Historical information

The original small, pioneer cottage was built in the late 1840s to early1850s, by an unknown pioneer. It was located on part of a 30 Acre allotment that was originally part of Henry Dendy’s 'Special Survey Brighton' granted in 1841 (5120acres). There is a small display of external cladding shingles from the original pioneer cottage. Wooden shingles were usually thin (3⁄8 to 3⁄4 in or 10 to 19 mm), relatively narrow (3 to 8 in or 76 to 203 mm), of varying length (14 to 36 in or 360 to 910 mm), and almost always planed smooth.
The traditional method for making wooden shingles was to rive - hand split - them from straight-grained knot-free sections of logs pre-cut to the desired length known as bolts. These bolts were quartered or split into wedges.
A mallet and axe were used to split out thin pieces of wood. The wood species varied according to available local woods, but only the more durable inner section of the log was usually used. The softer sapwood generally was not used because it deteriorated quickly.
Because hand-split shingles were somewhat irregular along the split surface, it was necessary to dress or plane the shingles to make them fit evenly on the roof. This reworking was necessary to provide a tight-fitting roof over typically open shingle lath or sheathing boards.


These are the original shingles found on Box Cottage by L Lewis 1970 and used in the reconstruction in 1984

Physical description

3 x wood Shingles used on roof of Box Cottage c 1850