Cruck

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Cruck

One of a pair of large curved structural timbers, forming the wall posts and roof rafters of timber-framed houses; they are joined at the top of the frame where they support a ridge beam.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

crutch, cruck

One of a pair of naturally curved timbers that rise from the outer walls to support the ridge beam, each crutch being called a blade, 4; joined at the top and connected by one or two tie beams, the resulting arched frame forming the unit in the framework of old English houses or farm buildings; pairs of crutches were placed at approximately equal intervals.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.