A few days ago a call came from a historian asking if he could come to Llangybi to tree ring date the roof timbers while they were open for access. Sometimes the timbers in a building are much older than the building itself having been re-used. It would all add to the story of our church’s history, and it turned out to be a fascinating visit.
Standing listening to the three people who came while they explored the roof timbers, several intriguing ideas emerged. Was this roof originally exposed, before the addition of the plastered ceiling? It was eventually agreed not. Wooden pegs holding the framework together were left protruding at each side of the timbers. They would have been neatened at the point end if they were to be seen. Another clue was the lack of any decoration or finishing of the timbers.
Carpenters’ marks were pointed out near the joints, which would have indicated the correct positions to the labourers during construction. Not numbers or Roman numerals, but what looked like tally marks to my untrained eye.
The laths which had held up the plaster were original to the frame, there being no other nail holes from previous work.
Sadly, none of the sap wood needed for tree ring dating was found, so we will not find out when the timbers were felled and prepared, or where they had grown.