Last edited 11 Dec 2020


Jetty large.jpg
The jetty seen on this house is created by projecting timber floor beams at first floor level.

Traditionally, jettying was the art of creating overhangs as seen in timber-framed houses of the 14th to 17th centuries. The jetty (or jettie or jutty; derr. French ‘jeter’ to throw) refers to situations in which the upper floor overhangs the floor below by as much as 1,200mm (although usually around 400mm). If a house comprised two storeys above ground, the second storey would often overhang by as much as the one below.

A jetty would often exist on the front of the house where it was most visible, although some houses show them on both front and back.

[edit] Reasons to jetty

Although the exact reason for jettying is not known, the most commonly-cited explanation is the need to provide extra space. While this is plausible – especially in the confined conditions of a medieval town – many of these buildings were in rural areas which did not have the same spatial constraints. In any case, the space provided by a modest jetty may not have yielded significant usable space.

Other possible reasons include:

The term ‘jetty’ is rarely used in modern building; ‘overhang’, ‘projection’ and ‘cantilever’ are more common.

NB the term 'jetty' is also commonly used to refer to a structure, typically a walkway, that projects into a waterbody from the land.

A jetty bracket is: 'A supporting timber, usually curved, used to give added strength to jettied upper storeys in medieval buildings.' Ref Drawing for Understanding, Creating Interpretive Drawings of Historic Buildings, published by Historic England in 2016.

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