TREE-RING ANALYSIS OF TIMBERS FROM BLACKFRIARS PRIORY, LADYBELLGATE STREET, GLOUCESTER
Author(s): Robert Howard, R R Laxton, Cliff Litton
One hundred and one samples from five main areas of Blackfriars Priory were analysed by dendrochronology. This analysis produced four site chronologies, three of which dated, with four individual samples also being dated. The first site chronology, GLODSQ01, consists of seventy samples from a wide range of locations within the priory complex. It has 214 rings spanning the period AD 1024-AD 1237. Taking the documents into account the timbers represented probably have a felling date in the range AD 1240 - 70 with work being undertaken simultaneously on all parts of the priory complex. The second site chronology, GLODSQ02, consists of seven samples from the church north transept ex-situ timbers. It has 180 rings spanning the period AD 1168 - AD 1347. This represents a second later felling of timber used in the north transept roof and probably relates to repairs or alterations. A third site chronology, GLODSQ03 with 64 rings, made up of two ex-situ timbers from the north transept roof remains undated. The fourth site chronology, GLODSQ04, consists of six samples from the north cloister walk gallery. This has 109 rings spanning AD 1412 - AD 1520. The timbers respresented are estimated to have a felling date in the range AD 1528 - 53. It is possible that this work relates to the purchase and alteration of the site by John Bell. Two other individually dated samples, GLO-D10 and D37, possibly relate to this period of work also. The first has an estimated felling date in the range AD 1525 - 50, the second has complete sapwood with a last measured ring date of AD 1537. The two final individually dated samples, GLO-D38 and GLO-D62, are from the first-floor frame of the west range and the floor-frame of the south range respectively. They provide estimated felling date ranges of AD 1294 - AD 1319 and AD 1473-98 for their respective timbers.
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