1) A short upright piece of timber which served to support the long horizontal beams in a house frame, something like a ‘stud’.
Salzman has examples from 1369, so the Yorkshire evidence is late: 1639 Rayles for sealeing Punchones for the same, Swinsty. It may also have referred to fence-posts: 1658 2 newe yaits … 20 yayte barrs … 200 punchions, Beckwith. It occurs most frequently in coal-mining contexts, but only from the seventeenth century and it was probably ‘borrowed’ from the carpenters’ vocabulary. Puncheon in this sense was a pit-prop: 1683 the grounds, when the puncheons let in to the pitts by the Collyers to support the roof of the work are removed, will sink and fall in and be sore shaken, and in case the puncheons bee not removed yet ordinarily … the same will rott and break and the grounds fall in, Whitkirk. Later examples include: 1693 paid for 20 punshons borrowing, Farnley
1760 William Barker for setting puncheons and forcing vent in upper end, Tong.