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Timber Buildings Without Earth-Fast Footings In Viking-Age Britain

WithMark Gardiner

The still-standing vernacular timber-framed buildings of the 14th century, or more typically from the 15th or 16th centuries, are examples of these houses built in a more permanent manner. This chapter draws together the growing evidence for buildings with timbers set at ground-level, not in the ground. Most of the buildings had earth-fast footings, but the problem of that method of construction is evident from the decay of the church. By about 760 the timbers of the church were 30 years old and had begun to rot at the base. The church was also supported internally by an added series of timbers indicated by slight depressions. The final variant at Hartlepool is represented by a single building, VII, which had broader footings, at least 0.7 m wide, within which were the impressions of a number of posts. The original report had suggested that the clay-packed stone footings of the Anglo-Saxon buildings supported a stone structure.