Medivial Pavilions- LONG

Maureen Martinez Maureen_Martinez at
Mon Feb 19 13:31:31 PST 1996

     From Jenny Winslow:
     If you look closely at many of the illustrations that show "round" 
     pavilions, they often have many poles and ropes.  Using multiple poles in a 
     'circular' pattern usually indicates that you have a x-sided pavilion 
     (8-sided, 10-sided, etc).  I know of no way to use multiple poles to 
     support a truly round design.
     I have seen two "round pavilions" in real life. Both of these used a rigid 
     ring to support the walls.  The only pole used was the center pole.  The 
     walls were supported at the top by the ring, and pulled out at the bottom 
     by stakes.  Making a "sided" pavilion, eliminates the need for the support 
     ring, and your walls are supported by the poles at the top and stakes at 
     the bottom.  Note that both of the round pavilions I saw were small in 
     floor area.  They seemed to be limited by the design of the supporting 
     I suspect that often artists found it easier to illustrate "sided" 
     pavilions as round.  (or maybe the pavilions had many more sides that 8 
     making them look even more round).  
     I believe that either round or octagonal could have been possible in 
     period.  In real life, I believe the octagonal design to be easier to 
     Generic Pavilion Suggestions - (regardless of design)
     1. Think HARD about the setup and take down.  Make this as easy as 
     possible.  If it takes you three hours to set up your pavilion, you are 
     less likely to want to use it.  
     2. Keep pole length manageable.  Our longest pole length is 8 foot.  For 
     the longer pole requirements, we use sections poles that are put together 
     using a metal sleeve.  (make sure the sleeve is long enough to support the 
     joint well).   It will make transport much easier.
     3. Think about the advantages of attached walls versus walls that are 
     separate.  (Separate walls may be more versatile and easier to clean, but 
     usually require more setup time.)  Everyone seems to have their own 
     preference here.
     4. If you do go with detachable walls, make sure there is LOTS of overlap 
     at the top where your dagging is.  (I recommend at least 6 inches).  You 
     will thank yourself on that windy, rainy night when the rain does NOT blow 
     into your pavilion.
     5. Use pretreated canvas!!  You cannot match the waterproofing of a 
     pretreated canvas, no matter how much Thompson's waterseal you use.  (Also, 
     remember waterproofed canvas is more flammable, so do be careful)
     There are a few mail-order sources for different types of canvas if you 
     find your local fabric store too pricey.
     6. Flare the walls of your pavilion, regardless of the design.  If you are 
     making a square or rectangular design, you will have to 'miter' the corners 
     (i.e., add a triangular section) to allow for the flared walls.  What this 
     means is that if your pavilion is 12 x 12 (like one of ours), your 
     effective floor section is, say, 16 x 16 (flaring 2 feet per side).  This 
     will give you more usable area, and keep the rain off a little better.  
     (A little trigonometry never hurt anyone!)
     7. Reinforce the grommet holes with added layers of canvas or even leather 
     sewn down.  This gives the grommet more to hold onto.  Sewing down a small 
     cross section for the grommet location also distributes the loading on the 
     8. Use overlapping seams for your construction. (like on your blue jeans).  
     It sounds like a lot of work, but it is worth it.  
     You will probably spend several hundred dollars before and many hours on 
     this before you are through.  Do it right, and you will have a pavilion 
     that will serve you well for years.
     Umm...I guess that's enough babbling for now.
     If you have additional questions, drop me a line at 
     Maureen_Martinez at
     Good luck!  
     Jenny Winslow
     MKA Maureen Martinez

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Medivial Pavilions
Author:  ansteorra at at Dell_UNIX
Date:    2/19/96 1:50 PM

Gordon asks:
I have been researching the subject of medivial pavilions to prepare to 
design an build one of my own.  So far I seem to find details on round
pavilions, square pavilions, and rectangular pavilions.  But I was thinking
of making an octangonal pavilion.  So are octagonal pavilions period?
Should I build one any way?  Would it realy matter? (except to the
police?)I mean it's not that hard to convert an octagonal design into a round
Other questions:  I have seen designs that use a center pole and designs
that use a frame.  Can anyone relate experiences that would indicate that
one method is prefered over the other?
Of course any other input is apprieciated.

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