Church of St Martin, East Looe, Cornwall. Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers

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

Samples were obtained from 57 different timbers at St Martin's Church. Analysis of 48 of these produced two site chronologies, LOOASQ01, comprising 24 samples of overall length of 156 rings, and LOOASQ02, comprising 10 samples of overall length 136 rings. These chronologies span AD 1363 – 1518 and AD 1445 – 1580, respectively. Interpretation of the sapwood indicates that the south aisle roof timbers have an estimated felling date of AD 1468 – 93. The north transept roof timbers have an estimated felling date of AD 1490 – 1505. It is therefore possible that work progressed from one roof to the other uninterrupted. The felling date of timber from the chancel roof is varied, ranging from AD 1465 – 90 to AD 1514 – 39 suggesting the use of at least some stockpiled or reused timbers. Given that nave roof timbers are felled AD 1532 – 57, it is possible that work to these two, undertaken towards the mid-sixteenth century, again progressed from one to the other. The timber used in the south transept roof was cut as part of a single felling sometime between AD 1591 and AD 1616.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Dendrochronology Standing Building


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