It's London's only thatched roof, and it is on a reproduction of London's oldest theatre: the Globe which dates back to Shakespearian times. The open-air theatre is based on the descriptions of the original design from 1559 where Shakespeare worked and presented his plays. The reproduction was built in 1996, funded by Sam Wanamaker, who dedicated 20 years to its creation.
But it's time for some restoration work so the original Master Thatchers have come back with a team of ten men to work on the iconic roof for the next 4 weeks. They will use 800 bundles of sedge (a grass-like plant from the Norfolk Broads), 10,000 English hazel spars, 2,500 feet of liggers (thatching strips) and 600 litres of fire retardant fluid.
The original Globe Theatre burnt down in 1613, But thatch roofs had already been banned in cities because they were so flammable. They remained a common and useful mode of roofing in rural areas.