Bourn Mill, Caxton End, Bourn, Cambridgeshire: Ring-Width Dendrochronology, Radiocarbon Wiggle-Matching, and Oxygen Isotope Analysis of Elm and Oak Timbers

Author(s): Dr Martin Bridge, Cathy Tyers, A Bayliss, Silvia Bollhalder, Lukas Wacker, Neil J Loader, Danny McCarroll

Samples were taken from 21 of the various timber elements of the mill, including both oak and elm timbers. Conventional ring-width dendrochronology established that the main post was most likely felled in the first half of the sixteenth century, making this the earliest main post of a post mill yet dated. Felling dates for the sheers and front sheer spacer of spring AD 1703 and spring AD 1707 also indicated a previously unknown rebuilding phase, which is earlier than the known partial destruction of the mill during a storm in AD 1741. Other weak statistical matches between the ring-width series of oak and elm timbers were explored using other scientific dating techniques. The combined analysis confirmed that these other surviving timbers in the trestle probably date from repairs undertaken in AD 1874 and AD 1931 but suggested that many other timbers in the buck are eighteenth-century survivals.

Report Number:
Research Report
Dendrochronology Standing Building Keyword


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