half-timber house

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timber frame. Type of building construction sometimes called half-timbering, where walls and partitions are made of a wooden skeleton, set on a foundation, with the spaces filled with brick nogging, plaster, wattle-and-daub, etc. Timber-framed buildings are frequently tile-hung, plastered, weather-boarded or otherwise protected from the weather, as with mathematical tiles. See beam, brace, breastsummer, cill, collar, cross-rail, cruck, dragon-beam, jetty, joist, post, principal, purlin, rafter, rail, stud, truss; wealden house.


Alcock,, Barley,, Dixon,, & and Meeson (1996);
R. J. Brown (1986);
Brunskill (1994); Grossmann (1986);
Sobon & and Schroeder (1984);
Jane Turner (1996)

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half-timber house, type of construction of the Middle Ages in N Europe, used chiefly for dwellings. Some French examples date from the 12th cent., and by the 13th cent. the building method had reached high development. In this form of construction the skeleton frame of the building, with all supporting and bracing members, was of timber, usually oak. The outside enclosing walls were of wattle and daub, plaster, or brick, the material being used as a filling between the exposed structural timbers. The work of the 14th, 15th, and 16th cent. gave increasing decorative emphasis to the timbers, which had richly carved Gothic or Renaissance ornamentation. Many cottages, farmhouses, and manors in England used half-timber, but in France and Germany it was chiefly employed for town dwellings. Half-timber, used in some of the 17th-century dwellings of the American colonists, proved unsuited to the climate and was soon abandoned for more weathertight methods.

See A. W. Jackson, The Half-Timber House (1912).

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1. Obsolete term for a timber-framed building, the gaps between the members of the frame filled with some other material, e.g. brick nogging or plaster on wattles or laths.

2. Building with the lower storey of stone or brick and the upper storeys, or parts of them, such as gables, timber-framed, and visible as such.

3. Building constructed of brick, block, etc., with timber applied to it in parts suggesting timber-framing, but in fact false.