MONTGOMERYSHIRE


BERRIEW, Lower Cil (or Keel) (SJ 1822 0154)

Felling dates: Winter 1583/4

Posts 1583(21C); Wall plate 1583(27C); Purlins 1581(13), 1551(5), 1519. Site Master 1428-1583 BERRIEW (t = 11.2 GIERTZ; 10.7 LNYDLOS2; 10.4 NORTH)

Lower Cil is a classic expression of the regional house type (cf. Peter Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside (HMSO, 1975), map 30c). It is a three-unit half-timbered house of lobby-entry plan (single central stack with back-to-back fireplaces) with storeyed porch. Architectural features include a post-and-panel partition, windbraces, and stellar chimney. Further details in NMRW. Sampling commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


CASTELL CAEREINION, Tÿ Mawr (SJ 172 043)

(a)     Primary phase

Felling dates: Autumn 1458, Spring 1460

Base crucks 1459 (19¼C, 24¼C); Collars (1/2) 1457 (10½C); Tiebeam 1423; Arcade posts 14252, 1445 (h/s).  Site Master 1346-1459 TYMAWR1 (t=13.1 SALOP95; 9.8 COATSFM; 9.6 FORESTR1)

(b)     Inserted floor N bay

Felling dates: Summer 1593 and Spring 1594

Longitudinal beams (1/2) 1593 (19¼C); Joists (1/2) 1592 (19½C). Site Master 1423-1593 TYMAWR2 (t=7.2 WALES97; 7.0 SALOP95; 6.7 NORTH)

(c)     Hall smoke hood

Felling date: Winter 1630/31

Mantel beam 1630 (23C); Studs (2/3) 1630 (32C); 1604 (10); Corner post 1617 (18). Site Master 1522-1630 TYMAWR3 (t=5.2 WALES97; 5.2 nan2; 4.7 COTTESMR)

(d)     Lower End Extension

Felling dates: Winter 1808/9

Principal rafters 1808 (25C, 29C); Purlins 1808 (21C, 23C); Wall plate (0/1); Wall-brace (0/1). Site Master 1707-1808 TYMAWR4 (t=5.4 WALES97; 5.1 OXFORD; 5.0 ABRGLSNY)

Tÿ-mawr, Castell Caereinion, is an exceptionally fine hall dated to 1459 (Miles 1996b). It is of five bays containing five aisled trusses and one base cruck truss, with the spere truss featuring octagonal arcade posts with embattlemented tops.  It is situated on a steeply-sloping site, with the normal downhill siting, and stands on an artificial platform of hard-packed clay containing small stones.  The hall lies in the centre of the building, flanked to its south by a two-storyed bay of considerable size, and to its north by a smaller bay.  A large timber-framed chimney was subsequently inserted into the upper end of the hall, and the existing floor in the north bay replaced a medieval floor a little later than this, probably at some date in the sixteenth century.  A substantial rebuilding of the house followed, perhaps in the later seventeenth century: the aisles were narrowed and new side walls constructed.  A makeshift partition was built across the spere truss to divide the house proper from the lower end, and at this time or later a floor was built across the hall to provide additional accommodation.  In the nineteenth century the entrance side of the house-end was rebuilt in brick, for the sake of its appearance (Borne and Dixon, 1981). The house is now in a ruinous condition and is soon to undergo a major restoration programme by Cadw.  The object of the dendrochronology was to date the primary phase, thus enabling the proposed reconstruction to be carried out in the light of all available evidence.  Plan and description:  Smith, (1975 and 1988), chapter VI and figs 45-6.  The dendrochronology was commissioned by Mr Richard Avent, Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Cadw.  See Miles, D H, ‘Dendrochronological dating of Tÿ-mawr, Castell Caereinion’ in Britnell, W J (ed) 2001 Tÿ-mawr, Castell Caereinion, Montgomeryshire Collections 89, 43-54. (Miles and Haddon-Reece 1996, VA 27, list 74)

Further to the dating of the main phase at Tÿ-mawr, Castell Caereinion, at 1460 (Miles and Haddon-Reece 1996, VA 27, list 74), restoration work allowed sampling of later features.  Of these, an inserted floor comprising twin longitudinal beams to the upper bay is here dated to 1594.  Of perhaps greater interest is the inserted smoke hood to the hall which produced a felling date of 1630/31. The later flooring over of the hall was sampled but failed to date, but the lower end extension did subsequently produced a date of winter 1808/9  Dating commissioned by R C Turner for Cadw:  Welsh Historic Monuments. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 94)

The dendro-dating of this important base-cruck and aisle-truss hall house has been reported in previous volumes of Vernacular Architecture (Miles and Haddon-Reece 1996, VA 27, list 74; Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 94).  The aim of the programme of tree-ring dating, which has been commissioned by Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments, has been to date each significant phase of the building.  Hall (1460), inner-room floor (1594), and the fireplace hood (1630/1) have now been dated.    Finally the timber-framed, weather-boarded agricultural addition to the south end of the house (probably a hay-store) shown on the 1839 tithe map has dated with a precise felling date of 1808/9.  Although the samples had been processed in 1998 at the same time as the later phases were dated, there were not enough late chronologies available to securely date this phase, and it was only with the dating of Aberglasney House in 1999 that the tentative date could be confirmed (Miles and Worthington 1999, VA 30, list 103).   A full report on Tÿ-mawr, including the dendrochronology, appears in a special volume of The Montgomeryshire Collections (2001), ed. by W. J. Britnell. (Miles and Worthington 2001, VA 32, list 121)


LLANDRINIO, Llwyn (SJ 2460 1683)

Felling dates: Spring 1549, Spring 1552, and Summer 1552

Cruck 1551(16½C); Principal rafter 1551(24¼C); Purlins 1551(19½C, 20½C); Ridge 1548(30¼C). Site Master 1413-1551 LLWYN (t = 12.6 WALES97; 12.3 GWYDWN; 12.2 SALOP95)

A cruck-framed hall-house of unusual plan.  Llwyn has a single-bayed hall set between an upper smoke bay and a lower dais canopy with parlour/inner rooms beyond.  The upper part of the narrow smoke bay (inaccessible until recently) is marked by considerable sooting and charring of the timbers.  The framing of the lower parlour bay is distinguished by very wide plank-like studs.  The date of this single-bayed hall falls within the very narrow mid-16th-century range found for other peasant hall-houses. Plan in Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, fig. 20b. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)


LLANFIHANGEL-YNG-NGWYNFA, Pontrobert, Tyn Celyn range (SJ 112 155)          

Felling date: Spring 1525

Tiebeam 1524(26¼C); Cruck blades 1508(10), 1517(26). Site Master 1375-1524 TYNCELYN (t= 13.3 WALES97; 11.6 GWYDWN; 11.2 NORTH).

A downhill-sited, cruck-framed range adapted as an agricultural building. The apexes of the trusses have been truncated, the eaves raised, and the timber-framed walls clad with corrugated iron, probably in 1911.The two surviving trusses probably defined the passage bay of a peasant hall house. The passage-end truss had posts for a partition and doorway set under the tiebeam. Both crucks were substantial with morticed tiebeams and spurs to the wall posts. Recorded before demolition in 2003 by Ron Gilson, who secured samples for dating; record deposited in the NMRW. Dating commissioned by R. Gilson in association with RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 157)



LLANIDLOES, Old Market Hall (SN 9542 8452)

(a)     Present structure

Felling date range: 1612-22

(b)     Re-used posts    

Felling date ranges: 1540-68 and 1548-78

(a) Posts 1582(1+c 30NMC), 1568, 1589. (b) Posts 1539(12), 1537(h/s). Site Master 1424-1589 LNYDLOS1 (t = 10.8 PENIARTH; 9.5 WALES97; 9.1 GWYDWN)

Llanidloes Old Market Hall is the only surviving timber-framed market hall in Wales.  Open at ground level, with a pitched stone floor, it has a five-bay upper storey raised on the principal posts. It has been much altered over the centuries, the north gable wall was replaced in brick in 1765, and the south gable wall rebuilt in stone at an unknown date. Extensive restoration took place in 1957-9, when the roof structure was replaced. Apart from the principal posts, few ancient timbers survive. Documentary evidence refers to a “Booth Hall” existed in Llanidloes in 1608 with less certain references in 1574 and 1605. Until recent dendro-dating, however, there was no certainty about a building date for the present hall; guesses included ‘medieval’, ‘Elizabethan’ and ‘c.1588-1605’. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)

Five of the six principal posts gave dates. One with almost complete sapwood provided a felling date range of 1612-22, and two others dated to 1600+. The present hall was thus built in the early C17th, at a time when broadly similar timber market halls were being raised on the English side of the border (e.g. Ledbury (Herefordshire) market hall of 1617). Two of the posts proved to be older than the Jacobean building and must have been recycled from an Elizabethan building, perhaps the previous market hall referred to in the documents. C. E. Vaughan Owen, ‘Llanidloes Market Hall’, The Montgomeryshire Collections 61 (1969-70), 58-64. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)



LLANIDLOES, St Idloes’s Parish Church (SN 9538 8468)           

(a)     Nave (Angel) roof          

Felling date: Summer 1538

Arch-braces 1537(21½C), 1519(h/s), 1512(h/s?), 1509; Wall post (1518(h/s); Principal rafters 1484, 1513(h/s); False hammer beam (1/3) 1524(h/s); Carved brackets 1512(h/s) 1520(h/s); Carved figure 1509; Carved shield 1519(h/s); Wall plate (0/1).

(b)     Belfry     

Felling dates: Summer 1593 and Winter 1593/4

Corner posts 1593(34C), 1592(38½C), 1579(17), 1564(h/s); Beam (0/1). Site Master 1384-1593 LNYDLOS2 (t = 11.4 WALES97; 11.0 SALOP95; 10.9 GWYDWN)

This magnificent fourteen bay hammer-beam roof is richly decorated.  Carved angels bearing shields are attached to each of the hammer beams. Those over the former chancel have shields depicting the instruments of the Passion. In the nave, one angel has a shield inscribed with the calendar year A. D. 1542, the opposite angel carries a shield is inscribed ‘2 Feb. 33 Henry VIII’(i.e. 1542). Despite this apparently firm dating, both the date and the origin of the roof have long been disputed. The north side of the roof rests on an elaborate stone arcade of c.1190-1215, undoubtedly brought here from Abbey Cwm Hir after its suppression in 1536 (cf. C. A. Ralegh Radford, 'The Cistercian Abbey of Cwmhir, Radnorshire',  Archaeologia Cambrensis, vol. CXXX (1982),  p. 70). Consequently it is argued that the roof also came from the abbey, the angels and the dates on the shields having been added to mark its re-erection at Llanidloes. To establish a firm date, 15 samples were taken from various parts of the roof, including some of the angels and other carved figures. Only one timber, a moulded arch-brace retained bark edge, providing a precise felling date of summer/autumn 1538 - that is, two years after the suppression of Abbey Cwm Hir. Other samples with incomplete sapwood were consistent with this dating, demonstrating that the roof cannot have come from the monastery, but must rather have been purpose-built for the church to cover the recycled stone arcade. Thus dendrochronology confirms that the inscriptions of 1542 mark the construction and final erection of the new roof. The ‘Angels and Instruments of the Passion’ iconography, redolent of  pre-Reformation Catholicism, was already becoming controversial in 1542, and within a few years would be outlawed by an increasingly Protestant church and state. This was the last roof of its kind built in Wales, and probably the last anywhere in Britain.

The timber-framed, weatherboarded and pyramidal-roofed belfry surmounts a sturdy unbuttressed stone church tower, itself perhaps dating from the late 14th century. Such timber belfries are characteristic of the larger churches in the Welsh Marches, but this is the first to be dendro-dated. The timbers of the belfry had been largely defrassed but two of the principal corner posts produced samples with complete sapwood. The belfry thus probably dates from 1594 or 1595, a period of renewed interest in bells and bell-ringing. Dating of the Llanidloes buildings commissioned by Dr. Charles Kightly on behalf of Powys County Council, in connection with a permanent display about timber-framed buildings in the Old Market Hall, Llanidloes, opening July 2003. Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for Wales. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)


LLANSANFFRAID-YM-MECHAIN, Tu Hwnt i Gain (SJ 222 193)

(a)     Primary phase

Felling dates: Summer 1611, Summer 1612

(b)     Lower-end extension

Felling date: Winter 1647/8

(a) Dais canopy beam 1606(27); Principal rafter 1610(23½C); Stud 1611(44½C); Rafter (0/1); Transverse beam (0/1); Longitudinal beams (0/2). (b) Mantelbeam 1562; Transverse beam 1642(40); Longitudinal beam 1647(52C); Joist 1647(35C). Site Master 1400-1647 TUHWNT (t = 8.9 UPRLAKE; 6.5 SKERHS1; 6.3 WALES97)

This timber-framed three-unit house has the central lobby-entry plan characteristic of much of Powys. The architectural detail, however, suggests a complex development: a dais canopy appears to be incorporated in the hall ceiling, and the framing of the house changes from square panels to close studding beyond the framed fireplace. Tree-ring dates show that the house had two 17th-century building phases. An initial two-unit house of end-chimney lobby-entry type (1612) had a close-studded outer parlour added in 1647/8, creating a three-unit lobby house with central chimney. The residual dais canopy was shown to be part of the ceiling of the storeyed house, and contemporary with the framed fireplace. This is the first house of end-chimney lobby-entry type to be tree-ring dated, and the framed firehood predates the example at Ty-mawr (VA 29, 128). Survey: RCAHMW and Gwyneth Guy. Dating commissioned by Rhisiart ap Rhisiart Owen, arranged by Gwyneth Guy. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 130)


MACHYNLLETH, Royal House (SH 7456 0090)

(a)     Front range        

Felling dates: Summer 1559; Winter 1560-61; Summer 1561; Spring 1561

 (b)    Rear range         

Felling dates: Spring 1576; Summer 1576

(a) Purlins (2/3) 1558(21½C), 1560(20C); Tiebeam 1559(22½C); Undercroft ceiling joists (1/2) 1560(11¼C); Principal rafters 1504, 1532(h/s), 1535(h/s); Axial beam (0/1); Joist (0/1); Lintel (0/1); Transverse beam (0/1). (b) Principal rafters (4/5) 1490, 1529, 1559(h/s), 1575(15½C); Collars 1517, 1575(14½C, 19¼C). Site Masters (a) 1363-1560 ROYALHS1 (t= 10.9 WALES97; 9.4 WVT9; 9 IGHTFELD). (b) 1427-1575 ROYALHS3 (t= 8.6 ELSTEAD; 7.4 LNYDLOS2; 7.3 SALOP95).

A complex and substantial town house occupying a half burgage plot in a prime situation near the parish church and fronting the market place. A central stack divides the long range into front and rear parts; the gable end of the front range faces the market. The house is fully storeyed with cellar and attics. The ground floor and cellar probably had a commercial function; until recently a shop still occupied the front part. The principal doorway has a voussoired head and was secured by a drawbar which is still immured (and was impossible to sample). The principal domestic rooms were on the first floor: hall and parlour in the front; chambers extending into the rear range, approached via a doorway with a double-ogee doorhead. The hall has a corbelled fireplace beam and an adjacent lateral screen of post-and-panel type, possibly a bench back.

The tree-ring dating showed that the roof of the front range was a little earlier than that to the rear. A straight joint demonstrates that they are of different builds. The later date (1576) fits the available documentation which shows that there was a house on the site in 1581, the date of the marriage settlement of the first known occupier (a younger son of an influential gentry family). Later documentation refers to the rear range as ‘the new barn’ (‘sgubor newydd’). Royal House is a notable addition to the small number of securely dated pre-1600 urban houses with reasonably complete plans. RCAHMW’s survey in NMRW will be supplemented by recording by Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust during the current restoration. The dating was commissioned by Nigel Jones CPAT and Michael Goulden in association with RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 157)


MACHYNLLETH, The Parliament House or Senedd-dŷ  (SH 7479 0082)          

Felling date: Summer 1470

Purlins 1424, 1429, 1442, 1449(h/s), 1451; Principal rafters (2/3) 1400, 1447(3); Collar 1431. Site Master 1306-1451 PARLMNT1 (t= 6.6 LUCCOMBE; 5.6 WLSCATH4; 5.6 LUDLOW9). Rafters 1469(11½C2); Purlin 1469(16½C). Site Master 1421-1469 (t= 6.1 LIGHTSHAW; 5.4 lt1; 5.2 CEFNCAR1).

A substantial and remarkably complete hall house sited parallel to the road approaching the town from the east. It has a four-unit plan: storeyed outer room (2 bays), open passage (2 bays between partition trusses), open hall (3 bays with dais-end partition), storeyed inner-room (2 bays). The carpentry is refined: purlins and ridge are tenoned into the trusses. The principal rafters are unusually shaped (extruded) to receive the tenoned collar. In the hall the purlins are moulded with two tiers of wind braces (replaced), and the trusses have shaped feet. The upper-end truss is set forward from the dais partition to form a shallow canopy. The site was traditionally associated with Owain Glyndwr’s parliaments of 1402 and 1404, and was restored and extended in 1911 as a library and institute commemorating Glyndŵr. But tree-ring dating shows that the present structure is two generations later. However, the origins of this substantial and important house may be considerably older and the site will be partially excavated in 2004. Plans are deposited in NMRW. Dating commissioned by Michael Goulden in association with RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 157)


MEIFOD, Rhos-fawr-isaf (SJ 1359 1470)   

Felling dates: Spring 1576 and Winter 1576/7

V-struts 1576(24C), 1556(12+17C NM); Purlins 1576(26C), 1547(H/S); Carved door head 1576(27C); Principal rafter 1575(30¼C). Site Master  1430-1576 RHOSFAWR (t =  11.4 WALES97; 11.3 SALOP95; 10.4 NORTH).

An early box-framed house with integral fireplace converted to an agricultural building in the nineteenth century when with a new farmhouse was built. The plan of the house is outer parlour/passage with framed fireplace/hall/inner-room. The timberwork is lavish, with post-and-panel partitions between passage and parlour, between hall and inner-room and forming the back of the fireplace. The shaped doorhead into the parlour is distinguished by a facetted pendant. The hall seems to have been open in the first phase and it is not clear if the parlour was ceiled. The range has been extended in several phases but these additions failed to date. Detailed description in NMRW. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW at the suggestion of Sandra Jones, Powys County Council. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 36, list 169)


MEIFOD, Ystumcolwyn Barn (SJ 189 165)

(a)     Cruck Range      

Felling dates: Summer 1559

(b)     South extension  

Felling dates: Summer 1663 and Summer 1669

 (a) Crucks 1558(23½C, 26½C), 1519, 1505; Tiebeam (0/1) (b) Principal rafter 1668(33½C); Struts (1/2) 1662(33½C). Site Masters (a) 1416-1558 YSTUM1 (t = 11.2 WALES97; 10.4 GWYDWN; 10.2 LLWYN); (b) 1495-1668 YSTUM2 (t = 7.5 UPWICJ3; 7.3 OLDHLLFM; 7.2 HERGEST4).

A substantial three-bay cruck-framed barn associated with a gentry house; a fourth bay may have been lost.  The three surviving crucks all have morticed tie-beams and collars, and butted apexes, apart from the end truss which may have been hipped. Wall framing of three-tier panels survives on the south-west elevation and incorporates a small doorway with a shaped door-head into the threshing floor.  The barn has box-framed additions in two phases to the south, the earlier of which has dated (b).  A 1770 date inscription (in the first addition) presumably relates to a further building/improvement phase. Dating commissioned by Nigel Jones for the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust. CPAT Report No 646 (copy in NMRW). (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 36, list 169)


PENNANT MELANGELL, Blaen-y-cwm (SJ 0173 2697)

(a)     Cross-wing                    

Felling dates: Winter 1587/8 and Winter 1588/9

(b)     Hall Range                     

Felling dates: Winter 1646/7

(c)     Barn      

Felling date: Winter 1634/5

(d)     Re-used crucks in Barn  

Felling date ranges: 1504-34 and 1514-44

(a) Crucks 1587(30C, 32C, 34C); Collar 1587(49C); Door post 1587(30C); Joists 1588(15C), 1583(22+5NM), 1569(3). (b) Lower collar 1646(36C); V-struts 1646(39C, 50C); Door post 1646(39C); Wall plate 1646(23C), Longitudinal beams 1646(40C), 1637(41), 1615(9+5 NM); Joist 1646(26C). (c) Tiebeam 1634(33C); Cruck 1601(H/S). (d) Crucks (3/4) 1503(H/S), 1493(H/S), 1481. Site Masters (a) 1435-1587 BLNYCWM1 (t = 8.3 CGFA; 7.6 WHITNGTN; 7.4 PENIARTH); (b) 1488-1588 BLNYCWM2 (t = 5.9 WALES97; 5.8 ENGLAND; 5.6 NORTH); (c) 1457-1646 BLNYCWM3 (t = 9.1 WALES97; 8.6 TRECECHN; 8.5 SALOP95); (d) 1406-1503 BLNYCWM4 (t = 6.3 OLDWORD2; 5.7 kemp1; 5.7 neu4).

A complex, multi-period site. (a) A storeyed cruck-framed solar cross-wing  is presumed to have been added to an earlier down-slope hall range; the crucks and ceiling beams were found to be contemporary.  (b) The hall was then replaced by a range with an outer parlour with fine ovolo-moulded detail.  To the west of this range is a cruck-framed barn/byre.  The end cruck truss produced a felling date of 1634/5 (c), but a number of earlier crucks (not obviously domestic in origin) were used in the first three bays of the building (d).  This district of upland Montgomeryshire seems to have favoured crucks at a relatively late date, as the cross-wing crucks are the latest domestic crucks so far identified, while that in the barn is the latest agricultural one.  Detailed description in NMRW. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 36, list 169)


PENNANT MELANGELL, Trefechan  (SJ 0254 2617), House

(a)     Cruck phase      

Felling date ranges: 1517-?47; 1528-58

(b)     Reconstruction of roof    

Felling date: Winter 1581/2

(a) Cruck blades 1506(h/s?), 1517(h/s). (b) Upper purlin 1581(21C).

Trefechan is a downhill-sited, cruck-framed hall house, probably timber-framed, now stone-walled and of hearth-passage plan. When surveyed in 1974, two cruck trusses survived, probably defining a hall of a single bay. A single sooted cruck truss with lapped collar and tiebeam now survives embedded in the inserted chimney. An associated purlin has been reset. The felling date range lies within the expected range for upland peasant hall houses. The associated cruck-framed barn (below) was shown to be later than the house. Survey in NMRW; dating commissioned by RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 157)


PENNANT MELANGELL, Trefechan (SJ 025 261 ), Barn           

Felling dates: Winter 1606/7; c.1607/8

Purlin 1606(30C); Crucks 1564(10+c38¼C NM), 1575(15+c32¼C NM); Wall plate 1561(h/s). Site Master 1423-1606 TREFECHN (t= 9.8 WALES97; 9 PLASMWR2; 8.9 NORTH).

A three-bay cruck-framed barn ranged west-east and sited across the slope at a higher level than the house. The lateral walls are timber framed but the gable ends appear to have been of stone. The trusses at the central threshing floor have morticed tiebeams and collars; the surviving truss against the stone wall has a lapped tiebeam and high collar and was not infilled. Trefechan is the first farmstead where it has proved possible to date both cruck-framed house and barn; the investment in the barn occurred fifty years after the construction of the house. Survey in NMRW; dating commissioned by RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 157)


Welshpool, Powis Castle (SJ 2157 0643)

(a)     State Bedroom   

Felling date: Summer 1587

(b)     Re-used beam over bed alcove  

Felling date: Summer 1630

(c)     Bed alcove         

Felling date: Winter 1663/4

(d)     Roof over tank room      

Felling dates: Spring 1814

(a) Joist 1586(19½C). (b) Beam (re-used) 1629(22½C). (c) Beam 1663(25C); Joists (0/3). (d) Tiebeam (0/1); Principal rafters 1813(20¼C, 21¼C). Site Masters (a, b, c) 1480-1586 POWIS1 (t = 9.5 EASTMID; 9.1 WALES97; 8.6 NORTH); (d) 1701-1813 pws78 (t = 5.6 KSTASQ02; 5.1 EASTMID; 4.6 BSPROOF).

Repair work provided an opportunity to sample timbers from the state bedroom on the first floor of the south side of Powis Castle. This room, which adjoins the celebrated long gallery, is described in the National Trust’s Guidebook (2000, p.16) as ‘a remarkable survival of the 1660s’.  The State Bedroom ‘is the only bedroom in Britain where a balustrade still rails off the bed alcove from the rest of the room.’  Sampling clarified a complex building sequence.  Samples from the undisturbed east end of the state bedroom showed that the chamber (a) – and by implication the adjoining long gallery which has plasterwork dated 1593 – was built from timber felled in 1587. It therefore belongs to the improvements made to the Castle by Sir Edward Herbert who was resident between 1578 and 1595. The royal bed alcove was constructed shortly after the Restoration, c. 1664 (c), but using timber from several sources, including one dating from 1630 (b). The ceiling was again adjusted in the early nineteenth century, with ‘pugging’ for sound insulation, probably c. 1814 when a new stubby king-post roof over the range was constructed as part of Sir Robert Smirke’s improvements (d).  Dating commissioned by John Latham, National Trust archaeologist, in partnership with RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 36, list 169)