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Shakespeare's Globe

In 1996, the theatre became the first thatched building in London since the Great Fire 330 years earlier, and was a crucial component in Sam Wanamaker’s vision to strive for a faithful reconstruction of Shakespeare’s legendary theatre. Today, it is recognised as one of the most famous thatched buildings in the world.

Thatching remains a popular method of roofing in rural parts of England; however it is regarded as a dangerous material in cities. London’s first Building Regulation, the ordinance of 1212, banned the use of thatch to try to avoid the rapid spread of fire from one building to another. However, with the combination of a new chemical treatment for the thatch, together with a specialist sprinkler system, Shakespeare’s Globe was able to secure the necessary approval to use authentic materials in the rebuilding of the Globe theatre.