Old Yew Tree Cottage Progress

A further update on the Trust’s recent acquisition, Old Yew Tree Cottage in Wrecclesham.

Our appointed architect continues to develop plans for the property and we have held preliminary discussions with the planning authority but, as mentioned before, we cannot submit the formal application until the results of the Bat Survey are known which cannot be carried out before May.

We have also received the results of the Dendrochronological dating survey (the scientific method of dating based on the analysis of patterns of tree rings) which suggests construction occurred in 1551 or soon after.

To quote from the survey report,

“Yew Tree Cottage consists of two parts. The older, to the north-east, now consists of two bays, but originally it continued south-west, probably forming a 3½ bay, central-smokebay house. The original smoke bay and presumed parlour bay have been replaced by a tall parlour wing of two bays. The old part is timber framed, with jowled posts and arched braces in the framing. Unusually, there are full-height intermediate posts. The roof is halfhipped at the surviving end and of clasped-purlin construction with queen struts and straight windbraces.

Measured tree-ring series from six of the nine timbers sampled are matched together to form a 152-year site chronology which is dated to span AD 1399 to AD 1550. Three precise felling dates in the winter of AD 1550/1 and two in the spring of AD 1551, together with a probable felling date in AD 1449, provide strong evidence that construction occurred in AD 1551, or soon after.

All the timbers sampled were oak. The average age of the trees dated is 104 years. Strong cross-matches with reference chronologies in the local area suggest that the dated timbers came from a local source.”


We know that oak for building was almost always used “green”, (unseasoned, not having been felled and prepared until required), so construction dates can be determined in which we can place considerable confidence.”