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English medieval timber roof system used when a long span was needed. Not a true truss, the construction is similar to corbeled masonry (seecorbel) in that each set of beams steps upward (and inward) by resting on the ones below by means of curved braces and struts. The roof of Richard II's Westminster Hall in London (1402), with a 70-ft (21-m) span, is an excellent example.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on hammer-beam roof, visit Britannica.com.
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