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IV] CURVED TREE PRINCIPALS 33

Attercliffe, Shefiield: it is now destroyed. This carried the wall-
plate and the end of the tie-beam in addition to forming an upright
or ‘quarter’ in the wall itself.

Only the cathedrals, the castle keeps, the churches, and build-
ings of the greatest importance, were usually of stone in the
Middle Ages : the ordinary buildings seem to have been constructed
with the curved tree principals, and great numbers still remain.
Examples are known to the writer in about half of the counties of
England.

The form with the timber angularly bent is apparently older
than the forms in which it is bowed or irregularly curved. This is
to be inferred from their rare occurrence in England, and their
prevalence in Wales, and the difficulty which there must have been
in obtaining timber of the required shape. At the present time
the great majority of the survivals are either bowed or irregularly
curved.

According to Whitaker, the historian of much of the North of
England, Crakehou, a village in Craven, ‘ principally belonged to
Bolton Abbey, and was granted to the first Earl of Cumberland.
From a survey made in the time of the first Earl, it appears that
every house and barn stood upon crocks and was covered with

thatch‘.’ The ‘crocks’ are the curved tree principals, and the
survey was apparently made about the middle of Queen Elizabeth’s
reign.

Whitaker, in the year I818, was probably the first writer to
describe this form of construction”. He wrote: ‘It is difficult to
assign with exactness the era of buildings which have no inscribed
dates, and of whose erection there are no records. But perhaps
we may refer the oldest specimens of architecture in wood now
remaining among us to the time of Edward I. Instances of this
style are found alike in the halls of some ancient manor-houses
and their gigantic barns, which are little more rude than the other.
The peculiar marks by which they are distinguished are these:
the whole structure has been originally a frame of woodwork,
independent of walls, the principals consisting of deep flat beams
of massy oak, naturally curved, and of which each pair seems to
have been sawed out of the same trunk. These spring from the
ground and form a bold Gothic arch overhead; the spars rest

1 History of Craven, Third Edition, p. 528.
2 History (3/ Wllalley, pp. 499 et seq.

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