Breakspear House, Breakspear Road North, Harefield, Hillingdon, London: Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers

Author(s): Alison Arnold, Robert Howard

Dendrochronological analysis of 18 of the 21 samples obtained exclusively from the floor frames of Breakspear House, no other timbers being suitable, has produced four site chronologies, three of which can be dated. The first site chronology comprises six samples and has an overall length of 121 rings. These rings are dated as spanning the years AD 1574–1694. A second site chronology of 73 rings overall length, comprises two samples, spanning AD 1517–89. A third site chronology, of two samples and 88 rings overall length, is undated. The fourth site chronology comprises three samples with an overall length of 114 rings, spanning the years AD 1497–1610. Interpretation of the sapwood on the dated samples indicates that the first-floor frame includes one timber felled in the period AD 1620–45, along with two others that are clearly broadly coeval but could possibly have been felled earlier, at the same time, or later. The second-floor frame contains some timbers felled in the last decade of the seventeenth century. Again other timbers are broadly coeval, although one could have been felled in the late-seventeenth or early-eighteenth century, whilst another could have been felled a few decades earlier in the seventeenth century.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Dendrochronology Standing Building


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