Graphical Construction Glossary >> Roofs and roofing. >> Roof Trusses >> Cruck Truss

Cruck Truss
1.) One of a pair or naturally curved timbers used to form frames or trusses that were the main structural elements in medieval building in Northern Europe.
2.) A building that contains crucks or built using crucks.
Full Cruck
A cruck frame which reaches from the ridge to the floor using none jointed blades.
Cruck blade
A single piece of timber when paired with another similar piece becomes a full cruck frame.
Arched brace
A curved brace, normally out of naturally curved timbers used to stiffen a roof frame. Usually in pairs.

A full cruck

a laminated timber arch

A sketch of a full cruck-truss showing a few of the part names. The main point of note is that it reaches almost the full height of the building. There is a huge variety of styles and designs of these structures and it would be impossible to detail them all. The main point being that the available timber in any one place to a large extent determine the design of these early trusses.

At the right is a sketch of a laminated timber portal arch that was popular for church construction work in the early 1960's. At the time the author thought that these were the cutting edge of technology. Not knowing that what he was building was a continuation of a tradition that started centuries before.

If large section timber was available then quite often it would be dressed by adze axe and saw to the required shape and then the whole section was sawn down the middle to make the two equal blades that form the truss.

leigh court tythe barn
The interior of the Leigh Court tythe barn in Worcester. Photo thanks to Wikipedia. Go there for a larger version if you wish to copy it.

One category of building that has survived well over the centuries are the larger agricultural building. In particular the Tythe Barns, built to store agricultural produce by rich land holders, churches and monasteries etc.

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"What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
Adam Smith 1723-1790

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

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