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Three - Quarter Hollows: a medieval mystery

Jacob Lambert has approached us for an answer to an unknown medieval technique.

three quarter hollow mouldingIn the thirteenth and fourteenth century there was a fashion for a form of timber moulding known as a three-quarter hollow (see attached image of a cross section of a moulded beam). To quote Cecil Hewitt's 'English Historic Carpentry' (1980):

 "In the decadent examples... Large circular hollows, perhaps three inches in diameter, were cut, [along the length of a beam] but leaving only a one-inch opening along the edge... It has not yet proved possible to deduce the tools with which these were cut..."

Hewitts book has been published for several generations now so it is uncertain whether this question is still a mystery. Further research and reading has failed to find any answers...


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