BIDDULPH, Biddulph Old Hall, Overton Road (SJ 893 601)        

Felling date range: 1518-48

All timbers (10/11); Principal rafters 1489, 1501(H/S); Queen strut 1504(H/S+11NM); Collars 1511(H/S), 1512, 1513(H/S), 1524(13); Purlins 1503(H/S), 1504(H/S), 1508(H/S). Site Master 1405-1524 BIDDULPH (t = 9.8 E. MIDLANDS; 9.4 NORTH; 8.6 STAYLEY20).

The present farmhouse and a single bay link have been identified as additions to the ruins of the Hall after the Civil War. This is now seen to be incorrect and it may be the original house on the site, to which the more grand building, now in ruins, was added.. The roof has two rows of butt purlins and windbraces between collar and principal rafter trusses, with short queen struts. The triangular spaces between the queen struts, the floor and the wall plate have been filled with plaster. The use of windbraces downward from the principals to the upper purlins is unusual, a similar example being at Chazey Court, Mapledurham, Oxfordshire, dendro-dated to 1608-10 (VA 35, 95-103). Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles and Worthington 2005, VA 36, list 166)

HARLASTON, Church of St Matthew (SK 215 109)

(a)     Nave roof, reused timbers          

Felling date range: 1415-38

(b)     Tower bell frame

Felling date range: 1480-85

(a) Studs (1/2) 1389(H/S); Tiebeams 1404(H/S), 1392(H/S), 1385(H/S). (b) Posts (1/4) 1456(1+19C NM); Brace (0/1). Site Masters (a) 1289-1404 STMNAVE (t = 7.0 LWYMON1; 6.2 KINGST1; 6.1 ODIHAMOV), (b) 1341-1456 smhn3 (t = 6.9 HIARDEN2; 6.6 wstn1; 6.1 MASTERAL).

Between 1838 and 1882 the nave and chancel were rebuilt largely in brick above apparently thirteenth century foundations, with the suggestion that the nave roof was imported from another building during the 1838/9 rebuild; this is supported by the tree-ring dating. The trusses have single collars, curved raking struts and curved V-struts.  In the west tower, the ringing chamber and the turret above are carried by two timber trusses. Each truss comprises substantial posts rising from a plate with the angles stiffened by long curved braces. Although the posts and braces are reused, as indicated by redundant mortices, it is unknown if they relate to an earlier tower frame, or whether they came from another building. The undated plates are later than both the posts and the braces.  The tree-ring date of 1480-85 gives a terminus post quem for the construction of the bell frame.   M J Worthington and D W H Miles, ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of the Church of St Matthew, Harlaston, Staffoldshire’, CfA report 26/2005.  Dating commissioned by English Heritage. (Miles and Worthington 2005, VA 36, list 166)

LICHFIELD, Milley’s Hospital (SK 1135 0975)

Felling dates: Summer 1651, Winter 1651/2, and Spring 1652

Purlins 1651(13¼C, 16¼); Partition head 1651(15¼C); Principal rafter 1651(18C); Raking strut 1650(21½C); Tiebeam (0/1); Post (0/1); Door posts (0/2). Site Master 1564-1651 MILLEYS1 (t=7.9 NORTH; 7.8 EASTMID; 7.7 MASTERAL).

Dr Milley’s Hospital was founded about 1424 on property given by Bishop Heyworth in that year.  The hospital was re-endowed and rebuilt in 1502-4 by Thomas Milley, a residentiary canon of Lichfield, for the support of fifteen almswomen. It is an L-shaped building of two storeys, the front range having an attic. The front is a symmetrical 5-window range probably refronted in the eighteenth century. The two-storey gabled entrance porch has an elliptical brick arch and wide boarded door. The southern part of the west wing to the rear was demolished in 1906 and a new southern wall was constructed at that time. The original trusses in this range have been truncated and a new rafter roof constructed over it. The original internal and external walls are constructed of close-studded timber framing. The doorways have slight ogee heads and plank doors. M J Worthington and D W H Miles, ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Milley’s Hospital, Lichfield, Staffoldshire’, CfA report 109/2002.

LICHFIELD, Hospital of St John the Baptist (SK 1176 0915)

Felling dates: Early spring 1494, Winter 1494/5, and Spring 1495

Rafters 1494(23¼C, 24¼C, 25C, 29C); Principal rafters 1493(18¼C, 22¼C); Collar 1477(7); Purlin 1464(H/S).  Site Master 1356-1494 STJLICH (t=7.9 EASTMID; 7.4 NORTH; 7.0 SALOP95).

The Hospital of St John the Baptist, St John's Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire was originally founded around 1129-48. The building sampled is thought constructed as part of the re-founding undertaken by Bishop William Smith 1495. The building consists of a long east range with later ranges added to form a U-plan, with a chapel to the north. The building has two storeys, eight large chimney-stacks and six bay windows which were added in 1923. The walls are constructed using small red brick. Originally there were timber-framed partitions to both the ground and the first floors. The first floor is constructed using both transverse and axial beams. The roof has six bays with clasped purlin construction which is generally attributed to the fifteenth or early sixteenth century. From the tiebeam, two raking struts rise to a single collar, principal rafters, and wind-braces. M J Worthington and D W H Miles, ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of the Hospital of St John the Baptist, Lichfield, Staffoldshire’, CfA report 62/2002.