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Friday, 6 May 2011

Newport Cathedral Recording The Medieval Roof Timbers

Nave roof interior, St. Woolos Cathedral, Monmouthshire.
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Staff from the Emergency Recording team of the Royal Commission recently visited St. Woolos Cathedral (nprn 220468) to record and photograph the roof timbers. A rare opportunity to access this Medieval roof had been provided by the scaffolding currently erected as a result of the £1.5 million successfully raised by the Newport Cathedral Emergency Campaign, to repair and restore the roof of this impressive Grade I listed building. Last month, at the beginning of March, a number of tree-ring samples were successfully taken from the roof as part of the Royal Commission’s programme for tree-ring dating Medieval Welsh Churches. The sites of sampling, the numerous and varied carpenter marks on the trusses and the trusses themselves were all now recorded by the team.

General view, figures for scale, St. Woolos Cathedral, Monmouthshire.
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It has long been suggested that the roof of St. Woolos Cathedral was mostly medieval and dates to the early fifteenth century following the razing to the ground of much of Newport by the Owain Glyndwr revolt of 1400-1415. After the uprising, both the aisles are believed to have been added, as well as a two-storey South porch and the West tower, known as the Jasper Tower, after Jasper Tudor, uncle of Henry VII, who was responsible for some of the work. Last year, the team successfully dated the Church  of St. Nicholas (nprn:- 221965) at Grosmont in partnership with the Rev. Jean Prosser  and The Village Alive Trust as the oldest parochial church in Wales. That has a successful dendrochronology date of 1214- 44. Let’s hope that the dates for St. Woolos’ Cathredral due this summer will be equally as exciting!

Carpenters marks, St. Woolos Cathedral, Monmouthshire.
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Related Wales History Links:
Read more: St. Woolos Cathedral
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