Friday, May 22, 2015

Knucklebone floor

We walked in the wonderful Allen Banks in Northumberland yesterday, where the spring foliage on the trees was looking almost luminous. On the way we passed .....

...... this extraordinary knucklebone floor, on the site of a former summer house. I've blogged about this before but am doing so again because there are now a few more web sites with information about these strange floors. Knucklebones were a construction material that seems to have been most popular in the early 18th. century but there are also 19th. century examples. They were were made by hammering sheep knucklebones into the ground to form a hard, durable floor. I suppose the modern equivalent is block paving.

Some knucklebone links:

A deer knucklebone floor in Devon - another picture here

Preparation of sheep knucklebones for making a floor

These bones have been worn smooth by passing feet, exposing some of their internal structure.

The Allen Banks summer house floor is circular .....

...... and it must have had a magnificent view across the river Allen gorge from this high vantage point.


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    1. I imagine that somewhere there is a Russian oligarch having the driveway to his mansion laid out with sheep knucklebones, even as I type.

  3. The views and setting are stupendous.
    I'm surprised the knuckle bones haven't mouldered.
    I wonder too who first thought of hammering them into the ground - and how many sheep make a floor. A butcher's summer house?
    As a child I used to get very excited when we found old clay pipes in the garden. I guess I would have thought this kind of floor gruesomely exciting.

    1. I suspect there are many more of them, now buried under the ground, that will baffled future archaeologists!

  4. Fascinating, back in the day when everything had value... We've no idea have we?!


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