Canterbury Cathedral

ringsSampling and analysis by tree-ring dating of timbers within three specific areas of Canterbury Cathedral were commissioned by Rupert Austin of The Canterbury Archaeological Trust on behalf of the Dean and Chapter, this being undertaken during works to the roof of the south-east transept and the single spirelet here. Taking advantage of the ease of access and the placement of the necessary equipment at this time, sampling was extended to include the timbers of the north-west transept and the roof of the ‘Bakehouse’ within St Anselm’s Tower. Interpretation of the sapwood on the dated samples indicates that four of the timbers from the spire have an estimated felling date in the range 1097–1122, whilst two others here have an estimated felling date in the range 1257–82. The timbers of the Bakehouse roof appear to represent a single phase of felling dated to 1383. Unusually, though in many ways interestingly, none of the samples from the north-west transept can be dated, despite an extensive programme of sampling in this roof.