Tree-Ring Analysis of Oak Boards ad Structural Timbers from the Transepts, Presbytery, and Tower of Peterborough Cathedral, City of Peterborough

Author(s): Ian Tyers

Dendrochronological sampling, commissioned by English Heritage in AD 2002-3, was undertaken on various structural and decorative timbers in Peterborough Cathedral. This was undertaken during a programme of cleaning and remedial conservation work in the aftermath of an arson attempt on 22nd November 2001. The tree-ring results identified that some English thirteenth century boards survive in both the south and north transept ceilings. There are also some later seventeenth century English boards in the south transept. Both transept ceilings are predominantly composed of undated but probably late nineteenth century oak boards. Some structural elements in the south transept are identified as oaks of twelfth and/or thirteenth century date, the ceiling support structure and the roof trusses are a combination of eastern European oaks of the AD 1880s and softwoods which are probably more recent. The presbytery's vaulted roof includes English oak structural timbers felled in the summer of AD 1500, and a representative oak board was found to be from the eastern Baltic and probably of similar date. The Tower's vaulted roof includes English oak timbers felled in winter AD 1371/2, as well as further eastern European oak timbers from the AD 1880s.

Report Number:
CfA Reports
Dendrochronology Standing Building


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