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1v] CURVED TREE PRINCIPALS 55

tie, were curved. This gave the appearance of an arch, such as is
given by the spandrel pieces at \Vigtwizzle, and is often seen in
early wooden doorways, where the side posts and the head, or lintel,
are cut to a curve to give the appearance of an arch.

Another example at Tai Fry, near Hafod y ‘Maidd, Cerrig y
Druidion, had two vertical posts springing off the horizontal tie:
it has shared the usual fate of interesting buildings and has been
destroyed.

The absence of wind braces in the Snowdonian examples may
have been due to the shortness or narrowness of the bays,‘as the
object of the so-called wind brace is to decrease the bearing of
the purlin and act as a strut. At Iscoed Isaf, at the head of the
Nantlle valley, the purlins are slightly supported by little brackets
from the principal. The tendency to variation which is shown by
the Welsh examples seems to indicate that this method of con-
struction was drawing to a close when they were built, and that
the builders were seeking, somewhat blindly, for new develop-
ments.

Gudmundsson, in his book Prz'vatbolzgen pad Islam! 2' Sagatz'a’erz‘,
considered that the roof of the Old Norse hall was constructed with
ridge-tree and purlins, and was the converse of the Low German
‘sparrendach.’ This roof, which he called ‘aastag,’ had a row of
upright posts (‘sul’ or ‘sula’) under each purlin, and thereby formed
a building with a central and two side aisles, instead of the more
primitive single row of upright posts carrying the ridge-tree, and
dividing the building into two equal aisles. From purlin to purlin,
on the tops of the posts, ran a cross beam (‘vagl’ or ‘vaglbiti ’),
and in the centre of this was a short post (‘ dvergr’: dwarf), which
carried the small ridge piece. There were other rows of shorter
posts (‘ utstafir ’) fixed in the wall. (Fig. 26.)

It has been suggested that we have the English descendants
of the Old Norse halls in the old barns and other buildings divided
longitudinally into three aisles, like a church, by two rows of wooden
posts or columns. Some information as to this should be obtained
from a comparison of the English dialect words with the names in
other Teutonic languages. There is a widespread Teutonic word for
column or post which assumes somewhat different forms in various
languages : in Modern High German it is ‘saule,’ in Modern Danish
‘ sul,’ in Old Norse ‘sul’ or ‘sula.’ Its English form is ‘ sile,’ and

1 pp. 116 to 125.

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