Researching Historic Buildings in the British Isles

The scientific dating of standing buildings Posted on Over recent years, our understanding of building history has been transformed by the use of scientific dating techniques. This has been particularly significant for the innumerable modest buildings of Britain — houses, barns, mills, etc. However, dating the ordinary buildings of town and countryside is much more difficult, especially for those of medieval date, since the regular use of datestones only began at the end of the 16th century. This circle has now been broken by scientific dating methods. The principal dating technique is that of dendrochronology or tree-ring dating, with radiocarbon dating applied to a few difficult cases. Both these methods provide dates for timber-framed buildings, or for the timber components of stone or brick buildings; tree-ring dating is normally applied to oak although in principle other species can be dated. The method of thermoluminescence, which identifies the firing date of bricks, has also been applied occasionally. It is more often applied in archaeological contexts, for dating such objects as hearths and kilns.

Avoid planning restrictions by ‘bridging the gap’ between old and new buildings

Dendrochronological research Historic buildings dating Our call out service begins with a survey to identify potential timbers and, where agreed to proceed, includes the specialist drilling of 12mm cores from the timbers for analysis. Sampling usually takes between hours, the analysis and results then normally take weeks although this wait can sometimes be fast-tracked at an additional cost. Dendrochronology results are presented either as PDF files or printed full colour written reports, which generally include a floor plan and photographic record of sample locations.

Building dates are normally also published in Vernacular Architecture. This means that in the unfortunate event that samples cannot be dated you will incur no further charge.

Geograph Britain and Ireland is a web-based project to collect and reference geographically representative images of every square kilometre of the British Isles.

The pub has been called the best known of all Thames pubs, the timber-framed building dates back to and is of traditional construction with a thatched roof. According to the Thames Pilot, The Barley Mow was described in Parkers notes, Its high overhanging roof is thatched, the casements admit just enough light to heighten the interior effect. The brick floored kitchen, or may be a parlour, is delightfully snug, and this Hotel has been enlarged to meet modern requirements but the additional part is not shown as it spoils the effect.

The Barley Mow was notably featured in chapter 18 of Jerome K. Jeromes novel Three Men in a Boat, If you stay the night on land at Clifton and it is, without exception, I should say, the quaintest, most old-world inn up the river. It stands on the right of the bridge, quite away from the village and its low-pitched gables and thatched roof and latticed windows give it quite a story-book appearance, while inside it is even still more once-upon-a-timeyfied.

It has been, at times, a farmhouse, a hunting lodge, and a holiday home. Today it is managed by English Heritage, Boscobel is on land which belonged to White Ladies Priory in the Middle Ages, and at that time it was extra-parochial. The priory was described as being at Brewood, which is in Staffordshire. Brewood is the parish, and the house is just south of the small village of Bishops Wood.

Although technically still a civil parish, Boscobels small population means it shares a parish council with Donington. The house is just north of the M54 Motorway, the priory and its estate, including the farmhouse site, had been leased from the Crown by William Skeffington of Wolverhampton at the Dissolution of the Monasteries about a century earlier.

Structural Timber Repairs

The tutors Harriet Devlin has been involved with studying and rescuing vernacular buildings for decades. She has worked on timber buildings in Norway, Eastern Europe and the UK, and undertook a large project in Northern Ireland to reuse derelict vernacular buildings which received a Europa Nostra Award. Harriet currently runs a postgraduate course in Conservation of the Historic Environment at Birmingham City University and leads practical conservation courses on the use of lime in historic construction as well as the understanding of traditional building materials such as timber and brick.

Duncan James has been recording and analysing buildings over the last 20 years in Herefordshire and the surrounding counties, specialising in timber-framed structures. He has worked on Lottery funded projects linked to tree-ring dating of houses in Pembridge, Weobley, Whitbourne, Eardisley and Abberley in which whole groups of structures in single settlements were investigated, some in great detail. Similar projects without tree-ring dating have been carried out in Bromyard and Ledbury.

From there we headed over to see “The Shambles”, an old street in York with overhanging timber-framed buildings dating as far back as the fourteenth century. This small street is the best preserved medieval street in the world.

They give the county a unique feel and help give each small village or hamlet a sense of history and belonging which is passed down through the generations. Many building are rightly protected by legislation to help guide the current inhabitants to their care and responsibilities. There are also a few things timber framed property home owners need to keep an eye out for. Homeowners also need to be aware of the Anobiidae family of beetles which also feed and breed in the structure of the building.

This can happen for a variety of reasons including inappropriate modern renders. Homeowners need to take action as soon as possible to avoid lasting damage. Timber buildings would often stand on their own with earth all around. Problems can appear if a modern extension or patio is added which doesn’t allow for proper drainage, leaving water to seep back into the timbers.

It sounds obvious, but need to to be taken into account when fitting and maintaining fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Residents also need to make sure they have sorted out a safe escape route from first floor rooms in the event of a fire as some building with have window that are too small to or not accessible to climb through.


About Vernacular architecture The mass of the population before the Industrial Revolution worked the land. Few small houses date back to the Middle Ages. Styles vary by region, reflecting local materials and and needs. Timber was the usual material for small and medium-sized houses in areas where good timber was available.

A Timber-framed bibliography list compiled by R Haddlesey Aberth, J., Confronting Famine, War, Plag This is a bibliography I have compiled for those interested in late medieval timber-framed buildings in England and the Black Death.

It turns out to be a dazzlingly elegant two-storey-high wooden colonnade stretching the entire length of the building; it will be the first thing pedestrians see as they cross into Barangaroo from the city side. Not only do the exposed CLT ceilings and walls, made from pine and spruce, feel warm and inviting, but they exude a pleasant resinous scent a change from the acrid smell of freshly poured concrete.

But it’s when you see the core of the construction — the timber lift shaft and load-bearing walls — that you realise this is a building apart from its concrete foundations built entirely of CLT for floors, ceilings and walls , and glulam for beams and posts. I’m the first journalist to visit the site, and I notice something else besides the absence of concrete odour: Because the mass timber panels, prefabricated in Austria, are craned, slotted and screwed into position with next to no waste, there’s far less construction noise — and, I’m told, much less back-and-forth of cement trucks and other heavy vehicles, thus lightening traffic congestion in local streets and reducing noise.

CLT and glulam structures of this size typically require only a handful of “timber installers” to build and are completed within a shorter time. International House Sydney will be finished next May, three months earlier than an equivalent concrete building. What’s more, International House will have superior thermal and acoustic properties compared to most of its neighbours.

Evans is among a small club of architects in Australia who love designing with timber, especially on large-scale projects. He just loves its look and feel. In his inner-city Chippendale office a few weeks earlier, he lifted up a piece of CLT the size of at least two bread bins. A study by Austria’s Human Research Institute shows that children taught in timber buildings experience less stress and concentrate better; timber-built retirement villages promote tranquillity, according to studies in the UK and Finland; and in Japan, positive benefits have been noted in neurological clinics constructed from wood.

People are “innately drawn towards wood, which elicits feelings of warmth, comfort and relaxation …” concludes a study by Planet Ark published last year. Jonathan Evans says there is now a push in the UK and Germany for homes for the elderly to be built out of wood.

Black and White Buildings in the County of Herefordshire

The directory below links to further details for each of them, and a few Essex Days Out Tips. Now a museum, guided tours get you to see much more of the building the dungeons and the roof! Re-opened in Spring after a major renovation, and well worth a visit. Epping Copped Hall is a fine Georgian mansion that is currently under restoration, following decades of neglect and vandalism. Seeing the restoration work and the bare bones of the mansion is amazing!

The use of timber as a structural material is not new, in fact dating back many centuries. As time passes, developments in the various types of timber Oak was typically used for timber-framed buildings during the medieval Table 1 shows the evolution of the use of timber in buildings. For more information on these historic forms of.

It features a rare combination of ancient and modern historical treasures. Almost all of the buildings in the town centre are timber framed, some dating back to the 16th century. Luckily Quedlinburg did not suffer too much damage during WW2 and the DDR authorities quickly recognised it of great national interest and put preservation orders on timber framed houses. It is a pleasure to walk through the narrow alleys and streets around the town square and to see all the colourful painted old houses richly decorated with flower boxes.

In the innermost parts of the town a wide selection of timber framed buildings from at least five different centuries are to be found, including a 14th century structure one of Germany’s oldest. In an extension of the Harz narrow gauge railway was completed, making it easy to reach the higher plateaus of the Harz Mountains.

Real Homes

Sign up to our newsletter How old is your house? Uncovering a home’s history is one of the joys of owning it, and working out which era it belongs to will help influence the way you care for and improve it. Dwellings make up by far the largest proportion of listed and historic properties and while houses older than the 15th century are relatively rare, those from the late 16th century onwards survive in significant numbers.

Weobley is one of Herefordshire’s famous ‘Black and White Villages’, blessed with a large number of beautiful timber-framed buildings dating to the 15th century. Look for the ruins of 12th-century Weobley Castle and the 13th-century church of St Peter & St Paul.

The earliest part of the building is sixteenth century, the property is Grade I listed to reflect its importance as part of the Flatford Mill group and its significance in the work of the artist John Constable. The Cottage was restored in the s after a revival of interest in John Constables paintings and it has been renamed Willy Lotts House because this is the name Constable used in his paintings. It is owned by The National Trust, the cottage is located just downstream from Flatford Mill in the heart of Dedham Vale, a typically English rural landscape.

The cottage takes its name from its resident at the time John Constable did his paintings, at that time the house was known as Gibeons Farm. There is another Ufford Hall in Cambridgeshire, Ufford Hall is a fine example of the timber-framed manor house, incorporating the medieval core of an earlier open-hall house. It is located on the outskirts of Fressingfield, a village in Suffolk, which is 12 miles east of Diss, Norfolk.

At least twenty raised-aisled houses have been identified in the area, forming a characteristic group, the house is approached by a tree-lined drive and stands on a once fully moated site, of which two substantial arms remain to this day. The Hall has attracted the attention of historians, such as Pevsner and Sandon. The latter is the last major addition to the house, which remains largely unaltered from the original, Ufford Hall takes its name from its owner at the time of Edward I, Robert de Ufford, father of Robert de Ufford, 1st Earl of Suffolk.

It was subsequently acquired by Henry de Sancroft and remained with the Sancroft family until the eighteenth century, perhaps its most notable owner was Dr. William Sancroft, the 79th Archbishop of Canterbury, who was born there in

Tiny Timber Frame Cabin Raising