Oxford Archaeology South recently completed an investigation and recording of the Buttery Roofs at Hampton Court Palace while extensive conservation works to restore unsound timbers and roof tiles was being carried out. These are a series of roofs north of the Great Hall, the Great Hall stairs and an adjacent kitchen. The roofs and their associated buildings are seen as an important structural intersection as they are situated between Cardinal Wolsey's kitchens and Henry VIII's Great Hall, as well as being accessible from Base Court and Master Carpenter's Court. They were subject to a lot of structual changes making it difficult to distinguish whose phase of construction they belong to, Wolsey's or Henry's.

The findings of both the archaeological survey and the dendrochronological sampling (tree-ring dating) concluded that at least two and possibly more of the four roofs under investigation were reused structures, truncated to fit their current location, and that one of the roofs was constructed from two different reused roof structures. Although the largest of the four roofs is believed to date to Wolsey's construction works between 1514 and 1522, Henry VIII's phase of works closely followed in 1527 and it is believed that he changed part of what Wolsey had started, tailoring the surroundings of the Great Hall to suit his needs.


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