Carmen Davis : Dating english houses
The earliest surviving French half-timbered buildings date from the 12th century. Choosing the best realtor for your old house Pros and cons of historic districts How to protect your old house after you're gone Site Directory. Indeed, it is arguable that in many cases the retention of open fireplaces may have been more due to tradition or familiarity than any practical or economic need. The original English colonial settlements, such as Plymouth, Massachusetts and Jamestown, Dating english houses had timber-framed buildings, rather than the log cabins often associated with the American frontier.
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Fireplaces and their chimneys may reveal a great deal about historic houses; they can show how buildings were used and how they have changed and developed over time. They can also be some of the most striking and architecturally important elements of a house, because new technologies and, more often, the dictates of changing tastes, were reflected in radical changes to fire surrounds. However, the stylistic development of dating english houses has been well described elsewhere. This article focuses on the development of fire provision in domestic houses and details how evidence of earlier examples may survive in the archaeological record. The earliest hearths retained the fire in a shallow pit or circle of stones.
Index to all stories in this series. Nancy's son Jude tears away plaster to reveal the original stove crane in the front parlor. I can feel Anne's presence when I look at the stove crane -- her stove crane that still is part of the fireplace in my front parlor. That's Anne Gunnison, left behind as a life-long tenant in my humble little worker's cottage, when her father, a blacksmith named William Gunnison and his wife Hannah, sold this house in to James Post, a mariner, and his family. This sale carried the condition that Anne would continue to live in the front chamber with cellar privileges for her wood and garden privileges for her vegetables for the rest of her natural life.
Timber framing and "post-and-beam" construction are traditional methods of building with heavy timbers, creating structures using squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs. It is commonplace in wooden buildings from the 19th century and earlier. If the structural frame of load-bearing timber is left exposed on the exterior of the building it may be referred to as half-timbered , and in many cases the infill between timbers will be used for decorative effect. The method comes from working directly from logs and tree rather than pre-cut dimensional lumber. Hewing this with broadaxes , adzes , and draw knives and using hand-powered braces and augers brace and bit and other woodworking tools, artisans or framers could gradually assemble a building. Since this building method has been used for thousands of years in many parts of the world, many styles of historic framing have developed.
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Dating a building by inscription is a long tradition, though few name the architect in such brief form as that on the Town Hall at Blandford Forum which reads 'Bastard, Architect, '. The trouble with inscriptions, useful though they are, is that you cannot be sure that they are right many have been added by later owners or that they date more than a particular feature or phase of development. The datestone has to be treated with the same critical eye as the rest of the building. Historic buildings need historians. That might seem axiomatic, but surprisingly few of the half million or so listed buildings have ever been thoroughly investigated. The rise of a specialist role of architectural historian has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of the conservation movement over the last half-century.
The style of buildings and their details provide vital clues to their age and much more besides. Style tells us dating english houses the mind-set of the people who commissioned and designed the building, and their resources. Is it a practical vernacular buildingerected without the aid of an architect? Or is it an expression of an aesthetic?
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