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Carpentry Traditions and Timber-Frame Buildings

Hippisley-Cox, Charles (2015) Carpentry Traditions and Timber-Frame Buildings. Context, the journal of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (138). pp. 29-31. ISSN 0958-2746

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Despite much of the forests being cleared in advance of agricultural expansion, areas of oak woodland have been managed as a valuable resource passed on from one generation to the next. The longevity of oak trees has required long term planning and an ability to forecast the demand of great grandchildren and beyond. Depending on circumstances, this management would have happened historically within family groups, or perhaps on a communal basis as part of the feudal system.
Prior to the 1840s and the introduction of rotating “circular” saws, saw mills exclusively used a vertical movement for converting the trees into timber. Saw mills were traditionally powered by water, with the rotary motion of the wheel being transferred via a crank shaft to a rip-saw blade mounted in a vertical wooden frame known as a sash. The introduction of steam power would have also contributed to the demise of water power for timber conversion in the UK.

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Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: oak, timber frames, traditional carpentry skills, woodland management, building conservation, cruck frame, forestry, rip saws, water mills, timber mills, timber-frames, traditional buildings, technology of buildings, cruck frame, sash saw, rip saw, rivelin valley, sheffield rivers, sheffield heritage, local history sheffield, industrial mills,
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
Related URLs:

Alcock, N. W. 1973 A Catalogue of Cruck Buildings, Phillimore for VAG
Alcock N W, 1981, Cruck Construction. The Council for British Archaeology Research Report No 42. 37-9
Airs M, 1995, The Tudor and Jacobean Country House. A Building History. Sutton Publishing, Stroud.
Alcock N, W, 1973, A Catalogue of Cruck Buildings. Vernacular Architecture Society.

Alcock N W, 1996, The meaning of Insethouse, Vernacular Architecture 27, 8-9.

Alcock N W, 1997, A Response to: Cruck Distribution: A Social Explanation by Eric Mercer’,Vernacular Architecture 28 (1997), 92-3.

Alcock N W, 2002, The Distribution and Dating of Crucks and Base Crucks, Vernacular Architecture 33, 67-70.

Alcock N W, 2007, The Origins of Crucks. A Rejoinder, Vernacular Architecture 38, 11-14.

Brunskill R W, 1994, Timber Building in Britain. Victor Gollancz, London.

Hewett, Cecil A. 1980, English Historic Carpentry, Philimore, 231-233.

Hill N, 2005, On the Origins of Crucks: An Innocent Notion, Vernacular Architecture 36, 1-14.

Mason, R.T.(un-dated) Framed Buildings of England, Coach Publishing House, Horsham

Mercer E, 1996, Cruck Distribution: A Social Explanation, Vernacular Architecture 27, 1-2.

Pearson S, 2001, The Chronological Distribution of Tree-Ring Dates, 1980-2001: An Update, Vernacular Architecture 32, 68-69.

Ross, P., Mettem, C. and Holloway, A. 2007, Green Oak in Construction, TRADA Technology.

Ryder, Peter 1982, Timber Framed Buildings in South Yorkshire, SYCC Archaeological Service

Williams, Michael, 1992 Americans and Their Forests, Cambridge University Press

Depositing User: Charles Hippisley-Cox
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2015 14:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2015 23:14


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