Build diary – week twenty-three, chains, drains and decking, the last Roundhouse blog

The Roundhouse

Over one year ago, I approached Whistlewood and offered to write a short series of articles that would introduce the Roundhouse and provide regular updates on its progress. We published the first piece on 25 November. Back then I underestimated two things…

  • How late even the best organised, wonderfully staffed project can run
  • The sheer majesty and beauty Chris, our partners and volunteers would achieve

With this last build diary post, Chris will give us a good taste of the achievement. And if you want to see it for yourself you have three options:

So, without further ado, over to Chris for the final instalment.

By Chris Gregson – 29th October to 2nd November.

That’s it, the builders have gone! The guys finished their bit on Thursday lunchtime leaving us with a beautiful, if un-finished, building. I say un-finished as there’s still lots for us to do, finishing the decking, drainage, flooring, lots of painting, buying and installing the log burner, sorting out the solar power system, clearing and landscaping the site, etc. the list is extensive.

Still a working site

The finishing touches going in were nice to see, the galvanised guttering, downpipe and chains. We can get creative with the containers for the bottom end of the chains, any ideas would be very welcome.


We had a few gallant volunteers up during the week (thanks to Rob, Roger, Helen, Graham and Katherine) to help with the decking which now looks fantastic and, apart from the ‘fiddley bits’ around the poles and fascia, is almost complete.

Fabulous decking

Finishing off

For Whistlewood this project has been a massive undertaking requiring a lot of effort by many volunteers who gave their time both on-site and, in the background, fundraising, dealing with the accounts and managing those events we could continue with.

On a personal level, I’ve learned a lot about dealing with builders on a daily basis, gained new skills in, strawbale building, laying shingles, lime and clay rendering and, of course how to create a floor using 9000 wine bottles!

Although this is the last Roundhouse blog please keep an eye out on Whistlewood’s social media for future volunteering opportunities, events and workshops. We still need lots of help to finish the Roundhouse particularly with painting and clearing up.

Thanks again to those who contributed their time and/or materials to this epic build, we think the results speak for themselves. Come along to the grand opening (1st December) and see for yourselves.

Chris Gregson


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