Oak Frame Building – A British Tradition and It’s History

In our fast-paced modern world, things sometimes seem to move so quickly. But when we anchor ourselves and our homes in history and tradition, we can avoid that sense of being left behind. Oak frame building is a British tradition to embrace that shows us that as we progress, some things can remain more or less the same. 

Building With Oak – a British Tradition

People in Britain have been building with oak for generations. The oak is a tree intrinsically linked with English identity, and it also plays an important role in the cultural traditions of the other countries in the British Isles. 

In our ancient history, the British Isles were mostly covered in trees – an ancient woodland is known as the wildwood. Oaks were important species within these woodlands in many areas. 

Though little remains of the ancient woodland that once covered our Isles, oak woodlands remain that have long been tended and shaped by human hands. These precious ecosystems that remain still often bear the marks of ancient use – telling the long tale of our relationship with these trees. 

The History of Oak Construction in the British Isles

British oaks and other woodland trees were felled in great numbers in agricultural clearance from the Neolithic times, and increasingly as time went by. But our history of oak construction begins during the accelerated period of tree clearances in the Mediaeval period. 

The Middle Ages marked many great tree-felling events. For example, a thousand oaks are said to have been felled to build Salisbury Cathedral, with similar stories for many other great cathedrals and monuments. As the population increased during the Mediaeval period, farmhouses, villages and towns were rebuilt with timber frame houses. 

During the Tudor period, many more trees were felled in pursuit of Britain’s ambitions to ‘rule the waves’. Warships like the Mary Rose required entire forests to be felled to provide the timber. 

Many of the stunning structures created during this period still dot our landscapes. Without the use of oak in civil and domestic construction – our building environments would look very different today. And our dominance on the seas over the centuries would not have gone the same way. 

Of course, the ways in which we have historically used oak and other timbers have not always been sustainable. But today, we understand the necessity of conservation and sustainable management of our woodland resources. 

We can enjoy the benefits and beauty of this long-life timber while also caring for the living trees and the woodlands and forests from which they come. 

Why Choose Oak Framed Building?

When you choose to contact us to create an oak frame building you are becoming part of our shared cultural history. 

You are not only creating something that will last for generations to come. You are also allying yourself with people of the past who have long valued and venerated oak as a sustainable and long-lasting building material. 

Oak has shaped Britain. And by embracing this tradition we can join a long line of foresighted artisans and craftsmen, embracing all that has been good about oak construction while ensuring that we can continue to enjoy natural environments and take advantage of their resources to meet our own needs for many years to come. 

History has many lessons to teach us. And by embracing age-old traditions that have made sense, we can create enduring structures that can stand the test of time. 

We can choose oak from sustainably managed woodland and forests, learning from the mistakes as well as the success stories of the past to build a better future. And build new structures to add to the built environment that, like the medieval structures we find around us, will grace that environment for many hundreds of years to come. 

About Us

We here at Loosehanger Oak pride ourselves on our attention to detail, as well as our environmental credentials. We provide an end-to-end service – taking care of everything from initial idea to finished construction. We handle all the small hassles and let you relax and look forward to enjoying your new oak building or oak extension.

Contact Gary today to begin your journey, book a free site visit and consultation, and join our many contented customers as you embark on your own oak framed construction project.

Understanding Oak Frame Buildings