An Encyclopaedia of English Medieval Carpentry



The following two sources have been invaluable in the compilation of this encyclopaedia:

ALCOCK, N. W. et al., Recording Timber-Framed Buildings: an Illustrated Glossary (York: Council for British Archaeology, 1996)

BRUNSKILL, R. W., Timber Building in Britain (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2nd ed., 2007)

Tree-ring dates are taken from Vernacular Architecture, The Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Group (Maney Publishing)
and from the Archaeology Data Service: (ADSDD)

Useful Websites:  Links

Further Reading:

ACLAND, JAMES H., Medieval Structure: The Gothic Vault (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972)

ADDY, S. O, The Evolution of the English House, ed. J. Summerson (London: Allen & Unwin, 1933)

Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, eds. Jonathan Alexander & Paul Binski (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1987)

ALCOCK, N. W., Cruck Construction: an Introduction and Catalogue (London: Council for British Archaeology, 1981)

ANDREWS, FRANCIS B., The Mediaeval Builder and his Methods (Wakefield, Yorks.: EP Publishing Ltd., 1974)

ARNOLD, ALLISON & HOWARD, ROBERT, Church of St Andrew, Church Road, Cotton, Suffolk: tree-ring analysis of timbers (English Heritage, 2012)

BAINES, FRANK, Report... on the condition of the roof timbers of Westminster Hall... (London: HMSO, 1914)

BARLEY, M. W., Houses and History (London: Faber and Faber, 1986)

BARNWELL, P. S.; ADAMS, A. T., The House Within, Interpreting Medieval Houses in Kent (London: RCHME / HMSO, 1994)

BARNES, CARL F., The Portfolio of Villard De Honnecourt: A New Critical Edition and Color Facsimile (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009)

BECHMANN, ROLAND, Trees and Man: The Forest in the Middle Ages (New York: Paragon, 1990)

BEECH, ROBERT, 'The Hammer-beam Roof of Westminster Hall and the Structural Rationale of Hugh Herland', Architectural History, Vol. 59 (2016), pp. 25-61.

BEECH, ROBERT, 'Form v Function: The Structural Development of Early Fifteenth-Century Hammer-Beam Roofs', Transactions of the Construction History Society First National Conference (2014)

BEECH, ROBERT, 'The Hammer-Beam Roof: Tradition, Innovation and the Carpenter's Art in Late Medieval England', PhD Thesis, University of Birmingham (2015), available here:

BENSON, TEDD, Building the Timber Frame House (New York: Simon & Schuster/Fireside Books, 1995)

BERGER, RAINER (ed.), Scientific Methods in Medieval Archaeology (Berkeley Ca.: University of California Press, 1970)

BINDING, GUNTHER, Medieval Building Techniques (Stroud: Tempus, 2004)

BLAIR, JOHN; RAMSEY, NIGEL (eds.), English Medieval Industries: Craftsmen, Techniques, Products (London: Hambledon, 1991)

BOND, FRANCIS, Gothic Architecture in England (London: Batsford, 1906)

BONNEY, HELEN '"Balle's Place", Salisbury: a 14th-Century Merchant's House', Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, 59 (1964), pp. 155-67.

BRANDON, RAPHAEL & J. ARTHUR, The Open Timber Roofs of the Middle Ages (London: James Rimmell & Son, new ed., 1873)

BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, Medieval Art and Architecture at Lincoln Cathedral (BAA, 1986)

BRUNSKILL, R. W., The Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture (London: Faber& Faber, 4th ed., 2000)

BUCHANAN, P, 'Stirling Castle, Great Hall Hammerbeam Roof', in Janet Kleboe (ed.), Timber and the Built Environment (Edinburgh: Historic Scotland, 2002)

BUCHER, FRANCOIS, Architector: The Lodge and Sketchbooks of Medieval Architects (New York: Araris Books, 1979)

CAUTLEY, H. MUNRO, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 5th Ed., 1982)

CAUTLEY, H. MUNRO, Norfolk Churches (Ipswich: Norman Adlard & Co., 1949)

CESCINSKY, HERBERT; GRIBBLE, ERNEST. R., Early English Furniture and Woodwork, 2 Vols. (London: The Waverley Book Company Ltd., 1922)

CESCINSKY, HERBERT; GRIBBLE ERNEST R., 'Westminster Hall and Its Roof', The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 40, No. 227 (Feb., 1922), pp. 76-79, 82-84.

CHAPPELL, STEVE, A Timber Framer's Workshop (Brownfield, Maine: Fox Maple Press, 1998)

CHARLES, F.W.B. The Conservation of Timber Buildings (Shaftsbury: Donhead, 1995)

CLARKE, J., 'An Early Vernacular Hammer-beam Structure: Imberhorne Farm Cottages, East Grinstead, West Sussex', Vernacular Architecture 36 (2005), pp. 32-40.

CLIFTON-TAYLOR, ALEC, The Pattern of English Building (London : Faber and Faber, 1972)

COLDSTREAM, NICOLA, The Decorated Style: Architecture and Ornament, 1240-1360 (London: British Museum, 1994)

COLDSTREAM, NICOLA, Medieval Architecture (Oxford: OUP, 2002)

COLVIN, H. M. (ed.), The History of the King's Works, Vols. 1 - 3 (London: HMSO, 1963; 1975)

COOK, G. H., The English Mediaeval Parish Church (London: Phoenix House, 3rd ed., 1961)

CORDINGLEY, R. A., 'British Historical Roof-Types and Their Members: A Classification', Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society IX (London: The National Monuments Society, 1961), pp. 73-118

COTTINGHAM, LEWIS, NOCKALLS, Westminster Hall (London: Rodwell and Martin, 1822)

COURTENAY, L. T., 'Westminster Hall and its Fourteenth-century Sources', Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Dec. 1984), pp. 295-309.

COURTENAY, L. T. (ed.), The Engineering of Medieval Cathedrals (Aldershot: Ashgate Variorum, 1997)

COURTENAY, L. T; MARK, ROBERT, 'The Westminster Hall Roof: A Historiographic and Structural Study', Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Dec., 1987), pp. 374-393

CROOK, J, 'The Pilgrims' Hall, Winchester, Hammerbeams, Base Crucks and Aisle-Derivatives', Archaeologia 109 (1991), 129-159

CROSSLEY, FRED. H, Timber Building in England, From Early Times to the End of the Seventeenth Century, (London: Batsford, 1951)

DENEUX, HENRI, 'L'evolution des Charpentes ...' L'Architecte, (1927)

DOLLMAN, F. T; JOBBINS, I. R., An Analysis of Ancient Domestic Architecture in Great Britain, (London: Batsford, 1861)

DOWN, ALEC (ed.), Chichester Excavations 5 (Chichester: 1981)

DUNNAGE, H; LAVER, C., Plans, Elevations, Sections, Details, and Views, of the Great Hall of the Royal Palace of Eltham, in Kent (London: J. Taylor, and Priestley & Weale, 1828)

EDLIN , H. L., Woodland Crafts in Britain (London: Batsford, 1949)

ELLIS, GEORGE, Modern Practical Carpentry (London: Batsford, 3rd ed. revised, 1927 [1st ed., 1906])

EMERY, A, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300-1500, 3 Vols. (Cambridge: CUP, 1996)

EPAUD, FREDERIC, De la Charpente romane a la charpente gothique en Normandie ... (Caen: Publications du CRAHM, 2007)

ERSKINE, AUDREY M. (ed. & trans.), The Accounts of the Fabric of Exeter Cathedral, 1279-1353, (Devon and Cornwall Record Society, 1981-83)

FITCHEN, JOHN, The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1961)

FOOT, N. et al, 'The High Roofs of the East End of Lincoln Cathedral', in British Archaeological Association, 1986.

FRISCH, TERESA. G, Gothic Art, 1140 - 1450: Sources and Documents (Toronto / London: University of Toronto Press, 1987)

FLETCHER, J. M; SPOKES, P. S, 'The Origin and Development of Crown-Post Roofs', Medieval Archaeology 8 (1964), pp. 152-183.

FLETCHER, J. M, 'Medieval Timberwork at Ely', in Medieval Art and Architecture at Ely Cathedral (BAA, 1979)

GIMPEL, JEAN, The Cathedral Builders (London: Pimlico, 1993)

GOODMAN, W. L., The History of Woodworking Tools (London: Bell & Hyman, 1964)

GORDON, J. E., Structures, or Why Things Don't Fall Down (London: Penguin, 1978)

Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547, eds. Richard Marks and Paul Williamson (London: V&A, 2003)

GRENVILLE, JANE, Medieval Housing (London: Leicester University Press, 1997)

HAHNLOSER, HANS R. (ed.), Villard de Honnecourt: Kritische Gesamtausgabe des Bauhuttenbuches ms. fr. 19093 der Pariser Nationalbibliothek (Graz: Akadciteische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1972)

HARRIS, ESMOND; HARRIS, JEANETTE; JAMES, N. D. G., Oak: A British History (Macclesfield: Windgather, 2003)

HARRIS, ROLAND; MILES, DANIEL, 'Romanesque Westminster Hall and its Roof', in Rodwell & Tatton-Brown (eds.) Westminster II. The Art, Architecture and Archaeology of the Royal Palace (Leeds: BAA, 2015), pp. 22-71

HARVEY, JOHN H., 'The Mediaeval Carpenter and his Work as an Architect', RIBA Journal, 45 (1937-8)

HARVEY, JOHN H., Medieval Craftsmen (London: Batsford, 1975)

HARVEY, JOHN H., English Mediaeval Architects: a Biographical Dictionary Down to 1550 (Gloucester: Alan Sutton, 2nd ed. revised, 1984)

HARVEY, WILLIAM, 'Westminster Hall and the Woodman', The Builder, 1921, Vol. 121, 19 Aug, pp. 220-221

HARVEY, WILLIAM, 'Westminster Hall Roofs, Old and New', The Builder, 1921, Vol. 121, 23 Sept, pp. 374-375

HAWARD, BIRKIN, Suffolk Medieval Church Roof Carvings: A Photographic Survey of Carvings on Hammerbeam Roofs (Ipswich: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, 1999)

HEWETT, CECIL A., English Cathedral and Monastic Carpentry (Chichester: Phillimore, 1985)

HEWETT, CECIL A., English Historic Carpentry (Fresno, Ca.: Linden, 1997 [1st ed. 1980])

HEYMAN, JACQUES, 'Westminster Hall Roof', Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 37 (1967), pp. 137-162

HIGHAM, ROBERT; BARKER, PHILIP, Timber Castles (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1995)

HOBBS, MARY, Chichester Cathedral: An Historical Survey (Chichester: Phillimore, 1994)

HOFFSUMMER, PATRICK, Les Charpentes de toitures en Wallonie: typologie et dendrochronologie XIe-XIXe siecle (1995)

HOFFSUMMER, PATRICK, Roof Frames from the 11th to the 19th Century: Typology and Development in Northern France and in Belgium (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, c.2009)

HOLT, ELIZABETH GILMORE (ed.), A Documentary History of Art, Vol I: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981)

HORN, WALTER; BORN, ERNEST, The Barns of the Abbey of Beaulieu at its Granges of Great Coxwell and Beaulieu-St Leonards (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965)

HORN, WALTER; BORN, ERNEST, The Plan of St. Gall ... (Berkeley; London: University of California Press, 1979)

HOWARD, F. E., 'On the Construction of Medieval Roofs', Archaeological Journal Vol. 71, 1914, pp. 293-352.

HOWARD, F. E; CROSSLEY, F.H., English Church Woodwork: a Study in Craftsmanship during the Mediaeval Period (London: Batsford, 1917)

HUGHES, J. QUENTIN, 'The Timber Roofs of York Minster', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal XXXVIII, pt. 152 (1955), pp. 474-495

INNOCENT, C. F, The Development of English Building Construction (Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1971)

JANSE, H., Houten Kappen in Nederland 1000-1940 (Delft: Delftse Universitaire Pers, 1989)

JOUSSE, MATHURIN, L'Art de charpenterie... (Paris: Troisieme edition, 1751)

KEEN, LAURENCE; COCKE, THOMAS (eds.), Medieval Art and Architecture at Salisbury Cathedral (Tring: British Archaeological Association 1996)

KRAFFT, JOHANN CARL, Traite sur l'Art de la charpente ... trans. R. Cooper (Paris: 1819-22)

LAXTON, R. R., 'The Trusses of the St Hugh's Choir Roof', in British Archaeological Association, 1986.

LEWIS, ELIZABETH, et al., Medieval Hall Houses of the Winchester Area (Winchester: Winchester City Museum, 1988)

LEVIN, ED, 'Hammer-beam Roofs I & 2', Timber Framing 48 & 49, June 1998; September 1998.

LLOYD, NATHANIEL, History of the English House (London: The Architectural Press, 1975 [first pub. 1931])

MADDISON, JOHN, Ely Cathedral Design and Meaning (Ely: Ely Cathedral Publications, 2000)

MAINSTONE, ROWLAND, Developments in Structural Form (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975)

MARK, ROBERT (ed.), Architectural Technology up to the Scientific Revolution: The Art and Structure of Large-scale Buildings (Cambridge, Mass., London: MIT Press, 1993)

MARREY, BERNARD, Des Histoires de bois (Paris: Editions du Pavillon de l'Arsenal: Picard, 1994)

MASON, REGINALD THOMAS, Framed Buildings of England (Horsham: Coach Publishing House Ltd., 1974)

McGRAIL, SEÁN, Woodworking Techniques before 1500 (Oxford: B.A.R., 1982)

MERCER, ERIC, Furniture 700-1700 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1969)

MERCER, ERIC, English Vernacular Houses: A Study of Traditional Farmhouses and Cottages (London: H.M.S.O., 1975)

MEIRION-JONES, GWYN; JONES, MICHAEL (eds.), Manorial Domestic Buildings in England and Northern France (London: Society of Antiquaries of London, 1993)

MILNE, GUSTAV, Timber Building Techniques in London c. 900-1400: an Archaeological Study of Waterfront Installations and Related Material (London: London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, 1992)

MOLES, ANTOINE, Histoire des charpentiers (Paris: 1949)

MORRIS, M. G; PERRING, F. H. (eds.), The British Oak: Its History and Natural History [B.S.B.I. Conference Reports, Number Fourteen] (Classey, 1974).

MORRIS, THOMAS, Brief Chapters on British Carpentry: History and Principles of Gothic Roofs (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1871)

MORTLOCK, D. P.; ROBERTS, C. P., The Guide to Norfolk Churches (Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press, 2nd ed. rev., 2007)

MOXON, JOSEPH, Mechanick Exercises: or the Doctrine of Handy-works (London: 1703)

MUNBY, JULIAN, 'Medieval Carpentry in Chichester', in Down, ed., (1981)

MUNBY, JULIAN, 'Late-14th-Century Reconstruction of Westminster Hall', in Rodwell & Tatton-Brown, eds., Westminster II. The Art, Architecture and Archaeology of the Royal Palace, British Archaeological Association (2015), pp. 120-32

MUNBY, JULIAN; SPARKS, M., & TATTON-BROWN, T., 'Crown Post and King Strut Roofs in South-East England', Medieval Archaeology 27 (1983), pp. 123-135

NEWMAN, RUPERT, Oak-Framed Buildings (Lewes: The Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd., 2005)

NICHOLSON, PETER, The Carpenter and Joiner's Assistant; containing practical rules for making all kinds of joints ... Also extracts from M. Belidor, M. du Hamel, M. de Buffon &c. On the strength of timber, with practical observations (London: Printed for I. and J. Taylor, 1797)

OSTENDORF, FRIEDRICH, Geschichte des Dachwerks (Berlin: 1908)

PARKER, J.H., Some Account of Domestic Architecture in England, 3 Vols. (Oxford: Parker, 1853-59)

PEARSON, SARAH, The Medieval Houses of Kent (London: HMSO 1994)

PEARSON, SARAH; BARNWELL P. S; ADAMS A.T., A Gazetteer of Medieval Houses in Kent (London: HMSO, 1994)

PEVSNER, NIKOLAUS et al, The Buildings of England (various county volumes)

PRICE, FRANCIS, The British Carpenter: or, A Treatise on Carpentry: containing the most concise and authentick rules of that art, in a more useful and extensive method, than has been made publick (London: Printed by C. Ackers... and sold by the Author..., 2nd ed., 1735)

PUGIN, A. W. N., The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (London: JohnWeale, 1841)

RACKHAM, OLIVER, Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape (London: Phoenix, 2001)

RACKHAM, OLIVER, Ancient Woodland: Its History, Vegetation and Uses in England (Dalbeattie: Castlepoint, new ed., 2003)

ROBERTS, EDWARD, Hampshire Houses 1250-1700 (Hampshire County Council, 2003)

ROBISON, JOHN, TREDGOLD, THOMAS, A Rudimentary Treatise on the Principles of Construction in the Carpentry and Joinery of Roofs (London, John Weale, 1859)

RONDELET, JEAN-BAPTISTE, Traite de l'art de batir (Paris: 1830-32)

ROSE, WALTER, The Village Carpenter (Hertford: Stobart Davies, 2001)

ROSS, PETER; METTEM, CHRISTOPHER; HOLLOWAY, ANDREW, Green Oak in Construction (High Wycombe: TRADA: 2007)

RUSKIN, JOHN, 'The Lamp of Truth', The Seven Lamps of Architecture (New York: Dover, 1989; first pub. 1849)

RYDER, P. F., Timber Framed Buildings in South Yorkshire (South Yorkshire County Archaeology Service)

SALZMAN, L. F., Building in England Down to 1540 (Oxford, OUP, 1952)

SCHOFIELD, JOHN, Medieval London Houses (New Haven; London: Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 1994)

SELLAR, W. D. H. (ed.), Moray: Province and People (Edinburgh: Scottish Society for Northern Studies, 1993)

SHANKS, J. D., WALKER, P., 'Experimental Performance of Mortice and Tenon Connections in Green Oak', The Structural Engineer Vol. 83 (2005), Issue 17: p. 40-45

SLOCOMBE, PAMELA, Medieval Houses of Wiltshire (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton, 1992)

SMIRKE, SIDNEY, 'Remarks on the Architectural History of Westminster Hall', Archaeologia XXVI (1836), pp. 406-421

SMITH, JAMES, The Carpenters Companion: being an accurate and compleat treatise of carpenters works; ... exemplified in forty-one copper-plates ...(London: printed for J. Millan, 1733)

SMITH, JAMES, A Specimen of Antient Carpentry: Consisting of Variety of Designs for Roofs ... (London: printed for the author, 1736)

SMITH, J. T., 'Medieval Aisled Halls and their Derivatives', Archaeological Journal CXII (1955), pp. 76-94.

SMITH, J. T., 'Medieval Roofs: A Classification', Archaeological Journal, Vol. 115, 1958, p. 111-149

SNELL, B. S., 'Some Ancient Building Terms', RIBA Journal, 18 December, 1926.

SNELL, B. S. 'More Ancient Building Terms', RIBA Journal, 22 December 1928.

SOBON, JACK; SCHROEDER, ROGER, Timber Frame Construction (North Adams, Mass.: Storey Books, 1984)

STELL, GEOFFREY; BAILLIE, MICHAEL, 'The Great Hall and Roof of Darnaway Castle, Moray', in Sellar (ed.), 1993, pp. 163-86

SUNLEY, JOHN; BEDDING, BARBARA (eds.), Timber in Construction (London: Batsford / Trada, 1985)

TATTON-BROWN, TIM, 'Building the Tower and Spire of Salisbury Cathedral', Antiquity 65 (1991), pp. 74-96

THOMPSON, M. W., The Medieval Hall (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995)

TOBY MORRIS, E; BLACK, R. GARY; TOBRINER, STEPHEN O., 'Report on the Application of Finite Element Analysis to Historic Structures: Westminster Hall, London', Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 336-347

TRACY, CHARLES, English Gothic Choir-stalls, 1200-1400 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1987)

TRACY, CHARLES, English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1988)

TREDGOLD, THOMAS, Elementary Principles of Carpentry ... (London: J. Taylor, 2nd ed., 1828; 3rd ed., 1840)

TURNER, THOMAS HUDSON, Some Account of Domestic Architecture in England, Vol. I: from the conquest to the end of the thirteenth century (Oxford: Parker, 1851)

TWOPENNY, WILLIAM, Specimens of Ancient Woodwork (London: 1859)

TYMMS, SAMUEL, An Architectural and Historical Account of the Church of St. Mary, Bury St. Edmunds (Bury St Edmunds: 1845-54)

ULRICH, R. B., Roman Woodworking (London: Yale University Press, 2007)

UNGER, RICHARD W., The Art of Medieval Technology: Images of Noah the Shipbuilder (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1991)

VALLANCE, AYMER, Greater English Church Screens, being great roods, screenwork & rood-lofts in cathedral, monastic & collegiate churches in England & Wales (London, New York: B.T. Batsford, 1947)

Vernacular Architecture (Maney Publishing)

VITRUVIUS, The Ten Books on Architecture (New York: Dover, 1960)

WADDELL, GENE, 'The Design of the Westminster Hall Roof', Architectural History, Vol. 42 (1999), pp. 47-67

WALKER, JOHN (ed.), The English Medieval Roof: Crownpost to Kingpost (Essex Historic Buildings Group, 2011)

WOOD, MARGARET, The English Medieval House (London: Bracken Books, 1983)

YEOMANS, DAVID (ed.), The Development of Timber as a Structural Material (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999)

YEOMANS, DAVID, How Structures Work: Design and Behaviour from Bridges to Buildings (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)

YUN SHENG HUANG; MARK, ROBERT; WELLMAN, AVERY M., 'Westminster Hall's Hammer-Beam Roof: A Technological Reconstruction', APT Bulletin, Vol. 20, No. 1 (1988), pp. 8-16.

ZWERGER, KLAUS, Wood and Wood Joints: Building Traditions of Europe and Japan (Basel: Birkhauser, 1997)