Learn to make and erect a timber frame building

posted on March 19, 2013

Sylva staff have been helping the University of Oxford Harcourt Arboretum with plans to build a classroom shelter in their grounds at Nuneham Courtney, to help in the delivery of education to visitors of all ages.

They have just announced an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in timber framing to get involved, under expert tuition, through a series of events during May and June.

Plans for the timber frame classroom shelter at Harcourt

Plans for the timber frame classroom shelter at Harcourt

The structure will be a traditional timber frame encompassing a cruck design. Timber of various species, from the arboretum’s own woodland is in the process of being milled for the project, and the roof will be shingled.

The build will be run as a course taught by renown timber frame historian, practitioner, and instructor; Henry Russell.

  • Part one: 6th – 10th May, repeated 13th – 17th May: Walls and Cross frames.  Elements of traditional tenon and mortice joinery including a very beautiful cruck frame.
  • Part two: 20th – 24th May: Roofing.  Truss and purlin construction with common rafters.
  • Raising: 29th and 30th June.  All work will be with hand tools, and there will be an opportunity to try hand conversion of the timbers – hewing and pit sawing.

The cost for each course is £375, which includes daily lunch and refreshments, and free camping on site at Harcourt.

Full details are available from the course administrator, Barbara Czoch: barbara@carpentersfellowship.co.uk or please call 07971 629916

Harcourt timber frame - gable end

Harcourt timber frame – gable end showing cruck frame design


  1. This seems like a great opportunity to learn the traditional timber frame construction methods and use a locally grown resource. With the existence of machinery to fulfill much of the wood processing now carried out, using hand tools to complete the same tasks will highlight the time, effort and skill that is required.

    Comment by Gill — March 29, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

  2. Damn, this looks great, I’m an Oxfordshire based carpenter and natural builder. I’d love to do this course to learn traditional timber framing skills but I just can’t afford it!

    Comment by Ceri Fielding — May 18, 2013 @ 8:00 am

  3. I was searching for some detailed info about the process of timber frame building. After reading your post, I have got a lot of info, thank for sharing the post.

    Comment by Bella Ross — February 21, 2017 @ 12:52 pm

Leave a comment

Category: events

Comments (3)