Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from Lord Leicester’s Stable, Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire

Author(s): Alison Arnold, Robert Howard, Cliff Litton

Prior to tree-ring analysis the stable roof was thought to be a seventeenth-century rebuild incorporating a large amount of sixteenth-century timber. Dendrochronological analysis has identified six separate fellings within its timbers. The earliest, AD 1543–68, is represented by eight timbers, six of which show signs of reuse. The stables are believed to have been built prior to Robert Dudley’s acquisition of the Castle in AD 1563, making it possible that these timbers were reused from the original roof. With a felling date range of AD 1553–78, sample KNW-E05 may also have been reused from the original roof. Four timbers have been dated to AD 1613–38 and one to AD 1623–48, all from the north end of the building. These may relate to modifications to this part of the stables in the first half of the seventeenth century. Eight timbers dated to AD 1659–84. With no sign that these timbers are reused it is likely that they are primary to the construction of the roof as seen today, possibly a rebuild necessary in the aftermath of the Civil War. The final felling is represented by a single timber dated to AD 1690–1715 which is most likely an inserted repair timber.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Dendrochronology Standing Building


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