From Tree to Timber - the Traditional Approach

Sarah Partridge
Wednesday, 11th May 2016

Sit back and enjoy this photo-essay about how Orchard barn in Suffolk replaced a leaky barn roof with local timber and traditional building methods.

The challenge: C17 timber frame barn with missing timbers and leaky tin roof.

The solution: Replace and repair timbers with green oak from local woods.




Employ traditional carpenter and run courses in Timber Frame Repairs.


Square up trees for timber.


Measure, cut and test fit tenon into mortice.


Make oak peg to hold mortice and tenon together.


Replace the feet of studs and jowl posts.


Reconstruct 17th century pitch roof from local green oak.


Make 20,000 oak shingles, fit to new roof frame. Use Orchard Barn as teaching centre. 


Learning from the past how to build a greener future for a healthier environment.

Further resources

Book: Roundwood Timber Framing by Ben Law

Stunning buildings with curved timber

Turning fallen timber into a treehouse


lucywales |
Fri, 17/06/2016 - 18:31
Lisa Rey |
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 11:51

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Lisa Rey |
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 11:52

lovely post and combination with the picture is amazing

ankie147 |
Wed, 16/05/2018 - 07:37

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robertfcrocker |
Sat, 19/05/2018 - 12:00

This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough.

KlaBra |
Mon, 18/06/2018 - 07:58

You did an excellent job with that barn roof guys, plus you seem to have really enjoyed it. Huge repect from

DarrenBrown |
Mon, 25/06/2018 - 12:31

Sorry guys but I quite envy you..I wish I had such dexterity. I have inherited my aunt's cottage in southern France and there are lots of things that should be repaired but I 'll probably pay for everything to have them done. Anyway, what you did there is fantastic. You ll be able to see my progress in