Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 10:20 UK

Iconic Globe's roof re-thatched

Thatching work in Shakespeare's Globe
Re-thatching the Globe's roof will take four weeks. Image by Nick Budden

Work to replace the thatched roof of the iconic Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London has begun.

When it was built in 1996, the replica of the original theatre became the city's first thatched structure since the Great Fire of 1666.

Master thatchers Phil Campbell and Kit Davis, who worked on the replica, will tend to the roof with their teams.

Workers will use 800 bundles of sedge for the thatching process and 10,000 English hazel spars to cover the roof.

A new chemical treatment for the thatch, a specialist sprinkler system and 600 litres of fire retardant fluid will ensure the thatching remains safe from flames.

The work is expected to be completed in four weeks and the theatre will remain open through the re-thatching.

The Globe opened for the public in 1997.

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