An experimental study of the pushover behaviour of a bamboo portal frame structure is reported. The objective of the study is to begin to establish an engineering basis for non- or marginally engineered bamboo construction appropriate for vernacular construction. The prototype frame used grouted bar column base connections and multiple single bolt culm to culm connections to affect the lateral resistance of the portal frame. The results of the pushover test revealed unanticipated column base behaviour. Therefore, a tangent study of the behaviour of single- and four-culm grouted bar column bases was performed. Through these experimental studies, the physical behaviour of the prototype structure was established. Finally, an analytical model, suitable for simple engineering environments is demonstrated and validated using the experimental results.