It looks like a Steatoda grossa - those light chevrons on its back are characteristic although they don't always show up well. It's a close relative of the Noble False Widow, Steatoda nobilis, which elements the press were getting so hyperventilated about last year. While we have a few S nobilis around the back of the house where I live, I haven't seen any of these - I understand from other comments on this blog that they tend to make their webs lower down near the floor rather than at height, and keep themselves to themselves.
There's more about it here:
Many thanks for your post. There seem to be quite a few of these in my loft, generally in the insulation between the joists, which fits with your comment of them living near the floor. I've been doing a lot of maintenance in the roof recently and few of these have rolled out towards me. I'm not particularly scared of spiders but a couple have made me jump so was interested to find out what they were and if they bite (mind you the loft is full of old fibreglass insulation - far worse than any spider - so I’m well covered up!!).
Kind regards, Henry
I've rarely come across spiders when rooting around in the loft, no doubt I'd jump too if one suprised me. The place seems to be more popular with wasps. Bites are rare but tend to happen when the spider feels physically threatened eg. it's prodded or become caught up against the skin in clothes. Check your work gloves if you leave them lying around up there!
I will remember your advice!! There do seem to be lots on insect nests also but no residents yet. A bumble bee nest was fairly horrid. Looked like somebody had emptied a part melted family sized bag of malteezers into a section of insulation. All good spider food I guess. I'll be happy when I've finished up there.
Thanks again, Henry