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27 January 2022

In a beautifully illustrated presentation, VEHS committee member lan Lloyd-Oswell not only took his audience through the designs of timber-framed building through the ages, their construction materials and decoration, he had brought along an interesting selection of woodworking tools, handed down in his family, whose use he demonstrated towards the end of his tak. Many of these tools have changed little in design over the centuries,

lan began with a comparison between cruck and box-frame construction (the latter producing a building more convenient to live in). The material of choice was oak. For cruck construction - a fine example can be found at Avoncroft Buildings Museum - the trees were trained during growth to provide the curved shape necessary. The Tithe Bam at Bradford-on-Avon provides an excellent example of a raised cruck construction. For use in constructing boxframe buildings, straight timbers were required and this was achieved by growing the oaks very close together. Oak was an expensive material, however, and sometimes elm was used as a substitute (even the Almonry in Evesham has a few elm beams). In order to roof a large open space (as at Westminster Hall in London, for example, the hammer beam roof was used.

lan showed illustrations of churches (such as that at Melverley in Shropshire, restored by lan's great-uncle in the 1920s), and in particular their roofs and porches. He also showed a number of high-status domestic buildings such as Little Moreton Hall and Lower Brockhampton

Some of the most interesting illustrations showed plans for the frameworks in belfries - really quite elaborate arrangements necessary to support the weight and pealing of the bells.

This was a fascinating tak illuminated by humour and anecdote on the part of the speaker and by the fine illustrations. There was a lot of interest on the part of the audience, and a good deal of discussion.

Timber-framed Buildings - by Ian Lloyd-Oswell: Event
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