The hamlet of Tilley, located approximately 2km south of the historic market town of Wem in north Shropshire consists of a small central settlement and a series of outlying farmsteads. The project will focus on a survey of 28 buildings within this area that have not been previously researched and recorded. Included within the overall research framework, we will incorporate a series of experiments that include the construction of complex timber joints and the testing of their strength and durability.
These buildings are all present on an estate plan of 1631 and are of timber-framed construction. This map, located within the County Records Office is an essential historical resource that has generated considerable local interest. Despite numerous surveys within the county, this small hamlet has been completely overlooked. It is conceivable that many of the buildings date to the medieval period. Each building contains a wealth of timber-framing including in one example a curious cruck-timber frame within a 19th century brick shell. Within the medieval village form there is also a Hall and Manor, as well as an array of smaller properties. The unique survival of these buildings provides an ideal field laboratory for community-led research. This project when completed is expected to form the basis of an important reference point to understanding the timber-framed styles of Shropshire (and surrounding counties). Currently, there are no comprehensive national, regional or local indexes for unpublished building records. It is intended that this project database will be linked directly into the new online Building Archaeology Research Database (BARD) to provide the reference assemblage for Shropshire.