All Saints Lane is a residential cul-de-sac (apologies to anyone living there who saw me peering in) which has one incredible stretch of timber framing. Turns out you can rent one of the cottages and they have their own website. Possibly the least information you’ll find on any website, however.
All Saints Cottage is dated to the 1500s and is described on the Historic England website as an “L-shaped timber-framed range.” According to this TripAdvisor review, it “was a pilgrims’ rest associated with Eastbridge Hospital. It later became cottages. At one time, a school of dancing operated on its upper level, which comprises one, very long room.”
I hope those dancers didn’t bang their heads too often on those low-hanging oak beams! Looking at these these buildings from the outside, it’s the squiffy-ness that can give a sense of their age. This is not a technical term, but if it’s neat and tidy it’s probably from the 1900s.
I think a lot of people consider all doors in England to look like this. They don’t.
These are the other demons I mentioned in a previous post. The one on the left hand side has hoofs, the one on the right seems to be a lion with a mane. It seems the hoofs are indicative of a demonic or devilish nature.
In this photo from the AirBnB page you can see how it’s been swallowed up by a side extension. Poor timbers.
If you’re not staying for the night, All Saints Lane is a dead-end, so your only option is to head back out onto St. Peter’s Street.
I recently visited the English city of Canterbury, encountering many, many timber-framed buildings. I photographed so many that I drafted one post and found it was far too long and complex for this blog. So I have broken it up to focus on a couple at a time.
St. Peter’s Street on a busy Saturday morning. You can see the diversity of building types which show how old the townscape is. Right in the distance the tower of Westgate can be glimpsed, dating to the late 1300s, it’s the largest surviving city gate in England. That is obviously a building I didn’t manage to photograph!
Note the beautiful carvings of the wooden ‘barge boards’ in the gables.
At the side you can see an old entrance way outlined in black. It’s a very small door.
These demons are designed to protect the building’s inhabitants from, well, demons I suppose. More of them to come in a later post. You can see where smaller, older windows have been filled in between them.
The Old Weavers’ house A.D. 1500. This is a well-photographed spot as it’s clearly visible from the bridge over the Great Stour where the boat tour company wait for business.
Here you can see the river. It has the feel of something out of Bruges, situated along a waterbody in this way. Interestingly it is thought to have been built to house weavers fleeing religious persecution in Flanders (i.e. Belgium)!
This is an possibly early 20th Century image of the building with a better view of the river, technically.
Hi everyone. This year I’m starting a new blog series alongside my regular macro, fungi and Sussex Weald posts.
This series focuses on the use of oak trees in the construction of old buildings in England, mainly in Sussex where I live.
I’ve also launched a Ko-fi page if you want to support my work through a donation of some kind. Thank you to everyone has been so generous. The main aim of this is to help cover the £200 annual costs of hosting this website and also my podcasting platform.
Oak as a tree species is a key area of research, creativity and learning for me. This comes from the general love we nurture towards oak trees in England, but more from my time working in an oak woodland and the subsequent understanding I gained from teaching myself about the cultural and ecological significance of the species around the world.
Oak trees were once a key resource in Britain and Europe, in the production of timber for construction and the other uses of the materials that arise from an oak tree. Here I mean bark used for the leather tanning industry.
Timber-framed cottages have become sought after by some of the wealthiest in society, when once they were the main timber used by some of the poorest in European society. The aim here is to draw a link between the landscape and human civilisation, not to promote expensive properties for estate agents in SE England!
With this photographic research project I want to document these buildings but also to tell their stories.
The first post will be arriving this month. I would really appreciate comments, information and suggestions around these subjects as the point here is for me to learn but also to share any knowledge and nice images.
Wishing you all the best and I look forward to sharing the images and research with you.