Newbury Town Council is delighted to announce the result of the dendrochronological dating of 1 & 2 Weavers Cottages, West Mills. The dating shows that they were built in 1633. They therefore add to the stock of Newbury buildings which date from before the Civil War of 1642-48 in the reign of Charles I.
Dendrochronological dating is a reliable technique which dates a building from the sequence of growth rings in its timbers. The dating was carried out by a recognised specialist, Mr Andy Moir of Tree-Ring Services, Micheldean, Glos.
The cottages were originally two buildings, a short house and a longer building, possibly with an industrial use. The dating shows that in spite of the difference in structure and probable use, these two were built in the same year, 1633. These two buildings were later converted into at least seven cottages, which deteriorated in the 20th century until in the 1950’s there was a real possibility they would be demolished. The seven were rescued and converted into two cottages in 1963, keeping a large part of the original structures intact.
The use of the industrial building may be associated with the West Mills, which in the 16th century comprised three fulling mills for processing cloth.
Cllr Anthony Pick, Chairman of the Town Council’s Heritage Working Group, said: “I congratulate everyone concerned on this outstanding addition to our knowledge of Newbury before the Civil War. I also thank the residents of the cottage for their assistance and cooperation.”