The Mount, Silchester

This large cruck house, dating to c.1405, stands some 7.3m high at the apex. Of the three cruck trusses that survive, one is the central hall truss and the other two define the service bay. The crucks are all of type W, but the two internal trusses have apparently original principals, which clasp a saddle and a diagonally set ridge beam. Unusually, the purlins are tenoned into the cruck blades. A new wall of conventional framing, located in the middle of the second hall bay, with a date of 1724 on the inside of the tie beam, represents a major repair following the demolition of the parlour bay. All the timbers of the primary frame had less than 40 rings, the arch braces having the widest ring widths seen by this laboratory at 5/8in (16mm). Only the crucks had sufficient rings for dating, and paradoxically, their outer edges had some of the narrowest rings ever encountered in oak. Although bark edge was present on both crucks, the narrow rings were so tight that only the last ten could be counted, and even then uncertainly. Therefore only a c.1405 date can be given – the felling date could vary a year or two either way. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 127)

 

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