ALLENSMORE, Church House (SO 50468357)

Felling dates: Summer 1552

Purlins 1551(27½C2); Collar 1551(11½C); Principal rafters 1514(2), 1503; Post 1508(+29½C NM).  Site Master 1357-1551 CHAM (t = 10.6 SALOP95; 10.3 WALES97; 10.3 MASTERAL)

Church House, Allensmore, Hereford, is a one-and-a-half storey box framed building of two bays. The wall frames are three panel high and the roof trusses have queen strut trusses with double purlins. Dating commissioned by the owners. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 177)

AYLTON, Court Farm Barn (SO 658 377)  

Felling date: Winter 1502/3

All timbers (9/12). Post 1481(h/s); Wallplates 1458, 1502(21C); Brace 1485(h/s); Cruck spur 1497(20); Crucks 1477(h/s), 1492(14+2NM), 1493(11+2NM), 1502(29C). Site Master 1375-1502 AYLTON (t = 10.5 CRADLEY; 9.6 GLOUCMH; 9.3 LBG-T10.

This Grade II*-listed medieval tithe barn is on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register. The barn now has six bays, containing five pairs of cruck blades; the two northern pairs of crucks (not dated) are thought to be later. An eighteenth-century cowshed is attached to the southern end of the building. Dating commissioned by English Heritage. M. Bridge, ‘Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from the Barn, Court Farm, Aylton, Herefordshire’, RDR, 1/2007. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 189)

CRADLEY, Village Hall  (SO 7366 4711)

Felling dates: Spring 1530, Summer 1530, Winter 1530/31, and Spring 1531

Dragon beams 1530(16C, 11+21C NM); Transverse beams 1530(38C, 24¼C), 1529(26½C), 1502(+7 NM to H/S); Jetty bressumer 1529(30¼C); Posts 1500(H/S), 1487(H/S). Site Master  1347-1530  CRADLEY (t=14.9 MASTERAL; 14.2 SALOP06; 12.0 WALES97)

Cradley Village Hall is an L-shaped building of two storeys with exposed timber framing on three sides and a plain-tiled roof. The jettied upper storey projects on the north, south, and west sides over original moulded bressumers, curved brackets, and octagonal shafts on the angle-posts. Although the first-floor interior has been removed, the dragon beams and transverse beams survive in the west end of the hall. The five-bay main range is generally assumed to have been built in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, possibly for use as a church ale house or manorial court, while the projecting north wing is a later addition, perhaps concurrent with repairs to the main range undertaken in 1674.  The hall later became a boys’ school and now functions as the parish hall; it is currently a Grade II* listed building. Worthington, M J, and Miles, D W H 2004  The Tree-Ring Dating of Cradley Village Hall, Cradley, Herefordshire, Centre for Archaeol Rep, 10/2004.

DINMORE, Dinmore Manor  (SO 486 502)

Felling dates: Winter 1603/4, Spring 1604, and Winter 1604/5

Queen struts 1599(28, 39); Queen post 1594(30); Principal rafters (2/4) 1595(34), 1569(h/s+25½C NM); Purlins 1603(37C, 40C); Brace to collar 1596(25); Tiebeam 1603(25¼C); Re-used tiebeam 1317(h/s); Post 1604(38C); Stud (0/1). Site Master  1371-1603  DINMORE1 (t=7.6 BEDSTONE; 7.4 WALES97; 7.3 HABBERLY)

This house has received considerable high quality antiquarian ‘improvements’ in the past. However the original plan-form, L shaped with a porch in the angle, together with details of some beams, kitchen fireplace and roof trusses suggested an early 17th century date for the building (or re-building ) of the main house. This date has been confirmed by the felling date of 1604/5 obtained from the roof trusses.  The roof of the north wing used one fourteenth-century beam as well as timbers felled in 1604.  Dating commissioned by J Dallimore on behalf of the owner. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 107)

INKBERROW, Thorn Farmhouse, (SP 0102 5573)

Felling dates:  1535-40East cruck blade 1535-40.  Site Master  1419-1508 tfhw1 (t = 5.54 MC19; 4.93 BURNHAM; 4.92 SHERNAME).

Thorn Farmhouse is a substantial ‘H’ plan timber-frame, brick and stone structure beneath a handmade clay tile roof. The hall range (central section) is 1½ storied with the pair of cross wings (north and south ends) of two stories (Plates 1 and 2). A hearth below an offset to central brick chimneystack heats the hall, with two further stacks within the southern cross-wing; the northern cross-wing is unheated. The building is much altered and externally displays evidence of phases of building, alteration and repair from the 17th to 20th centuries. There is an attached lean-to store and porch to the western elevation. The majority of the timbers used in the timber frame construction are elm, notably with the exception of the cruck frame, which is of oak.

The former farmhouse stands in its own grounds extending to around 3.5 hectares, with former farm buildings to the north and south.

 Only one timber from the primary phase of the building was suitable for analysis, this was the east cruck blade, from what appears to be the centre open truss of a large cruck framed hall house. This timber has produced a 90 year chronology spanning the years AD 1419-1508.  Once the sapwood from a secondary sample was taken in to account, a date range of AD 1535-40 was assigned for this timber (Table 1 & 2). (Worthington)


KINGTON, Hergest Court (SO 281 554)

(a)     Re-used timbers

Felling dates:  Summer 1267

Door post (re-used rafter) 1266 (17½C); Braces  (re-used roof timbers) 1266 (28C); 1263 (2); 1237 (H/S); 1223; Rafter in situ 1209; purlin (re-used unidentified timber 0/1).  Site Master 1078-1266 HERGEST1 (t=11.4 STOKE2; 9.7 SOUTH; 9.7 MASTERAL)

(b)     Undercroft ceiling

Felling date: Spring 1307

Ceiling planks (2/4) 1306(24¼C); 1267 (H/S).  Site Master 1167-1306 HERGEST2 (t=9.5 SALOP95; 9.4 STOKE2; 8.2 NORTH)

(c)     Pentice extension to Undercroft

Felling date range1485-1515

Beam 1474 (H/S).  Site Master: 1406-1474 hc3 (t=6.5 SALOP95; 6.4 GIERTZ; 6.2 PENIARTH)

(d)     Building C: E-W core

Felling date range1619-1621

Studs (1/2) 1598 (6 + 22C±1 NM); Principal posts 1589 (H/S); 1585 (H/S); Purlin 1538.  Site Master 1434-1598 HERGEST3 (t=8.4, SALOP95; 7.8 MASTERAL; 7.5 NORTH)

(e)     Building B: NW range

Felling datesSummer 1665, Spring, and Summer 1666

Longitudinal beams (3/4) 1665 (23¼C; 25¼C); 1665 (24½C); Rail 1665 (50½C); Window cill 1664 (9½C); Stud 0/1. Site Master: 1451-1665 HERGEST4 (t=8.2 MASTERAL; 7.8 GOLDING; 7.7 EASTMID)

(f)      Building D: Staircase Tower

Felling dates: Winter 1665/6

Staircase string 1665 (17C); Stud in blocked doorway 1665 (43C); Purlin 0/1; Corner post 0/1.  Site Master: 1564-1665 HERGEST5 (t=5.6 STOKE5; 5.4 SCOTLAND; 5.0 HAFOTY2)

(g)     Building A: Detached Solar Block

Felling dateSpring 1452

Timber re-used as wallplate 1451 (22¼C).  Site Master: 1386-1451 hc30 (t = 5.7, EASTMID; 5.4 GOLEIGH1; 5.4 MC16)

Hergest Court, Kington, is one of the most important medieval sites on the Welsh Marches, not least for its associations with the Vaughans and Welsh poetry.  Built on a naturally defensive site, it is first mentioned in an Inquisition Post-Mortem of 1251.  The earliest phase identified through the dating is the eastern wing (Block G); although the roof had been entirely rebuilt, a rafter was found in situ encased in a chimney stack and dated to sometime after 1220.  Other roof timbers found re-used in the present building produced felling dates of 1267.  A two-bayed timber-framed extension (Block C) immediately to the north dated to 1619-1621, replacing an earlier range of which only the southern door with pointed arch survives as the present front door.  A further northern extension to Block C contains an undercroft with a ceiling comprised of baulks of oak measuring 6” x 30” and dating to 1307.  The structure above the undercroft was further extended to the north by an external pentice between 1485 and 1515.   Both this and the building above the undercroft were finally replaced with the three-bayed close-studded range (Block B) in 1666.  The block to the east of this range, and to the north of Block C was reconstructed, probably in the eighteenth century, with many re-used timbers dating from the sixteenth century.  An extremely fine staircase tower was inserted within Block C, despite conflicting with doorways within block B, it too appears to date from 1666.  A two-storey detached solar block (A) survives to the west, probably dating to circa 1300 although the roof had been reconstructed subsequently.  A re-used timber dating to 1452 may relate to this alteration. Further details may be found in Morriss, R. K., 1995 ‘Hergest Court, Hergest, nr. Kington, Herefordshire - An Outline Analysis and Survey’, Mercian Heritage Series No. 13, and Miles, D W H 2001  The Tree-Ring Dating of Hergest Court, Kington, Herefordshire, Centre for Archaeol Rep, 13/2001. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 81)

LEOMINSTER, 40 Broad Street (SO 495 593)

(a)     North Range (Dairy)

Felling dates / date ranges: Spring 1463, 1466-1505

Purlin 1462 (27¼C); Tiebeam 1465 (11); Queen strut 0/1.

(b)     East range (Galleried Building)

Felling dates: Spring 1499; Summer 1499; Winter 1499/1500

Brace 1499 (24C); Transverse beam 1498 (20¼C); Wall plates 1498 (22½C; 24½C); Principal posts 0/2. Site Master: 1349-1499 LEOMSTR2 (t=8.9 SALOP95; 8.6 MASTERAL; 7.6 GIERTZ)

No. 40 Broad Street, Leominster contains the remains of a courtyard complex bordering the south side of Pinsley Brook and of close proximity to the Priory.  The eastern building is known as the Galleried Building due to the unusual arrangement which includes an internal gallery at first floor level.  This has dated to 1499/1500 and is more fully described in Individual Case Studies (Miles, Joyce, and Bond 1997, VA 28, 102-104). The northern range has been mostly re-built but one truss and bay survive in the same ownership. Like the eastern range, it is of two stories, with queen-strut and collar roof. An interesting feature is the tiebeam which has seven hewing marks surviving on the east face.  Below the tiebeam is a principal storey post set in from the northern wall, again suggesting a gallery, yet the bay retains evidence of substantial soot encrustation, conversely suggesting an open hall.  Two dates were produced: a purlin with a precise felling date of 1463, and tiebeam which did not have complete sapwood was felled somewhat later, between 1466-1505.  The dating was organised by Richard Bond for English Heritage, see Miles, D W H 2001  The Tree-Ring Dating of the Galleried Building and ‘Dairy’, 40 Broad Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, Centre for Archaeol Rep, 38/2001. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 81)

MICHAELCHURCH ESCLEY , Tyn-y-gwynt (SO 296 377)

Felling date range: (OxCal modelled) 1521-1537 (unrefined 1521-1545)

Crucks (3/5) 1521(18), 1504(1), 1486. Site Master: 1375-1521 MLCHRCH1 (t = 6.5 MLCHRCH2; 5.7 MLCHRCH4; 4.5 OGFE)

An impressive and intact single storey stone-walled cruck framed building without an early inserted first floor. The building is aligned approximately north-south and comprises four bays retaining four pairs of cruck frames with associated purlins, and rafters with considerable areas of smoke blackening. The footprint and elevation still reflect that of a hall house/longhouse. A substantial chimney has been inserted apparently in the original cross passage. Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 189)

MICHAELCHURCH ESCLEY, Pikes Farm (SO 2907 3815)

(a)     East end door frames     

Felling date ranges: 1457-87 and 1462-92

(b)     Second phase of hall house         

Felling date: c. 1546

(c)     Parlour range     

Felling date: Summer 1561

(d)     Later window frames      

Felling date: Winter 1590/91

(a) Door lintel 1446(h/s); Door post 1451(2); (b) Chimney lintel 1532(44+13C NM); Longitudinal beam in dairy 1540(14); Cruck (0/1); Ex situ crucks 1529(h/s), 1516; Ex situ plank-and-muntin planks 1483, 1420;  (c) Cross-beams 1561(17½C), 1541(1); Tiebeam 1539(h/s); Studs(0/2); (d) Window sills 1590(24C), 1485; Window head 1557(3), Window mullion 1461. Site Master 1342-1590 MLCHRCH2 (t = 10.6 HEREFC; 10.4 WVT9; 10 WALES97)

A substantial stone farm house comprising an original north-south oriented single storey hall house/longhouse with subsequently raised roof and an east-west oriented two -storey extension on its north-east corner, forming an overall ‘L’ shape. The main section now comprises three bays – the original byre and cross passage, the hall and at the north end the dairy/service room. A substantial chimney and spiral stair, facing into the hall, occupy part of the original cross passage. The east-west extension comprises one large room on each of ground and first floors. A large chimney with spiral stair forms its eastern gable end. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 189)

MICHAELCHURCH ESCLEY, King’s Arms (SO 314 367)         

Felling date: Winter 1535/6

Crucks 1535(37C), 1499(3+33NM), 1497(h/s), 1496(2); Rafter 1502(3). Site Masters 1444-1535 MLCHRCH3 (t = 6.7 NORTH; 6.2 DINMORE; 6.2 MLCHRCH2); 1370-1497 MLCHRCH4 (t = 9.4 MLCHRCH2; 7.6 ABERGVNY; 6.6 WVT9)

A basically single storey stone building with first-floor dormers respecting the footprint of the original hall house/longhouse. The building is aligned approximately north-south with three main ground floor elements – the centre bay retaining two pairs of cruck frames with associated purlins and rafters, the northern and southern ends later. The hall was of medieval type, with a smoke-blackened cruck truss. The building was probably stone walled from the start. Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 189)