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Monthly Archives

November 2014

Grindstone Mill Boathouse frame assembly completed

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The Green Oak Carpentry Company has just completed this frame assembly at Grindstone Mill in Gloucestershire.

Situated in the beautiful Cotswolds near Alderley this boat house will create a fun ‘camping out’ space and area for al fresco eating for the family.

Grindstone MillThe Green Oak Carpentry Company completed both the Oak frame and the soft wood cut and pitch leaving site ready for the roofer to commence putting on the Cedar Shingle roof.

The 3D model below is a normal part of the design process for most Green Oak Carpentry frames enabling the client to see at a glance the style and scope of structure being supplied.

The whole frame sits onto a steel structure set onto piled footing in the mill pond. By setting the footing well back from the perimeter of the building the structure will when complete, appear to float over the water.

The deck on the waters edge has a St Andrew’s cross balustrade all fully jointed into the structure as part of our scope of works.

Grindstone Mill visualisationIn this case steel work is galvanised and painted black for a more traditional appearance.

The elevations will be clad in fresh sawn oak weatherboarding and when all is complete we will bring you pictures of the finished building.

Mediaeval Crown Post Roofs

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Crown Post roofs are among some of the most beautiful historic structures and are truly mediaeval.

Their use became common in England from the late 13th Century onward although common in Europe dating from the 11th Century.

Illustration of roof of hall of Abbey Grange, c.1310

Due to improvement in the performance and roofs with side purlins along with other developments their use was phased out during the latter part of the 15th Century.

One of our recently completed buildings.The use of crown post trusses was generally in better class buildings such as open halls and church roofs.

Often the tie beams of crown post roofs were heavily cranked and tapered, a device which is both decorative and structural as the tie beam is deeper in section in the centre portion of the beam where bending forces are greater.

The crown post does not extend to the ridge of the roof and supports the crown purlin, a longitudinal member running the full length of the roof which, in turn, supports the collars of the rafter couples, as illustrated in the picture (right) of one of our recently completed buildings.

Open hall house showing elaborately carved capitals.Often crown posts were heavily moulded or decorated with elaborately carved capitals, which in an open hall house such as that illustrated below, would have been very much on show demonstrating the wealth and status of the owner.

We often carve or work mouldings onto the crown post to reflect some of the historic devices used for embellishment. Either by cutting the central section of the crown post octagonally and working large lambs tongue chamfers, or by carving the central section cruciform and working broach stops where the section returns to square.

Whatever device is used the opportunity for embellishments are many and difficult for the carpenter to resist!

Chithurst MonasteryThis frame made for the Buddhist community at Chithurst near Midhurst is an aisled barn with crown post trusses.

Given that this particular Buddhist order finds its origins in the forests of Thailand, and this truss being most redolent of the forest with its arrangement of curved braces rising high into the roof, it seems the most appropriate choice of structure.

Here we are prefabricating a trussed roof for a large dwelling near Henley on Thames.

Chithurst MonasteryThe common rafters with their collars have yet to be fabricated and trial fitted.

It is a lot of carpentry hence these roofs are certainly not the cheapest form available but certainly among the most beautiful.

Croome Chinese Bridge

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The Green Oak Carpentry Company are delighted to have been commissioned by the National Trust to re-build the original William Halfpenny Chinese Bridge built for the 6th Earl of Coventry in 1751.

CroomeShortly after completion the house and garden underwent further extensive construction works by ‘Capability’ Brown and Robert Adam.

The bridge can just be seen bottom left in this painting by Richard Wilson in 1758.

Croome Court was the family seat of the Coventry family from the mid 17th century until 1949. Croome passed into National Trust management in 1996 and has since that time undergone extensive renovation, still in progress to the present day. The drawing below shows Halfpenny’s original design for the bridge.

In the mid seventeenth century ‘Chinoiserie’ was at the height of its popularity, vying with ‘Gothic Revival’ for ascendancy.

Reconstruction of the bridge is well underway with completed and signed off drawings. Carpentry will commence in March 2015 and it is anticipated that the new structure will be open to the public in June 2015.

Greenheart is being used for the pylons which stand in the moat, hence durability is critical. Greenheart is traditionally used for sea wall defences and groins where toughness and durability are important.

The remainder of the structure is prime fresh sawn oak, all jointed with draw-bored mortice and tenon joints.

The whole bridge structure will be painted in a traditional oil bound distemper to match the original. See below our 3D model of the bridge.