The History Anorak

The History Anorak

Friday, 23 October 2015

Cruck cottage

The little market town of Wirksworth in Derbyshire has a wealth of unusual and old buildings but perhaps one of its most striking now consists of only one wall. It's the end wall of a cottage with Medieval beams that date from the 15th century.

It's called a cruck cottage, because of the shape of the beams. The word comes from Middle English crok(e), from Old Norse krāka, meaning "hook". This is the same stem as crooked, or a shepherd's crook (or cruck) which has a curved handle. 

This type of construction consists of long, generally naturally curved, timber beams that lean inwards and form the ridge of the roof. These posts are then secured by a horizontal beam forming an "A" shape. 

The wall was discovered in 1971 during demolition of two cottages that once stood on the site. It is now the outer wall of the Wirksworth Brewery building.

There are actually several cruck cottages in the area of Derbyshire and Leicestershire and they are relatively easy to spot in older houses.

5 comments:

  1. Wow! I love things like this. 1) It's beautiful 2) Think of the people who built it and lived with it 3) When were those trees planted?

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  2. That's wonderful, I'm so glad that it's been preserved. I hadn't realised that cruck buildings and shepherd's crooks came from the same word though it's obvious when you think about it.

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  3. There are some in Lincolnshire too I believe Anne - they are definitely worth preserving.

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  4. I remember seeing this when we walked around Wirksworth, it is wonderful that it has been preserved in this way:)

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  5. Really fascinating indeed. Greetings.

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Why not add your two pennyworth?