Understanding Historic Buildings

Understanding Historic Buildings was the subject of the February Monthly Meeting of the Duns and District U3A held in the Volunteer Hall in Duns this week. The speaker was Eric Branse-Instone, a resident of Duns for the last five years, and a Listing Adviser for Historic England with a responsibility for North Yorkshire.

Keep up with the Jones’s in Richmond

Eric’s talk was about vernacular architecture and illustrated with many slides showing in particular the differences over the centuries in doors and their lintels, windows and their features together with changing stonework and roofs. In the same way that defensive castles changed to homes intended to impress, so the single storey dwelling for humans and animals together, changed to windowed and chimneyed houses.
Vernacular architecture gives a sense of place in Britain and with the aid of slides, the audience was asked to try and identify where in Britain the houses shown were situated and in which century they were built. A date on a wall or a lintel over a door was not necessarily to be trusted as it might well be the date of restoration not construction. Sometimes house owners wanted to make their homes look more important and added impressive doorways or window furniture.

C19, C18 and C17 side by side in
Palace St, Berwick

After this fascinating talk the audience went on their way knowing there was a distinct possibility of pavement pile-ups with everybody looking up at stonework, roofs and windows!

If you would like to know more about the Duns and District U3A, please get in touch by emailing us at dunsu3a@gmail.com . We have a monthly meeting in the Volunteer Hall in Duns to which everybody, member or non-member, is most welcome. Our next open meeting is on Tuesday March 12th at 10.00 for 10.30 am when David Smith will be talking about Diabetes, Obesity and Heart Disease.

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