Projects using BARD

Cotswold’s Hidden Crucks Project: Bishop’s Cleeve (2023-2024)

Buildings listing are often written from external examination only, but building façades often change over time and so the listed date estimations can often be 100s of years out. Crucks are a typical medieval method of timber-frame construction that is often missed from listing descriptions.

Historic photographs indicate that Bishop’s Cleeve contains at least 5 buildings of cruck construction and another 4 buildings may well contain crucks (see map).

The project aims are:

  • to identify, photograph (some in 3D) and record buildings that contain crucks
  • to establish exactly how old 4 cruck buildings are by tree-ring dating; to establish when box-frame came into use through the tree-ring dating of 4 such buildings
  • to link the precise tree-ring dates to historical documentary evidence and publish the findings

For further information e-mail the project manager at: 

3D building images (2022-present)

Our aim is to link to the increasing number of 3D images available of buildings. If you search under ‘Key Feature’ using the term ‘3D’ you can find all the buildings on BARD which are linked to 3D images of buildings. Please feel free to e-mail us any links to 3D images of historic buildings that you find.


Houses of the Welsh Countryside (2021-present)

In 1975 the excellent reference book the Houses of the Welsh Countryside was published by the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales (RCAM). The information on the thousands of buildings in this book (including hundreds of buildings with date inscriptions) is currently being summarised onto BARD. Although this project is not expected to be completed until 2022, all RCAM entries on BARD have ‘RCAM’ as the first four letters in their ‘Building Reference’ number, and so can be quickly found.

The Gloucestershire Dendrochronology Project (2020-2022)

The main component of the Gloucestershire Dendrochronology Project was the systematic recording and accurate dating by tree-ring analysis of 50 buildings in Newent, Tewkesbury and Gloucester. Together with 128 previously published tree-ring-dated buildings, this allowed date ranges for 42 stylistic features of vernacular timber-framing in Gloucestershire to be established. Two periods of rapid change from the 1380–1400s and the 1520–1550s were found. The first period is marked by the use of the crown-strut truss, the rise of open-hall decoration and the use of passing braces and close studding. The second period sees the increased use of first-floor flooring, smoke control, on-edge joists and small square panels, and both windbraces and wall braces change shape from curved to straight. Website:

The Tilley Timber Project – Shropshire (2015-2019)

Tilley is a small hamlet located approximately 2km south of the market town of Wem in north Shropshire and consists of a small central settlement and a series of outlying farmsteads. This three year project is organised by Dr George Nash and Alastair Reid, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project aims to record and accurately date a previously unidentified cluster of 28 medieval and post-medieval timber-framed buildings, to better understand the development and history of Tilley. Many of these buildings are described in a survey of 1561 and are shown on an estate map of 1631. Over 80% of all buildings present on the 1631 map are still extant. Almost all tree-ring dated buildings in Shropshire have been added to Building Archaeology Research Database to help form a core resource of the timber-framed building styles in North Shropshire and assist in regional comparisons.

Publications: Moir, A K, Nash, G, and Reid A, 2020 New Insights into timber-framing in Shropshire: Findings from the Tilley Timber Project, Vernacular Architecture, 50, 40-52

South Downs National Park (2015-present)

The Wealden Buildings Study Group (WBSG) volunteers have coordinated with building recorders in Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex to bring together the majority of the building recordings located in the parishes located both fully and partly within the South Downs National Park (SDNP). They identified 1170 buildings that had been recorded. The details of the characteristics features of each building are being updated on the Building Archaeology Research Database (BARD). Each building will be categorised using the BARD tick-box sheet, which covers the materials of construction through to the specific types of carpentry joints used. The majority of the buildings of the SDNP are available for researchers. Most WBSG entries on BARD have ‘WBG’ as the first three letters in their ‘Building Reference’ number, and so can be quickly found.

The Surrey Dendrochronology Project (2003-2013)

The main component of this project was the accurate dating of 177 buildings, nearly all by tree-ring analysis. The dates were entered into Building Archaeology Research Database (BARD) and used to establish date ranges for 52 ‘key features’. The project showed that changes of method and fashion were in many cases surprisingly rapid. Almost all tree-ring dated buildings in Surrey are added to BARD as soon as they become available. Around 3600 buildings that have been recorded by the Domestic Buildings Research Group Surrey (DBRG) are also on BARD.

Publication: Wild, R and Moir, A K, 2013 Key dating features for timber-framed dwellings in Surrey, Vernacular Architecture, 44, 46-61