aster

1) A piece of timber used in house-building.

A word which awaits a satisfactory explanation and for which the evidence is not yet complete. It was quoted by Harrison and Hutton, but without explanation: 1582 woode for his hous towe parre of long syles tow astres and & [sic] endforke. I believe there are earlier examples: 1501-2 ij payre forkes ij ribbes with walplates and aftre [sic], Pickering. The word occurred several times in this latter piece, in similar contexts, and always transcribed as aftre or after. Also to be considered are several entries in a Bridlington document where I suspect the spelling should have been an aystre: 1537 for a naystre & iiij spars viijd. In the timber accounts for a house in Conistone built for Richard Wigglesworth is: 1686-9 80 sparres & 5 eastree pieces & 2 balkes. Arthur Raistrick used these accounts in Old Yorkshire Dales but had eastres pieces which he did not explain. In the Hull Customs Accounts for 1489-90, one cargo included 20 M esteriis which the editor took to be ‘estrich boards’.

spellings naystre eastres aystre astre
dates 1489-1490 1501-1502 1537 1582 1686-1689

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