Preserving rural bygones
Building in the past
Varied timber framework infill techniques were employed, these pictures showing methods used throughout Wales and generally used around Britain.
The top two left pictures show a wattle panel made with hazel twigs interwoven with cleft oak uprights scarfed into the oak framework. The second picture shows the hazel wattle with a coat of daub, which is pushed into the crevices around the twigs, making a key for the base coat. The depth of daub is built up to the required thickness, then a protective lime and hair plaster is applied and coloured with a pigmented or normal lime wash.
The following two pictures show a cleft oak panel treated in the same way as the hazel panel.
Top right pic shows a painted panel infill, a splendid interior practical feature.
Bottom left shows a brick infill, not a satisfactory method as the movement and drying of the timber frame often caused for constant repair.
The next two pictures show exterior claddings of red clay tiles and slates hung on battens or lugs and the last picture is of course weather boarding.
Tile hanging is a traditional method of protecting exterior walls against the rain. Tile-hung houses can be seen in many counties throughout the midlands and south of England. In Wales, Welsh slate is still used to protect exterior walls. Weather-boards are used around Britain as a cheaper, traditional method to clad exterior house and barn walls. The best boards are sawn feather-edged and made from oak, although today, treated softwood is also used and stained black. As with tiles, battens are spaced on the walls and the boards are simply nailed to these. Some fine old examples of weather boarding can be seen around Kent and Sussex.
These three pictures show the small thatched farmhouse of Abernodwydd, built c1678 by Rhys Evans, originally at Llangadfan in north Montgomeryshire (powys). The first picture taken c1900, shows Rhys Evan's descendants still living at the farmhouse when this photograph was taken. Second pic. by the 1950s, the house is abandoned, a corrugated iron roof in place of thatch. Third pic. Abernodwydd was donated and re-erected to it's original state at the Welsh Folk museum at St. Fagons in 1953, where it can be seen today.
The nine framework pictures were taken at the Llanidloes, market hall, timber framework display, 2007.
Above pictures show the fantastic old well house opposite the gates of the Church of St Lawrence, at Farnham, Dorset. This is a superb oak framework building and a beautiful example of carpenter craftsmanship, especially the hipped post truss and intricate pierced barge board. There isn't much history on this building, but we presume the actual well is the old Roman well, which has been excavated and the building erected as a protective feature. We believe the roof was thatched until quite recently.
Possibly the oldest timber-framing identified in Montgomeryshire, Ty Mawr, Castle Caereinion, ring dated to around 1460.
This ancient framework of an aisled hall-house has been fully restored and a residence again. It may be open to the public for a short time each year.
Slate-hung derelict farm house in the Lake district 1998
It's a shame to see these once numerous cart sheds go into disrepair and knocked down, especially when it wouldn't take too much effort or money to put them back into good repair. It is sometimes worse to see these lovely cart sheds greedily transformed into holiday-let bungalows, especially as it would only cost half of the total conversion price to repair them for practical use once again.
The cart shed pictured left, has apparently been restored to it's former glory. Note the scotch tip cart. Picture taken mid 1990s.
Thousands of railway bridges have fallen into disrepair after the closure of many branch lines in the 1960s. The craftsmanship using local materials is some of the finest work to be seen anywhere and much can be learned by studying them.
These pictures show the top quality craftsmanship, especially the dressed stone-work and overall quality of the finished work.
Studying these old rail bridges gives you some insight into how the numerous Roman buildings fared after their occupants moved away from these shores.