Saturday, September 19, 2009

Anglo-Saxon Timber Architecture

Scientist and acclaimed historical novelist Carla Nayland has an article about Anglo-Saxon architecture, which appears to have been more elaborate than once thought.
“What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among the dogs?”
--JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings; The Two Towers (Book III, Chapter 10).

Thus spoke Saruman the wizard, after King Theoden had seen through his lies and told him to take a running jump, neatly articulating some of the more snobbish views of early English (‘Anglo-Saxon’)* culture in general and architecture in particular. Does timber architecture deserve this image?

1 comment:

Julygirl said...

In this country the advanced culture of the North Coast Indians of British Columbia and Washington State built huge structures of Cedar which were still around over 100 years later.....
Cedar being a wood impervious to insect attack and moisture. Also, One can still visit ornate Russian Orthodox churches in Alaska built of wood. Wooden structures withstand earthquake damage better than stone.