Maple Cottage in Mapledurwell
Maple Cottage in Mapledurwell was the homestead of a former copyhold of Mapledurwell Manor held of Corpus Christi College in Oxford.
Maple cottage is a 2-bay house with a queen-post roof and large, curved wall braces; these features would date the house to some time between c. 1450 and c. 1540. In the smaller bay, joists are roughly square in section and chamfered. They are well jointed into the transverse beam that divides the two bays, and thus appear to be original features. Such joists rarely pre-date c. 1530. If this is correct, we would have a building date of c. 1530-40. However, similar joists in the larger bay are jointed into a transverse beam which is simply lodged onto the original frame. This could imply that these joists are secondary and that the original house was built pre-1530. Both explanations are possible, neither is conclusive, although a view of the rafters might shed light. It should be said that these similar joists are only to be found at the far end of the larger bay and, in the middle of the house are smaller joists that may relate to the flooring-over of a timber chimney. The timber chimney thesis is supported by stave holes for a heck, or fire screen, in an axial joist beside the front door. Again the rafters might shed light. A yeoman's house.
Structural details provided by Edward Roberts