The Commandery, Worcester : Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers

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

Core samples were obtained from 77 oak timbers within eight different parts of The Commandery, Worcester. Analysis of 73 of these (four samples having too few rings) produced four site chronologies, WORDSQ01–SQ04, comprising 47, 9, 2, and 3 samples, of overall length of 190, 101, 87, and 86 rings respectively. The first three of these site chronologies could be dated as spanning AD 1284–1473, AD 1608–1708, and AD 1569–1655, respectively. Interpretation of the sapwood indicates that the majority of timbers used in this complex building, certainly those found in the Great Hall, the solar range (including a corridor partition wall), long chamber, and infirmary range, were felled over the period AD 1468–73, as building work proceeded. The timbers used in the house on the street frontage could have been felled at this time too, but some timbers could have been felled slightly earlier and some slightly later. No post-medieval dates have been obtained from this building. The roof of the ‘garden wing’ uses timber felled in AD 1708, this providing a date for the brick extension and refacing of the medieval building on the garden side. The timbers of the infirmary addition cannot be reliably dated.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Dendrochronology Standing Building


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