest extended over the coldest parts of the world, there was a prime need to keep these houses warm. The insulating properties of the solid wood were a great advantage over a timber frame construction covered with animal skins, felt, boards or shingles. Over the decades, increasingly complex joints were developed to ensure more weather tight joints between the logs, but the profiles were still largely based on the round log.”

Weslager, C. A. (1969), The Log Cabin in America, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University Press.

old_log_cabin

An ancient log cabin built using the same methods we use today

These skills mostly skipped over mainland United Kingdom on their way to frontier America. Medieval Brits tended to build with local stone, and hardwood

timber frames, not having the access to the abundance of fast growing coniferous forests of Scandinavia or the much established softwoods to hand in the land of the free. But since the evolution of commercial forestry and the introduction of suitable species into the UK this has been changing…this is where British Log Cabins steps in. Using modern handcrafted log building techniques to provide log homes around a once deprived country.

The beauty of the log cabin is not only in its aesthetic form but in its function, log building has come a very long way since its inception, but our need for shelter remains as important as ever, even if we take it for granted in the modern era.

The essence of log building is to use the materials around you, that are close at hand, to build shelter in order to survive. Due to the way in which the trade has evolved this raw and natural need for shelter is evident in even the most elaborate log homes built today. The materials we use are the same as they were 400 years ago and the techniques are merely refined versions of those used by generations gone by.