src=/bin/counter.pl?h=1 width=1 height=1>
IRONWORK REPAIRS IN TIMBER-FRAMED BUILDINGS.
In compiling this dissertation
it has been necessary because of time (one year) and expense to limit the
geographical area of study to the North Essex and Suffolk borders close to
the authors home. In consultation with senior colleagues in the Historic Buildings
and Conservation Section of Essex County Council the consensus of opinion
was that this area represented a good microcosm of the timber-framed buildings
of East Anglia and so of timber-framed building in general. It would be a
colossal feat of human endeavour to try to generalise across the whole country
within a years' study.
In obtaining examples
of ironwork repairs in-situ the main problem to be overcome is that of access
to private buildings. In this study, twenty private homes or establishments
were visited and subjected to close scrutiny. This was made possible by introductions
from the Development and Control staff of the Historic Buildings Section and
also through the author's own scheduled survey work for the Section.
Additional field visits
in Essex were made to Sible and Castle Hedingham, Thaxted, Great Dunmow, Coggeshall,
Finchingfield and Bocking. In Suffolk visits were made to Lavenham, Dedham,
Sudbury, Clare, Long Melford and Rattlesden. The object of these visits being
to identify ironwork visible on the exterior of the buildings - which for
most investigators would be their only opportunity of seeing them.
Of these samples, examined
entirely from the public street, there were another eight buildings of note.
It should be borne in mind at all times that the ironwork was not designed
to be seen and so only buildings stripped of their rendered facades give up
The greatest source of
examples, which may also prove to be the best dated, came from Cressing Temple,
Witham, Essex. The scheduled monument is home to the Barley Barn c.1206AD,
the Wheat Barn c.1260AD, the Granary c.1623AD and a number of early Victorian
farm buildings. All these structures have a huge array of wrought iron components
used to arrest their failing timbers and also, significantly, to bond in new
partitions and alterations. The site is owned by Essex County Council and
a great deal of close research has been undertaken in dating the timber structures.
Also at Cressing Temple,
the author has amassed a good collection of loose ironwork which allowed closer
study of its form and fabric and much of this has good provenance. Additionally
a collection of hand tools has been compiled for which the author must thank
Mr Elphin Watkin of the Essex Historic Buildings Group.
A study of the movement
of Truss 5 of the Wheat Barn was also undertaken in order to illustrate empirically
the forces at work on the timbers and their ironwork repairs. Readings were
taken every two weeks.
Survey photography was
undertaken using a Sony Mavica digital camera and the results worked up in
Adobe Photoshop. All photography and illustration is by the author unless
Literature and Archive search