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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Coldbrook: All Will Be Revealed





Moulded timberwork in the hall at Coldbrook,
NPRN:36359, DS2011_129_006
BBC2’s popular television programme, Restoration Home, has recently been filming at Coldbrook, near Raglan, one of Monmouthshire’s most intriguing vernacular houses. Coldrook was discovered by Sir Cyril Fox and Lord Raglan in December 1941 and was surveyed by Mr Leonard Monroe, a staff member of the Royal Commission then engaged in recording important houses in Wales as some insurance against loss by indiscriminate bombing during the War. It was immediately noted for “the enrichment of the massive woodwork” and the survey appeared in Volume 2 of Monmouthshire Houses (pages 48-50). Its enriched style includes elaborate mouldings and deep chamfers; even the reveals of the window are built of solid timber.


Richly moulded rear window at Coldbrook, 
DS2010_746_004

The house is currently being restored by its new owners and will feature in the forthcoming second series of Restoration Home. The makers of the programme have been working with Richard Suggett of the Royal Commission and Dr Dan Miles of the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory on the dating and interpretation of the house. Sir Cyril Fox and Lord Raglan believe it to date from the mid-sixteenth century. The style of the woodwork and the plan of the house has led Royal Commission expert, Richard Suggett, to suggest that it may indeed prove to be one of the earliest storeyed houses in Wales. Dan Miles will analyse the tree-ring data using the Royal Commission’s all-Wales dendro data and if complete sap-wood survives, is hopeful that an exact felling date will soon be established. The real questions are: When was the house built and Who built it? Perhaps, the answers will soon be revealed!


Coflein - Discovering Our Past Online

Coflein is the online database for the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW), the national collection of information about the historic environment of Wales.



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