What is ‘pug’?
Rechner Cottage is often called ‘Pug Cottage‘, but where does the term come from? ‘Pugging’ is a construction technique, used to create walls. It is a variation of wattle and daub construction, a method which has been around for over 6000 years. It’s still used today and is becoming popular again as a sustainable method of construction.
In wattle and daub construction, the wattle is made by weaving thin timber or straw to create a lattice. This is then infilled with the daub, which has three components – a binder, which holds the mix together (eg. clay or lime), an aggregate to give bulk and stability (mud, sand crushed stone) and a reinforcement agent (straw, hair, hay) to help hold the mix together and control shrinkage. A mixture of lime and water is often painted over the top to create a seal.
How is pug different?
In areas where substantial timber was unavailable, pioneers’ cottages and other small buildings were frequently constructed with light vertical timbers driven into the ground. (In the Rechner cottage a variation called German Fachwerk is used. A solid timber frame is infilled with vertical, horizontal and diagonal pieces of timber.} The gaps were stopped with a kneaded clay and grass mixture known as ‘pug’.