ALCASTON, Alcaston Manor (SO 458 872)

(a)     Hall and Cross-wing

Felling date: Spring 1557

Tiebeams 1556 (36¼C); Principal post 1556 (24¼C); Moulded jambs, strut (0/3). Site Master 1490 1389-1556 ALCASTON (t=11.1 GIRTZ; =10.9 WOLVERTN; 10.8 WALES97)

(b)     Cellar

Felling date: Summer 1704

Ex situ timber 1703 (30½C); Joists (0/2). Site Master 1604-1703 alc7 (t=7.4 STOKE5; 6.7 STNSTJN3; 6.6 YORKS2)

Alcaston Manor is a classic example of piecemeal development.  The primary box-framed structure, dated to 1557, consists of a hall range (E) and integral cross-wing (W) with an upper chamber which served as the manor courtroom, with its own external door with an ogee head.  The south-western chamber corner-post once had a cable-moulding and the south-eastern post was adapted to serve as a newel when a stair wing was added to the front.  The lower chamber has traces of wall-painting.  A sample dated to 1704 from a cellar under the cross-wing came from an unprovenanced timber removed during the course of current repairs, and may not necessarily relate to the insertion of the cellar.  The  house was reputedly built by Humphrey Hill, a member of an old Shropshire family, who died there in 1585 (Frances Stackhouse-Acton, The Castles and Old Mansions of Shropshire (1868), 40).  Dating commissioned by Henry Hand whose family once owned the house. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 92)

ALVELEY, The Bell Inn (SO 760 845)

(a)     The Malthouse (granary)

Felling date: Winter 1753/4

Principal rafter 1753 (17C); Purlins (1/2) 1753 (38C). Site Master 1679-1753 BELLINN1 (t=9.3 MASTERAL; 8.1 MDM17b; 8.0 SALOP95)

(b)     Malthouse extension

Felling date: Spring 1824

Upper cruck 1823 (24¼C); Cruck spurs (1/2) 1821 (11); Purlin 1820 (29); Curved former to door arch (0/1). Site Master 1726-1823 BELLINN2 (t=5.6 ENGLAND; 5.3 EASTMID; 4.9 WALES97)

The granary at the Bell Inn, Alveley is referred to locally as ‘The Malthouse’, but there is no evidence to support such an identification, and it is more likely to have been a granary when ‘The Bell’ was a farm.  It is stone built, with the two northern bays constructed in 1753/4 ; their roof structure consists of an interrupted tiebeam, a low collar with V-struts above.  In 1824 the building was extended southwards by a further two bays using truncated upper-crucks.  The Bell itself incorporates the remains of a box-framed two-bay open-hall house which, unfortunately failed to date.  Later alterations include an upper cruck of similar form the 1824 example from the granary.  The ‘Bell’ is also remarkable for containing a number of twelfth-century sculpted stones, described in Individual Case Studies (Moran 1998, VA 29, 85-7).  The dating was commissioned by the owner, Mr Bill Sheridan. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 92)

ASTON EYRE, Hall Farm (SO 653 942)

(a)     Gatehouse

Felling date: 1341-1352

Joists (6/14) 1331 (2), 1335 (14), 1322 (H/S), 1311 (H/S), 1316, 1329. Site Master 1230-1335 ASTNEYR1 (t=7.9 ENGLAND; 7.4 OXON93; 7.2 SOUTH)

(b)     Solar

Felling date: 1469-1471

Joists (2/10) 1467 (12), 1467 (14+1-3NM). Site Master 1398-1467 ASTNEYR2 (t=6.6 MILKST1; 4.8 KITCHEN; 4.5 BLETCH)

(c)     Barn

Felling date: Winter 1612/13

(d)     Gatehouse extension

Felling date: 1596-1616

(c) Wall brace (1/2) 1612 (35C); Principal post 1551 (H/S); Tiebeam 1521 (H/S); Cill beam, studs, rail, infill board (0/5). (d) Floorboards (2/3) 1519, 1595 (20). Site Master 1357-1612 ASTNEYR3 (t=8.8 WALES97; 8.6 LEOMSTR2; 8.6 CRESSETT)

The complex at Hall Farm, Aston Eyre, was the subject of a Channel 4 ‘Time-Team’ programme broadcast in February 1998.  The stone-built gatehouse was adapted to serve as the farmhouse presumably when the hall was relegated to farm-building status.  Within the gatehouse the two large gateways remain and the estimated felling date range of 1341-52 was obtained from first and second-floor joists.  The gatehouse was extended by a box-framed unit in 1596-1616.  Of the hall itself, no original timber elements remain although it has clear evidence of a walk-in oriel window reaching to eaves level at the dais end and of tracery-headed windows with pierced cusping in the side walls.  Beyond the hall a curious junction between the solar cross wing and the hall makes the phasing relationship between the two blocks uncertain.  As with the hall, the roof to the solar has been reconstructed, but a series of massive lodged first floor joists remain.  Two of these gave a felling date range of 1469-71, but evidence for re-use on other joists make the interpretation of these dates difficult.  Alan de Charlton who married the heiress Margaret Fitz Aer probably built the present hall and gatehouse.  He died in 1349 in the Black Death; the manor passed to the Cressett family who may have added or altered the solar cross-wing (H E Forrest, The Old Houses of Wenlock (1915), 72-6).

A large timber-framed barn to the north side of the complex produced a felling date of 1612/13.  This building is of stud and panel construction in which all of the panels, right up to the top of the gable ends, were originally closed in with horizontal boarding let into grooves in the studs.  Dating commissioned by Diverse Productions Ltd. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 92)

ATTINGHAM, Home Farm (SJ 543 102)

Felling dates: Winter 1384/5 to Winter 1385/6

Common rafters 1384 (19C), 1385 (7C); Principal rafter 1385 (11C); Collar purlin 1384 (9½C); Tiebeam, tie/crown post brace (0/2).  Site Master 1311-1385 ATTNGHM1 (t=9.7 SALOP95; 8.1 UPWICH2; 7.9 WALES97)

Home Farm forms part of the National Trust Attingham Hall estate, and the brick exterior effectively conceals its earlier origins.  It retains a three-bay crown-post roof and some large flat-laid joists. The range containing the crown-post roof is probably a solar cross-wing to a vanished hall, as there is no smoke encrustation on the roof timbers.  The crown-posts are 6 feet high, plain and jowled to clasp the collar-purlin.  The longitudinal braces to the crown-posts are plain and curved, while the lateral braces start from near the head of the crown-post and down-swing in a concave arc to the cambered tiebeam, forming an ogee arch with the braces below the tiebeam.  It is similar to others in Shropshire and the dendro date of 1385/6 is near the centre of their date range of circa 1320 – 1404. Dating commissioned by Jeremy Milln on behalf of the National Trust. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 92)

BISHOP’S CASTLE, High Street, ‘Old Market Hall’ (SO 324 889)

(a) In situ timbers Felling date: Winter 1618/19

(b) Ex situ timbers Felling date: after 1717

Tiebeams 1555, 1574; Queen strut 1544; Posts 1588(h/s), 1588(4), 1615(34); Transverse beam 1600(12); Ex situ block 1590(2); Queen post 1618(22C). Site Master 1447-1618 MKTHLLBC (t = 13.3 CLNGNFRD; 12.9 LYDBURY; 10.3 SALOP95); (b) Ex situ blocks 1680, 1703, 17062. Site Master 1596-1706 MHBC1123 (t = 6.4 PEMBGE_C; 6.3 CBMASQ02; 6.2 CHATHAM2).

Hitherto completely disguised and only revealed after a serious fire in 2000, this is an open rectangular building, 82 ft x 22 ft with 21 free-standing posts arranged in two aisles with a central arcade, seven posts in each row giving six double bays of even size. The first four bays from the street were floored over giving storage space above while the two end bays were open to the roof ridge. The carpentry, though not decorative, is very fine and the posts stand on pad-stones. It was probably Bishop’s Castle’s first covered market and the felling date of 1618 suggests that it was built for the then lord of the manor, the Earl of Northampton, Sir Robert Howard, perhaps by John Abel of Samesfield the celebrated carpenter who built the market nearby Church Stretton. Dating commissioned jointly by the South-West Shropshire Historical and Archaeological Society and the Shropshire Dendrochronology Project.(Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2008, VA 39, list 205)

BISHOPS CASTLE, The Porch House, 33-5 High Street (SO 3234 8893)

Felling dates: Winter 1564/5 and Spring 1565

Principal posts 1564(21C, 42¼C); Studs (2/3) 1564(30C, 33C); Bressumer plate 1541(h/s).  Site Master 1416-1564 PORCHBC (t=10.8 WALES97; 10.0 SALOP95; 9.3 NORTH)

Porch House is L-shaped in plan, with a hall range and a cross-wing, but with an eccentric plan, having an unheated hall and a cross-passage at its upper end. A porch added to the main doorway on the east wall and extensions to the north-west have now given the building an off-square plan. The ground floor rear wall and the screen wall at the passage end of the hall use plank-and-muntin construction; the rest of the ground floor has close studding whilst the jettied first floor has square panels and diagonal bracing. The hall was lavishly decorated with wall paintings.  The roof trusses have been replaced with re-used oak timbers and pine braces. Dating commissioned by English Heritage in support of the Shropshire Dendrochronology Project. See Worthington, M J, and Miles, D W H  2000  The tree-ring dating of The Porch House, 33-5 High Street, Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire  AML Report 72/2000. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

BOLAS MAGNA, Meeson Farm (SJ 654 207)

Felling dates: Winter 1502/3

Crucks 1502(17C), 1489(h/s); Collar 1502(12C); Purlin 1502(18C).  Site Master 1408-1502 MEESON2 (t=6.9 WALES97; 6.9 IGHTFELD; 6.8 CEFNCAR1)

The exterior of this house presents a very modern appearance with rendered walls are and modern fenestration, but one indication of an earlier origin is the presence of a cross-wing. Internally a cruck truss with 'A'-type apex forms a distinctive feature of the long range and this was clearly the central truss of a two-bayed hall, dated to 1502/3. It incorporates a ‘low beam’ (raised slightly from its original position) which has notched-lap halvings to the cruck blades.  The inserted ceiling is of good quality with broach stops employed at the ends of the beams and at their central intersection.  The rear of the inserted inglenook fireplace contains two early cupboards with carved doors. The house was recorded by the Whitchurch Buildings Recording Group, and the dating was commissioned by Mrs S Crow. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

BORASTON, Homeside (SO 615 699)

Felling dates: Winter 1457/8, Summer 1458

Crucks 1457(19C, 20C); Arch brace 1457(17½C); Collar 1449(17). Site Master 1352-1457 HOMESIDE (t = 6.5 LEONMSTR2; 6.5 FORESTR1; 6.0 ASTNEYR3)

A modern exterior conceals the remains of a two-bay cruck hall and solar end dated to 1458.The central hall truss is remarkable for an ogee arch cut into the collar beam, the arch braces forming the lower part of the curve. To differentiate the upper from the lower bay the ogee is taken to a higher point on the upper side. A profusion of pegs secure the mortice-and-tenon joints of the arch braces, although three pegs at each end of the collars were added for cosmetic reasons and are not functional. The heating sequence is remarkable: a louvre opening above the open hearth, then a smoke hood or ‘fumbrell’ set against the low side of the central truss, followed by a brick stack built, inside the fumbrell, which means the bricklayer must have worked from inside the chimney. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

BRIDGNORTH, All Forces Club, 6 Bridge Street (SO 719 930)

Felling date range: 1392-1422

Crucks (1/2) 1386(h/s); Collar 1375(h/s); Purlins (1/2) 1386(6); Wall plate 1381(h/s).  Site Master 1290-1386 ALLFORCE (t=7.7 MASTERAL; 7.3 OWSTON1; 6.1 ODIHMPRY)

This building is the most distinctive in Low Town, set gable-end to the street very close to the Severn Bridge; it is possibly a merchant’s ware-house.  It is the only known building of full-cruck construction in the town (type ‘B’ apex).  Some of the timbers exhibit evidence of trestle-sawing.  The building has an ogee-headed doorway, and notched-laps are employed on the collar/cruck and spur/cruck joints.  The date of 1392-1422 fits well with the previously estimated date of 1350-1400.  Dating organised by Valerie Grose on behalf of the Bridgnorth Civic Society and the Bridgnorth Historical Research Group. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

BRIDGNORTH, 15 Bridge Street (SO 718 931)

Felling date: Late spring 1506

Stud 1505(37½C); Post (0/1), Beams (0/2); Wall plate (0/1); Rail (0/1).  Site Master 1386-1505 bn3 (t=6.8 MASTERAL; 6.5 EASTMID; 6.4 SALOP95)

Disguised by its nineteenth-century exterior, this is thought to be an early fifteenth century  timber-framed building, jettied along two sides, with a dragon beam approximately 13 feet long. The jowled posts and projecting joists remain along The Cartway frontage.  The property has been re-roofed, but shows similarities to the Bodenham building in Ludlow and The Abbots House in Shrewsbury. It is likely to be one of the earliest surviving secular buildings in Bridgnorth and the date reported here (from a single sample) may originate from a replacement timber.  Dating commissioned as for 6 Bridge Street. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

BUILDWAS, Abbots Lodgings, Buildwas Abbey (SJ 642 044)

(a)     East block (Abbots parlour), roof

Felling date: Spring 1377

Arch braces (2/4) 1376(18¼C, 22¼C).  Site Master 1311-1376 BUILDWS1 (t = 8.1 SALOP95; 7.4 PLOWDEN2; 6.8 PENTREH)

(b)     West block (Abbots hall), roof

Felling date: Winter 1547/8

Purlins 1526(h/s), 1529(h/s); Extension purlin to Abbots parlour roof 1547(25C); Principal rafter 1517(h/s); Strut 1523(h/s); Reset post 1518(h/s); Wall plate 1515(h/s). Site Master 1374-1547 BUILDWS2 (t = 10.6 SALOP95; 9.0 UPRLAKE; 9.0 WOLVERTN)

(c)     West block staircase

Felling date range: 1687-1717

String 1680(h/s); Newel post 1687(15). Site Master 1563-1687 BUILDWS3 (t = 8.0 MASTERAL; 7.0 SALOP95; 6.3 HILLHAL2)

The ruins of Buildwas Abbey sit on the banks of the river Severn. The church and remains of the claustral buildings are in the care of English Heritage. To the north-east of the guardianship area lies the grade I ‘Abbey House’. The west block encompasses the original abbot’s hall, the east block includes the abbot’s parlour. Both ranges were originally constructed in the 13th century and appear to be coeval.

The east block included a row of at least five trefoil-headed lights, and evidence of five mini-gables, with alternating trefoil and quatrefoil openings, in dormers not dissimilar to the 13th -century hall at Stokesay Castle. The original roof of five bays has been lost and was replaced by the present six-bay structure now dated to 1377. This is an excellent example of arch-braced construction, with a clasped purlin on each side, diminished principals, and cusped wind braces. The truss numbering is not sequential, but runs from west to east: I, II, IIII, III, VII, V, with the east end obscured (VI). The wind braces are also numbered, I–XII, from west to east on the north side, returning I–XII east to west on the south side. The sides of the arch braces are all chamfered, except for those in truss 2. Only these two arch braces could be dated, but there is no reason to think that they are not coeval with the rest of the frame.

The west block roof was replaced in 1547/8 with a four bays of two tiers of purlins and high collars. The ceiling at tiebeam level has been reset and now comprises a series of moulded beams and joists, possibly of the same period. The small staircase serving both ranges has splat balusters (felling date range 1687-1717). A number of possible 13th-century carved timbers are reused underneath the staircase, but were inaccessible at the time of sampling. Dating commissioned by English Heritage. D. Miles, ‘The Tree-Ring Dating at Abbey House, Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire’, CfA report 27/2002. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CARDINGTON, The Barracks (SO 506 953)

Felling date: Winter 1425/6

Tiebeam 1396(2), 1425(25C); Wall plate 1414(6). Site Master 1315-1425 BARRACKS (t = 7.6 HIGHTOWN; 7.4 SALOP95; 6.7 OLDBRFA1)

This house is now T-shaped, the cross wing being a later addition or replacement. Two bays of a medieval hall with a crown-post roof are set gable-end to the street and a third bay was added later. The wall framing includes two large curved braces, cruck-like in appearance, set between the wall plate and posts. The crown posts are plain, rectangular, and clasp the collar purlin; they have cusped lateral braces. These trusses are typical of Shropshire crown posts, the date of 1425/6 putting them towards the end of the period of their use. Notable features are the notched-lap joints in the wall framing and roof collars. The wall plate contains an edge-halved scarf joint. The house is said to derive its name from the quartering of soldiers there in the Civil War, but, from its position close to the church, it is likely originally to have been the most important house in the village. Dating funded by the Marc Fitch Fund. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CHERRINGTON, Cherrington Manor (SJ 666 201)

Felling dates: Winter 1634/5 and Winter 1635/6

Stud 1634(28C); Fireplace bressumer 1635(49C); Beams 1539(+80-100 NM2); Floor boards 1605, 1596, 1509; Purlin (0/1).  Site Master 1386-1635 CHERGTN (t=10.9 SALOP95; 9.7 MASTERAL; 8.9 HANTS97)

Cherrington Manor is a box-framed farmhouse occupying an older moated site. It is tripled-gabled, of three-storeys including attics with a ‘lobby-entry’ plan.  The central stack has been cut through for access to a later staircase and to an added room at the rear. The two main ground-floor rooms are of unequal size; the larger(W) was clearly a parlour, while the other was a ‘houseplace’, later a kitchen.  The house, although self-contained, seems to represent an addition to a vanished older house. Two features in particular suggest this development: the jetty on the SW corner is of the ‘hewn’ variety, while that on the SE corner is conventional.  The framing on the front is a ‘magpie’ mixture of close-studding with a mid-rail on the ground floor, lozenge-within-lozenge to the second storey, and cusped and spiked lozenge work in  the gables.  It also uses double-curved S-braces. The central porch is an addition, probably of the 19th century.  The remains of an inscription on the front reads ‘---ARE  --OLOWING  --1635’, coinciding with the tree-ring date of 1635/6. One original window survives on the E side, and this has mullions with embryonic ovolo-mouldings. Dating commissioned by the owner, Mrs S Crow. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

CHERRINGTON, Cherrington Manor, Demolished outbuilding (SJ 666 202)

Felling date range: 1537-1557

Re-used cruck blade 1536 (20) Site Master 1381-1536 cher1 (t=5.8 HANTS97; 5.7 HALSTON; 5.5 MASTERAL)

This re-used cruck blade was salvaged from a recently demolished outbuilding at Cherrington Manor.  This crude blade produced a date range of 1537-1557 and is a late example of the cruck building tradition in Shropshire.  It was sampled because at least three further cottages in the village employ crucks of similar form. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 92)

CHURCH STRETTON, All Stretton, Farm Lane, Roseleigh (SO 459 953)         

Felling date: Summer 1510

All timbers (4/9). Principal rafters 1481, 1509(13½C);  Post 1484(h/s); Tiebeam 1457. Site Master 1386-1509 ALLSTRET (t = 12.6 WALES97; 11.8 SALOP95; 10.9 GWYDWN)

The most striking thing about this property is the size of the timbers used. Huge tiebeams, cambered on the upper surface and the other timbers in proportion to this, make up a two-bay box-framed house with a side-purlin roof. Dating commissioned by a local architectural historian. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

CLUN, Bryn Cambric, Chapel Lawns (SO 316 758)

Felling dates / ranges: Winter 1499/1500 to Summer 1501; 1511-1541

Purlins 1500(31¼C, 38½C), 1499(18), 1481(5); Crucks (5/6) 1500(29C), 1499(21C), 1493(3), 1478, 1477(1); Packing piece 1500(h/s); Collar (0/1).  Site Master 1371-1500 BRYNCAM (t = 10.7 BAYTON; 10.1 GWYYDWN; 9.4 WALES97)

Bryn Cambric, an isolated upland farmhouse, is a four-bayed cruck-built hall house aligned down slope and possibly a longhouse. The roof has double purlins with a ridge beam.  Three cruck trusses survive; the southernmost truss is made of two halved timbers from the same tree, with sawmarks visible on the north face and a tenoned collar.  The other two trusses are made of boxed heart crucks and are more irregular.  One had a tenoned and the other a halved collar. Two crucks have a type ‘A’ apex, and a third with type ‘B’ apex.  One question to be answered by the tree-ring dating was whether all three crucks were contemporary - although the evidence is not conclusive, the dendrochronology suggests that all cruck trusses date to 1500 - 1501, although a packing piece must have been inserted slightly later (1511-1541). Dating commissioned by English Heritage. M J Worthington and D W H Miles, ‘The Tree-ring Dating of Bryn Cambric, Chapel Lawns, Shropshire’, CfA report 92/2003. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 142)

CLUN, Lower Spoad Farm (SO 257 820), Inserted carved mantel-beam      

Felling date: Summer 1546

Carved mantelbeam 1545(27½C).  Site Master 1460-1545 spoad1 (t = 6.1 CLNGNFRD; 5.8 WALES97; 5.7 FULWAY)

This house contains two cruck units set at right-angles, a house and either a byre or a barn. The most interesting feature is the beam forming the lintel of the inserted hall fireplace.  This is carved with a hunting scene showing a doe shot with an arrow, a stag and ten hounds. Lower Spoad is the boldest example, but comparable carvings occur on the communion rail at Llanfair Waterdine church, a cupboard front now at Cotehele in Cornwall (Riall and Hunt in prep), and mantel-beams at Gwernfyda, Llanllugan and Llwynmelyn, Trewern, Montgomeryshire; Green farm, Winnington, Wollaston, Shropshire.  In all cases a Welsh influence may be detected (P. Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, 2nd ed. HMSO (1988), 258a, b; C. S. Sykes, Ancient English Houses 1240-1612, Chatto & Windus (1988), 84, 85; N. Hills, The English Fireplace, Quiller Press, (1983), 28). Dating commissioned by Nicholas Riall who is researching renaissance carvings in early Tudor England, at the University of Wales, Swansea. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 142)

CLUN, Timber Croft, Pentre Hodre, Chapel Lawn (SO 326 768)

Felling dates: Spring 1461, Winter 1464/5, and Winter 1465/6

Crucks 1460(31¼C), 1420; Stud 1464(31C); Tiebeam 1430(h/s); Purlins 1464(23C, 28C, 36C).  Site Master 1189-1465 PENTREH (t=10.9 SALOP95; 8.5 TYMAWR1; 8.5 WALES97)

‘Timber Croft’ is an upland isolated farmhouse, derelict in 1990 but now restored.  It contains the remains of a two-bay open hall of cruck construction in which the central truss has a ‘low’ or mantel-beam (VA 26, (1995), 33-38).  This beam is chamfered on both sides, whereas the king-strut above is chamfered and stopped on only the upper face.  A ‘hewing’ mark is present on one of the cruck blades of the truss.  The blades are substantial, measuring nearly two feet (0.61m) at the elbow, but are straighter than the majority of Shropshire crucks.  One bay of the hall was destroyed some time after insertion of a large stone-built chimney stack against the central truss. The present stone walls post-date the crucks.  Dating commissioned by English Heritage in support of the Shropshire Dendrochronology Project, see Worthington, M J, and Miles, D W H 2001  The Tree-Ring Dating of the Timber Croft, Pentre Hodre, Clun, Shropshire, Centre for Archaeol Rep, 58/2001. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

CLUNBURY, Dutch Cottage (SO 371 807)

Felling date range (OxCal modelled): 1560-72 (unrefined 1560-80)

All timbers (7/10) Principal rafter 1530(5); Post 1534(H/S); Mid-rail 1539(H/S); Purlins 1505+c41(H/S), 1540(H/S); Ties 1546(H/S), 1549(H/S). Site Master 1424-1539 DUTCHCOT (t = 14.1 CLNGNFRD; 12.1 SALOP95; 11.6 BRYNCAM)

The two-bay box-framed house originated as an open hall and parlour, with all three trusses remaining, and with a large chimney-stack in an added half bay beyond the hall, of similar form to the main side-purlin roof. A later roof now extends to the west of this old truss.  One wall of the parlour is decorated with acanthus leaves in black distemper on plaster. Dating partly commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 180)

CLUNBURY, Holland House (SO 370 806), One rafter pair           

Felling date: Winter 1595/6

   All timbers (2/9):  Principal rafters 1570(3), 1595(28C). Site Master  1483-1595 chh1a2m (t = 6.9 WIGALL46; 5.7 CGFB; 4.7 CGFD)

The three primary bays comprise a floored hall, service bay and parlour wing, with a fourth bay added at the north end. The framing is of simple square panelling, three panels from sill to wallplate, with a long straight tension brace to the southern front corner. The house has been stylistically dated to c. 1640-50, so the dated rafter pair may be re-used.  Dating partly commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 180)

CLUNBURY, Llan Farm House, Twitchen (SO 352 793) 

Felling dates: Spring and Summer 1739; Spring 1740; Winter 1740/41

Transverse beams 1740(27C), 1739(40¼C, 39¼C, 34¼C), 1738(30½C), 1712(5); doorstud 1738(26¼C); Principal rafter 1730(26). Site Master 1544-1740 LLANFMHS (t = 8.8 CLUNBY3; 6.3 WALES97; 6.3 HANTS02)

An isolated upland farmhouse of three bays with end stacks. The house is stone-built in uncoursed limestone rubble but has timber-framed partitions. Because the land slopes, the two bays to the west are three-storied while the eastern bay containing the house-place and staircase is two-storied. It seems clear that the lower level accommodated animals. An extra-wide doorway gives access at ground level and then an internal flight of stone steps leads up to the house-place. Thus the house functioned as a longhouse variant. Each roof truss has a tiebeam and two collars, but no windbraces. Description by Madge Moran; dating supported by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

CLUNBURY, Yews Cottage (SO 371 805) 

Felling date: Winter 1646/7

All timbers (4/8) Sill 1627(8); Rails 1616(+19NM), 1645(7); Strut 1646(25C). Site Master  1540-1646 YEWSCOT (t = 12.7 CGFB; 9.4 STOKE5; 8.4 E.MIDLANDS)

Yews Cottage comprises a front brick-built range of possible mid-19th century origin, with a timber-framed rear range. This rear range is jettied, and continues as Jasmine Cottage, and it was this part of the building that was of interest to this study. The range is listed as three or four bays long, and of late-16th or early 17th century, with a suggestion that the eaves had been raised. The frame has now been exposed, showing that this is not the case, and that a decorative rail caused this confusion. The bressumer beam of the narrow jetty has a double ovolo and quirk moulding and the studs above it have complex assembly marks. The roof of this range has large principal rafters with empty trenches for purlins, and small struts from the tie. Dating partly commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 180)

CLUNGUNFORD, Abcott Manor (SO 392 787)

(a)     Hall range

Felling date: Spring 1541

(b)     Cross wing

Felling dates: Spring 1543, Summer 1546, Spring 1546 - Summer 1547

(a) Collar 1540(22¼C); Purlin 1508; Principal post (0/1). (b) Rafters 1542(24¼C), 1545(16½C); Principal rafter 1541(9+c9¼C); Ridge 1545(23½C). Site Master 1422-1545 CGFA (t = 12.7 SALOP95; 11.1 NORTH; 11.1 MASTERAL)

Abcott Manor is a complex building of several phases. The first phase is a hall range of 1541, and the second a wing dated to 1546-7. It has the remains of a star-shaped stack at one end but, as there is evidence for a smoke louvre in the roof, the stack presumably post-dates the original building. The small differences in date between hall and wing suggests they were part of an extended building programme. Both ranges have soot-encrusted roof timbers. They were framed independently, as evidenced by the two large sill beams (not suitable for sampling). The third phase (added to the wing) comprises a timber-framed parlour block with a cellar, elaborate plasterwork in the upper chamber, and a large external stone stack with twin, ribbed, brick shafts joined by open zigzag brickwork. The parlour block was not sampled but can be dated stylistically to c.1620-30. Finally, hall and cross wing were brick-cased in a variety of bonds. Abcott was one of the possessions of the powerful Prynce family of Whitehall, Shrewsbury (Owen & Blakeway, History of Shrewsbury 2 (1825), 140). (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CLUNGUNFORD, Church Farm (SO 395 786), Cross wing

Felling date: Summer 1598

V-Strut 1597(26½C); Longitudinal beams 1595(35), 1597(33). Site Master 1443-1597 CGFD (t = 9.6 WALES97; 9.2 CRAWLEY2; 9.1 CGFB)

This building stands opposite the church and comprises a hall and three-bay cross wing. Only the latter was dated, to 1598. The trusses have typical V-struts in the apex, and the ground-floor ceiling comprises heavily-chamfered twin longitudinal beams which, with the transverse beam, divide the ceiling into square panels. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CLUNGUNFORD, Bird-in-the-Rock Tea Rooms (SO 392 786)

Felling date: Winter 1653/4

Principal post 1596(57C); Stud (0/1); Rails (0/2). Site Master 1471-1653 cgfc1 (t = 6.1 YORKS2; 5.3 NORTH; 5.0 WALES97)

Formerly named the Rocke Arms, this boxed-framed building is of two storeys. Surviving wall framing is of small square panel variety. Two rails sampled clearly originated from the same tree, but failed to date. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CLUNGUNFORD, Church of St Cuthbert (SO 394 787)

(a)     Chancel roof

Felling date: Winter 1328/9

(b)     Nave roof

Felling date: Winter 1338/9

(a) Rafters 1236, 1285(h/s), 1294(h/s), 1305(h/s), 1325(32), 1328(40C). (b) Arch braces (4/5) 1301(h/s), 1304(h/s), 1333(36), 1338(41C); Rafter (0/1). Site Master 1120-1338 STCTHBRT (t = 14.9 STOKE2; 13.0 PLOWDEN1; 10.3 STOKE1)

(c)     North vestry roof

Felling date range: 1513-17

Principal rafter 1489(h/s+26±2C NM). Site Master 1378-1489 scc17 (t = 7.2 CALLGHTN; 6.0 GIERTZ; 5.8 SALOP95)

The church of St Cuthbert consists of a large nave with a chancel to the east, a side chapel to the north of the chancel, and a tower dating to 1895 to the north of the nave. D. H. S. Cranage (An Architectural Account of the Churches of Shropshire, 5 (Wellington: 1901), 389-94) proposed a 13th-century date for the stonework of the nave and north vestry chapel, one between 1305-15 for the chancel including the roof, and a similar 14th-century date for the nave roof. Both nave and chancel have waggon roofs, with arch braces meeting in slightly pointed arches. Internally, both roofs have cornices with scroll moulding above, and the undersides of the arch braces are boarded. It was not possible to determine accurately the configuration of the lower braces from the inner wall plate to the rafters. The chancel has a central wall plate set in from the outer face of the wall, as visible in the north vestry chapel, while the nave has an external wall plate more in line with the outer ends of the sole pieces. The arch-braced rafter couples of the chancel originally extended to the outer faces of the east and west walls, the timbers from the east face being in situ until their replacement in stone in about 1895.

The few precise felling dates obtained pose problems. Cranage interpreted the stonework of the nave as 13th century, predating the early 14th-century chancel stonework, although he thought that the nave roof had been replaced in the 14th century. The felling dates of 1328/9 for the chancel and 1338/9 for the nave support Cranage’s view that the roofs are 14th century, but the dendrochronology clearly suggests that the chancel roof predates the nave. This is supported architecturally by two pieces of evidence: first the existence of a buttress on the south-west corner of the chancel abutting the south-east corner of the nave; logic would suggest that if the chancel was constructed against an existing nave, then a buttress at the junction would be superfluous. Secondly, the westernmost rafter-couple of the chancel, now enclosed by the nave roof, is heavily weathered. Clearly this could not have occurred if the nave roof was earlier than the chancel. Furthermore, the degree of weathering is much greater than would be expected during a single decade. In some places, the arrises of the timbers have been eroded back 5-10mm, degradation which would generally take 25 years or more, even in an exposed western position. Therefore, either the weathered chancel rafter-couple was constructed of second-hand timbers (unlikely given its exposed situation), or the nave roof was constructed later, perhaps after 1350, using stock-piled timbers. This hypothesis is indirectly supported by the dendrochronology. The chancel roof is mainly constructed from a homogenous group of timbers from a slow-grown forest situation; the arch braces from the nave (the only timbers dated) are predominantly from young, fast-grown trees. Furthermore, the condition of the sapwood on the arch braces suggest a degree of degradation consistent with stock-piling. Thus, while the nave roof was certainly not constructed earlier than 1339, it might well have been built sometime after 1350.

Although the stonework of the north vestry chapel is thought to date from the 13th century, Cranage considered the roof to be an excellent example of the Perpendicular style. This is a lean-to roof of three bays with two intermediate principal rafters laid on top of the rafters of the chancel. Several of the timbers have double ogee chamfers, and there are three rows of wind braces forming quatrefoils. The lowest portion of the roof is coved and panelled. The dating of 1513-17 lies just within the date range of 1370 to 1520 predicted by Cranage. M. J. Worthington and D. W. H. Miles, ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of the Church of St Cuthbert, Clungunford, Shropshire’, Centre for Archaeol Rep 81/2001. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CLUNGUNFORD, Clungunford Farm (SO 397 787)

(a)     Cross wing

Felling date: Winter 1591/2

(b)     Hall range

Felling dates: Winter 1627/8, Winter 1628/9 Spring 1628 - Spring 1629

(a) Stud 1559(h/s+25C NM); Principal post 1591(63C). (b) Principal post 1628(58C); Tiebeam 1627(23C); Door post 1621(15+ c 6¼C); Rail 1610(2+ c 15¼C); Principal rafter 1617(14). Site Master 1273-1628 CGFB (t = 9.8 BEDSTONE; 9.7 SALOP95; 9.6 GIERTZ)

This H-shaped farmhouse stands on a down-hill site. Externally the only visible framing is on the north wing, dated 1591/2, which has plain square framing with V-struts in the gable. It is jettied, with joists tenoned into the back of the bressumer and boarded underneath; the upper post is tenoned into both bressumer and girding beam (the ‘Clun Valley’ jetty type). The wing contains a labelled cheese-room. The 1629 hall roof has interrupted tiebeams and doorways between the trusses. It is notable for a post containing over 355 rings, one of the longest-lived trees found in this part of the country. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CLUNGUNFORD, Rowton Grange (SO 409 802)

(a)     Hall range

Felling dates: Summer 1571, Winter 1571/2

(b)     Cross wing

Felling dates: Winter 1596/7, Summer 1598

(a) Purlin 1570(28½C); Tiebeam 1571(25C). (b) Stud 1596(35C); Purlin 1597(23½C); Rafter (0/1). Site Master 1407-1597 CGFE (t = 9.8 WALES97; 8.8 SALOP95; 8.2 NORTH)

This is at present a U-shaped farmhouse, but remodelling has obscured its origins. The hall of 1571/2 has great cambered tiebeams. A wide cross passage suggests that the house had longhouse origins. The cross wing of 1598 has smoke blackening in both bays. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

CLUNGUNFORD, Sycamore Cottage (SO 397 788)

Felling date: Winter 1652/3

Principal posts 1622(h/s), 1652(31C). Site Master 1435-1652 CGFF (t = 7.8 ALCASTON; 6.9 NORTH; 7.8 WALES97)

Formerly called Sycamore House, this now comprises an original centre bay with later reconstructed bays at either end. The centre section has also had the roof raised, incorporating the earlier roof trusses within the new loft area. Little wall framing survives, but the two rear principal posts provided sequences of over 200 years, giving a felling date of 1652/3. Dating commissioned by Mr Brian Taylor. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

(b)     Cross wing

DITTON PRIORS, Botwood stable (SO 607893)  

Felling date range: 1681-92

Cross beam 1651(h/s+29 NM); Purlins (0/2). Site Master 1572-1651 dps25 (t= 6.6 PEGGS; 5.5 BROOKGT; 5.4 DITTONPR)

Botwood farmhouse is built of local dhustone, a hard carboniferous black basalt used in virtually all the stone buildings in the village. It was originally a two-up, two-down with an end baffle entry and has a good oak winding staircase and a similar one in stone for the cellar. Timbers in the house proved undatable, but cores were taken from a stable, which stylistically matches the earliest phase of the house. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

DITTON PRIORS, Botwood barn (SO 607893)     

Felling date: Spring 1477

Crucks 1456(h/s), 1476(17¼C); Brace 1469(h/s); Collar (0/1). Site Master 1350-1476 DITTON3 (t= 7.7 ASTNEYRE3; 7.4 MOATHSE1; 7.2 CRESSETT)

An outbuilding at Botwood contains the remains of two cruck trusses, one of which has arch braces. The crucks dated to 1477 and may have formed part of a two-bay open hall. These were the only crucks found in Ditton Priors. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

DITTON PRIORS, Chapel Cottage (SO 605 889) 

Felling date ranges: 1553-78; 1560-85

Principal rafters 1537(h/s+14NM), 1538(1+14 NM); Brace 1544(h/s+15 NM). Site Master 1404-1544 DITTON2 (t= 8.6 WALES97; 8.5 PENIARTH; 7.7 CLUNBY)

Two original timber-framed cottages, later encased in dhustone (now one house). At the west end is evidence for a crogloft, identifiable from the bevelled edges of the former door posts. There are two corner fireplaces and other features include plank and muntin doors, a bread oven, a stepped cyma stop on a spine beam, a pyramid and lamb’s tongue stop in the end room, and a mitred soffit shoulder joint on a ceiling beam. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

DITTON PRIORS, Church Farm (SO 605 893)     

Felling date: Winter 1578/9

Purlins 1542(2+30 NM), 1578(32C); Tiebeam 1553(h/s); Longitudinal beam 1560(18); Transverse beam 1559(h/s); Collar 1514(+14 NM to h/s); Principal rafter 1554(h/s); Wall post (0/1). Site Master 1437-1578 DITTON5 (t= 11.9 WALES97; 9.3 WHITNGTN; 9.1 NORTH)

It is likely that this was the original manor house as it stands on an ‘island’ site which until the nineteenth century contained only three buildings – the church, the vicarage and this house, thus fulfilling the saying that on such sites are found ‘God’s house, the lord’s house and the priest’s house’. The house was timber framed but is now encased in dhustone. It has the remains of a wall painting which once filled the whole of the first-floor solar; the bold scroll design is found in many Shropshire farmhouses (K. Baird, ‘An overview of secular wall paintings….in the Welsh Marshes’, VA 34 (2003), 59, 61). The eastern end of the house was formerly an open hall ceiled in the mid seventeenth century; the western end was a two-storied structure from its inception. The date of 1578 suggests that the house was built by Humphrey Pakington, the grandson of the Humphrey Pakington who bought the manor after the Dissolution. The island probably existed much earlier, so it is likely that an earlier dwelling stood on the site. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

DITTON PRIORS, The Hall Farm (SO 605 888)   

Felling date: Summer 1627

Principal rafters 1622(17¼C+1-5NM), 1626(26½C). Site Master 1554-1626 DITTON1 (t= 6.1 WALES97; 5.8 STOKE5; 5.2 NORTH)

Now a farmhouse built from local dhustone, this house was owned by the lords of the manor at the end of the seventeenth century. Catherine Barker, (d.1700), extended the house in 1693 (evidence from an eroded sandstone plaque). Her work included a staircase with splat balusters and two attics, and the addition of a partially subterranean dairy typical of the larger farmhouses in the parish. An inventory of 1704 describes the layout, which has changed little. The attics, which contain much reused timber, were for male and female servants and were self-contained. Features include two wall paintings, plank and muntin doors with pin and thimble hinges, and lamb’s tongue stops to the beams. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

DITTON PRIORS, The Orchards (SO 606 889)    

Felling date: Spring 1761

Principal rafters (1/2) 1760(16¼C), Cross beam (0/1). Site Master 1689-1760 dps83 (t= 5.7 DETTON2; 5.3 MAMBLE_C; 4.7 NORTH)

In the nineteenth century this dhustone farmhouse was part of a larger complex known as Ditton Farm, the demesne farm of the manor. It has a partially subterranean dairy, and a detached kitchen. The original entry faced the road but was later blocked and replaced by a new door at the rear. Features include a cruck-like apex to a main roof truss and a planked fruitwood door. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

DITTON PRIORS, Middleton Priors, Home Farm (SO 624 904) 

Felling date: Spring 1612

Ceiling beams 1595(1), 1611(24¼C); Sole plate 1577(h/s). Site Master 1315-1611 DITTON4 (t= 8.6 EASTMID; 8.3 HANTS02; 8.2 BROOKGT)

Home Farm is totally encased in the larger Middleton Lodge (a stone-built three-storey house). It was probably a service unit for an earlier house. It retains some timber framing internally with lath-and-plaster infilling. Two large spine beams are chamfered with stepped stops. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

DITTON PRIORS, Middleton Priors, Hyde Farm (SO 625 902)

          Felling date: Winter 1547/8

Principal rafters 1525(h/s), 1530(2), 1532(h/s), 1547(24C); Purlin 1534(h/s). Site Master 1442-1547 DITTON6 (t= 9.2 NORTH; 9.1 SALOP95; 8.3 BUILSWS2)

Box-framed throughout in square framing, three panels high, this four-bay house is single-storied with two dormer windows. It has a large central chimney stack with star-shaped shafts which  bears the crest of the Canning family, lords of the manor in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The west room has a remarkable ceiling, chequer-boarded and moulded in a similar manner to that at Wolverton in Eaton-under-Heywood parish, with which there were family connections (Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire, 70, 311, and passim). (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 155)

EATON-UNDER-HEYWOOD, New Hall (SO 490 892)

(a)     Primary phase – hall and cross wings      

Felling dates: Winter 1562/3; Summer 1563; Winter 1563/4; Winter 1564/5

(b)     Reconstruction of hall roof          

Felling date: Summer 1702

(c)     Reconstruction of south cross-wing roof 

Felling date: Summer 1753

(a) Purlins 1537(2), 1562(22C); Queen strut 1562(33½C), 1564(29C); Principal rafters 1562(9+2C NM), 1563(27C). (b) Purlins (1/2) 1701(22½C); Reused rafter (0/1). (c) Purlins 1752(25½C, 27½C); Ridge 1752(16½C). Site Masters (a) 1390-1564 NEWHALL1 (t= 10 WALES97; 8.8 WOLVERTN; 8.4 CALLGHTN); (b, c) 1606-1752 NEWHALL2 (t= 8.4 NORTH; 7.9 EASTMID; 7.9 THAXTED3)

This is a fully developed H-plan building comprising a central three-bay hall range, with three-bay cross wings at the north and south ends. Although little external wall framing survives, it is clear that close studding was used at ground-floor level, lozenge-work at first-floor level, and lozenge-within-lozenge in the gables of the wings. The west wall is now encased in red brick and the end walls have lost their framing. The roofs have queen-strut trusses, originally with trenched single purlins on each side, changed to double purlins during later repairs. Internally, a number of contemporary wall paintings survive including a hunting scene in the hall and three full-sized figures, two female and one male, in the east wing. Dating commissioned by English Heritage. M. J. Worthington and D. H. Miles, The tree-ring dating of New Hall, Eaton-under-Heywood, Shropshire’, CfA report 2/2004. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 154)

HABBERLEY, The Old Mill (SJ 403 036)  

Felling dates: Spring and Summer 1576

Purlins 1575(17¼C, 18½C); Cruck 1528; Packing piece (0/1).  Site Master 1355-1575 HBBRLYML (t = 9.5 SALOP95; 8.5 WALES97; 8.0 CLNGNFRD)

The mill was reconstructed in 1839 (V C H (Shropshire) vol 8 (1968) pp 239, 241-2), but on the north side is a single bay of cruck construction, originally hipped at either end which was presumably accommodation for the miller,.  This has what may be an original fireplace, above which, on the western purlin, is a row of 22 hook-pegs.  Similar rows have been noted in a few other Shropshire houses and these have been interpreted as housing pegs for the control of the louvre opening, but here the sheer number seems excessive.  In the seventeenth century a kitchen bay with a pantry was added to the north end, and the open hall was floored over.  The date of 1576 for the cruck unit makes it the latest dated example of cruck construction in Shropshire. The crucks are plank-like, only 6” thick. Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 142)

HIGH ERCALL, High Ercall Hall (SJ 595 173)

Felling dates: Winter 1607/8, Spring 1608

Purlins(4/5) 1586(h/s), 1593(20), 1605(33¼C±1), 1607(44¼C); Upper crucks 1574(h/s), 1587(2); Principal rafters 1569(h/s), 1607(21¼C, 50¼C); Wall plates 1607(28¼C, 38C); Stair post 1579(h/s); Newel post 1574(h/s). Site Master 1390-1607 HIERCALL (t = 10.7 SALOP95; 10.0 MASTERAL; 9.5 OLDHLLFM)

Several questions remain unanswered regarding this complex building. It is reasonably certain that a large house of 1617-20, the property of Sir Francis Newport, was demolished after the civil war (when High Ercall was an important royalist garrison), although some fragments of it survive. The present house is a substantial L-shaped stone-built structure, with three projecting brick-built gable wings on the north side. One of these bears a datestone of 1608, recording the builder as Sir Francis Newport. Internally, the roofs have principal rafter trusses with straight soulaces and ashlars, with the exception of the western end of the north range which is intersected by the roofs of the west range and the western north front gable. Here a lack of wall plates necessitated using three upper-cruck trusses, continuing the same roof line internally. Felling dates of 1607/8 from both ranges are consistent with the 1608 datestone, although the brickwork to the walls below show a more complicated building chronology. Dating funded by Channel 4 as part of a Time-Team programme. See F. Stackhouse-Acton, The Garrisons of Shropshire During the Civil War, 1642-48, (1867) 44-8; and The Castles and Old Mansions of Shropshire (1868) 48-9. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

LEIGHTON, Home Farm (SJ 616 053), Cross wing

Felling date: Winter 1358/9

Principal post 1340(h/s); Brace 1346(h/s); Collars (3/5) 1331(h/s), 1334(h/s), 1346(h/s); Crown post 1358(11C); Collar purlin (0/1); Transverse beam (0/1). Site Master 1285-1358 LEIGHTON (t = 7.9 NORTH; 7.7 UPWICH3; 7.4 raven6)

Situated just above the flood plain of the river Severn on the edge of the Severn Gorge, Home Farm has a hall and cross-wing plan. No timbers show externally and the hall has been rebuilt. The wing of 1358/9 contains two bays of a crown-post roof, but only the central truss is reasonably intact. In this the crown post clasps the collar purlin, the lateral braces are plain and down-swinging, and the longitudinal braces are cusped and chamfered. The collar purlin is chamfered with run-out stops, and the tiebeam is canted and chamfered. An ogee arch is formed by the arch braces to the tiebeam and the in-swinging lateral crown-post braces, a feature noted in other early Shropshire crown-post structures. Home Farm is the sixth earliest crown-post roof in Shropshire, and  resembles Home Farm, Attingham of 1385/6 (VA 29, List 92). The two-bay hall has a central truss of tiebeam construction with queen struts, wind braces, and V-struts above the collar. Dating funded by the Marc Fitch Fund. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

LUDLOW, Barnaby House, Ludlow College (SO 511 743)

Felling dates: Winter 1450/51

Rafters (2/3) 1448 (13); 1450 (29C); Purlin 1438 (3); King strut 1438 (8); Brace 1435 (2). Site Master 1372-1448 LUDLOW8a (t=6.2 MILKST2; 6.0 SHERNAVE)  Site Master 1317-1438 LUDLOW8b (t=8.2 WICK; 6.8 SENGLAND)

By tradition Barnaby House, Mill Street, Ludlow, has its origins as a staging post for pilgrims on their way to north Wales to visit the holy well of St Winifred.  At present part of Ludlow College and formerly used as the gymnasium when the school was Ludlow Grammar School, Barnaby House is a large stone-walled building backing onto Silk Mill Lane.  Thomas Barnaby held high office under the Mortimers, the last of whom was the father of Edward IV, and had married the daughter of Thomas Whitgreve, the owner of the property and official at the castle.  Although truncated, the walls have 13th century features and retain mouldings of that date, but the present roof dates from 1450/51, although this may have re-used from elsewhere.  It is five-bayed and of tie-and-collar-beam construction with a king-strut and raking queen queen-struts in each truss.  Two of the trusses have V-struts above the collar.  The tiebeams fit well over the wall-head, but only single wall-plates on the outer edge of the wall-head are used.  There is no ridge-purlin and the side-purlins are threaded through the principals.  The windbraces vary with two tiers in either slope and for the most part they are cusped members, a double tier to either slope, but in three bays the upper tier is both cusped and set upwards to form a wide quatrefoil pattern.  There is no record of the provenance of the roof, but in many ways it is similar to but less elaborate than that which covers the Guildhall, also in Mill Street.  Dating was commissioned by the Ludlow Historical Research Group. See V.C.H. (Shropshire) 2 (1973) 150; D.J. Lloyd, Country Grammar School, Studio Press 1977, passim; R.K. Morriss, ‘Barnaby House, Ludlow’ Hereford Archaeology Series 98 (1991). (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

LUDLOW, 53 Broad Street (SO 512 745), front range

Felling dates: Winter 1597/8; Spring 1598

Axial beam 1558(h/s); Studs 1554(h/s), 1570(h/s), 1597(46C); Rail 1597(35¼C). Site Master 1410-1597 LUDLOW13 (t = 8.8 DUTCHCOT; 8.8 CLNGNFRD; 8.6 BAYTONPF).

This three-bay range fronts the two-bay medieval hall of 1459-60 (VA 34, 115-16). Jettied at two levels and with a central entrance, the range has uninterrupted close studding to the ground floor, close studding with a mid-rail to the first floor, and lozenge work to the second floor. Later roof-raising has added another half-storey. The northern ground-floor parlour has a painted overmantel with the arms of James I, no doubt added when the house was occupied by Robert Saunders, an ironmonger and three times bailiff. See Ludlow Research Paper 3 (1979); dating commissioned by the owner.(Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2008, VA 39, list 205)

LUDLOW, 53 Broad Street (SO 512 745), Rear range (hall)

(a)           Primary phase    

Felling dates: Winter 1459/60

Rafter 1459(37C); Strut 1459(27C);  Principal rafter 1459(26C); Collar 1429(h/s).  Site Master 1358-1459 LUDLOW9 (t = 12.7 HERECB2; 12.4 WALES97; 12.1 SALOP95)

(b)          Replacement rafter         

Felling date range: After 1584

Rafter 1573. Site Master 1500-1573 ludi2 (t = 5.9 BEWDLEY; 5.8 GIERTZ; 5.1 NORTH)

Behind a seventeenth-century three-bay street range is a well-preserved two-bay medieval hall which has a central truss of arch-braced collar-beam construction with tenoned purlins, large plain curved windbraces, and evidence of a louvre opening.  A closed truss demarcates the end of the hall, but, less than three feet from its main post, is another into which a brace and a transverse beam are tenoned.  Dating commissioned by the Ludlow Historical Research Group. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 142)

LUDLOW, 62 Lower Corve Street, The Merchant’s House (SO 512 753)

(a) Primary phase                         Felling date range: 1472-1502

(b) Reconstruction of bay 3          Felling date: Winter 1585/6; Spring 1586

(a) Principal post 1455(2); Studs 1459(h/s), 1461(h/s), 1470(h/s). Site Master 1374-1470 LUDLOW14 (t = 8.1 CLUNBY; 7.4 HYDE1; 7.3 WALES97). (b) Inserted stud 1585(29C); Beam 1585(27¼C). Site Master 1479-1585 LUDLOW15 (t = 7.2 REDGRAN; 7.1 TUHWNT; 7.1 VICTWHF).

This box-framed town house of three stories has a continuous jetty to the street with close-studding above. It is of four bays, with the fourth, solar, bay contained within the neighbouring house (No. 58) to the south. The date range of 1472-1502 relates to the original build and the 1586 date to a remodelling when the entrance at the lower end of the hall was changed and the hall ceiling raised. Features include a rear chimneystack, two service doorways with shaped heads, and roll-and-hollow moulding on the spine-beam in the solar. With the decline of the woollen cloth industry after c.1600, this area of Ludlow supported a community of glovers, the Corve river at the rear ideal for the tanning process, and No. 62 still has a timber-framed workshop attached to the house at the rear. Dating commissioned by the owner.(Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2008, VA 39, list 205)

LUDLOW, 14-16 King Street (SO 513 746)

(a)     Rear range

Felling dates: Spring 1467

Joists 1466 (18¼C); 1463 (10); Middle rail (0/1). Site Master 1392-1466 ludf2 (t=6.9 COATSFM; 6.7 SALOP95; 6.3 FORESTR1)

(b)     Front range

Felling dates: Winter 1473/4; Winter 1474/5; Spring 1476

Rafter 1474 (18¼C); Axial beam 1474 (22C); Tiebeam 1473 (16C).  Site Master 1412-1474 ludg3 (t=7.4 KINGPYON; 7.0 NGH1125; 6.8 BAYTON)

The sub-division of nos.14-16 King Street Ludlow has resulted in a complicated pattern of ownership, but historically the block should be regarded as a two-bayed, double-piled, box-framed structure.  The rear unit was the first to be built, in or shortly after 1467, and is set partially underground in a manner reminiscent of a medieval undercrofted building.  The undercroft has intersecting spine-beams chamfered and stopped in such a way as to suggest that it contained a large samson-post or pillar supporting an open hearth in the chamber above.  That the upper chamber was an open hall is suggested by the arch-braced collar-beam construction of the central truss.  In this the arch-braces swing low beyond wall-plate level.  Present also are jowled posts and two tiers of plain curved windbraces.  When seen some years ago, smoke-blackening was present on the roof timbers.

The front unit, an addition of 1476, is also timber-framed and was jettied at the upper level.  It also has jowelled posts, though these are less pronounced than those in the rear unit.  The roof is of tie, collar, and raking queen-strut construction.

The block is particularly interesting for its development sequence.  It is known that the south side of King Street which contains 14-16 represents the colonisation of an originally wide High Street which ran as a spine along the ridge from the castle to Old Street.  Temporary market stalls became incorporated into permanent structures encroaching onto the street.  This had taken place by 1330.  In 1459 Ludlow was ‘sacked’ by the Lancastrian armies during the wars of the Roses, and although the extent of the destruction is not known it is possible that the dates obtained for 14-16 King Street represent re-building after the conflict and in anticipation of peace under Edward IV who had Ludlow’s interests at heart.  It is also known that the front unit was Palmers’ Guild property while the rear unit was freehold.  (Info. from .J. Lloyd, Ludlow Research Group.  The entry in the Palmers’ Guild rental is for ‘two shops and solars’)  Nos. 14-16 makes an interesting comparison with 20 King Street (Bodinham’s) which is wholly Palmers’ Guild encroachment of 1403/4.  (See D. Lloyd and M. Moran, The Corner Shop, Ludlow Research Paper 2 (1978); VA 26 (1995), 69-71.  Dating was commissioned by the Ludlow Historical Research Group. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

LUDLOW, Old Gatehouse, Old Street (SO 513 745)         

Felling date: Winter 1441/2

Tiebeam 1441(14C); Windbrace 1427(H/S); Purlin 1413(H/S?); Raking strut 1404(H/S); Posts (0/2). Site Master  1303-1441 LUDLOW11 (t = 9.6 MEREHALL; 7.4 BOWER1; 7.1 WGATE1)

The Old Gatehouse and the adjoining Lane’s House were used as a Workhouse and House of Correction from 1676 until 1837, after which they were known as Lane’s Asylum and used as almshouses; Thomas Lane (d.1676) was one of the town’s benefactors (D Lloyd & P Klein, 1984  Ludlow, a Historical Town in Words and Pictures, 90). Some stonework in the Old Gate probably relates to the early twin drum-tower defence system but the bulk of the structure accords well with the dendro date of 1441/2. The roof system is of tie beam and collar construction with large raking queen-struts and large curved windbraces.  The house is four-bayed and the two eastern bays were probably open to the roof from first-floor level. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 180)

LUDLOW, Lanes House, 56 Old Street (SO 513 745)       

Felling dates: Winter 1619/20 and Spring 1621

Carved bracket 1621(22¼C), Stud 1619(51C); Longitudinal beam 1616(21); Wall-plate 0/1; Posts (0/2), Tiebeam (0/1). Site Master  1483-1620 LUDLOW10 (t = 7.0 NEWHALL; 6.8 WAR; 6.7 WALES97)

Lane’s House to the north of the Old Gatehouse and fronting onto Old Street has a stone ground floor with two timber-framed stories above, the top storey carrying two large dormer gables, one of which bears the date 1621.  This agrees with the felling date derived from an internal carved bracket, thus identifying the date when the roof was raised and the house re-fronted in a mixture of close-studding, herring-bone work, and large diamond-strutting.  The bulk of the framework seems to be of the mid-16th century and the main posts have thickened heads.  Samples from these timbers failed to date.  There are carved wood Tudor roses on the outside and the main ground-floor room has moulded plaster-work and a coat-of-arms with the initials E.R., this may refer to Elizabeth I or, more likely, to Edward VI.  The moulding is repeated on the ceiling in the room above. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 180)

LUDLOW, Reader’s House (SO 512 746)              

(a)     Tiebeam (reconstruction phase 1)           

Felling date: Summer 1553

(b)     Rear stud (unidentified repair phase)       

Felling date: Winter 1598/9

(c)     Porch and reconstruction of roof 

Felling dates: Summer 1614 and Winter 1614/15

(a) Tiebeam 1552(30½C). (b) Stud 1598(37C). (c) Purlins 1613(40½C), 1614(32C); Principal rafter (0/1); Stud (0/1). Site Master (a) 1447-1552 ludl4a2 (t = 5.7 CGFA; 5.5 EASTMID; 5.3 LLWYN); (b) 1431-1598 ludl5 (t = 7.5 CLNGNFRD; 6.7 WIGALL46; 6.4 NEWPORT2);  (c) 1406-1614 LUDLOW12 (t = 8.8 WALES97; 8.4 DORE2; 8.1 UPWICH3)

The Reader’s House is located on the north-eastern side of the churchyard. In 1330 it was described as ‘2 solars under 1 roof with a lantern’ and in the 15th century it was owned by the Palmers’ Guild and accommodated the Grammar School.  In the eighteenth century, the house became the official residence of the ‘Reader’, one of the church curates. The house has four bays now dated to c. 1553 but it is thought that a further bay to the north has been destroyed. In 1616 Thomas Key, chaplain to the Council of the Marches added a fine three-storied jettied timber-framed porch to its stone-built rear wall, allowing access directly onto the churchyard. The 1553 date seems to relate to a remodelling by the Council of the Marches, and the 1614/15 date from the purlins indicates that the house was re-roofed when the porch was added. It is jettied at two levels, square-framed with long angle braces and with a large dormer-gable which has diagonal strutting.  The bressumer moulding is of triple-ovolo-and-quirk form.  Internally there are good double-ovolo-and-quirk mouldings on the door-frames, daisy-wheel graffiti on a fireplace lintel, plaster mouldings including a fleur-de-lis. See Ludlow Historical Research Group, Some Ludlow Buildings, 1982; VAG Shropshire Conference Handbook, 1982, 18-19; D Lloyd & P Klein, op. cit., 119. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 180)

LYDBURY NORTH, Gravenor House (SO 349 860)

(a)     Re-used timbers in roof  

Felling date: Spring 1433

(b)     Present structure

Felling date ranges: 1607-37; 1637-57

All timbers (3/6) (a) Re-used principal rafter 1432(36¼C); (b) Post 1602(6); Longitudinal beam 1625(9+12NM). Site Masters 1250-1432 lyda6 (t = 7.1 PLOWDEN2; 7.0 YORKS2; 6.7 LUDLOW9); 1492-1625 LYDBURY1 (t = 10.2 CLNGNFRD; 8.1 WALES97; 7.5 SALOP95)

Gravenor House is of box frame construction, later encased in stone. It has a timber framed gabled cross-wing (not sampled). (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

LYDBURY NORTH, Brook House (SO 351 860)  

Felling dates: Winter 1594/5; Winter 1595/6; Winter 1596/7; Spring 1597

Post 1593(31½C); Rails 1595(22C), 1596(33¼C); Corner post 1596(26C); Joists 1595(27C), 1596(37¼C). Site Master 1412-1596 LYDBURY2 (t = 9.6 WIGALL46; 9.2 WALES97; 9.0 BEDSTONE)

Brook House is of box-frame construction, with the timbers visible externally. It uses wall framing three square panels in height. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

LYDBURY NORTH, 10-11 Lydbury North (SO 350 862)

(a)     Main structure    

Felling date range: 1555-87

(b)     Ceiling   

Felling dates: after 1584, after 1612

All timbers (3/6). Stud 1547(3); Axial beam 1573; Joist 1601. Site Masters 1496-1547 lydc2 (t = 6.5 BADESLY3; 5.5 SHAW1; 5.5 GREENHAM); 1475-1573 lydc3 (t = 6.1 WALES97; 5.9 LEA3; 5.8 HEREFC); 1418-1601 lydc5 (t = 8.4 CLNGNFRD; 7.7 SALOP95; 7.7 WALES97)

Externally, 10-11, Lydbury North appears as a stone built house with a square framed timber porch, but was originally box-framed. The original structure appears to be of the later sixteenth century, with a ceiling inserted some time after c.1612; however, the early stud might be reused. The house has suffered from a severe fire at some point, as charring is evident on the ceiling timbers. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

LYDBURY NORTH, Long Thatch (SO 351 861)

(a)     Cruck phase      

Felling date range: (OxCal modelled) 1557-71 (unrefined 1554-84)

(b)     Inserted floor in cruck range       

Felling date ranges: 1616-25; 1624-51

(c)     Western extension          

Felling date and range: Winter 1626/7; 1631-61

(a) Collar 1540(h/s); Wallplate 1545(h/s); Tiebeam 1547(2); (b) Joist 1615(31); Longitudinal beam 1610(h/s+13NM); (c) Longitudinal beams 1621(1), 1626(25C) Site Masters 1479-1547 LYDBURY3 (t = 7.7 CLNGNFRD; 6.8 HGROVNR9; 6.0 WOLVETN); (b, c)1424-1626 LYDBURY4 (t = 8.9 WALES97; 8.8 WIGALL46; 8.7 CLNGNFRD)

Long Thatch was the only building identified in the survey of cruck construction. In 1626/7 the house was extended to the west, and the felling date range of 1624-51 for a longitudinal beam for the inserted floor in the original part of the house probably relates to the same phase of building. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

LYDBURY NORTH, Old Farmhouse (SO 351 860)          

Felling dates: Winter 1657/8; Winter 1658/9

Principal post 1602(32+30NM); Longitudinal beams 1654(36), 1657(40C), 1658(35C); Corner post 1658(31C); Transverse beam 1658(38C). Site Master 1363-1658 LYDBURY5 (t = 12.1 WALES97; 11.7 CLNGNFRD; 11.5 WIGALL46)

The Old Farm-House stands on the northern edge of the village. The farm-yard buildings are now separate properties. Externally the house, which has had alterations, appears as a two-story rendered building. Internally, however, its square-panel box-frame structure is still apparent. This is the latest of the buildings sampled within the village. It is notable that some of the trees used in the building were over 300 years old when felled. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

MARKET DRAYTON, Cotton’s House, 57 Shropshire Street (SJ 673 339)       

Felling date: c1600

All timbers (4/9); Stud 1562; Purlin 1584(H/S); 1572(H/S+26NM); Post 1572(H/S+27½NM).  Site Master  1416-1584 COTTONHS (t = 6.6 NGH1125; 6.5 E MIDLANDS; 6.3 AYDON).

This is a timber framed house on a dressed grey sandstone plinth with a baffle-entry E plan with three framed bays, including a narrow central chimney bay. The ground floor has obscured close studding with cusped tension braces, and the first floor has a middle rail. The attic is jettied with moulded brackets, close studded to the side and with a single tier of squared panels to the front, with straight corner struts. The gable to the front has 3 tiers of small square panels with curved corner struts and curved V-struts in the apex. The roof has tie beam and collar trusses, single purlins, and straight windbraces. Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles and Worthington 2005, VA 36, list 166)

MORETON SAY, Bletchley Manor (SJ 622 335)

Felling date: Summer 1594

All timbers (7/8); Purlins 1575(H/S), 1576 (5+16NM), 1585(H/S+7NM), 1588(11), 1593(15½C); Principal rafters 1578(H/S), 1582(5+9NM).  Site Master 1481-1593  BLTCHMNR (t = 8.7 SALOP95; 7.5 BEARSTP; 7.4CHERGTN).

The primary build comprises two parallel 2-bay ranges, each of two storeys with an attic. The roofs have single staggered purlins and straight windbraces. The panelling is of mid-17th century style and the heraldic stained glass is dated 1639 – previously thought likely to be the date of the primary phase. Dating commissioned by Marches Archaeology. (Miles and Worthington 2005, VA 36, list 166)

MUCH WENLOCK, 14 Callaughton (SO 618 974)

Felling dates: Winter 1569/70; Spring 1575-7

Purlin (reset) 1576 (36¼C±1); Joist 1569 (20C); Transverse beam 1561 (12); Principal rafters 1532 (H/S); 1518 (H/S) Tiebeam             1503. Site Master 1335-1569 CALLGHTN (t=13.0 SALOP95; 10.9 BROOKGT; 10.9 GTBINNAL)

No. 14 Callaughton, Much Wenlock, is basically a simple two-storied, two-bayed house with a lobby-entry.  It presents an asymmetrical front elevation because it is remodelled around two internal timber-framed trusses at right-angles to each other.  One incorporates re-used timbers which were not sampled, but the other, aligned in the same plane as the roof, consists of primary-use oak providing a standard tie-and-collar truss with queen-struts.  This central truss forms one wall of the house-place, the ceiling of which was originally of fully chequer-board design, each joist chamfered and stopped.  The house is stone-walled with a local friable mud-stone instead of the expected Wenlock limestone.  The timbers sampled are all consistent with the felling dates of 1569/70 and 1575-7, although some of the timbers exhibited a sapwood inclusion, giving an earlier heartwood/sapwood boundary date than might otherwise be expected.  The dating was part commissioned by the owners, Mr & Mrs A Ketchen. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

MYNDTOWN, Asterton, Home Farm House (SO 398 911)

(a)     Cruck phase      

Felling date: Winter 1479/80

(b)     Rebuilding phase

Felling dates: Winter 1608/9; Winter 1609/10

(a) Arch brace 1479(29C); Purlins 1461(h/s), 1458(h/s), 1452(h/s); Crucks 1342, 1310; Reset ridge (0/1). (b) Longitudinal beam 1609(38C); Studs 1608(43C), 1598(40?C), 1567(11+28NM); Intermediate beam 1559(h/s). Site Masters (a) 1179-1342 ASTRTN1 (t = 7.5 WIGALL46; 7.5 WALES97; 7.3 PLOWDEN1); 1389-1461 ASTRTN2 (t = 7.0 WIGALL46; 6.7 COATSFM; 6.4 CLUNBY); 1375-1479 hfast1 (t = 5.9 SHOOTRPH; 5.2 NHRA; 5.1 BOWER1; 4.8 BAYTON); (b) 1437-1609 ASTRTN3 (t = 10.8 CLNGNFRD; 10.7 HABBERLY; 10.6 SALOP95)

Home Farm House  stands on the edge of the Long Mynd. The first phase is represented by a single cruck truss, truncated at the top, with a fragment of a second blade built in to the rear wall. The crucks themselves had no heartwood/sapwood boundary, and the last measured ring dates of 1310 and 1342 should not be taken as an indicator of date, despite the presence of heavy gouged assembly marks. The date of 1479/80 produced by an arch brace, and supported by felling date ranges from the reset purlins would instead suggest that 100 to 150 outer rings have been trimmed off the crucks during conversion. The cruck blades themselves are only 6 in thick, but almost 2 ft wide, again suggesting they are coeval with the 1479/80 felling date for the arch-brace. The second phase of 1609/10 involved truncating the first cruck, removing the other cruck trusses, raising the walls, and inserting a first floor with very heavy chamfers on twin longitudinal beams. At the lower, western, end of the house, the longitudinal beams are supported on an internal jetty, with the bay beyond possibly serving an agricultural function. Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 192)

NEEN SAVAGE, Detton Hall (SO 666 795)

(a)     Jettied cross-wing

Felling dates: Spring 1573; Winter 1575/6

Purlins 1575 (45C); 1540 (H/S); Door post 1572 (17¼C).  Site Master 1342-1575 DETTON1 (t=10.8 SALOP95; 10.6 MASTERAL; 9.7 NORTH)

(b)     Hall range

Felling date range: 1625-1655

Principal rafter 1614 (H/S); Studs (0/3); Principal posts (0/2). Site Master 1520-1614 dh6 (t=5.0 TREES3; 4.7 SALOP95; 4.6 EASTMID)

(c)     Stone refacing of hall

Felling date range: Winter 1779/80

Purlins 1779 (14C; 17C); 1778 (10).        Site Master 1702-1779 DETTON2 (t=6.9 BAREFOOT; 6.8 MASTERAL; 6.5 NORTH)

Detton Hall, Neen Savage, is a large farmhouse representing classic piecemeal development.  The earliest unit is a two-bayed jettied cross-wing at the west end which produced a felling date of 1575/6.  It was served by a large outbuilt stone and brick chimneystack which incorporates diaper-work and has four tall star-shaped shafts.  The jetty encompasses three sides and has a moulded bressumer and two dragon-beams.  The unjettied long side is now an external wall but was clearly once an internal partition wall relating to a vanished range beyond.

At right-angles to the crosswing is a two-storied two-bayed hall range with close-studded and tension-bracing matching the basic pattern of the crosswing.  One principal rafter gave a felling date range of 1625-55  which is consistent with the block as a whole.  The purlins, however, have been reset and replaced as part of a refurbishment programme which probably included the application of stone casing to most of the house.  One of the purlins bears what appears to be a crude date inscription of MDCI, but cannot relate to any constructional phase, and the timber in which it was carved was felled in 1779/80, dating this reconstruction work.  The hall range terminates with a gable-stack which has three star-shaped shafts very similar in style to those adjacent to the western cross-wing.

Connecting the western crosswing to the present hall range is a unit which includes an entrance hall and an open well staircase which rises through two stories.  There are no balusters, their place is taken with flat panels pierced by almost haphazard geometric jig-saw like shapes.  Although one sample was taken from this block failed to date, it is probably contemporary with the seventeenth-century hall range.

Beyond the hall the house is further extended by a continuation to the hall range and an eastern crosswing.  These units which proved to be undatable, are stone-built and clearly designed for service purposes.  They are served by an outbuilt stone rear stair-turret which houses an oak spiral staircase.  The ‘mens room’ is at first-floor level and has its own fireplace and contains a separate compartment, perhaps for a senior member of staff or for use as a sick-room.  The chimneystack is again built to match the others.  Although the dendro-dating was limited and only partially successful due to the distressed nature of some of the timber, it is probable that when the jettied west wing was left standing, the whole of the new building programme was completed within fifty years.  What makes Detton Hall particularly interesting is the care that was taken to match features like the framing, the chimneystacks, and the roof heights in with the part that was retained.  Only the very latest extension beyond the eastern service crosswing has a lower roof-line.  The whole is a superb example of piecemeal development and shows how a successful farmhouse could be altered and extended to meet new requirements without wholesale destruction of the existing structure.  The dating was part-commissioned by the owners, Mr and Mrs E. Ratcliff. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

NEWPORT, The Guildhall (SJ 746 188)

(a)     Main range

Felling dates: Spring 1487

Principal rafters (1/3) 1486 (19¼C); Studs 1470, 1446; Purlin, Collar (0/2).  Site Master 1366-1486 NEWPORT1 (t=5.8 BROOKGT; 5.3 HENLEY; 4.8 EX198HS)

(b)     Wing

Felling dates: Spring 1546

Posts 1545 (24¼C), 1515 (H/S); Mantel beam 1463; Centre rail, Lower tie (0/2).  Site Master 1361-1545 NEWPORT2 (t=8.9 YORKS2; 8.2 BROOKGT; 8.0 EASTMID)

(c)     End bay partition

Felling dates: Spring 1562

Head beam 1561 (16¼C).  Site Master 1423-1561 ngh4 (t=7.7 NEWPORT2; 7.0 EASTMID; 7.0 GIERTZ)

The Guildhall, Newport is a four-bayed box-framed range set gable-end onto the street. Both end bays were floored but the two central bays were open. The central truss is very fne, with stub-ties above jowled posts and a deep-swinging arch brace fashioned in one enormous cusp. There are moulded wall plates and the windbraces are cusped, chamfered and pierced, set to form perfect quatrefoils. The 1546 date relates to an extension set parallel to the street and the 1562 date to the insertion of a partition in the westernmost bay of the hall range. (Paper by M. Moran forthcoming). (Miles and Haddon-Reece 1993, VA 24, list 54) Additional sampling by Michael Worthington

OSWESTRY, Old Grammar School, Church Street (SJ 288 294)

(a) Primary phase Felling date: Winter 1541/2

(b) Crosswing extension Felling date range: 1563-1593

(a) Corner post 1540(30); Tiebeam 1541(21C); Transverse beam 1541(25C). (b) Tiebeam 1500(H/S), Transverse beam 1552(h/s). Site Master 1356-1552 OSWSTRYGS (t = 8.4 MILKST2; 7.7 SALOP95; 7.7 ARDEN2).

The school was founded by 1407 by David Holbach, a local lawyer. It moved to a larger site in 1776. This building, sited close to the church, is the earliest secular school building in Shropshire. The main two-storey range is of two bays, jettied on three sides with moulding combining ovolo, dentil, and cavetto mouldings. The extension has idiosyncratic framing with queen posts, a central strut, and lozenge work, the principal rafters used as part of the lozenges. A tiebeam produced a felling date range consistent with the first phase work, suggesting that it was reused from part of the building when it was extended. At some stage a pair of upper crucks was inserted, however these were of reused timbers and did not have enough rings to warrant sampling. Dating commissioned by the Friends of the School.(Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2008, VA 39, list 205)

SHAWBURY, 122 Church Street (SJ 558 212)

Felling date: Winter 1682/3

Purlins 1682(18C), 1682(10C); Post 1682(17C). Site Master 1578-1682 SHAWBURY (t = 6.8 OLDHLLFM; 6.5 MEESON; 5.7 MILLEYS1).

Originally a two-bay cottage with central doorway, with an outbuilt stack, it later acquired a lean-to at the back and two dormer gables. The walls are square framed and down-curved windbraces are used in one of the roof bays. Throughout, the timbers are substantial. Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2008, VA 39, list 205)

SHAWBURY, Lane End Cottage, Muckleton (SJ 594 213)

Felling dates: Winter 1367/8, Winter 1371/2

Collar purlin 1338(h/s); Crown post 1367(21C); Principal post 1371(28C); Braces (0/2). Site Master 1225-1371 MUCKLTON (t = 7.3 EASTMID; 7.3 MEESON; 7.2 BROOKGT)

The house is of hall and cross-wing plan. The wing, of 1371/2, has large curved angle braces to each of two storeys and a crown-post roof. The straight lateral braces down to the tie and slightly curved longitudinal braces conform to Shropshire typology, and the date puts it towards the middle of the range. The collar purlin has a stop-splayed scarf joint with two face-pegs. The hall was rebuilt in 1621 (inscribed date) with a lobby entry, a hewn jetty on three sides, close studding with a mid rail, and pyramid stops to the spine beam. Dating funded by the Marc Fitch Fund. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

SHREWSBURY, 18-21 Abbey Foregate (‘The Peach Tree’) (SJ 498 125)

a)       West building, 18 & 19 Abbey Foregate

Felling date: Spring 1408

Principal post 1407(21¼C); Cruck 1405(20);  Stud (0/1); Collars (0/2). Site Master 1277-1407 PEACH1 (t=6.3 OWSTON1; 5.4 NEWDIG1; 5.0 ODIHAMOV)

b)      East building, 20 & 21 Abbey Foregate

Felling dates: Winter 1430/31 and Summer 1431

Braces (1/2) 1430(17C); Crucks (2/3) 1430(31½C2); King strut 1424(21); Collar (0/1). Site Master 1300-1430 PEACH2 (t=7.5 MASTERAL; 7.1 NOSTELL1; 6.9 LONDON)

This range comprises two two-bay cruck units of similar construction, each truss having an arch-braced collar-beam; however, they differ by 20 years in date, 1408 for the west and 1430 – 31 for the east building; it is not known whether the trusses incorporated ‘low beams’.  The whole range appears to be part of a terrace of crucks, perhaps similar to that identified at Barrow Street, Much Wenlock (VA 23 (1992), 10-14); they were presumably connected with the nearby Benedictine Abbey.  A gap of only 6 ins (0.15m) separates the two units, raising the question of how the later cruck truss was ‘reared’ against the existing one.  Dating commissioned by the Shrewsbury Civic Society. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

SHREWSBURY, Bear Steps, St Alkmond’s Square (SJ 493 125)

(a)     12a Butcher Row / 12 Fish St

Felling date: Winter 1358/9

Crown braces 1358 (21C); 1329 (H/S); Crown post 0/;1 Rafter 0/1; Corner post 0/1; Transverse beam 0/1.  Site Master: 1224-1358 BEARSTP1 (t=6.3 STOKE2; 6.1 PLOWDEN; 16.0 SALOP95)

(b)     Bear Steps Hall

Crown braces 0/2; Collar purlin 0/1; Tiebeam 0/1; Principal rafter 0/1

(c)     Bear Steps Gallery

Felling dates / date ranges: 1567-1576; Winter 1576/7; Winter 1607/8

Purlin 1576 (23C); Balcony posts (1/2) 1566 (31); Axial beam 1607 (29C).

(d)     The Orrel

Felling dates: Winter 1600/1; Spring 1601

Rafters (1/2) 1600 (30¼C); Purlins 1600 (13¼C); 1600 (13C); Principal rafters 1594 (1/2). Site Master: 1478-1607 BEARSTP2 (t=9.1 SALOP95; 8.8 BROOKGT; 8.4 MASTERAL)

Bear Steps complex, Shrewsbury, occupying a strategic position in the centre of the town, is a development consisting of one long jettied range which originally looked out over the churchyard and market-place.  Phase 1 dating to 1358/9 is a range on the corner of Fish Street and Butcher Row which incorporates a crown-post roof with cusped longitudinal braces.  Cusping also occurs on the quatrefoil panels of the framing above the jetty, making this building the earliest example of developed cusping in Shropshire by almost half-a-century.  Phase two saw the addition of an unjettied open hall (Bear Steps Hall) set tightly against the jettied front of the earlier building, thus obliterating its outlook.  The Hall also has crown-post roof construction, but of a plainer form. Despite reasonable ring counts, this phase failed to date through dendrochronology.  Some time later, an extension towards Fish Street was constructed with a side-purlin and windbraced roof, one of the purlins dating to 1576/7.  Paradoxically, an axial beam from the same structure dated to 1607/8. However, this is probably an insertion as an external gallery added to overlook Fish Street had a principal post which produced a felling date range of 1567-1576, although some of the gallery timbers were re-used.

The last phase to be sampled is the block known as ‘The Orrel’ which dated to 1601 or just after.  This range incorporates shops at two levels with chambers above, and is reminiscent of the Chester Rows in basic design.  It is thought to be known as the ‘Orrel’ because it formed the entrance to what was then the town centre.  ‘The Orrel’ is linked to the Phase 3 extension to Bear Steps Hall through a small stone-built block which contains a fireplace with 16th century moulding.  In the early 1960’s Bear steps Hall and ‘The Orrel’ were restored by F.W.B. Charles.  (See M. Moran and N. Miller Bear Steps, Shrewsbury Civic Society, 1982; F.W.B. Charles Conservation of Timber Buildings, Hutchinson, 1984, 216-8).  Notes by Madge Moran. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 81)

SHREWSBURY, Clive House (SJ 491 124)

(a)     Primary phase

Felling date range: 1504-1534

(b)     Later extension

Felling dates: Winter 1590/91, Spring 1591

(a) Collar 1438; Principal rafter 1493(1); Purlin 1504(10). (b) Corner post 1581(h/s); Purlin 1590(28C); Tiebeam 1590(18¼C). Site Master 1385-1590 CLIVEHS (t = 10.0 COUNCLHS; 9.4 BROOKGT; 9.4 SALOP95)

The house is so called because of its occupation by Lord Clive of India in the late 18th century. A fashionable six-bay brick block of the 1750s forms the garden front, but the site is part of the College of St Chad, established in the 12th century. The outlines of a medieval timber-framed house can be discerned within the building, including the remains of a spere truss, a lower-end truss, and part of the hall, all dated to 1504-34. Two doorways with elaborately carved heads of 15th-century style are believed to have been brought in. The 1591 dendro date relates to an extension which may have served as a kitchen, its later function. In 1965 the house was purchased by the Corporation of Shrewsbury for use as a museum, but was sold in 2001 and is now in private hands. Dating funded by the Shrewsbury Civic Society. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

SHREWSBURY, The Council House (SJ 495 127)

(a)     North cross-wing

Felling date ranges: 1459-1489; 1460-90; 1465-75; 1466-91

Rafters 1462 (12); 1450 (H/S); 1465 (15); 1461 (11); 1449 (H/S) Collar 1448? (H/S); Purlin (0/1). Site Master 1368-1500 COUNCLHS (t=8.2 BROOKGT; 7.9 SALOP95; 7.9 NGH1125)

(b)     Hall range

Felling dates: Winter 1500/1501; Spring 1501

Principal rafters 1500 (20¼C); 1500 (18C); King strut 1476 (H/S); Queen strut 1481 (1); Intermediate rail 1482 (2).

Built within the outer bailey of the Castle, The Council House was the headquarters of the historic Council of the Marches when it sat at Shrewsbury.  Normally based at Ludlow, it was formed during Edward IV’s reign, ratified by Henry VII, and finally abolished in 1689, it was both a judicial and administrative body, virtually governing Wales and the border counties to the west of Offa’s Dyke.  Although the house has extensions of the seventeenth century and later, the core comprises two phases.  The first is a crosswing with a felling date range of 1465-75 and comprises a roof of tie and collar-beam construction with one open arch-braced collar-beam truss, and another of lesser importance.  The windbraces are thick, short and cusped, with the spandrels reduced to a minimum.

The ‘hall’ range dates to 1501 with a roof containing two tiers of slightly-cusped plank windbraces with a nick cut in to the backs.  It seems clear that the hall range with its higher roof line was designed to make use of the roof-space as it has a fully-framed floor at second floor level and a framed door giving access from the older crosswing which was, presumably, partially floored across at this time.  The ‘hall’ was truncated at some time ad subdivision of the whole complex has led to difficulties of interpretation, but the felling date of 1501 coincides with a deed dated 18th September 1500 which specifies a transfer from Elizabeth Kynaston to Peter Newton.  He was Chancellor to the Council under Henry VII and it seems likely that he built or re-built the hall against the earlier solar wing.  (Shropshire Records and Research, 6000/9391; H. Owen & J.B. Blakeway, History of Shrewsbury, vol 1, (1825), 272,3)  Dating was commissioned by the Owen Family Trust. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

SHREWSBURY, 91 Frankwell (SJ 488 129)

Felling date: Summer 1447

Principal post 1428(h/s); Wall plate 1435(h/s); Transverse beam 1446(15½C). Site Master 1389-1446 FRANK91 (t = 7.4 SMMRSFRM; 6.7 LATTON; 6.7 MOTISFNT)

When Drinkwater Street was cut through in 1882 (J. L. Hobbs, Shrewsbury Street Names (1954), 46) it left part of a box-framed building on the north side (No. 91). This building appears to be the rear wing of a street-facing property, and although nothing remains internally of medieval date, the external framing is noteworthy for its large open rectangles with large curving wall braces at bay intervals, now dated to 1447. Dating commissioned by the Shrewsbury Civic Society. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 128)

SHREWSBURY, 127 Frankwell (Lyth Hudson’s) (SJ 488 128)

Felling dates: Winter 1609/10 and Spring 1610

Purlins (2/3) 1609(30C, 16¼C); Principal rafters 1609(15¼C), 1582(3+21CNM); Principal posts 1609(19¼C), 1594(5).  Site Master 1511-1609 HUDSON (t=7.1 EASTMID; 6.8 WALES97; 6.4 SALOP95)

This house comprises a three-storied box-framed range of three bays, jettied at both main floor levels and incorporating close-studding with a mid-rail, moulded bressumers, and S-braces demarcating the main bay divisions.  The ground floor may always have been shops, as at present.  The roof is of queen-post construction and what was presumably a ‘great parlour’ at first-floor level has the remnants of an elaborate plaster ceiling.  The date of 1610 makes it a late example of the work of the ‘Shrewsbury school of carpentry’ whose great flowering was in the last quarter of the 16th century.  Dating commissioned by the Shrewsbury Civic Society. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

SHREWSBURY, 165 Frankwell (SJ 489 128)

Felling dates: Winter 1601/2 and Spring 1603

Purlins 1602 (41¼C), 1601 (24C), 1575 (+24-30C); Strut 1567 (H/S).  Site Master 1387-1602 FRANK165 (t=11.0 SALOP95; 10.3 EASTMID; 9.7 UPWICH3)

A shop built in 1603, 165 Frankwell (Ashley Lighting), was given an improved trading position when the Welsh bridge was re-aligned in the 17990’s. Although containing much early 20th century work, the structure is notable for its original over-size scantling which includes two spine-beams with lambs’ tongue stops and a bressumer with triple ovolo-and quirk moulding.  The roof bressumer is of principal rafter and queen-post design.  Included in the twentieth-century remodelling is the framed and jettied gable on the northern side.  Dating was commissioned by the Shrewsbury Civic Society. (Miles and Worthington 2001, VA 32, list 118)

SHREWSBURY, Rigg’s Hall (SJ 493 128) 

a)       South end fragmentary truss

Felling date range: 1413-1443

Crown post 1407 (H/S); Principal rafters 1403 (3), 1400 (H/S).

b)      Solar wing

Felling date range1405-1435

Collar purlin 1398 (H/S); Stud 1389 (H/S); Centre wall post 1395; Principal rafter (0/1). Site Master 1325-1407 RIGGSHAL (t=9.7 KINGSHD; 8.8 LUDLOW4; 7.4 NAGSHEAD)

Rigg’s Hall is one of a group of buildings, once housing Shrewsbury School but now used as Shrewsbury’s Public Library.  The unit known as ‘Rigg’s’ and interpreted as a solar block has a stone ground-floor storey surmounted by timber-framing.  The framed part has crown-posts in the end trusses but the central truss is of arch-braced collar-beam construction.  The collar-beam has a central mortice to allow the collar-purlin to be purposefully threaded through; it is not dropped into a trench cut at a later date.  Thus, two techniques are skilfully combined, perhaps indicating a transitional phase but more likely to acquire an open truss in the centre, dispensing with intrusive crown-posts.  The crown-posts are of T-section with the limb extending down the tiebeam, normal for Shrewsbury, and the lateral braces are down-swinging and cusped.  Cusping also occurs on the external angle-braces, both up and down, and similarly on the transverse trusses.  This unit has produced a felling date range of 1405-1435.

At right angles to that unit is a linking block of indeterminate date ending in a truss which also displays crown-post roofing, but this time with a plane crown-post and short straight down-braced laterals.  Its nature has led to its being regarded as a relic from an earlier phase, but the dendrochronology has produced a similar felling date range of 1413-1443.  This means that the published account stands in need of revision and that the probable interpretation is that of an open hall unit with plain crown-post roofing and a solar cross-wing of more advanced and decorative design (M O H Carver (ed), Two Town Houses in Medieval Shrewsbury, T.S.A.S. Vol LXI (1983), p 67-8).  In 1401-2 David Holebatch, a prominent lawyer and bailiff of Shrewsbury in 1413-13 was granted leave to build on this site (Bod. Lib, MS  Gough Shropshire 12, fo. 98, reference kindly provided by Bill Champion).  There may have been an interval before the permit was taken up but the documentry evidence points to an earlier rather than later date within the felling date ranges.  Dating was commissioned by the Shrewsbury Civic Society. (Miles and Worthington 2001, VA 32, list 118)

SHREWSBURY, Shrewsbury Castle (SJ 495 128)

(a)     Stairway lintels plus one reset timber       

Felling date range (OxCal modelled): 1233-45 (unrefined 1234-49)

(b)     Ground floor and Hall Screen     

Felling date:  1647-8

All timbers (20/32): (a) Reset door lintel 1173(7); Lintels over stairs 1192, 1193, 1208(H/S), 1213(H/S), 1214(H/S), 1215(H/S), 1216(H/S), 1223(H/S);  (b) Ground floor beams 1620(11), 1622(H/S), 1625(H/S), 1626(H/S), 1630(+17C); Screen timbers 1626, 1632(8), 1636(14).  Site Masters (a) 1058-1223 SHRWCST1 (t = 7.7 ENGLAND; 7.4 NANTWICH; 7.1 WALES97); (b) 1498-1647 SHRWCST2 (t = 9.5 GOLDING; 9.3 E.MIDLANDS; 9.0 SALOP95)

Shrewsbury Castle was founded shortly after the Norman conquest. After the pacification of the Welsh in the late-thirteenth century it fell into decline. It was refortified in the Civil War, and then became a private dwelling in the eighteenth century, being largely remodelled by Thomas Telford. Surprisingly little is known about the history of the existing fabric, and dendrochronological investigation of the Hall range was requested in order to inform on-going conservation plans.  Construction of the Hall was thought to have begun in AD 1164, although it is commonly accepted that the Castle was rebuilt c AD 1280 by Edward I as part of his campaign to fortify the Welsh Border (M. Moran pers comm).  It was subsequently enlarged in AD 1596. Dating commissioned by English Heritage. M. Bridge and D. Miles, ‘Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from Shrewsbury Castle, Shrewsbury, Shropshire’, CfA report, 57/2005. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 180)

STOKESAY, Stokesay Castle (SO 436 817)

(a)     First phase

Felling dates: Winter 1261/2 and Winter 1262/3

South Passage: joists 1262 (29C); 1261 (14C); 1230 (H/S);  1218.  Solar Undercroft: inner door posts 1245 + (16C±1NM); 1242 (2); Inner door plank 1192. Site Master: 1088-1262 STOKE1 (t=12.2 STOKE2; 9.4 PLOWDEN1; 8.9 GTOXNBLD)

(b)     Second phase

Felling dates: Spring 1285 through Spring 1290

North Tower Undercroft: Door plank 1241; Main beams 0/2; Bolsters 0/1; Braces 0/1; wall post 0/1; Joists 0/2; First floor: Brace 1286 (29¼C); Main beam 1280 (28); Wall post 1254; Floor boards 1279 (16); 1118; Second floor: Joist 1289 (29¼C); Wall plate 1247 (H/S); Posts 1262 (H/S); 1240; 1174; Great Hall: Crucks 1283 (31¼C); 1284 (25¼C; 49¼C); 1289 (30C); 1267 (H/S); Principal rafter 1289 (20¼C); Rafter 1284 (17¼C); Arch braces (2/3) 1287 (23½C); 1288 (23½C); Arcade plate 1242 (H/S); Solar Undercroft ceiling: Main beam 1242 (H/S); Bolster 1264 (5) +25±1NM; Hall roof: Rafters (1/2) 1288 (47½C).  Site Master: 1046-1289 STOKE2 (t=13.0 MASTERAL; 12.6 SOUTH; 12.1 NORTH)

(c)     South Tower

Felling date ranges: After 1535, after 1541

Door panels 1524; 1530.  Site Master: 1390-1530 STOKE3 (t=9.2 GIERTZ; 9.1 NORTH; 8.7 SALOP95)

(d)     North Tower 2nd floor

Felling date: Summer 1578

Stud to NW projection 1577 (35½C)

(e)     South Tower Inserted floor

Felling dates: After 1595; Winter 1640/41

First floor main beam 1640 (22C); Joists (1/2) 1584.

(f)      Gatehouse

Felling dates: Summer 1639; Winter 1639/40; Winter 1640/41

Axial beam 1638 (23½C); Purlins (2/4) 1639 (35C; 31C); Rafters (2/3) 1640 (34C; 38C); Panelling: Panels (2/5) 1415; 1628; Main gate: Boards (1/2) 1472+138NM. Site Master: 1449-1640 STOKE4 (t=8.7 BEDSTONE; 8.6 SALOP95; 8.4 NORTH)

(g)     Solar panelling

Felling date range: After 1639

Panels 1628.

(h)     Gatehouse alterations

Felling date: Summer 1652

Inserted door to attic 1651 (20½C)

(i)      Solar Undercroft cellar

Felling dates: Winter 1661/2; Winter 1662/3

Main beams 1662 (13C; 14C); Joists     1661 (27C); 1662 (23C); Partition soleplate (0/1) Site Master: 1463-1662 STOKE5 (t=9.9 SALOP95; 9.4 MASTERAL; 8.9 NORTH)

(j)      Miscellaneous re-used timbers

Great Hall:

Felling dates: Spring 1606; 1630-1660

Strut under staircase 1605 (33¼C); Centre string lower staircase 1619 (H/S).

South passage roof:

Felling date ranges: 1271-1301; 1280-1310

Collar 1151; Rafters 1260 (H/S); 1269 (H/S)

Unprovenanced timber

Felling date range: After 1044

?Rafter 1033 Site Master: 925-1033 sc2 (t=8.3 NORTH; 8.3 MASTERAL; 7.9 STAFFORD)


Felling date range: 1601-1631

?Rafter 1590 (H/S)

Stokesay Castle on the Welsh Border is one of England’s finest examples of a medieval fortified manor house.  The earliest phase identified dates from 1262/3 and includes the lower part of South Passage Block, as well as a re-set door and frame in the Solar Undercroft.  It had been suggested that the lower storey of the North Tower was earlier, but none of the timber comprising the North Tower undercroft ceiling was suitable for dating.  However, floor boards immediately above this ceiling were found to be coeval with the upper floors of the North Tower, Solar Undercroft and roof, and the Great Hall roof, with latest felling dates of 1290.  The Hall roof is a remarkable construction consisting of a hybrid mixture of raised crucks, aisled end trusses, and an unusual example of collar-purlin without crown posts.  The floors in the North Tower and Solar are supported on substantial beams on massive brackets.  The original roof of individual rafter couples with soulaces and ashlars, hipped with gablets at each end, survives over the Solar, but has been replaced in outline on the North Tower.  The archaeological evidence, as postulated by R. A. Cordingley,  supports the Hall, Solar and North Tower as being of one phase, and this has been confirmed by the dendrochronology. Subsequent alterations identified in the North Tower included a northward extension to the jettied top storey shortly after 1578, and the Solar Undercroft floor being replaced in or shortly after 1662/3.

The Gatehouse is an elaborately carved and jettied structure, and was found to date from 1640/41, just as the Civil War was beginning.  A door jamb in the attic dated to 1652, indicating an alteration to the staircase to the top floor.  Fragments of panelling originating from the Gatehouse as well as the Solar were found to have been felled after 1639 and may be part of the 1640’s phase. No original timberwork survives in the South Tower, but a replacement first floor ceiling with moulded beams was found to date from 1640/41, obviously part of the same building campaign as the Gatehouse.  Fragments of the external door to the South Tower was found to have been felled after 1541.

Photographs taken by John Bailey of the Ancient Monuments Laboratory of the faces of doors and underside of floorboards from the Solar and North Tower undercrofts has enabled the dating of these features which would have otherwise been impossible to sample non-destructively.  The dating was arranged by Tony Fleming and Dr Glyn Coppack of Historic Properties Midlands. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 81)

WESTBURY, Upper Lake (SJ 371 068)

Felling dates: Summer 1545, Winter 1545/6, Spring 1546, and Winter 1547/8

Tiebeam 1542(10); Crucks 1543(17), 1546(23½C); Collar 1545(11C); Purlins 1545(24C), 1544(28½C);  Wall plate 1517(1); Cruck stud 1545(19¼C).  Site Master 1418-1546 UPRLAKE (t=11.7 BROOKGT; 10.5 SALOP95; 9.7 MALPAS1)

This former farmhouse is the sole remaining building in the hamlet of Lake.  Of piecemeal development, the oldest part of the complex is a cruck range of which three trusses survive, one of which was the central truss of a two-bay hall.  Two trusses have the expected L2 apex but the third has a type ‘G’ apex which is unusual for Shropshire.  The central truss retains evidence for a ‘low beam’.  A moulded re-used beam is thought to have come from a coved canopy over the dais.  The wall-plates are of a most unusual form, chamfered to such a degree as to make them almost of triangular section.  The felling date of 1547/8 identifies the builders as the Treves family who owned the medieval freehold between 1540 and 1691 (VCH Shropshire Vol. 8 (1968), 306).  Dating commissioned by English Heritage in support of the Shropshire Dendrochronology Project and as part of a dendrochronology training programme at Oxford University, see Worthington, M J, and Miles, D W H 2001  The Tree-Ring Dating of Upper Lake, Westbury, Shropshire, Centre for Archaeol Rep, 42/2001.  The house was recorded by the Whitchurch Buildings Recording Group. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 109)

WHITCHURCH, 28 Watergate (SJ 543 414)

Felling dates: Spring 1593 and Spring 1597

Corner posts 1592 (33¼C), 1577 (H/S); Studs 1592 (21¼C), 1596 (23¼C); Rails 1571 (1), 1567 (H/S), 1564 (H/S); Post 1581 (H/S); Brace 1513 (H/S); Tiebeam 1530. Site Master 1416-1596 WHGHWHIT (t=15.4 IGHTFELD; 13.7 SALOP95; 11.4 EASTMID)

This property borders the area of the old town pool and has the outward appearance of a double-fronted Victorian shop, but recent stripping-out revealed a box-framed structure, 2-bayed and with a large inserted stack and a contrived passageway from front to back.  Original features include an ogee-headed doorway and a small unglazed window with three short crudely-shaped mullions.  The original plan was of an open single-bayed hall flanked by a floored parlour bay.  The ground-floor parlour was embellished with wall-paintings of a simple floral type linked with banding to form lozenges.  The pigments have been analysed as indigo, red lead, natural ochre and charcoal, and show not only that the paintings were applied some time after the building had settled but were renewed thereafter at intervals (C. Hassall ‘Paint Analysis Report, no. W175c’ to North Shropshire District Council, 2000).  The two end trusses remain reasonably intact and include long tension-braces and jowled heads to the posts, the late date of 1597 compatible with what is known of timber-framing in north Shropshire and particularly with 17-23 Watergate (the old Raven Inn) opposite (M Moran Vernacular Buildings of Whitchurch and Area and their Occupants, Logaston Press (1999), 75-88), which produced a felling date of 1625 (VA 28, 168, 170) Dating commissioned by North Shropshire District Council. (Miles and Worthington 2001, VA 32, list 118)

WHITCHURCH, Broughall, The Old Hall (SJ 566 415)    

Felling date: Spring 1569

Axial beams 1501, 1535(h/s), 1568(44¼C); Transverse beam 1528; Front ceiling beam 1527. Site Master 1416-1568 BRHL (t= 7.7 IGHTFELD; 7.3 CALLGHTN; 6.7 WHGHWHIT)

Broughall is one of thirteen historic townships which make up present day Whitchurch. The Old Hall is sited less than a mile from the moated site of Blakemere, the original manor of Whitchurch, and this may have a bearing on the form of the house. Although remodelled with a lobby-entry plan in the seventeenth century and now clad in brick, two dragon beams and their corresponding chamfered and stopped joists in the room to the south, indicate a three-sided prestigious jettied solar cross wing. The quality of the work suggests a house of some status, and this is supported by the presence of three fish ponds in the garden. Recorded by the Whitchurch Buildings Recording Group. Dating commissioned by North Shropshire District Council. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 154)

WHITTINGTON, Halston Chapel (SJ 339 313)

Felling dates: Winter 1437/8

Tiebeam 1437 (12C); Queen post 1420 (H/S); Stud 1409; Wall plate (0/1); Principal rafters (0/2). Site Master 1322-1437 HALSTON (t=6.5 ABBOTSHS; 5.6 KINGPYON; 5.2 SALOP95)

A Preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers was founded at Halston between 1165 and 1187 and the isolated private chapel belonging to Halston Hall is the only building which predates the dissolution of the order.  It is one of only two surviving fully-framed churches in Shropshire but never became a parish church.  The pattern of the framing is that of close-studding divided by a mid-rail.  There is a two-light squint window either side of the entrance which is from an added brick tower at the west end.  At the east end the framed chancel forms a rectangular extension.  The corner posts of the chancel and the east end of the main body have jowelled feet.  The side windows have moulded timber frames and mullions, with ogee moulding matching that on the rafters.  Although the chapel was re-fitted in the eighteenth century, the original roof is covered over but intact and has three main trusses each of tie-and-collar-beam construction with V-struts which are cusped to match the cusping on the principals and the collar to form a quatrefoil flanked by two trefoils, very similar to the design at the Ludlow Guildhall, Moat House, Longnor, et al.  Cusping also occurs in the windbraces and the whole interior is lavishly decorated with carvings.  In the arch-brace spandrels of the main trusses are motifs which include various animals, faces, a mitred bishop, and - most controversial - a bear and ragged staff.  In 1552, the owner Edward Mytton married Ann, a daughter of Sir Edward Greville and, while it would be normal for the Myttons to wish to stress the Greville connection, the date is incompatible with the felling date of 1437/8.  (See V.C.H. Shropshire, Vol 2 (1973), 87, 88; E. Mercer, Soc. of Architectural Historians, Conference Booklet (1988), 27, 28). (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

WHITTINGTON, Whittington Castle (SJ 325 312)

(a)     South (rear) range to south tower           

Felling dates: Spring 1477; Summer 1478

(b)     Main gates – north leaf, boards; reused mid rail   

Felling dates: Winter 1579/80; Winter 1485/6

(c)     North bastion – inserted floor     

Felling date range: 1477-1507

(d)     Cottage to rear of north tower    

Felling date: Winter 1628/9

(a) Joists (4/5) 1459(h/s), 1466(h/s), 1476(14¼C), 1477(13½C); Transverse beam (0/1). (b) Mid rail ?reused 1485(15C); Hanging stile 1561(+5 to h/s); Top curved rail 1569(13); Rail 1510; Muntin 1579 (27C). (c) Primary phase lintels (0/2); Inserted beam 1467(1+9 NM). (d) Transverse beam 1628(30C); Joists 1517, 1526, 1535, 1545, 1548, 1616(4); Floorboard 1554.  Site Master 1351-1628 WHITNGTN (t= 11 SALOP95; 10.6 MASTERAL; 9.8 HANTS02)

Two timber lintels over the cruciform arrow loops of the thirteenth-century north tower in the outer gatehouse were sampled but failed to date. The rest of the upper floors and the front roof were probably replaced in the early nineteenth century. To the rear of the south tower is an extension which served as the manor courthouse for many centuries. Above this a two-light window is thought to be Tudor in date and may well relate to the insertion of the floor tree-ring dated to 1478. In the north tower, the dated beam may relate to the same rebuilding phase as the south range.

The gates were clearly of two phases, the southern leaf being constructed of very fast-grown timber, but the north leaf of very slow-grown boards and framing. It is double-boarded, with a L-shaped hanging stile that includes the start of both layers of boards. To the rear of the north tower is a one-and-a-half storey timber-framed cottage (d) built onto the back of the tower. Dating commissioned by Purcell Miller Tritton on behalf of the Whittington Castle Preservation Trust. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 154)

WISTANSTOW, Church of the Holy Trinity  (SO 433 856)

(a)     North Transept roof primary phase

Felling date range: 1200-1222

Wallplate 1199 (19); Collar 1181 (H/S); Rafters 1169;1135; Soulaces 1178 (1); 1171.  Site Master 1069-1199 WSTNSTOW (t=12.9 STOKE2; 10.2 PLOWDEN1; 9.2 MASTERAL)

(b)     Repairs at south end of North transept

Felling date: Spring 1627

Rafter 1616 (39+10¼C NM).  Site Master 1451-1616 wstw7 (t=6.6 SALOP95; 6.5 BEDSTONE; 5.9, EASTMID)

Holy Trinity Church at Wistanstow is an interesting cruciform building with a substantial central tower.  The north transept still retains its original roof, which has here been dated to 1200-1221.  This originally consisted of seven individual rafter-couples with straight soulaces, ashlar pieces, and solepieces.  Two rafters were dated through photography of the exposed rafter ends. The southernmost rafter-couple had been replaced by two sets rafters of more slender scantling, one producing a felling date of 1627, possibly preceding the replacement of the chancel roof in 1630 (D. H. S. Cranage An Architectural account of the Churches of Shropshire,  part 3, (1897), bound Hobson & Co., Wellington, 1901, 168-172)  The roof of the north transept is more exactly detailed in Individual Case Studies (Miles 1997, VA 28, 105-106). (Miles, D, H, 1998 The tree-ring dating the north transept, Holy Trinity Church, Wistanstow, Shropshire, Anc Mon Lab Rep, 60/98) (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 81)

WHITCHURCH, The Raven, 17-23 Watergate (SJ 542 414)

Felling dates: Spring 1625

Post 1624 (21¼C); Purlins (1/2) 1582 (H/S); Studs (0/3); Transverse beams (0/2). Site Master 1449-1582 raven6 (t=6.5 MCPREES; 6.0 MILKST2; 5.9 NORTH)

Nos. 17-23 Watergate, Whitchurch, presently consists of two shops on either side of a cart entry and with chambers above.  Only two samples dated, one with a felling date of 1625. The deeds, however, suggest that the block is the long-lost hostelry called the ‘Raven’.  The framing on the front in the upper storey is of close studding divided by a rail slightly lower than mid-way.  This is repeated at the rear where the interstices are wider, and the same pattern occurs elsewhere in Watergate.  One ovolo-moulded three-light window survives in the rear wall.  Although the internal plan accords well with the functioning of an inn as opposed to a private house, it seems that Nos. 17 and 19 began as a barn-like structure with no internal floors or heating.  The whole block is first mentioned as an inn in 1667, and in type it is similar to the ‘George’ at Stamford.  It is unjettied and has tie-and-collar-beam roof trusses with irregularly-spaced uprights suggesting some degree of reconstruction.  An important feature is the remains of free-hand wall-paintings in two of the chambers.  Fruit and flowers, all with culinary and medicinal usages, are depicted, as well as some fragmentary classical details.  These are the only free-hand wall-paintings known in Whitchurch.  The deeds repeatedly mention a quince tree as a focal point in the garden.  It is hoped to include the property in a publication of the work of a Keele University extra-mural class.  (See W.A. Pantin, ‘Medieval Inns’, Studies in Building History, ed. E.M. Jope, Odhams, (1961), 187, 182-3, fig. 9.6). (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

WORFIELD, Bradney Farm (SO 769 959)

Felling dates: Spring 1483; Winter 1486/7; Spring 1487

Cruck 1486 (12¼C); Rafters (3/5) 1486 (20C); 1474 (5); 1482 (17¼C); Purlin (0/1), Strut (0/1).  Site Master 1394-1486 WORFIELD (t=6.5 LLANSHAY; 6.3 SALOP95; 6.2 EASTHOPE)

Although modernised to a large degree, Bradney Farm, Worfield, still retains the central cruck truss of a two-bayed hall dating from 1487.  The building is more fully described in Individual Case Studies (Moran and Hand 1997, VA 28, 107).  The dating was commissioned by the owners, Mr and Mrs M. Barker. (Miles and Worthington 1997, VA 28, list 83)

WROCKWARDINE, Leaton Grange (SJ 613 114)

(a)     Solar cross-wing

Felling date: After 1313

Centre hip rafter 1302; End hip brace, rafter (0/2). Site Master  1185-1302 lea1 (t=6.9 STOKE2; 6.6 UPTNMAG1; 6.4 SENGLAND)

(b)     Repair phase

Felling date: 1570-1600

Corner post 1559 (H/S) Site Master 1410-1559 lea3 (8.1 SALOP95; 7.8 EASTMID; 7.7 MASTERAL)

Several building phases are present in the complex at Leaton Grange, Wrockwardine, the earliest part of which appears to be a solar cross-wing relating to a (rebuilt) medieval hall.  The cross-wing contains two bays of crown post roof construction with a plain 3 ft 8 in long crown post with over-riding collar-purlin, down-swinging lateral braces, and plain curved longitudinal braces.  Whilst the central truss is unremarkable among Shropshire crown-post roofs, the main interest lies in the form of the end trusses, which indicate that the roof had hipped ends.  One truss includes a straight longitudinal brace with an additional cusped brace springing from it; the other is obscured, but is thought to match the first.  The only similar structure known is at Hookstone Farm, Chobham, Surrey (E. Mercer, English Vernacular Houses (1975), 205-6).  Unfortunately the only dateable timber lacked any sapwood, giving a terminus post quem of felling after 1313.   The dating also identified a phase of major repairs, in which the corner post and tiebeam was replaced in the period 1570-1600. For further information see Individual Case Studies (Moran 1998, VA 29, 88-9).  Dating funded by Lt Cdr. J Oldham-Malcolm. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 92)