The History Of Oak
Author: lucy pitt
Oak furniture is both beautiful and durable and many of us have at least one piece of furniture made from this traditional wood in our homes.
But did you know that oak is one of the oldest serving woods around the UK and indeed the world. British homes have contained oak tables, chairs, beds, stools and fireplaces for many hundreds of years.
The first recorded mention of oak furniture comes from Norman times. In those days furniture was very practical and would have consisted of basic benches and tables.
Oak was a popular choice because British woodlands and forests were heavily populated with the tree species. The Normans soon found that the wood was extremely hard wearing, durable and water resistant and so it quickly became the most popular choice for basic furniture.
Gradually, as dwellings and living spaces became more sophisticated, people began to use shelves and cupboards. This was partly so things like ammunition and food could be stored safely and partly to keep goods fresh and out of the weather.
Shelves and cupboards quickly moved into the kitchen and were used to store crockery, not long after the chest of drawers and kitchen cupboard was born.
As oak was plentiful it was not just used for household furniture but also to build ships and wagons. Within a few hundred years the wood had become the most popular choice for wealthy families and to this end it began to go up in price and to be more sought after.
In the middle ages oak carved wall panels began to appear as people started to show more interest in the aesthetics of their homes. Some marvellous examples of oak panelling from the middle ages can still be seen in the House of Commons.
At the time, carpentry apprentices would spend many years raining under a master of the art until they were considered to be skilled to a high enough standard.
After 1600 people began to prefer lighter wood and oak dropped in popularity. However many of these items of furniture made from lighter materials has disappeared when thousands of ancient oak pieces remain intact and look as beautiful as ever.
During the war years Oak regained popularity because of its durability, so much so that British Oak had to be protected and has remained a protected species to this day.
Oak furniture is more popular today than it has ever been, perhaps because it is synonymous with quality and durability. Oak furniture can fit beautifully into any style of home. Investing in oak is a wise decision that will keep you satisfied for many years to come.
About the Author
For a wide selection of beautiful and durable oak furniture vist oakitashop.co.uk