Dating a Building

IMAGENAMEHERELooking carefully on some timbers, you can just make out where thin tree branches’ were originally nailed into the oak beams to support the plaster which once coated them. This patterning / stain is very evident in the beach comber room.

Every year at the HoBB sees a mix of traditional and new construction methods because previous owners have used modern materials over and around ancient works. We keep discovering little techniques and noticing the tricks of past builders. So much so that we have become very interested in the many ways to keep things together, attached, level, supported in mid air and enwrapped.

Not only are we challenged to invent techniques inside the farmhouse, but with strong winter winds, the garden demands that we recall or learn all sorts of knots and supporting techniques, often individually suited to particular plants.

When renovating stonework above the HoBB’s old bread oven, we noticed a lump of dried leather neatly set into the mortar between two aligned stones. It had obviously been placed there deliberately and looked like a very small leather shoe. Only recently have we been told that this helps to date the farmhouse to a period when people believed it such actions brought good luck.

For tradition, the shoe remains as part of the building’s fabric. If you know any more about this tradition, let us know.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant