Recommended reading

Booklist and online resources

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Introductions and overviews

Discovering Timber-framed Buildings
R. Harris, Shire Publications, 1978, latest reprint 2006. The classic introductory booklet – short (96 pages), simple, but not dumbed-down. An essential starter.

Framed Buildings of the Weald
R.T. Mason, Coach Publishing, Worthing, 1969. The seminal work for the Weald: R.T Mason played a key role in the development of the study of vernacular Wealden buildings.

Wealden Buildings; Studies in Sussex, Surrey & Kent
J. Warren (Ed.), Coach Publishing, Worthing, 1990. An excellent follow-up to R.T. Mason’s book.

How to record a standing building

This is the task that regional and local Groups like WBSG have set themeselves, but there is no accepted national handbook on what to do and how to do it. We suggest:

Crown plate and crownpost with upbraces The Old Cottage FletchingA very fine medieval roof: the crown plate is supported by an octagonal crown post, with large arched upbraces (The Old Cottage, Fletching).

Recording Standing Buildings
Barbara Hutton, 1986, latest edition by British Archaeological Trust ("Rescue"), 2013. A 44-page beginner's guide to building recording.

Understanding Historic Buildings
English Heritage (now Historic England), 2006. Aimed at professionals. 40-page free PDF available.

The vocabulary of vernacular architecture

Recording Timber-framed Buildings: an Illustrated Glossary
Council for British Archaeology, 1996. An essential little book; it gives the recommended nomenclature, explains each term, and illustrates it in the assembly of which it forms part. Don't be without it.

Surrey's Domestic Buildings Research Group (DBRG) has an Illustrated Glossary of terms available as an excellent PDF. It is also on the DBRG website pages.

Pevsner's Architectural Glossary is an excellent app (£3.99) for tablets and smartphones, based on the Pevsner hardback book which defines and illustrates general architectural terms. But it touches only slightly on vernacular terms. Perfect if you're in a church or a great house though.

County studies

There are three Kent volumes, with copious photographs and drawings, that make excellent reading for vernacular studies throughout most of the Weald:
The Medieval Houses of Kent, an historical analysis
S. Pearson, RCHME, London, 1994.
The House Within – Interpreting Medieval Houses in Kent
P.S. Barnwell and A.T. Adams, RCHME, London, 1994.
A Gazetteer of Medieval Houses in Kent
S. Pearson, P.S. Barnwell, A.T. Adams, RCHME, London, 1994.

Farm Buildings of the Weald
D. & B. Martin, Heritage Publishing, 2004.

The Development of Timber-framed Buildings in the Sussex Weald
D. Chatwin, Rudgwick Preservation Society, 1996.

Hampshire Houses 1250-1700
E. Roberts, Hampshire County Council, Winchester, rev. ed. 2012.

Historic Buildings in East Sussex
D. & B. Martin, ROHAS, Robertsbridge, 1991.

West Sussex Barns & Farm Buildings
A. Hughes with D. Johnston, Dovecote Press, 2002.

Sussex Record Society: 90 volumes, all on the shelves at The Keep and at Sussex Archaeological Society's library, and many online at Sussex Record Society

Sussex Archaeological Collections: over 150 volumes at Sussex Archaeological Society's library, searchable via SussexPast

Local studies

Members of the Wealden Buildings Study Group at a timber-framed house.Peg holes in the expected places tell a story; those in other places can tell an earlier or a later story too.

Charlwood, Surrey: a Weald Clay Parish History in Maps
J. Shelley,  self-published, 2003.

Ditchling, East Sussex
M. Holt & M. Goodare, (Ed: A. Hughes), WBSG, Horsham, 2005.

Henfield, West Sussex
A. Hughes, , WBSG, Horsham, 2004.

Horsham Houses
A. Hughes,  Phillimore, Chichester, 1986.

Contrasting Communities: Houghton & Hillgrove
A. Hughes, , Horsham, 2005.

Rye Rebuilt 1350-1660
D. & B. Martin with J. Clubb and G. Draper, the Romney Marsh Research Trust, 2009.

Sandwich - a study of the Town and Port  from its origins to the 1600s
S. Pearson, H. Clarke, M. Mate, K. Parfitt, Oxbow, Oxford, 2010.

New Winchelsea, East Sussex: a Medieval Port Town
D. & B. Martin, (plus contributions), U.C. L. London, Heritage Publishing, 2004.

Medieval Hall Houses of the Winchester Area
E. Lewis et al, Winchester City Museum, 1988.

Spandrel, Imberhorne Old Manor House, FelbridgeThis spandrel in the roof was hidden in the wall of what turned out to be Imberhorne Old Manor House, 1428, East Grinstead. If you have carvings like these, contact us immediately!Interior features

Period House Fixtures and Fittings 1300-1900
Linda Hall, Countryside Books, first published 2005.

Landscape studies

Rethinking the Early Medieval Settlement of Woodlands: evidence from the Western Sussex Weald
D. Chatwin and M. Gardiner, Landscape History Vol. 27, 2005.

An Historical Atlas of Sussex
Edited by K. Leslie and B. Short, Phillimore, 1999.

An Historical Atlas of Kent
Edited by Terence Lawson and David Killingray, Phillimore, 2004.

Vernacular Architecture Group

The Vernacular Architecture Group is the national body for serious students, offering conferences, a Newsletter and annual journal.

Further reading

You can download the 6-page list of WBSG's Library. All the books are available on free loan to members:

doc-30 WBSG lending library March 2023 HOT
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