Welcome to the Building Archaeology Research Database (BARD)

What is BARD?

The Building Archaeology Research Database (BARD) has been designed as an easy to use and accessible summary index for both published and unpublished building records. It aims to be a useful and easy to use research tool to encourage everyone’s involvement in building archaeology. Its current 14,000+ records can be freely searched on-line. Individuals and building recording groups alike are encouraged to apply for details to allow them to enter and amended their own recording at no cost.

  1. BARD is a primarily a non-profit-making on-line scientific research tool which aims to contribute to our knowledge on how building styles developed through time and across regions.
  2. BARD currently contains over 1500 tree-ring dated buildings and all records can be searched online for key features of timber-framing such as crucks, crown posts, wealdens, queen posts, etc.
  3. BARD provides a quick and easy-to-use method for systematically recording key features in buildings and because many stylistic features have known date ranges this recording method also helps to narrow down the likely date of construction.

How does BARD work?

From our knowledge of buildings that have already been dated, we know the typical date ranges for some building archaeological features. BARD lets users record and compare these archaeological features for their own house (or other building) on an easy-to-use tick-sheet, allowing the likely date of construction to be narrowed down.

What are the advantages of BARD?

BARD uniquely combines the ability to enter, update, search, summarise and archive data on both timber-framed and brick buildings (up to the mid-19th century), all online. A particularly useful feature is the searchable free-form text field, which can be used to record and search for “key” features (such as open-hall houses or queen post roofs), or other features of research interest.

A second unique feature of BARD is the “Tick-box” recording sheet. The “Tick-box” sheet provides a systematic way of recording the stylistic features in buildings and, because the common date ranges of “key” features are shown, it also helps in the dating of a building during its recording.

Not sure what a queen strut looks like?

To help you understand the terms used in the “Tick-box” sheet, you can download an illustrated glossary of building features. To ensure common nomenclature, the Council for British Archaeology’s (CBA) illustrated glossary of timber-framing terms has generally been used, and this book provides a useful and extensive guide to features in timber-framed buildings. As long as you have internet access, you can instantly upload survey data and compare and share it easily. All users are able to search the database, but the ability to add, amend and edit records is usually restricted to your own data.

Freely available to download from this site (as PDF’s files):

BARD Tick Box – These simply yet comprehensive ‘tick-box’ recording sheets allow you to systematic record the stylistic features of a building and indicate a likely date of construction.

BARD Illustrated Glossary – Building terminology can be very confusing and this pictorial glossary helps the identification of features.

A published paper – This research paper concentrates on Surrey, but it shows the potential of using BARD to produce comparable studies for other areas.