Types of Wood in Period Houses

In this section we describe the types of wood you may find in a period home, and how to identify them.

Pine

In a Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian building the original pine is usually from the Baltic region, such as Archangel, or from North America. If well-cared for, this pine is amazingly robust. Compared with modern pine, it is:

  • dense, because it came from slow-growing varieties
  • well-seasoned because it may have become trapped in a river, stacked in a port in Russia and then in the UK
  • cut in a way which gives stability

A further benefit of river transport is that excess sap is washed out.

In the diagram below, note how with 'through cut' timber, the grain varies between each piece, and across the width of it too. With a 'quarter cut', although more waste is produced, the grain is consistent. Warping is far less likely. Most modern timber is through cut.

cuts of wood

Oak

As a pale wood, oak tends to darken over time.oak

Mahogany

mahogany

Cherry

cherry

Walnut

walnut