The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #171928 Message #4164289
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
03-Feb-23 - 11:05 AM
Thread Name: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
Subject: RE: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
The Oldest Door from the Association of English Cathedrals (link to Facebook page)
The oldest door. It has lasted pretty well.
Hidden away in Westminster Abbey is Britain's oldest door in the passage leading to the Chapter House.
Dated for the first time in 2005 by the process known as dendrochronology. It showed that the wood was felled after 1032 AD and that the door was constructed sometime in the 1050s. This was during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, who built the Norman Abbey which was consecrated in 1065.
The ring-pattern of the timber indicates that the tree grew in eastern England, most probably coming from the extensive woodland owned by the Abbey in this area, and possibly from Essex.
The door is made of five vertical oak planks held together with three horizontal battens and iron straps. Most unusually the battens are recessed into the planks so that the door is flush on both sides. Normally medieval doors have a flat front and the back has projecting ledges and braces. The construction of this door is unique and shows that it was intended to communicate between spaces of equal importance in the Abbey. But its original position is not known. The boards are from a single tree and rings on them show growth during the years from AD 924 to 1030. As the bark was trimmed when the planks were made into a door it means the exact year of felling cannot be known.
Source - Westminster Abbey