Clements Community Primary School, Haverhill.
‘The Hideaway’

Named by the children at the school ’The Hideaway’ is set in a beautiful spinney on the schools ground. The uprights, handrails, ramp spindles and wind braces all came from a couple of Sweet Chestnut tree’s that we felled locally. The Willow that we used to weave the panels was also sourced locally and cut down especially for the build.

We cut all of the joints for the uprights and waney edged Chestnut wall plates on our framing bed in the woods. The chestnut planks used for the wall plates came from a very large tree that was available through a local sawmill.

The uprights sit on concrete slabs that have compressed hardcore beneath them. All floor joists and rafters are made using stress graded pine, and we also used pine for the decking. The ‘boss’ at the ridge was carved out of Oak by Tim. He created a spiral that has eight sides for each one of the main rafters to sit plumb on, looking a bit like a wizards hat! We used Douglass Firr waney edged planks for the roof.This is a more cost effective option than Cedar shingles, and really works with the rustic feel of the structure. We had larger planks of Douglass Firr planked from the same tree for the internal benches.

The benches built to sit outside the structure were made using off cuts from the Chestnut wall plates and Chestnut logs.

Building an octagonal structure in this style made it a really interesting project, and extremely rewarding to look at it in such natural surroundings.