Vernacular Half-Timbering


With half-timbering strips of timber were used to fix slates, tiles, or plaster. The architecture was reminiscent of the medieval manner of building. Sometimes the area between the half-timbering was filled with brickwork and was plastered.

Wattles or vertical stakes with thin branches formed a mesh for clay or mud, mixed with straw called daub. Daub was painted white (cob, a mixture of mud, lime and straw, provided a cheaper building material). The exposed wood timbers were often painted with tar to protect them, creating a black and white effect. The roof was covered with thatch, tiles or slate. In half-timber structures the lower floor was often used as storefront space. Upper stories would often overhang the ground floors. Wood paneling was used for interior walls.

While half-timbering was popular during the Tudor period most of the surviving half-timbered buildings were constructed during later revival periods. Stratford-upon-Avon has a number of Tudor and Elizabethan buildings, such as Palmer's Farm, formerly the house of Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden [house, reproduced above].