Reclaimed 17th Century Oak Beams



Here at Wilsons Yard to are proud to be able to say that we are one of the few companies in the U.K. who use eco-friendly reclaimed timber. Around 90% of our beams, and 70% of our flooring, has been salvaged. This blog shows the journey of some of our reclaimed 17th century oak beams from being immersed in a moat to our woodworking area and onwards to the showrooms; before eventually making their way to customers homes.

During the 1980’s a U.K. waste landfill site in Risley, Cheshire was undergoing a transformation; an abandoned farmstead nearby was selected as a possible location for expansion. It was discovered that the farmstead (Old Abbey Farm) was a grade II listed building and therefore was subject to an archaeological investigation.

Click here to read the report created by U.K. Waste Management and the Lancaster University Archaeological Unit

The investigation concluded that Old Abbey Farm was a fairly typical medieval (1100-1550) and post-medieval (1550-1800) farmstead which was surrounded by a moat. During the renovation it was revealed that that moat had become home to a large amount of timber over the years; including the wood used in the frame of the medieval bridge which spanned the moat.

We were lucky enough to secure a large amount of this timber and transport it back to Ireland; where we could let it dry out before working on it.

Once the beams had reached a sufficiently low level of moisture we were able to start working them to create ceiling beams, mantles and coat racks from this beautiful reclaimed wood.


You can call into either of our Mossvale Timber Yard, Dromore to see our reclaimed 17th century oak beams in both their raw and finished states. If you are looking for a bit of history to decorate your house with then these reclaimed beams are ideal for the job. Full of character, with beautiful aging and rustic splits/shakes, these beams truly are one-of-a-kind and a callback to bygone times.

Bespoke tables made from reclaimed timber

Bespoke kitchen/coffee tables and lamp stands

Here at Wilsons we are always being asked to create bespoke tables for our customers; the tables that we come up with are as individual as our clients. It’s very rare that we will make the same table twice.

We have a large range of reclaimed timber which lends itself to creating unique and interesting projects. In the past we have made tables from wood which was salvaged from such places as monasteries, schools, churches and decommissioned military barracks – if you are looking for a table with a bit of history then we can help!

Here is an industrial style coffee table / lamp stand which was designed for a client. The specification was given to our joiner who added his own personal touch and came up with a wonderful, funky set of nested tables.

Nested tables made reclaimed pine

Our customer was more than happy to let us have free reign on the design, and he was very happy with the result. Our clients have confidence that we will create something special and unique from their proposed idea.

As well as bespoke tables we also create bespoke island tops. The next image shows a top that was created for a customer using reclaimed pine with a brushed finish – we think it looks spectacular.

Island top made from reclaimed pine

We are always purchasing interesting materials which lend themselves to some creative designs! Recently we acquired a batch of old Belfast shipping crates which we decided to make into funky coffee tables. We fitted the crates with small, circular metal wedges allowing us to attach a piece of toughened glass on top. The wedges provide a small space between the shipping crates and the glass helping to create a coffee table that is both individual and interesting.

The last table that we want to show you involves re-purposing duct covers which have been salvaged from a university in Manchester, England. The hardwood panels have been made from Panga Panga, an extremely durable and long lasting timber. The panels have a great patina from years of use – which cannot be replicated or manipulated. We decided that a coffee table would be a great way to re-use these hardwood panels.

Bespoke table made from Panga Panga

Again quite unusual, though we do still supply a vast range of traditional tables of all shapes and sizes that can be viewed on our website, or at our showrooms. This is just a few examples of projects that were slightly different!


Irish Bog Oak

Wilsons Yard – Irish Bog Oak

While Steve, our Timber Yard manager, was out and about to price a job he happened to spot some interestingly shaped timber sitting in the corner of a field. Naturally curiosity got the better of him and he just had to know more about it. With a keen eye for an interesting product, Steve began to chat to the farmer who had procured this bogwood. 

After a short discussion Steve decided that this was a perfect fit at Wilsons Yard and the deal was struck. Time to get that timber back to the yard!

This ancient Irish Oak (abonos morta) has been immersed in a bog in the grounds of Gosford Castle for centuries. After approximately 6,000 years of isolation this bogwood is ready to begin a new journey above ground.

Sitting in a peat bogland for thousands of years has allowed this Irish bog oak to mature and develop a beautiful, rich, dark tone which is unmatched in current timber.

Irish Bog Oak - Unloaded

On arrival at our yard we were left wondering what to do with it! Luckily we have some very talented woodworkers at our disposal who suggested that we turn the bogwood into decorative pieces of art; even coffee tables and garden seats!

Irish Bog Oak - Drying

We researched how to dry the bogwood before it could be sculpted or worked on. We were advised to put it in a bed of dry straw and let it dry for 6 months to a year. 

We now have the unique opportunity to create small & large sculptures/furniture from this wonderful timber, allowing you to have a piece of art in your home which is as old as the pyramids!

The photographs below show how the timber has been transformed from a wet, peaty bogwood into a very distinctive and stylish decorative feature. We will keep adding the images of the pieces as we make more.

To get us started we have worked on a small piece (which you can see below), we are very happy with the results and now feel confident to start working on large pieces of functional furniture and decorative art.

Irish Bog Oak Sculpture

Feel free to come in and select your own unique piece of bog oak for us to finish to your requirements – leaving you with an ancient piece of stylish art that no one else will ever have…

Here are some different ideas for using Irish bog oak: 

Mossvale Timber Yard