Lancaster Castle, Castle Park, Lancaster: Tree-ring Analysis of Oak and Pine Timbers in the Keep and Gatehouse

Author(s): Alison Arnold, Robert Howard, Cathy Tyers

Dendrochronological analysis was undertaken on 37 of the 38 structural oak timbers sampled in the Keep and Gatehouse, as well as the 10 ring series measured in-situ on oak boards from doors in the Keep. Forty-four of the ring series cross-matched to produce an oak site chronology, its 455 rings dated as spanning AD 950–1404. The 44 dated ring series, 36 from structural timbers and 8 from door boards, are clearly broadly coeval and represent trees felled in the late-fourteenth and early-fifteenth centuries. Interpretation indicates that the dated structural oak timbers in the undercroft in the Keep were felled in the AD 1380s, whilst those from the Great Hall in the Keep were felled potentially slightly later, towards the end of the fourteenth century or just possibly the very early-fifteenth century. The dated structural oak timbers in the Gatehouse were all probably felled in, or around, AD 1404. The dated horizontal oak boards associated with two cell doors in the Keep appear to be coeval and interpretation indicates that they were all probably felled after AD 1371 and could thus be associated with the late-fourteenth or very early-fifteenth century felling date ranges identified from the structural timbers. Dendrochronological analysis was also undertaken on 22 of the 23 structural pine timbers sampled in the Keep. However this analysis was unsuccessful with none of the ring series being successfully dated.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Dendrochronology Standing Building


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