History of Timber Framing

The craft of timber framing goes back at least 7,000 years and was the standard method of construction in temperate forest areas across the globe. Its history is as rich and varied as civilization itself. This 3-hour visual presentation will cover the beginnings of the craft in Europe and Asia and its spread to North America. We will be looking at a variety of periods, building types, and framing styles; and learning about temples, tithe barns, hall houses, long houses, Wealden houses, hovels, cathedral roof trusses, crucks, earth-fast construction, stave building, wattle and daub, dragon beams, hammer beams, anchor beams, jetties, forebays, plank frames, scribe and square rules, and a whole lot more. 

This is a great add-on session for the timber framing course! 


Jack A. Sobon is an architect, builder, and teacher specializing in timber framed buildings.  Since 1980 he has devoted his life to understanding the craft of timber framing.  Using only traditional hand tools and often starting right in the forest, he has framed and erected over 50 structures.  As an architect, he consults on historic structures as well as designing new timber framed structures.  He was a founding director of the Timber Framers Guild and founder of the Traditional Timber Frame Research and Advisory Group, an offshoot of the Guild.  He has four books to his credit including his latest: Hand Hewn, the Traditions, Tools, and Enduring Beauty of Timber Framing.

Recommended Reading

  • Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings by Richard Harris
  • The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, 1625-1725 by Abbott Lowell Cummings

View All Courses

Get the Latest News