Looking at Buildings

Styles & Traditions

Cruck Roofs

Pairs of crucksGlossary Term or curved timbers were made by splitting the trunk and main branch of a single tree. They are linked by a tie beam or collar to form the basic framework of both walls and roof.

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Cruck House, Ledbury, Worcs.

BaseGlossary Term crucksGlossary Term, used in larger buildings, finish below the apex of the roof, providing support for raftersGlossary Term above.

More on timber wall construction


Further Reading:

F.W.B. Charles, Timber-framed buildings, in N. Pevsner, Buildings of England, Worcestershire 1968



Moulded foot of a column or pilaster. An Attic base is the form used on an Ionic column, with two large convex rings joined by a spreading convex moulding.


(lit. crooked): Pairs of inclined timbers (blades), usually curved, set at bay-length intervals in a building; they support the roof timbers and, in timber buildings, also support the walls. Base crucks have blades rising from ground level to a tie-beam or collar-beam which supports the roof timbers. Full crucks have blades rising from ground level to the apex of the roof, serving as the main members of a roof truss. Jointed crucks have blades formed from more than one timber; the lower member may act as a wall-post; it is usually elbowed at wall-plate level and jointed just above. Middle crucks have blades rising from halfway up the walls to a tie or collar-beam. Raised crucks have blades rising from halfway up the walls to the apex. Upper crucks have blades supported on a tie-beam and rising to the apex.


Inclined lateral timbers supporting the roof covering. Common rafters: regularly spaced uniform rafters placed along the length of a roof or between principals; also called coupled rafters. Principal rafters: rafters which also act as principals, i.e. the paired inclined lateral timbers of a truss.