INTRODUCTION

TREE-RING DATES FROM OXFORD TREE-RING LABORATORY

Since 1986 we have published summary details of every building dated in the journal Vernacular Architecture. These include a short list of timbers dated along with the last ring date, sapwood compliment, felling dates, and a short description of the building or object dated along with references. All of the various date lists from previous 16 volumes of VA have been edited and updated into a common format, and have been combined alphabetically by county then parish order. Where a building has been published in a number of different date lists, they have been combined into a single entry. Each entry is referenced with the publication details. Certain entries have been updated, either with new or additional material or by revising felling date ranges in light of new sapwood estimates - these are highlighted in red. Anyone wishing to use or quote these dates, particularily those yet to appear in print, are invited to consult with the Laboratory to ensure details are the most up-to-date and presented correctly.

All timbers dated are of oak, Quercus sp, unless otherwise specified. Complete sapwood, and therefore precise felling dates, are signified by winter (C), spring (¼C), and summer (½C). These refer approximately to the periods October to February, March to May, and June to September respectively, but since this depends on complex relationships between climate and changes in wood growth, it is subject to considerable variation, both between trees and from year to year. In some instances it can be difficult to distinguish between summer and winter-felled timber where the terminal growth rings are very narrow, and some care must be used in comparing these two felling seasons. Where rings were too narrow or distorted to be measured, these were instead counted and signified by ‘NM’, and the heartwood/sapwood boundary is identified by ‘H/S’. Superscript numbers, e.g. ‘²’, denotes two or more samples of the same felling date and sapwood complement. Unless otherwise stated, a 95% confidence limit of 12-45 rings for northern counties, 11-41 rings Wales and the border counties, and 9-41 rings for Southern counties have been used to determine the estimated felling date ranges where sapwood was incomplete (Miles, D H, 1997 ‘The interpretation, presentation and use of tree-ring dates’ VA 28, 40-56). Imported timber from the Baltic has used a 90% confidence level of 9-23 rings. Dates presented in the comments are tree-ring felling dates, not construction dates, although the latter would most likely to be within a year or two of the former.