Put the logs crosswise!

The long houses of the Viking era were built with columns which stood in rows right up and down the house.

During the Viking era a new construction technique came to Norway - log notching. It was more than likely in the 1100s that the technique first became known in Fet and the first log cabins were built.

Log cabin

Log cabin techniques in Norway

This technique was known in Norway during the Viking era. The oldest definite trace we have of the technique is from the Gokstad ship from about 900. The remains of several log cabins from 1050-1100 have been excavated in Trondheim and it appears that the technique was not new. The technique achieved dominance in the eastern part of Norway because it was here that long straight pine and spruce trees that fit well with the technique grew. This technique achieved total dominance in this part of Norway from the 1100s onward.

Log cabin building technique came from the east

500 log cabins from about 950 AD have been found in the Russian city of Novgorod. The technique spread from Russia, in the 1100s log cabin building became the dominant method of construction in the Nordic countries (except Denmark), Poland and the Baltic.

Older than that

The remains of log cabins have been found in Germany and Switzerland dating from about 1000 BC, but the technique wasn't very advanced.
In Finland, Poland and Russia log cabins dating from 400 to 800 AD have been found and in Japan there are log cabins, that still exist, that were built around 750s.

Translated by Steven Mohn, December 1999

Updated January 1st 2000 by The Local History Resource Centre, Fet, NORWAY