Today’s Friday photo(s) are of a couple of interesting details taken in the main building at St Nicolas’ Place, Kings Norton. St Nicolas’ Place is of a group of grade II* buildings dating from the late 15th century that have been altered and added to. The main building is a 2 storey post and truss timber frame with a gabled and jettied upper storey.
The first photo shows a set of carpentry marks. Appearing as a pair and either side of a joint, it is probable that these particular marks aided the assembly of the frame, which would have been made piece-by-piece and transported to the final site. Remedial works began on the buildings in 2005, after it won funding via a public vote on the BBC programme ‘Restoration’. A combination of different remedial techniques were used in the main building; the second photo shows a traditional carpentry repair scarf joint. This skilled technique of replacing structurally unsound timber with new timber maintains the material and aesthetic tradition consistent throughout the building. Oak replacement timber was used at St Nicolas’ Place; it is important to match the type, moisture content, surface, sectional grain pattern and colour to the original timber as closely as possible. I like this method of restoration, as the evidence of the repair is plain to see and conveys the narrative and authenticity of the building‘s development. Although some of the original timber is lost in the process, this authentic method also helps preserve historic craft based skills.