Report number: 99/2019

Title 11 King’s Quay Street / 11 St Austin’s Lane, Harwich, Essex: Tree-ring Analysis and Radiocarbon Wiggle-matching of Elm and Oak Timbers
Summary A number of elm timbers were initially assessed as being potentially useful for ringwidth dendrochronology. These were in two main areas within the building, a stud wall in the basement of the building fronting onto King’s Quay Street, which also included some oak elements, and a first-floor room to the south-west which includes the likely end gable of that building, now all included in one property. In addition, an elm mantel beam was photographed and a small number of associated oak timbers were all sampled. The timbers in the stud wall, possibly re-used, failed to cross-match each other and did not date. Four studs in the building parallel to St Austin’s Lane matched each other and a 62-year ring-width elm site master chronology was formed. This gave a number of weak statistical matches in the first half of the sixteenth century against oak chronologies, but could not be considered dated by dendrochronology. Radiocarbon dating was undertaken on six single-ring samples from one of the samples in the elm site master chronology. Wiggle-matching of these results suggests that the final ring of this site master chronology formed in cal AD 1425–1436 (95% probability; HSTAelm felling) or cal AD 1428–1433 (68% probability), and that the gable-end wall was constructed then or very shortly thereafter. The weak statistical matching of this chronology suggested by the ring-width dendrochronology is not supported by the radiocarbon wiggle-matching.
Series Research Department Reports
Pages 27
  • Bridge, M C
  • Tyers, C
  • Bayliss, A
  • Dee, Michael
  • Palstra, Sanne
Keywords Dendrochronology ,  Radiocarbon Dating ,  Standing Building ,  Wiggle-Match