The Old Stables, Wherwell Priory.

This building dates to 1249/50 and 1279/80.

The Old Stables, Wherwell Priory, lie within the precinct of the former abbey of Wherwell. Their flint walls with massive stone quoins have been largely refaced in brick and flint. Inside was a mighty hall of which seven bays survive in whole or part. Its smoke-blackened rafters suggest a monastic guest hall or infirmary. The magnificent roof, some 27 feet wide internally, is of raised aisle construction with passing braces and notch-lap joints. The earliest phase of the roof dates to 1250 and is characterised by the use of ashlar pieces or ‘shoes’ on the rafters (where they are seated on the arcade plates and wall plates), and by the trait-de-jupiter scarf joints without face keys. Otherwise the two phases appear to be indistinguishable. The second phase dates to 1280 and has a separate series of assembly marks, and both phases have hewing marks, the earliest clearly identifiable marks found so far on English timber framing. (Miles and Haddon-Reece 1996, VA 27, list 72)

 

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