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Author Topic: The Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings Visit
Ken Hume
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Post The Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings Visit
on: April 6, 2016, 16:47
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On 04th April 2016 a delegation from The Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings visited South Oxfordshire to learn about dendrochronology from Dr. Daniel Miles at Mapledurham and then the following day visited working woodlands in South Oxfordshire together with ancient timber-framed buildings in the nearbye villages and hamlets under the leadership of architect Hugh Conway-Morris RIBA (Trustee Oxfordshire Woodland Group).

The group visited the OWG woodland cruck building project to examine the methods employed to select, fell, extract and convert timbers for use in traditional timber-framed building construction. The delegates were keen to try their hand at hand hewing logs and examine the various techniques, tools and signature marks left on timbers.

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A nearbye large traditional queen strut barn in the process of being converted to form residential accomodation was examined.

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This revealed that a large number (8) of old cruck blades had been reused as raking strut wall braces when the current barn was framed and raised centuries ago.

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The reused cruck blades exhibited lap joints where previously the cruck mantles (tie beams) had been located.

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The group then travelled on to visit another small queen strut barn in the next village where once again they discovered that more (4) reused cruck blades has been used to form raking strut wall braces.

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An adjacent barn was also examined and this revealed that it was a 18 / 19th century cranked inner principal barn also featuring raking strut wall braces.

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Afternoon tea and cake was enjoyed in an ancient cruck house [dd 1468] -

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- then on to examine a neighbouring 3 bay raking strut aisled barn

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It would appear the the use of raking struts to brace long walls and gable frames was the practice of choice in 18th century barns in South Oxfordshire.

Ken Hume

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